Ithaca Blog

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Karan Casey Concert For Peace, 2 August 2011

Karan Casey, the Irish singer, returns with her band to Ithaca in August for a benefit concert to promote peace efforts by local groups.

Ms. Casey has done a series of these concerts in conjunction with her friend (and ours), Ellen Grady, who works with the Ithaca Catholic Worker and other peace and justice groups.

We saw Ellen recently, working on the Peter DeMott Peace Trot, set for Father's Day, Sunday 19 June.

The trot is a 3K race (or walk; go at your own chosen speed), which is also a benefit for peace groups. It is named for the late Peter DeMott, a peace activist and Ellen's husband.

The peace trot is a lot of work, Ellen acknowledges, and the concert will be, too. But the race - the second annual - promises to become a tradition, as Ms. Casey's concerts have become.

You can read more about Karan Casey here on Ithaca Blog, where we have publicized each of her Ithaca concerts since our start. Just type Karan's name into the search field.

The concert is set for Tuesday, 2 August, at the Community School for Music and Arts. We will have more details as they come.

Steve Burke
for Ithaca NY Blog

Google Error, But Now Back On the Blog

Good to be back here on Ithaca Blog. For the past few days, Google had some access issues, and we couldn't log in. It seems they are now resolved.

For some reason, we were able all along to post at our other site, Brooklyn 3 New York. This is a fiction site, start of a book, which we mean to mention to you readers once in a while, anyhow. Do us a favor and have a look over there, at our other writing project. Just search, Brooklyn 3 New York.

Be back with you soon again, here.

Steve Burke
for Ithaca NY Blog

Saturday, May 21, 2011

2nd Annual Peter DeMott Peace Trot, On Father's Day

Father's Day, Sunday 19 June, is the date for the 2nd annual 3K "Peace Trot" to promote local peace efforts, and to honor the memory of the late peace activist and beloved Ithacan, Peter De Mott.

The event last year was a great success: well-organized, well-attended, and a lot of fun.

This year's promises as least as much. Organizers are asking participants to register, so they know how many t-shirts to print, etc.

Details and registration are available at

Steve Burke
for Ithaca NY Blog

Friday, May 20, 2011

Donna The Buffalo Show Tonight; New Tara Nevins CD

The show probably doesn't need any help, but just so you know, Donna the Buffalo plays a rare Ithaca (as opposed to Trumansburg) appearance tonight, at Castaways.

Tara Nevins of DTB released a new solo CD this week. It features appearances by Levon Helm, Alison Moorer, and Larry Campbell. The CD is available at Angry Mom Records, in the basement of Autumn Leaves Books on the Commons.

Tonight's show starts at 9 p.m. with opening act, Double E.

Steve Burke
for Ithaca NY Blog

Thursday, May 19, 2011

GreenStar Dance Party Cancelled

The GreenStar Dance Party we touted in our previous posting has been cancelled due to rain threat, not to mention actual rain.

They'll try again a week from tonight.

Steve Burke
for Ithaca NY Blog

Outdoor Dance Party at GreenStar Tonight (Maybe)

GreenStar Coop resumes its popular outdoor dance music series tonight, barring rain. A pretty low bar, lately.

The band this time in Djug Django, purveyors of gypsy swing.

The event goes from 5:30 to 7:30.

There is a rain date, by the way: Thursday 26 May.

Should it rain, there are a couple of noteworthy indoor music events tonight.

There's a Bob Dylan Birthday event at Castaways. It features folkie Jamie Notorthomas, but we believe it is an open-mike event. You can imagine the range of Dylan interpretations that might be taken. Or you can not imagine, and go. The show is from 9 p.m. til 1 a.m.

At the newish Culture Shock raw foods emporium on S. Cayuga Street, Don Slatoff leads his Jazz Circus. It goes from 9 - 11 p.m.

Steve Burke
for Ithaca NY Blog

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Mea Culpa, Fellow Ithacans

I had two sharp self-realizations today, leading to the same conclusion: that I am not as good an Ithacan as others, in caring for nature to one's core.

One, because I tried to throw away something I shouldn't. Two, because I made fun of a fish.

In the first case: I hired Zolar truckers to haul away some furniture and other stuff from the old location of my store, Small World Music. We're now on the Commons, with Angry Mom Records. I still had stuff in the old place, up West State Street.

The truckers looked at the stuff. The very first thing I pointed at was an old wooden secretary.

"You're throwing that away?," said the guy.

"Yeah," I said.

"No, you're not," he said. "That's a great piece."

"It's falling apart," I said.

"It's an antique," he said. "It's oak!"

Now, to me, two things.

One, what do I care if it's oak? It has to be something. So it's oak. So what? I am from Brooklyn, and  I am vaguely aware there are different types of trees, but it is not important to me.

Two, it is falling-apart oak.

I get bad looks, like I am a real dumb lawyer at the Supreme Court, or worse, a real bad steward of planet Earth who claims to be a dedicated Ithacan. This will not do for my reputation,  so I relent. The oak stays.

The second thing: the fish.

It is hours later. I see in the Ithaca Journal that they are finding sturgeon in Lake Cayuga, and are happy about it, and warning people not to catch them, or if you catch them, throw them back. They are endangered, and protected.

This is great with me. I am all for this process in general, and especially for something as cool as sturgeon. I like the name, sturgeon. It is close to surgeon, although it is a fish.

But then I read that sturgeon can live to be 150 years old. That's what it says in the paper. It leads me to a thought I find is shameful, when I make the mistake of expressing it.

"Can you believe this?," I say to my friend. "Can you imagine living 150 years as a sturgeon?"

To a response of silence. Then,

"It's a living being."

"Yeah," I say, "of course. "But come on! A sturgeon? 150 years?

"They're bottom-feeders. They don't have teeth.

"They live in a place I would object to, dead.

"For 150 years? How long is a hundred fifty months? I couldn't take it that long.

"How long would be too long?  I would say 110 years, max.

"You know? Go ahead. Try to catch me. At least I would have some excitement. Something to tell the grandfish."

More silence. And nothing more.

Now, in  my own defense, I wasn't saying don't save them. I was just reacting to a lifestyle, and saying how I'd feel if I lived it.

But I don't. I'm not sturgeon. And I'm not oak. Let me be sensitive to that.

l'll try to do better tomorrow. That's Ithacan. Meanwhile, mea maxima culpa. That's Catholic, but Ithacan, too.

Steve Burke
for Ithaca NY Blog

Monday, May 09, 2011

Father Dan Berrigan Turns 90

Last week, when Pete Seeger turned 92, we asked here whether anyone has ever worked or fought harder for a good America.

Father Dan Berrigan, S.J., who turns 90 today, might make it a photo finish.

Dan was at Cornell in the 1960s, as head of Cornell United Religious Work, in Anabel Taylor Hall, when he acted on the belief that drafting American kids to attack people in Vietnam with obscene killing technology was sinful and criminal.

With his brother, Father Phil Berrigan, and others (including our friend, the late John Grady, Sr.), Dan destroyed draft files and infiltrated weapon plants.

Dan was forced to leave Cornell: not by Cornell, but the FBI. He went into hiding to avoid arrest, and continue his work.

Dan has worked for peace a long time. He has served time. He works to serve his religious convictions, which are based on non-violence and love.

He writes good poetry and is a funny guy. As we did  Pete Seeger, we wish Dan a happy birthday, with many happy returns.

Saturday, May 07, 2011

Jim Breuer at Angry Mom Records/Small World Music (And the State Theater)

Comedian Jim Breuer spent some time browsing records and CDs at Angry Mom Records/Small World Music on the Commons today. He performs at the State Theater tonight with Ralphie May.

Breuer is probably best known for his tenure on Saturday Night Live, where he did a recurring sketch, "The Joe Pesci Show." He also does a great Godzilla.

He was paying special attention to the comedy records. No one (else) in the store knew him.

We walked over and said, there's nothing by you in there, is there? And welcomed him to town, and said break a leg tonight. He said thanks and we shook hands.

Of course we drop names of show biz stars when they come to our store. Go out and see Breuer and May tonight for a fun time.

Steve Burke
for Ithaca NY Blog & Small World Music 

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Buffalo Street Books Is Back

Eleven days ago was the re-opening of Buffalo Street Books, a remarkable re-birth, as Ithacans stepped forward to buy a failing private business - Ithaca's oldest independent bookstore - to be operated now as a co-operative business, owned by hundreds of share-holders.

A full ownership stake costs $250. A supporting membership costs $25.

We were there a few days after the grand re-opening. It might be the first blush of commitment, but we were there on a Tuesday afternoon, not prime shopping time, and the checkout line was six people.

We got a copy of Leslie Daniels' new novel, "Cleaning Nabokov's House," and a membership. The membership gets you 10% off all purchases.

Buffalo Street Books is on Buffalo Street, indeed, inside the lovely Dewitt Mall.

Steve Burke
for Ithaca NY Blog

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Happy Birthday, Pete Seeger

Is there anyone who has worked or fought harder to create a good America than Pete Seeger?

There isn't anyone who has done it longer. Pete Seeger turns 92 today.

We've had cause to write about Pete a few times here on Ithaca Blog, including the time we met him, when he wanted to find out about Ithaca Hours. You can see those postings by searching for "Pete Seeger" in the field here.

We wish this fine man all the best, with many happy returns of the day.

Steve Burke
for Ithaca NY Blog