There is a scene in Ray Bradbury's 1957 novel Dandelion Wine, his love letter to Midwestern childhood summers, where 20-something Bill Forrester meets 95-year-old Helen Loomis over a lime vanilla ice at the town soda fountain. Had they been of similar ages, they might have fallen in love and lived together happily in Green Town, Illinois. At the Brooklyn Farmacy & Soda Fountain, such an old fashioned encounter does not seem impossible. One afternoon, over a chocolate egg cream (soda, milk and Fox's U-Bet syrup) a little boy with a red balloon made conversation with the 'jerk' at the counter and slurped his fizzy classic quickly (as one should). Once the long-vacant Vermont Pharmacy, this Carroll Gardens corner has reinstated the soda fountain as neighborhood institution without a hint of hipster ruse. Walls of refurbished medicine shelves display locally made pickles, ginger syrup and peanut butter while early Duke Ellington floats over couples sharing strawberry pie. On another afternoon, a woman murmured to the soda jerk, "I need some advice," to which he sincerely replied, "On life, or just on sundaes?" She went with a scoop of Adirondack Creamery's summer strawberry, but it must be a comfort to know that an open ear awaits upon future visits. The Brooklyn Farmacy doesn't serve Bradbury's lime vanilla ices, but a similarly cool and tart soda might find you exchanging pleasantries and counsel with fellow countermates seeking amity or just a solid cream soda float.
Brooklyn Farmacy & Soda Fountain
513 Henry St.
Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn