Friday, May 22, 2009

Ithaca Festival - and Things to do in Ithaca Part 2

And now, back to Ithaca. You must be thinking by now "why isn't this person moving there?" Well because....then I would have nowhere to visit.

Next weekend is the Ithaca Festival, which I haven't been to in many years...pure Ithaca. After all, how many festivals do you know that offer the chance to purchase carbon offsets? If I had a larger lot, I might take them up on buying a red bud tree.

If you are in the area...by all means come. The Sunday (last day of the festival) should be the biggest and best. Lots of music, lots of good food done Ithaca style....various ethnic foods, vegetarians welcome. The website has much more information than I can give. Very child friendly, too, as I recall.

and since I promised More Things to Do in Ithaca, here are some more of my favorites:

1. The Ithaca Art Trail-although for that you will have to wait till the fall. This will be our third year going to this weekend. One allowed us to participate in a traditional tea ceremony. There are about 53 artists that hold open houses during the Columbus Day weekend and the weekend after. All types of art are represented - painting, sculpture, fabric, a most wonderful welder/iron worker, glass, photography, pottery....and to top it off, the Friends of the Library have a fall sale at the same time. (Oh by the way, the spring sale is in its final weekend....May 23 through 26 to be exact. )

2. Cornell Lab of Ornithology, in the Johnson Center for Birds and Biodiversity, in the Sapsucker Woods Sanctuary. No need to be a birder to enjoy this site. Want a wonderful place to walk and enjoy nature? Easy access trails, (very well maintained), plenty of viewing platforms with nice places to watch birds outside. Inside, there are binocular stations and very clean bathrooms. Very educational and very enjoyable. Bring the children! And, like other Cornell attractions....free. Unlike other Cornell attractions...this one you can actually find parking, probably because it is not on campus. There are various bird-oriented events throughout the year.

3. Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, on the Cornell Campus. Art museums are not my "thing" but this one is quite decent and...are you detecting a pattern here? "Free". One warning, parking situation could be better. The exhibits vary. I remember a Frank Lloyd Wright art glass exhibit I enjoyed.

4. Speaking some more of museums, I have not been in the new digs (pun intended) for this place -The Museum of the Earth We visited when my science minded son was young, and we all had a great time although their collection was in very cramped, inelegant quarters. I have a feeling that is no longer the case. This one is not free, but I have a feeling it is well worth the admission. Something many people don't know about the Ithaca area - and the Triple Cities area I live in also - is that we have fossiliferous rock right in our back yards. I have found rocks with fossils (brachiopods, I suspect) near the Susquehanna River, just blocks from my house. Ithaca has these sites too, such as the Portland Point quarry.

5. One last museum, the Ithaca Sciencecenter. We haven't been there in around 7 or 8 years but my son loved it when he was younger. What can you say about a museum that the late Carl Sagan was involved with? It's a lot bigger now. I remember a Rube Goldberg-like contraption in the front lobby that we all loved to watch and an imaginative science-minded play area outside. This is located near the Farmers Market (Steamboat Landing) that I wrote about in my "Things to do in Ithaca Part 1" posting. I remember us doing a "planet" walk, with the distance between the sun and the planets in scale. It was fun trying to find the "monument" for each planet, almost like a planetary scavenger hunt. We got lost at some point, maybe between Neptune and Pluto. Of course, since Pluto has been declassified since we walked, I wonder what they did with the Pluto "monument".

I still haven't run out of things to do, and I'll try to continue this another time without using the famous pun "Ithaca is Gorges" once. (If you have to ask....well I should explain next time I talk about Ithaca.)

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