From the NY Times:
Mr. Benfaremo, the King in the store’s name, died in 2008. But Mr. Irushalmi still drives from Bayside to 108th Street in Corona to take part in what is arguably the defining summer ritual for anyone with even a remote connection to Central Queens: A smiling customer exchanges a few words, and a couple of dollars, with a polite teenager working a worn stainless steel counter, and a paper cup overflowing with smooth, perfectly sweet Italian ice is proffered with the care accorded a sacramental wafer.
Classic rock drifts onto the sidewalk. White-haired Jewish ladies, knee-high Latino children, big-bellied Italian men, hand-holding teenagers — they’re all in line. It’s nostalgia, on ice, in 42 flavors.
Like Mr. Irushalmi, many customers have been there on first dates with their future spouses, and celebrated birthdays and everyday August nights with nary a spoon or a napkin — just ice in a cup, and a tongue dyed strawberry red or tangerine orange.