Ithaca Blog

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Guaranteed Hangover Help

It's the most bibulous night of the year, and a night of joie de vivre will turn into a day of woe is me for many in the morning, but we are here to help with sound advice.

To avoid hangover, do this: pour a glass of club soda. Hold it and occasionally sip it. Eat whatever food you like, but take no other liquids.

The trick is in the timing. Start this process now - about 9:30 on New Years Eve - and continue until bedtime.

May the morning be your friend, along with each day of 2012.

Steve Burke
for Ithaca NY Blog

Monday, December 19, 2011

In Ithaca, NYE = SRB

The Sim Redmond Band has, for years, played shows known as the place to be in Ithaca on New Year's Eve.

This year, the band burnishes its reputation as our town's Guy Lombardo mob, with a few flourishes.

The show is at Castaways, at 9 p.m. Guests are the Mosaic Foundation featuring Kevin Kinsella.

Tickets are available in advance, for $12, and the first 75 orders  get a free CD.

Castaways phone is 272-1370. The bar's Facebook page has a Paypal hook-up for ordering.

There is also a "Sim Redmond rate" at the Comfort Inn that night. $49 is the SRR, and it comes with extended checkout, and free hot breakfast served til noon. Ask for it by name, at 272-0100.

Steve Burke
for Ithaca NY Blog

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Ithaca Authors Dominate NY Times List

In time for Christmas gifting, the NY Times has named its ten best books of 2011. Five fiction, five non-fiction.

Of the five fiction, two are by Ithacans: "Ten Thousand Saints", by Eleanor Henderson, and "The Tiger's Wife", by Tea Obreht.

Both books are debut novels.

Ms. Henderson teaches at Ithaca College. Ms. Obreht lives in Ithaca after taking a graduate degree in creative writing at Cornell in 2009.

We saw Ms. Henderson read from her book at Buffalo Street Books a few months ago. It was not over-crowded.

We wonder if the bookstore might contrive to get these two extravagantly accomplished authors together sometime, for fun and civic pride.

Steve Burke
for Ithaca NY Blog

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Something For Everyone At "Ithaca Free Barter Market"

Philosophically, at least, there could be something for everyone at the Ithaca Free Barter Market, a new enterprise that starts Sunday 11 December, at noon in Dewitt Park. 

The Market is trying to stimulate the local economy by providing a place for people to trade goods and services, without dollars, although use of Ithaca Hours, the local currency, is encouraged.

In fact, the Market is also trying to stimulate the use of the local currency by making a micro-loan of two Hours, worth  $20, to anyone who attends the event.

You might see a brand-new ukulele for sale for two Ithaca Hours. (In fact, you will, if you go early, as I am bringing one.) You use the two Ithaca Hours the Market is loaning you, and trade them for the uke.

Now you owe the Market two Hours. You can make them back by bringing something to trade, yourself, to the next event: that ironing board, tennis racquet, or solar shower. Or offer a service: bike repair, car service for someone autoless, help on moving day, etc.

Eventually, the Market plans to have a storefront. But they didn't want to wait for that to get started.

For more details, see the Ithaca Free Barter Market page on Facebook.

Steve Burke
for Ithaca NY Blog


Bill watches and waits
It seems he's doing nothing
What are you doing?

Sunday, December 04, 2011

Reading As Slow Amusement

We are fans of the Slow Food movement, and the Slow Money movement, and we think there should also be a movement for Slow Amusement, or Slow Entertainment.

This would involve reading; and doing things with friends.

We think of it as we are reading "Madame Bovary" for the first time. It is a portrayal of the human heart we cannot imagine being rendered any other way but through words.

Movies can give you feelings, even ideas. But it's all over in 100 minutes or so.  A song, the same, but even shorter.

Reading is slow and solitary. So, of course, is writing.

This is all part of the slowness. It takes a long time to do.

And writing takes a long time to learn. Really, no one can teach you how to do it. I can teach you how to write a song in three minutes (three chords; rhymes). But a novel? Forget it. That's up to the person who decides to do it.

We're glad that, for one, Flaubert did this "Madame Bovary". It is about a woman who could exist anytime, anywhere. But it is also about a particular time and place, which live on, because one writer took the time and made the effort to make that happen.

We can also tell you, without getting too deep, that even in translation, this book is French as baguettes.

As for the other form of slow amusement we mentioned, in an hour, we go out for a walk with a friend.

Have fun -
Steve Burke
for Ithaca NY Bog