Best of Ithaca 2010

Well, another year has come and gone. The polls are closed, the ballots have been counted and the results are in.

What follows is the usual post-election night tumult: familiar faces, brash young upstarts, gasps of surprise and delight, some multiple winners and even a few losers. We hope you enjoy the results, because you made them happen.

PLACES

Best Alternative High School:

Lehman Alternative

Community School

“It continues to be a real sense of pride for our school that the community recognizes our approach to education over the years,” commented principal Joe Greenberg. “We hope it’s making a difference in the world of these students and the communities the go on to participate in.”

Best Booth at the

Farmer’s Market:

Solaz Burrito, Macro Mama

This isn’t the first time these two booths have tied for best, in fact, both were honored last year. They are clearly a necessary part of everyone’s trip to the Farmer’s Market. The lines may look long, but it’s well worth it.

Solaz offers a delicious Mexican menu including both breakfast burritos and traditional burritos with chicken, beans or veggies, as well as tamales, buffalo chicken salad and more!

Macro Mamas supports a macrobiotic diet, so get ready for some healthy grains, veggies and fruits prepared to perfection! Check out their market menu at www.macromamas.com.

Best Area Town To Live In And Commute To Ithaca:

Trumansburg

Twenty minutes up the hill from Ithaca on Route 96, this picturesque little town is home to the GrassRoots Festival and is right next door to the Taughannock Falls. Frequently referred to as “Little Ithaca,” it’s got all the culture and none of the unsightly traffic.

Best View of the Lake:

Ithaca College

After spending four years of my life atop South Hill, I can personally attest to this. The stunning panorama made those impending Shakespeare papers and Western Civ exams less foreboding, no matter the season.

Best Playground:

Taughannock Park

We admit it’s been a while since we’ve had a swing on the monkey bars, but nothing is more tempting than a good playground! Now Taughannock State Park has more to boast about than just those silly water falls, cliffs and trails…it’s not like those are breath-taking, or anything.

Best Street To Live On:

Linn Street

On the edge of the Fall Creek community, Linn Street is a quiet, dainty area of Ithaca. It’s tucked in on one side by a beautiful wooded area. The row of unique old houses gives it a quaint atmosphere, and with that kind of real-estate value, it better be!

Best Place to Volunteer:

Loaves and Fishes

 “This award is a tribute to our dedicated staff who works side by side with our community volunteers: Erin Estevez, Neil Golder, Leah Grady, Rob Kaufman, Isaiah Parker, Ron Poley, Sarah Priester, Sarah Thomas and Maggie Whitehead,” said Christina Culver, director of Loaves & Fishes (located on North Cayuga Street). “Over 130 volunteers each week dedicate their time and energy to helping us prepare, cook, serve and clean.  Their loving service enables us to offer our guests a free nutritional meal in a welcoming and supportive community atmosphere. Monthly, we are serving an average of 2,400 people including 110 children. We are also very grateful to Father Snyder and the St. John’s Episcopal Church who gives us the use of their facilities. All are welcome to the Loaves & Fishes table. Come join us.”

Best Head Shop:

Jabberwock

The great folks down at Jabberwock on the Commons were so pleased to be voted into Ithaca’s Best Head Shop. They thank all their supporters and encourage people to keep coming in! Choose to sell, trade or donate items, as well as shop from their eclectic mix of artwork, accessories, musical instruments and more.

The vote was close for the top spot in the first-time category — with Ithaca’s Glass in second by a single vote — which drew criticism from some upset that we included this. We must say, however, with six such shops on the Commons alone, it shows they are part of the Ithaca landscape.

Best Farm Stand:

Early Bird Farm

 “We like to produce the freshest produce possible,” said George Sheldrake of Early Bird Farms, located on Elmira Road in Ithaca. “We pick every day and like it, too!” Sheldrake laughed that he likes to consider what he does gardening, not farming, because that way it doesn’t feel like so much work. Well, the people of Ithaca appreciate all the time and effort Early Bird puts in, whether it feels like work or not!

Another close category, with Ludgate Farms narrowly missing out on first place.

PEOPLE

Best Accountant:

Sprague and Janowsky

 “We’re quite surprised, humbled and a little embarrassed,” smiled David Spargue. “We like what we do — we’ve been doing it for a long time, and we’re happy to receive this award!”

Well, we’re all grateful that you guys enjoy crunching our numbers, because we doubt that most Ithacans would list it in their Top 10 favorite activities. Thanks, guys!

Best Bank Teller:

Rachel Minklei at Alternatives Federal Credit Union, Rik Daniels at Tompkins Trust Company (tie)

 “I would simply like to say thank you to Ithaca Times, and thanks to Alternatives for being such a great place of employment!,” Rachel Minklei said. “I work with some amazing people who are all equally deserving of the title.”

Rik Daniels is quick with a smile and a quip when visiting his window at Tompkins Trust company’s main office on the Commons, making it little surprise that he was at the top of the bank teller voting with Minklei.

Best Local Liberal:

Mayor Carolyn Peterson

A proponent of sustainable initiatives, the City of Ithaca’s Mayor Carolyn Peterson topped the polling for Best Local Liberal. Peterson, a Democrat, has been a driving force behind bicycle use by city officials and often rides to and from work on two-wheeled transportation.

Best Local Conservative:

Mark Finkelstein

Host of “Right Angle” on Ithaca’s public access television station, not to mention his run as Republican Committee chair, pushed Finkelstein to the forefront of this category. He was similarly honored last year, when Finkelstein’s  “Right Angle,” which spotlights stories that don’t get play in the liberal media, was honored for Best Local TV Show.

Best Notable Ithaca Character:

David Lisa

This is not David Lisa’s first appearance on our Best Of list, and it will hopefully not be the last. In a town full of characters, David Lisa is truly the most cherished. Ride on!

Best Community Activist:

The Gradys

Well known in the Ithaca area for their passionate commitment to peace and social justice, the Gradys won this year’s Best of Ithaca prize in the activism category.  Whether it’s opposing the war in Iraq, speaking out against torture, or volunteering at Loaves and Fishes, the Gradys are a tireless force in the community, as they carry the legacy of the Berrigan Brothers and other Catholic activists into the 21st century. 

Best Midwife:

Monica Daniel

We couldn’t reach Monica Daniel for a comment, but we’re sure that’s because she’s busy bringing new lives into the world.  Daniel, a certified nurse midwife, graduated from Cornell in 1983 with a B.S. in nutrition and has since gone on to earn another B.S. in nursing and a M.S. in midwifery. She worked as a midwife in different parts of the country and internationally in the West Indies.

She now runs Gently Born Midwifery here in Ithaca where she guides soon-to-be parents through the pregnancy and home birth.

Best Health/Fitness Instructor:

Debbie Noonan at Island Health

 “Thank you so much,” gushed Noonan. “I’m honored and flattered. I won this in the ‘80s, I won it in the ‘90s and now in the 2000s. It reinforces that staying healthy and having a healthy life style really does pay off.” She added that it brings her so much joy to help others stay healthy and active, and invites us all to visit her zumba class!

FOOD & DRINK

Best Sushi:

Wegmans

Wegmans really does have it all! Even what it takes to beat out the multiple sushi restaurants in this town for best sushi. Most importantly, you can grab it at any time. Can you say every college girl’s dream?

Sushi Sake on Aurora Street’s Restaurant Row was a close second place in this category.

Best Tastes-Like-Home Restaurant:

Moosewood

“It’s very flattering, thank you,” said Alex of Moosewood, located in the Dewitt Building on Cayuga Street. “Our whole staff is like a family. It’s always been one of our goals to have a home-style meal. We strive for that home cooked feeling!” Alex added that this is certainly the right award for them, and they are very happy to receive it.

The next best thing to the next best thing from home is runner-up Glenwood Pines, located on Taughannock Blvd off of 89. You can stop in on your way to Trumansburg or the falls.

So, anytime you’re feeling homesick, now you’ll know where to go.

Best Restaurant When Someone Else is Paying:

John Thomas

“We’re always happy when we win something!” said Mike Kelly of John Thomas.

He thanks the community on behalf of everyone at the restaurant, and hopes that the food is always delicious, no matter who’s paying. Don’t worry, Mr. Kelly, it is!

Runner-up Hazelnut Kitchen was just nipping at John Thomas’s heels, definitely requiring a mention.

Best Happy Hour:

Viva Taqueria and Cantina

 “Wow,” began Tomas of Viva’s, “while I’m thrilled we won the award, I’m concerned that a family restaurant has the best happy hour.”

Valid concern, sir. Bring your family, or just your friends, to Viva on Aurora Street for dinner and a little something extra. Happy hour is from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Best Dessert:

Madeline’s

 “Your desire for decadent sweets inspire us to keep this case of 20 different desserts interesting and creative,” said owner and pastry chef, Teresa Miller.  “We want to delight and surprise you to keep you coming back for more. Every dessert in our case is made from scratch right here on location by myself, Lindsey Pou and Lauren Osbourne. We work on bringing you superior quality and variety of special treats daily.”

If you’ve never experienced a Madeline’s dessert, and you have a spare $7 in your pocket, we highly suggest you head down to the Commons and treat yourself (or someone else)!

 “We want to thank all of you loyal Madeline’s fans and Ithaca Times readers for your continued support and for this great award that makes all our hard work worthwhile,” Miller said.

 

Best Buffet:

New Dehli Diamond’s

 “Thank you everyone who supported us,” said Kamaldeep Sekhon, who runs Diamond’s with husband Baldev. “We’ve been here since 1993, and no business can run without its customers.”

Diamond’s is located on West Green Street, and its buffet is open from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on weekdays and noon to 3 p.m. on weekend.

Best Brunch:

Café DeWitt

 “We love this award,” said part-owner Josh Ekinroad. “Best Brunch is near and dear to our heart. We’re always trying to find new flavors and innovative ways to cook the local and regional foods we use.”

They love brunch so much at Café DeWitt, located on North Cayuga Street, that they have it both Saturdays and Sundays. And with such an involved veteran staff all working together on the weekends, it’s clear that a lot of thought and effort is put into this special meal.

Best Drink:

Felicia’s Atomic Lounge

 “Thank you to all the people who voted for us, to our dedicated staff, and to everyone who imbibes here,” said Amelia and Leah of Felicia’s Atomic Lounge. “We are constantly creating new cocktails from crazy, innovative ingredients. Satisfaction guaranteed: If you don’t like your cocktail, we are happy to drink it for you and make you something else!”

I wonder how long one could keep that going…hmm.

Best Local Microbrew Flavor:

Cascazilla

“Thank you all for voting to make CascaZilla your favorite local microbrew, we are honored by the award,” said Allison Graffin, marketing director of the Ithaca Beer Co. “CascaZilla is our hoppy red ale that gets its distinctive red color from a healthy portion of caramel malt, which lends a hearty body and sweetness.”

Grab a growler at Ithaca Beer on Elmira Road.

 “We’ll keep brewin’ up this fine ale for years to come...especially now that we know it’s Ithaca’s favorite!” Graffin said.

Best Indian Food:

New Delhi Diamond’s

How perfect, the best buffet in town is located at the best Indian food restaurant. How can you go wrong?

 “It’s such an honor!” said Kamaldeep Sekhon. “We’ll try to keep it up. Thank you to all of our well wishers for their blessings. We’re here because of them.”

Join Diamond’s for dinner from 5-10 p.m. nightly.

Best Asian Food:

Taste of Thai

 “We thank those readers who voted for us,” said Angsana Pancharoen, restaurant founder and general manager, “and we especially thank our loyal patrons and dedicated staff for their continued.”

 “It is both heartwarming and encouraging,” added April Pancharoen, one of the restaurant’s owners, “that, even during these difficult economic times we continue to see so many familiar faces while, at the same time, also see an increasing number of new faces. We thank all of our customers for their patronage. We will continue to strive to provide high-quality Thai food dishes at affordable prices. We are honored to receive this award.”

Taste of Thai is located on East State Street.

Best Coffee:

Gimme Coffee

It’s no surprise that Ithaca’s most recognizable coffee purveyor came in first in the voting for Best Coffee in town.

And it’s not just known in Ithaca, where it now has three locations (plus one in Trumansburg), it’s garnering quite a reputation thanks to praise in notable publications like GQ and the New York Times. In addition to its upstate locations here, Gimme has two in New York City — one in Manhattan and one in Brooklyn. Keep on serving up that fair trade stuff, Gimme and we’ll keep drinking it up.

ENTERTAINMENT

Best Local Radio Station:

WICB

 “We’re thrilled to win this prestigious honor,” said station manager Chris Wheatley. “It’s particularly gratifying for WICB to win the award for Best Local Radio Station when four new stations have popped up in the last two years.”

WICB is run primarily by Ithaca College students and provides a fantastic environment for those aspiring to go into communications and radio.

“The staff and I are very happy that our love of great radio is appreciated by the readers of the Ithaca Times,” Wheatley said. “We have the best staff, the best programming, and now, another award!”

Best Local Band Name:

The Talktomes

Sim Redmond, bassist of The Talktomes, said the name was decided on over some pizza at Napoli.

“It was just a saying we’d say to each other: Talk to me,” he said.

The saying implies frankness and honesty—being completely open in conversation with someone. Listening to the mellow sound and insightful lyrics of The Talktomes, it’s clear that they value the sentiment of their namesake.

In addition to Redmond, The Talktomes include front man and main songwriter Gregor Sayet-Bone, Jarrell Puryear on lead guitar, Colin Smith on piano and Tom Gilbert on drums. Give them a listen on their MySpace page!

Best Local Vocalist:

Sim Redmond

Sim is no stranger to the Best of Ithaca, but he proclaimed to us that he won’t be happy until he’s won best pizza!

“It’s great to live in a community that supports local music so well and to be among so many great musicians,” said Redmond. He couldn’t say much more, however, because he was busy Googling, “How to Beat the Nines at Making Pizza.”

Best Local Instrumentalist:

Hank Roberts

Voted Best Instrumentalist, cellist Hank Roberts in the midst of a busy year that has kept him on the road to perform with the likes of Bill Frisell, John Zorn, Dave Douglas and members of the Bad Plus. Roberts did perform a standing-room only show at the Carriage House Café on June 30 that saw him team with locally based piano virtuoso John Stetch and New York City drummer Jim Black for an evening of cutting-edge jazz improvisation. He also performed a couple of solo gigs during the summer, including his usual stellar Sunday morning set at the GrassRoots Festival, that showcased his unparalleled talent.

Best Local Actor:

Karl Gregory

 “I love Ithaca!!” exclaimed Gregory. “I’m thrilled to be returning this year in November for an encore run of The SantaLand Diaries at the brand new Kitchen Theatre on Martin Luther King Jr/West State Street.  See you then, Ithaca!”

Gregory has graced the Times’ Best of Ithaca before in 2007 as Ithaca’s Best Bartender!

Best Local DJ:

DJ Split Image

 “I’m really excited and very proud,” said DJ Split Image (Vincente Sierra) of his new title. “[DJing in Ithaca] makes you have to be versatile — there are a lot of different people who want a lot of different things. That helps me stand out.”

The people have spoken, and you certainly do stand out to them, Mr. Image! Follow him on Twitter at djsplitimage.

Best Local Artist:

Money Mars

Rapper Money Mars (Darell Tate) has mixed up Ithaca’s image by throwing in sick rhymes and solid beats. He brings rap back to its roots by addressing relevant social issues through his lyrics. His music vibrates with his youth and spirit; something that we’re glad Ithaca appreciates. Find him on Facebook, MySpace and Twitter at moneymars.

Best Gallery:

State of the Art

Owned and operated by 27 different member artists from the Finger Lakes region, State of the Art displays a wide variety of work covering many mediums and styles.

 “We’re very pleased,” said David Watkins, Jr., gallery president. “We’ve been working very hard to improve the shows and get more local people in to see the gallery.”

If you haven’t dropped by yet, State of the Art is located on West State Street and is open Wednesday through Friday from noon to 6 p.m., and from noon to 5 p.m. on the weekends.

Best Local Radio Show:

Bound for Glory

Marking its 41st year as North America’s longest running live folk concert broadcast, WVBR’s Bound for Glory continues to draw a impressive variety of acoustic musicians to perform free shows on the stage at Cornell’s Anabel Taylor Hall. Show founder and host Phil Shapiro has often said there’s a little “magic” to the show that’s been critical to its ongoing success.  “We’re known for having one of North America’s best singing audiences,” he told the Ithaca Times last fall. “These things create validating experiences for the performers. It’s not passive. That’s what makes BFG special.”

WICB’s “Breakfast with the Beatles,” another stalwart of local radio, was voted runner-up in this category for presenting a bottomless array of Beatles music (both group and solo) each Sunday from noon to 2 p.m.

Best Place for Karaoke:

The Haunt

In a town that loves its self-inflicted social ostracism via raucously singing along to the Spice Girls (at least that’s what I pick every time), DJ Dale’s karaoke night at The Haunt on Wednesdays has come out on top.

 “This is an unexpected honor—wow,” said DJ Dale when we spoke to him. “There are so many other karaoke nights! It’s all thanks to the staff at The Haunt and the guests we have come out every week.”

Best Local Sports Team:

The SufferJets

Talk about some tough ladies.

 “The SufferJets are honored to be Ithaca’s 2010 Best Local Sports Team — and relieved to have been chosen this year, since it won’t be long before the BlueStockings or the Ithaca League of Junior Rollers will be fierce competition for this honor!” said team jammer and co-founder Sarah Davidson (aka Sarabellum). “The entire Ithaca League of Women Rollers is grateful for the support that the Ithaca community has shown the league’s flagship team, the SufferJets, since its first home bout in May 2008. It takes a village to raise a roller derby team!”

She brings up a good point, however. Our favorite sports team has no rink to call home! Maybe the city should look into that. Make sure to catch the SufferJets one last time this season on October 9th in a double-header with the BlueStockings against Syracuse Assault City Roller Derby’s A and B teams at Cass Park Rink!

“Thanks, Ithaca!  You rock, we roll.  See you on the track!” Davidson said.

Not only was this a close vote, there was a tie for second place with the Cornell men’s basketball and ice hockey teams. Men’s basketball’s three straight Ivy League titles, to go with last season’s Sweet Sixteen appearance, have pushed them into the Cornell winter sports conversation with the ice hockey team, which has long been a top-drawing local sports team. Go Big Red!

Best Local Sports Event:

Cortaca Jug

The long-time rivalry between Ithaca College and SUNY Cortland has been the inspiration for hilarious and unimaginative insults and a really great event. Students and community members from both Ithaca and Cortland look forward to this game every year. And it continues to baffle us that a school known for music and communications is able to destroy a school known for sports year after year. This year November will mark the 52nd anniversary of Cortaca Jug and will be held in Cortland. The count? Ithaca College 34, SUNY Cortland 17.

Best Local Sports Fans:

Cornell hockey fans

From their chants and stunts to their creative props (anyone remember the fish from the ‘70s?), these devoted fans really know how to make the most of a game. They are, themselves, a truly unique and exciting crowd to witness. But don’t forget, there’s a game going on!

Best Dance Group:

Ithaca Ballet

 “The Ithaca Ballet is very pleased to be chosen by Ithacans as Best Dance Group!” commented Artistic Director Cindy Reid. She encourages the community to come out for the upcoming performances of Peter and the Wolf this fall, The Nutcracker in December and the premiere of a full-length Sleeping Beauty this coming spring. The Ithaca Ballet is going into their 50th year of live performance and can be seen at the State Theater.

Best Live Performance Theater:

Hangar Theatre

Executive Director Lisa Bushlow and Artistic Director Peter Flynn were extremely happy to have won this category this year, but even happier that it was even a category in the first place.

 “In choosing Best Live Performance Theater as a category, the Ithaca Times is voicing that the arts is a vital part of our community, and we agree,” they said to us. “This community is rich with exceptional live theater, and we are honored to play an important role in the cultural life of our region.”

Visit the Theatre, off of Route 89 on Taughannock Blvd.

Best Community Theater Group:

Running to Places

Speaking of live theater, Co-Artistic Director of theater group Running to Places, Joey Steinhagen, was thrilled to hear the results.

“We are delighted, humbled, and utterly floored by this honor — Running to Places is only three years old!” said Steinhagen. “There is so much talent among the young artists of this area and such a hunger to put it into action. We provided the opportunity and the resources, and then our amazing company members did the rest. We’re so grateful to all of them and their families, the artists we collaborate with, our sponsors, our audiences for whom we work so hard, and of course, everyone who voted for us! Thanks!”

Get more info about the group and their 2010 season at www.runningtoplaces.org.

ESSENTIALS

Best Place to Pick Up the Ithaca Times:

Wegmans

Well, we’re all there already grabbing sushi, and nothing goes better with delicious raw fish than a copy of the Times!

Best CSA:

Full Plate Farm Collective

 “All CSAs are awesome!” said Katie Church of Full Plate. What makes these guys stand out, however, is that they also offer their members access to The Piggery, the Finger Lakes Fruit Bowl and Fat Boy Bakery. This collective goes the extra mile for its members.

“We’re available all around town,” added Church. “It’s very convenient.”

Learn more at their Web site www.freewebs.com/fullplatefarms/

Best Customer Service:

Wegmans

 “What a thrill for us,” said service area manager Ken Goodwin. “But honestly, none of it is possible without our people! We’d like to take this opportunity to say thank you to our employees and to our customers.”

They provide us with both sushi and the Ithaca Times, and apparently they’re what’s keeping Alec Baldwin’s mother from leaving central New York…enough said.

Best Bed & Breakfast:

William Henry Miller Inn

David Dier, co-owner of the Inn, was very excited to hear the news when we spoke to him. “Wow!!!  Thanks to all of The Ithaca Times readers that voted The William Henry Miller Inn “Best of”!!!”

He and Lynnette Scofield have been running the William Henry Miller Inn, located on North Aurora Street, since 2002.

Best Florist:

Bool’s Flower Shop

Operating in Ithaca for over a century, Bool’s definitely deserves this spot in the hearts of Ithacans. “We think it’s awesome we won,” said owner Doreen Culver-Foss. “We’re very grateful.” Check out their beautiful arrangements for Halloween on their Web site, www.boolsflowershop.net. Bool’s is located on North Aurora Street.

Best Car Repair Shop:

Diane’s Downtown, Autoworks, Patterson’s (tie)

Wow… and usually dealing with car repairs is the absolute last thing anyone wants to do, but, by the looks of this three-way tie, Ithaca is a really great place to have automotive issues!

Owner of Diane’s Downtown Automotive on West State Street, Diane Russell, was very pleased to hear that they tied with such large competitors. “We have a nice friendly staff and we listen to our customers, and we like being here,” she smiled. “Now I have to think about having a little party for the staff!”

 “We’re very honored to be voted,” commented owner George Rushlow of Autoworks Ithaca on Dryden Road. “I take great pride in everything we do. All the guys give 100 percent. And this [award] means we’re doing our job!”

 “It’s very nice,” chuckled Dave Patterson of Patterson’s Service Station on North Aurora Street. “We thank all those who voted for us.”

Best Daycare:

Ithaca Community Childcare Center

 “We are thrilled to be voted Ithaca’s Best Childcare Center!” said executive director Sherri Koski. “We’re thankful to be a part of a diverse community that recognizes the importance of early childhood education. Thank you to the staff and families for helping IC3 continue to work towards our vision of becoming nationally recognized as an outstanding childcare center.”

Ithaca Community Childcare Center is committed to providing families with the highest standard of child-inspired, professionally nurtured car as well as opportunities for learning. They are located on Warren Road.

Best Oil Change:

Bruce’s

Oil changes, they sneak up on you and cause you way more trouble than they’re worth, like a bee sting. It’s a good thing Bruce’s Pit Stop makes life so much easier for us all!

 “It’s a nice honor, thank you,” said owner Bruce Blakeslee. “We’ve been in business for over 40 years! We strive every day to provide professional service and to do the job right every time.”

Bruce’s is located on Elmira Road.

Best Convenience Store:

Shortstop, Pete’s (tie)

 “Wow—this is definitely an honor for us,” said Albert Smith, owner of Shortstop on West Seneca Street. “I give full credit to Cindy and Chuck who both manage the store. It’s the staff. From Don Wood, who’s been with us for over 20 years, to newcomer Ryan Peese, they do it all. They bring forward our police: one sandwich at a time. We don’t do fancy, we do fresh.”

 “It’s great that people appreciate us!” commented Mark, owner of Pete’s Grocery on West Buffalo. “It’s nice to tie with Al Smith.” Check out Pete’s Wine & Liquor as well!

Best Locally Owned Store:

Greenstar Cooperative Market

 “Woo-hoo!” yelled Joe Romano, marketing manager of Greenstar Cooperative Market. He took a second to share the good news through the office. “It’s really fitting,” he said of the award. “We’re owned by over 7,000 people in this town and have been owned by many people for many years. Everyone who’s a member…take a bow!”

Greenstar certainly is the epitome of the term “locally owned.”

Best Used-Car Dealer:

Ithaca Foreign Car Service

“It’s nice to be named!” said owner Dave Brumsted. “We’re trying our best. We’re fortunate in that we specialize in one product: the Volvo.” Not only do they focus on one brand, but they know it inside and out. Ithaca Foreign Car Service offers service for Volvos as well, making them a one-stop shop for Volvo owners.

Ithaca Foreign Car Service has been in town for 36 years and is located on both West State Street and Meadow Street.

Runner-up Ridge Road Imports, on East Shore Drive in Lansing, has been around since the late 1980s. They have a nice variety of makes and models to fit everyone’s taste.

Best “Green” Business:

Greenstar Cooperative Market

 “Thank you for recognizing Greenstar,” said Joe Romano. “We work really hard to enforce our practices both behind the scenes and in the stores, as well with the farmers and providers.” It’s rather fitting they have the word green right in their name.

Runner-up Home Green Home, located on the Commons, will outfit your life in style. They’ve got everything from bed, bath and furnishings to reusable items, yoga and meditation supplies and a whole section devoted to composting. And the whole company is green!

Best LGBT-Friendly Organization:

Felicia’s Atomic Lounge

 “It’s an honor to be voted the Best LGBT Friendly Organization,” said Amelia and Leah. “When we opened six years ago, we hoped to create a space where all people can feel comfortable being themselves. The diversity of our patrons — gay, straight, old, young, students, professionals, musicians, and so on—is what makes Felicia’s a special place.”

Way to take the spirit of Ithaca to the next level, ladies! We appreciate it.

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