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Last Licks Ice Cream Hits Manhattan

last licksSeason after season, I was that lone pig-tailed girl stuck with a rambunctious, all-boys team (thanks Dad!). But luckily, I held my own until middle school – that’s when teams were, oh at last, separated by sex. Now, those years of Little League generate a twinge of nostalgia – not a therapy session analyzing my gender diffidence. So with my spirit of sport inquiry in tow – and the thermometer’s reading of netherworld-like temperatures – I treated myself to the afternoon off and headed to sports heaven, otherwise known as Last Licks Ice Cream.

The Upper East Side’s sports enthusiasts’ paradise opened its gates just three weeks ago and has already established itself as a home base for kids and family. Licks is modeled after an adults sport’s bar, providing the requisite ice cream counter (lined with painted wooden bats), barstools (styled after baseballs), and of course, a plethora of big-screen TVs. The eatery also provides a dugout for pigging out! This design is time tested – there are three other locations in suburbia surrounding the city, and it’s all cute, but really, you’re in New York City – bring your A game. So what exactly elevates Licks from the strip malls of Lizzie McGuire to the boulevards of Gossip Girl, or for a more appropriate comparison, from the minors to the majors?

Well, wrap your helmet-hair head around this: Licks claims a spot in the big leagues with monthly opportunities to meet and greet some of sports’ biggest powerhouses. Due to its partnership with Steiner Sports – Brandon Steiner founded the ice cream bar in 2000 – Last Licks gets first dibs on athletes ranging from New York Yankees’ Paul O’Neill (my personal favorite) to closer Mariano Rivera. And although many of the store’s visitors tote pinstripes, athletes of all breeds have been known to pay a visit. Licks promises ten appearances per year per store. But even if you can’t catch a star (or even a baseball for that matter), don’t fret – Licks is an ice cream shop at heart. That means the freedom to ingest flavors like Mint Chocolate Chip (Mr. O’Neill’s preference), Cotton Candy, and Louisiana Pecan Crunch.

Last Lick's Ice Cream, 245 E 93rd St (646-596-7984, lastlicksicecream.com). Subway: 6 to 96th St. A small is priced at about $3. --Madeleine Kronovet

Check out other yummy summer treats around the city

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