Maybe the folks I hang with are hipper than I think.
A few years ago, a friend of mine, may have started a trend of sorts. He took to ordering water with no ice whenever asked which beverage he wanted at restaurants. I soon followed his lead having, up to that point, no idea that a dining patron could even make such a request.
See, the thing is, he and I are real big fans of water. Neither of us care for soda, coffee, beer, wine, booze and other such frippery. When we are thirsty, we want to solve the source of problem. As such we drink a lot of water.
Water is difficult to drink with ice in it. You can’t quaff or chug it without choking on a piece of ice. If you have sensitive teeth, ice can be a real pain. And straws are a waste of plastic in my opinion. I always thought it was odd that restaurants don’t give you water without ice. They seem to think that giving you a glass of water with nothing in it is somehow an insult or something. Some restaurants go so far as to throw in a useless slice of lemon or pineapple. My suspicion is that restaurants put ice in water to prevent you from drinking it thus keeping you thirsty and, because thirst often drives the illusion of hunger, finally making you spend more by ordering more food than your really need.
Anyway I think the default state for a restaurant should be water without ice in it. If someone wants ice, let them ask for it. Who knows, maybe some day trendy restaurants in New York and San Fransisco will take up this meme.