In the weeks following the end of summer, New Yorkers can still face some sweltering summer-like days well into October. There are many ways to cool off in the early stretch of Autumn--chilled apple cider, pumpkin ales, Fall inspired cocktails and pumpkin ice cream.
Pumpkin ice cream is a New England classic. It is best when stumbled upon at a roadside farm stand and consumed seated atop a bail of hay among a scattered arrangement of pumpkins, squash, gourds, and Indian corn under a crisp blue sky, the air scented with the red, yellow and orange leaves that float to the ground right by your feet.
In Astoria, Queens, the foliage may be sparse, but chilled Fall inspired treats can be found on the 30th Avenue stretch. Fall flavors meet the wildly popular self-service frozen yogurt trend at Mama Frozen Yogurt. The shop has a non-fat pumpkin handle that is smooth and earthy. Any topping would ruin the delicate pumpkin flavor which does not last long on the tongue. It falls very short of the toothsome and spicy pumpkin ice cream, but it would satisfy a transplanted and nostalgic New Englander.
Further down 30th Avenue, 16 Handles offers a pumpkin flavored frozen yogurt that is still fat free but slightly creamier than Mama's version. Additionally, 16 Handles carries an "artisan" Cider Doughnut handle. It is creamy, sweet and spicy. Eating it reminds you that you miss the chewy bite and sugary coating of the cider doughnut, so a crunchy waffle cone topping would round the fro-yo out nicely.
These Fall flavors are around for a short window of time so take the N or Q train to the 30th Avenue station and cool off.
Check out this round up of pumpkin ice cream options in NYC from Serious Eats in 2010.