Ithaca Blog

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Ithaca Hours (and Ithaca) In The Washington Post

The Friday 21 September edition of the Washington Post published a travel piece on Ithaca that focused on local businesses and Ithaca Hours, the local currency.

Melanie D.G. Kaplan writes "The Impulsive Traveler" feature for the Post. She visited Ithaca coming home from Canada. She says she liked the colorful money in Canada and heard that Ithaca had its own currency, colorful both literally and figuratively.

Ms. Kaplan met with Stephen Burke of GreenStar Market and Angry Mom Records (ahem, and Ithaca Blog), and a board member of Ithaca Hours, and bought $50 worth of Hours from GreenStar to use around town.

As she notes, Hours are in a period of transition under new leadership, by Paul Strebel of Strebel Financial Planning, and many businesses (and people) in town are unfamiliar with the local currency. But she spent them for lodging, at La Tourelle, and for food at GreenStar, Ithaca Bakery, and Collegetown Bagels. 

Ms. Kaplan herself catches on to the idea of local currency pretty quickly. She writes, "Wal-Mart and Amazon don't accept them, so the money stays in town." She went to Ithaca Bakery rather than Starbucks because of Hours.

Beyond this angle, Ms. Kaplan writes enthusiastically about "this town as dense with brainpower as it is with composting bins...whose 25-year-old mayor gives up his car and turns his parking space into a miniature park, and whose townfolk are equally intense about saving the planet, killing the chain store, and promoting locally-produced you-name-it."

Thank you to Ms. Kaplan for a laudatory, peppy feature.

Stephen Burke
for Ithaca NY Blog

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