Queens Nocturne: Lemon Ice King of Corona by Twilight


Cares of the day aside, heat still radiating from the pavement as the sun, in a mellow haze, plunges below the roofline to the west, we make our way toward the Lemon Ice King of Corona for the summer’s favorite refreshment. Standing on the sidewalk in the glow that issues from the brightly lit interior, we peruse the sign, which offers 30 kinds of ices.

Yes, the folding chair where once sat the Lemon Ice King himself — Ben Faremo — is now empty, but the ices are every bit as good, scooped into small, flimsy paper cups (totally biodegradable!) and traditionally eaten without a spoon, though plastic spoons were made available not long ago (boo!).


But which ice to get? Many of the more garish-looking flavors are made with syrups containing artificial flavors and colors, so unless you’re a kid, stick with the ones made from fresh ingredients. These include the namesake lemon ice (well, duh!), cantaloupe, mint, and coffee, which is as strong as a double shot of espresso, and will give you the energy to traipse into the adjacent park, where old Sicilian men still play bocce ball (click! click!) under strings of party lights, in front of a rapt crowd that follows every move. 52-02 108th Street, Corona, Queens, 718-699-5133