Rosy Brown’s Seldom Idle Hour
Orient Point, New York
If you were an in-the-know five year old on the North Fork this summer, you’d make sure to be seen at The Idle Hour ice cream parlor ordering a scoop with rainbow sprinkles. Ever since Memorial Day weekend, when 19 year-old Rosabella Brown resurrected the quaint 1950s space, children (and adults happy at an excuse for a refreshing snack) have flocked to the tiny parlor for their daily fix.
Rosabella, known affectionately as “Rosy” by her friends and Orient Point locals who have known her since she was a kid, decided to re-open the Liliputian space for the summer because she thought it would be “a fun and slightly ridiculous project to take on” before she begins university in the fall. Ms. Brown graduated from The Dalton School in the spring of 2011, and the parlor is the culmination of a gap year spent working at an orphanage in Tanzania, traveling around Rajasthan and interning at Bon Appétit.
Rosy says she inherited her love of food from her mother who loves to cook, but that the tipping point was when she discovered the Food Network at age 11, and more specifically Paula Dean (“cringeworthy, I know,” she quickly admits). Rosy has since taught herself how to bake, and turned her focus toward using organic and local ingredients. Though she’d hoped to make her own ice cream for The Idle Hour, she had neither the start up capital for the necessary equipment nor the permits in place in time for the summer. As a compromise, she stocks healthy and hip Blue Marble ice cream from the all natural, locally-sourced Brooklyn-based ice cream geniuses, as well as the obligatory Hershey’s.
Rosy makes all the sauces and toppings herself using organic products and relishes turning the locals into organic converts. “A lot of the old, grouchy guys around town are pretty skeptical of anything organic, but I’ve managed to convert most of them. One was almost in tears the first time he tasted it. He said he hadn’t had ice cream like that since he was a little boy.”
Last Saturday when I visited, the patrons were mostly in the 4 to 10 year-old range, and looked at Rosy as if she were a demigod. “You should keep the parlor open all year round,” said one three-foot-small patron as he waved a dripping sugar cone with emphatic enthusiasm. “We want ice cream at Christmas time and we want you!” Rosy just smiled. When she addresses the children it is with the patient respect appropriate for one’s best costumers. Rosy, who is petite and extraordinarily pretty, has accepted her fate as hero of the little-people pack. Rosy admits that one mother even left her brood under Rosy’s indulgent gaze for three hours…without asking first.
Maybe Rosy learned a thing or two about entertaining rambunctious patrons from her father, gallerist Gavin Brown, of Gavin Brown Enterprises, whose art opening after-parties are notoriously boisterous. Rosy’s crowd may be a bit younger and shorter in stature than the art scenesters at her dad’s openings, but if you’re an in-the-know member of the Day Camp G-Rated set, The Idle Hour is the place to cool down and get your sugar-high on while the summer lasts.
The Idle Hour
1010 Village Lane
Orient Point, NY 11957
Monday through Sunday, 12pm to 10pm through Labor Day weekend and every weekend through the end of September, 2012. Rosy plans on re-opening for the season Memorial Day 2013 with homemade ice cream. Fingers crossed.
Photo credits: first image of Rosy holding cone by John Jaxheimer; all other images by Tarajia Morrell, The Lovage.
To leave a comment, please click here, and scroll down to where it says “Leave a Reply.”