Brooklyn heights

Earlier this summer, we hosted a few friends on our stoop. The first people arrived with wine and beer (always great). Then our friend Ziva walked up holding a tote bag and announced…



Getting a surprise bag of treats was weirdly thrilling! And why Chipwiches? “Name a better dessert,” she answered.

“I get the Good Humor kind from the bodega,” Ziva explained. “It’s a classic, you don’t need to mess with it. A Chipwich works with everything, from a fancy spread to burgers or tacos. I don’t know fashion well, but it’s basically the jean jacket of ice cream. The Jennifer Aniston of desserts.”

She also clarified that we could eat them that night or put them in the freezer to enjoy all week. We ended up busting them out at 11 p.m.; it was such a fun addition to the evening.

Now I’m curious, what do you usually bring to friends’ houses?

“My husband, blessed Southerner that he is, taught me to never show up without something, like wine or cookies or grocery-store flowers,” says a reader named Lindsey. A bottle of olive oil also makes a great gift, suggests Jen.

Or you could bring something particular to the host. “Back when my partner and I had lots of gatherings, the best thing people could bring was bags of ice!” says Stephanie. “We were always running out of ice for drinks. Maybe you know your friend likes lottery tickets, or pickles, or they ran out of juice boxes for the kids.”

But at the end of the day? “Truly, a guest showing up and enjoying themselves is the best guest I could ask for,” says Stephanie.

Thoughts? What do you bring as a guest? I remember a Cup of Jo reader named Karen once said, “Knock with your elbows.”

P.S. A trick for avoiding small talk, and what’s the nicest thing anyone’s ever said to you?