Way back when, a series of bad decisions had me standing in Milan’s Piazza del Duomo in the rain, in the height of winter. I was alone, the touts were draping strings around me and trying to flog some £10 bird feed. Miserable. Scurrying through the fancy street with the boutiques selling cashmere scarves and Armani-branded coffee, I turned the corner into a little gelateria that would change my impression of Milan forever. That shop was GROM. No matter how cold and wet I was I just had to have some ice cream, and boy was it magnificent! That very moment when I dug into the lemon sorbet, the pistachio and tiramisu gelato (I still remember the flavours) is my only pleasant memory of that trip. So, when I stumbled across a GROM outlet around the corner from Columbus Circle, I suddenly felt at ease. It no longer mattered that I had just taken the worst subway in the western hemisphere and was heckled by a passer-by on the street. I had my gelato, and this time it did not contain just lemon, pistachio and tiramisu flavours. It took me back to a time and place where I was just overwhelmed with relief, and with it the feeling that perhaps living in this city is going to be alright.
by J Khou