As this is the two year anniversary of my managing editorship, I figured I’d espouse a few thoughts on Ithaca that I’ve developed over my time here. There will be no rhyme or reason to them.
1. There’s no need to keep beating this horse, but Ithaca should have a minor league baseball team. Maybe just wait until after the pandemic is over, though.
2. The definitive ranking of municipalities that surround Ithaca: Lansing is first, then probably Trumansburg, then Ulysses, then an inseparable mish-mosh tier of all the other places. I was pulled over once in what I believe was Brooktondale, thus relegating it to the end of the list.
3. Watching Common Council struggle to master the relatively simple intricacies of Zoom calls has been a stablizing force in my quarantine experience, something to look back on and giggle at during any dark times.
4. I didn’t think “Aurora Streatery” was a very good name upon initial examination, but it actually works. It seems to have worked out fairly decent for the restaurants that have opened as well, though the dry weather has certainly helped with that.
5. Ithaca’s liberalism often comes under fire for being surface level (at best) or lip service (at worst) in its actual dedication to pushing boundaries to help people. There’s absolutely strong merit to those criticisms, but something that should be celebrated regardless is that Ithaca, in some manner, fosters an environment that allows social movements that actually are willing to push elected officials out of their comfort zones to develop and operate—seen most recently with the Ithaca Tenants Union and the Unbroken Promise Initiative, born out of the Black Lives Matter protests.
6. I have never seen a population have such intermittent contempt for something that so obviously makes life sustainable for them. I’m talking here about normal Ithacans’ general distaste for Cornell University, one of the biggest employers and the single most prominent attraction in Ithaca. The eye-roll disdain seems aimed more at Cornell as a specter looming on the hill than for any specific misdeed by the school. I can’t explain it, but don’t get me wrong: After nearly four years, I feel it too.
7. Ithaca has a glaring abundance of the following things: pizza places, people who vastly overestimate the “power of conversation” (I’m not actually sure people believe this but they do say it a lot) and white people who wear dreadlocks.
8. Ithaca has a glaring lack of the following things: escalators, batting cage facilities and charmingly hostile eating environments/experiences with good food (the Pizza Hut near Ithaca Mall is the only place that qualifies, in my opinion).
9. Ithaca doesn’t need a Trader Joe’s Ithaca needs an additional downtown discount grocer, something closer to the center of town than the Aldi.
I have more thoughts, but in case I get a third anniversary as managing editor I’ll stop there. My time in Ithaca has been wildly fun and often very entertaining so far, and I hope the readers have been better informed because of it. If not, we’ll keep trying.