Ithaca Blog

Friday, August 28, 2009

Summer and Fall Come To Ithaca At Once

Summer has come late to Ithaca this year, after unseasonable chill through June, July, and most of August.

At the same time, the students are back, which translates to Fall on the academic calendar which runs town.

It is disconcerting, so you are not to blame if your personal calendar is agog, and you are caught unawares by the new populace. It is not a good time to shop for shower curtains, nor for quick trips to Wegman's.

But now that the freshman families are gone, and the weather is nice, it is a fine time for outside dining, both in and around town.

In town, Aurora Street has become an al fresco restuarant row, with wider sidewalks for a scheme of outside tables. Just A Taste also has a nice dining area in back, that reminds us a bit of Greenwich Village places, that do a lot with small square footage.

Many eateries on the Commons also commandeer outside space. There is a new campaign for using past public space for private seating, which we think is fine. There's still lots of public space left. That Burrito Place is one spot with tables and chairs in the middle of the mall, set off by rope, which seems a little upscale for burritos, but not These Burritos, we guess.

We had the pleasure of spending some stay-cation time this month at Sheldrake Point, where Simply Red's Bistro has not outdoor dining, strictly speaking, but a widely-windowed dining room with wistful vistas.

There are also a couple of unpretentious joints in Sheldrake, O'Malley's and Kidders, where the food is not regal, but neither are the prices, and the drinks are good, and the dining decks are almost as restorative as the meals, mere yards from the lake. It is a short and pleasant drive to Sheldrake, about 25 minutes from town up Route 89.

We hope the late arrival of summer will also mean a late staying time, but as things in life are generally 6 to 5 against, as Damon Runyon said, we say, get outside now. Maybe we'll see you in the alley outside Felicia's tonight.

Steve Burke
for Ithaca NY Blog

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Sheldrake Point Voted NY Winery of Year

Our local Sheldrake Point Winery was named winery of the year this week in the New York Wine and Food Classic competition.

Wine and Spirits magazine has named Sheldrake among the top 100 wineries in the U.S., and one of the 12 best U.S. value brands.

We happened to stop by the winery yesterday, up the road from a friend's vacation rental. The winery has a beautiful lakeside location, and is accessible by boat. Their restaurant, Simply Red's Bistro, is the most popular vineyard eatery in the region.

Their parking lot is the fullest, with the most out-of-state plates.

The hamlet of Sheldrake is the hippest, as the home of the late Rod Serling, creator of the Twilight Zone. Sheldrake has a distinct Twilight Zone feel, of both being there and not being there.

Congratulations to the good people of Sheldrake Point winery, and thanks for creating such a special place for good food and drink.

Sheldrake Point Winery is on County Road 153 off Route 89 in Ovid. At the signpost up ahead.

submitted for your approval -
Steve Burke
for Ithaca NY Blog

Friday, August 14, 2009

Poems On A Blog?

Poetry on an Ithaca blog is near-fetched, in our opinion (in George Carlin's phrase). It is a college town, after all, and college people write a lot of poetry. Mostly enrolled ones rather than alumni, no doubt, but let's change that.

When we were enrolled, we studied with Archie Ammons and Albert Goldbarth, two of the best. Studied is probably too strong a word; we wrote, and had fun.

Recently here we posted a piece about our friend John, "The Most Self-Sufficient Guy in the World." Last night we got up from bed mid-night and wrote the story as a poem. It follows, here.



A book
one of us had read, about
the bare one hundred things
one needs to live.

- Way too many, said John,
and we all agreed;
so it became a game to see
how many we would count.

Indoor plumbing, permanent press,
said two. My answer
(sure winner for spareness, I thought):
- A source of water, and seeds.

But I never got to say, as John
stopped it with his sum:
- A piece of metal, and
something to sharpen it with.

My answer, from someone who only
spells (like these words, here).
John's, from someone
who casts them.

John, who never
surprises, but amazes,
who always
does so much, requires so little,
gives so much, takes only
what he needs -
Love, I reckon
and all of us
to sharpen it with.

Steve Burke
for Ithaca NY Blog
and J.C.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Live Old-Time Music, and Newly Located Music Store, on Commons Tonight

As part of the summer live music series on the Commons, tonight at 6 pm the Evil City String Band will perform, with Richie Stearns, Pat Burke, and others.

Pat Burke's brother Steve (yours as ever) will be about a hundred paces away at the new location of his shop, Small World Music, which has moved to Autumn Leaves Used Books, in the basement.

Come see us both.

You can read all about the Small World Music move in this week's Ithaca Times, in an excellent article by Natasha Pickowicz.

Steve Burke
for Small World Music and Ithaca NY Blog

Saturday, August 01, 2009

Sidewalk Sale Days Downtown, Aug. 1 - 2

It is good weather today for the sidewalk sale extravaganza downtown this weekend.

Have a look by Autumn Leaves Books and witness the start of our (Small World Music's) relocation there from our old home up West State Street.

Let us know if you need any free tables, chairs, or miscellany that accompanies moves!

Steve Burke
for Small World Music and Ithaca NY Blog