Big Talk

When we first moved to Ithaca, we noticed that there were a few things people swore by here in town. Some of these things really are great and other things are just normal, but incredibly hyped. We couldn't really understand why people got so worked up about them but here are the top five things we have noticed people talk about in Ithaca:

1. Gorges. You can't go a day in Ithaca without seeing a few "Ithaca is Gorges" bumper stickers or t-shirts. This is something I think should be talked up though. Ithaca and the finger lakes are beautiful. I am rarely taken aback by nature but Ithaca makes me do a double-take frequently. This place is beautiful.

2. Wegmans. I have heard this described as The Holy Grail of Grocery Stores. When we first came to Ithaca in 2009 to find housing before we moved here, we went on campus to get a tour and meet some administrators. Everyone kept asking us, "Have you been to Wegmans?!" It is a tourist destination in Ithaca. It is just an oversized grocery store. Although, when their produce is in stock, it is always very fresh. I do not go to Wegmans to relax and wander around, although I know people who do. It seems like shopping at Wegmans is a vacation for some people. Strange.

3. The winter. Holy smokes. I cannot believe how much people talk about the weather here. I can see why though. It is hard to think of anything else when your brain has been frozen. But there are days when it is not too bad, and yet Ithaca shuts down. People become homebodies in the winter.

4. Snow plows. This goes along with the bad winter. People always say, "The winter is bad, but the roads don't get bad. They are really good about plowing!" This is true for the busier streets but our experience of sliding into a tree while driving on an unplowed road begs me to differ. I think the roads don't get very bad because it seems to snow a lot in a day and then not snow for a few days. That gives them plenty of time to plow all of the roads.

5. TCAT. This is the bus system in Ithaca. Parking on campus is really expensive and inconvenient so almost everyone takes the bus. For Sam's first year, it was free. Based on where we lived, Sam could choose from two bus routes and so it was really convenient. This year, he has only one option of bus routes to take to get to campus and he has to take the 7:30 bus to get to his 8:40 class each day. We have decided that the bus is really convenient to get to and from campus during the day. It is nice that I don't have to wake up or drive in the winter, but it isn't as great for Sam.

Honorable Mention:
Frack. There are signs all over town about stopping fracking. I had no idea what frack meant but I think it means something about hydraulic fracturing of the ground in order to increase the amount of liquid a reservoir can hold. I am not sure if this is a good or bad thing, but Ithacans are pretty hippy-ish so protesting this just seems to fit right in.


Bridget said...

I want to hear all the places you've lived. In my experience, people in Ithaca were the least homebody-ish during the winter of anywhere I've lived except Moscow. I was amazed at how normally life went on even when there was a foot of snow on the ground.

Wegmans is awesome, but only because there's no Costco around :).

Camille Elise said...

It's interesting. Since I don't get out of AZ much I automatically assume everywhere else in the US is the same. I stand corrected by you and many other people all the time.

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