Street Scenes: Imperial Woodpecker Sno-balls, NYC (Gallery)

See what happened when Southern transplant and frozen treat-slinger Neesa Peterson got a visit from a throwback R&B group.

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All photos by Liz Barclay (@liz_barclay)

There’s a calm bustle at the corner of Gansevoort and Washington in Manhattan’s Meatpacking District. Slender women and well-dressed families pass through the increasingly chic neighborhood—examples of the area’s fashion-forward demo, and evidence of the magnetic pull of the ever-popular Highline.

Neesa Peterson, herself a fashion industry alum, offers a little bit of her native New Orleans flare from Imperial Woodpecker Sno-balls, a vibrant little stand across the street from Macelleria. With her broad smile and distinct drawl, she welcomes a steady string of customers looking to cool off with mounds of slushie-like shaved ice, laced with flavored syrups in varieties like orange-and-cream Dreamsicle, Key Lime Pie, and Strawberry Daiquiri. (If you’re sweet-tooth is well-refined, go all in with the Mardi Gras King Cake topped with sticky condensed milk.)

Around 7pm on a Friday night, Peterson served a vacationing couple from Texas, chatted with a few of her favorite local kids, and got a surprise visit from reformed R&B group Hi-Five. Yes, those guys from Waco, TX who tore up the charts with the Teddy Riley-produced “I Like the Way (Kissing Game)” in 1991. Peterson took it all in stride, alternating between posing for photos and pouring sweet, sweet syrups on shaved ice. — Nick Schonberger


Visit Imperial Woddpecker Sno-balls at 55 Gansevoort St, between Greenwich and Washington Sts, Wed–Sun noon-10pm. Follow @ImperialSno for updates.

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