If you have a vague and persistent feeling that everything’s going to hell, you may have a point. Burned French cathedrals, closed firehouse-themed Collegetown restaurants, sober-curiousity, Reichskanzler Trump, vaping… Several times a day, the scientific community revises its climate prediction, and it’s reliably disheartening. Apparently, by some time around Thanksgiving of this year, Ithaca will have the same weather patterns as the Piedmont region of Alabama. Are we doomed to a world of kudzu, grits and aggressive anti-abortion laws? I say no! There is still much that is unique in Ithaca to bring us joy. It’s up to us to keep it going.
Watch a Crew Race on the Inlet while the water’s still deep enough for rowing. Nature has this way of reclaiming wetlands, and soon the athletes will be plowing through cattails and alligators.
Complete the Pinesburger Challenge. Four pinesburgers in one hour. The Glenwood Pines has an on-site cardiologist and fully-charged defibrillator, so it’s all perfectly safe.
Sit outside on the Commons. Commons bingo cards are available at the Paperie, next to the presidential greeting cards. Watch for undergraduates pretending to not be with their parents or a rare sighting of anyone not looking at their phone. With another two or three building projects, we’ll also be protected from the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays. Bonus!
Walk downtown from one end to the other. It’s faster than driving. A lot faster. Who could possibly have ever foreseen that increased urban density would make our roadways as clogged as Rush Limbaugh’s arteries?
Limebike-pedestrian jousting. I’ve found that the odds have shifted distinctly in my favor since I started packing a steel-tipped lance when walking the dog.
Engage in an actual face-to-face conversation with another human being for five or more minutes. Your only real shot at this is to pick somebody pushing a shopping cart full of recyclables. They’re generally willing, and nobody else is off their device for that long. In 2016, the Census Bureau declared that we’ve officially entered the era where the live person in your presence is the distraction to your online activities and not the other way around.
Eat an ice cream sundae at Sweet Melissa’s. It’s established scientific fact that the sundae was invented in Ithaca. But one day soon, refined sugar will be designated a controlled substance or banned altogether, and we’ll be horrifying our children with yarns of a time when people ate ice cream with impunity, even in school cafeterias. Go now, before it’s too late.
Cruise Big Box Boulevard from Texas Roadhouse to Kohl’s. These venerable 21st-century edifices, steeped in months of history and decorated with quaint corporate logos, have come to typify Olde Ithaca for thousands of visitors. And yet, there are no guarantees in the ever-challenging world of big business, and you never know who will still be there tomorrow. Just ask Tim Horton.
See a pileated woodpecker at Sapsucker Woods. Before long we’ll be looking at toucans and parrots. It’s an exciting time to be alive.
Watch a Cornell football game. They’ve had two winning seasons in the last 20 years, but it’s not really about the football. I’d say support IC in the Cortaca game, but for reasons that defy rational explanation they’re playing out this local rivalry in East Rutherford, New Jersey this year.
Play trivia at Liquid State. There may be hope for the future yet. If excellent beer in a quasi-industrial setting with hard questions is a harbinger of what’s to come, I’m in.