Ithaca Blog

Monday, March 26, 2012

Last Chance To Read "Brooklyn 3 New York" (For Free)

Our parvus opus, "Brooklyn 3 New York," is available for free reading on, but not for long.

We are preparing it for bona fide publication (well, online, but for money), and part of the deal is that it can't be available anywhere else, especially free.

"Brooklyn 3 New York" refers to the part of Brooklyn I know best, and no one else knows at all, East Flatbush.

It is primarily about the years I spent there in pre-zip code days (hence the title), as a youthful youngster; and a child's development in that raucous borough, when it was a real blue-collar place, of people who read newspapers, and not Jonathan Lethem, that stroontz. (For example.) And talked a lot.

You can find it simply by searching for Brooklyn 3 New York.

Next stop is Amazon Kindle. That will cost a reasonable few bucks to read. But it will have the literary advantage over the blog of printing the selections from the first one written to the last, instead of the reverse.

Steve Burke
for Ithaca NY Blog

Friday, March 23, 2012

Election: Wait 'Til Next Year in Cayuga Heights

Tuesday's vote for mayor and trustees in Cayuga Heights surprises us. Largely a referendum on the deer population (see previous Ithaca Blog posting), the winners (quite decisively) were the candidates supporting deer-shooting.

We had the idea that Cayuga Heightsters were more liberal. We guess not, where one's rhododendrons are concerned.

We talked to one of the losing anti-shooting candidates. He was practical about it.

"Now they have a year to make it work. It won't work. And then we'll have another election."

Steve Burke
for Ithaca NY Blog

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Ithaca, Nature, and Local Politics

Ithaca is a town daffy for nature. The biggest deal in town this week was people visiting Cornell to see and sniff a big plant called the corpse plant that smells like rotting meat. The line was hundreds long.

And in Cayuga Heights, the village election today turns on the question of deer in the neighborhood.

There are two parties. New Heights is incumbent and wants to shoot deer. Village Matters are challengers who are against sharpshooters patrolling the place.

Our guess is that the pacifists will prevail. We hope they will.

To gun supporters, we say, peace, but please, get realistic. The shooting is never going to happen. Besides everything else, such as brutal and dangerous, it is too expensive.

If New Heights wins, and tries to start blasting, there will be a lawsuit the village can't afford.

If somehow a Super PAC or something came forward to pay for a deer-shooting defense, it still wouldn't happen. Any activity planned would be met, and stopped, by activists out in force.

Not just local activists, but from all over the country. Picture hundreds of orange-vested, placard-holding people standing in a plot on Hanshaw Road where an announced culling was to have been. Media trucks all over. Rifles that can't be fired.

Good luck to the Village Matters candidates, and to the residents of Cayuga Heights in creating a plan for living with nature without shooting it.

Steve Burke
for Ithaca NY Blog

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Nice Night For Felicia's

It's too nice to be in, but at Felicia's Lounge you can go out and actually be out. The State Street bar has an alley with tables and chairs, and it is a pleasant spot.

On Sundays, they have music, with no cover charge. Tonight is Jennie Lowe Stearns, with Mike Stark.

On Sundays, too, they have Champagne specials, which we don't know details of. But we know about the $5 pizza specials (usually $7, we think).

Bensonhursters might not recognize Felicia's as pizzas. No sauce. Instead, they are fancy-ingrediented, with stuff like figs and feta; or apples and blue cheese; and pesto. It isn't Vito's, but it's nice.

Steve Burke
for Ithaca Blog

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Amy LaVere Plays Free at Angry Mom Records, Wed. 14 March

Acclaimed singer Amy LaVere comes to Ithaca for a show at the new Lot 10 space on S. Cayuga Street. Before the show, Ms. LaVere performs free at an in-store event in Angry Mom Records, on the Commons.

Ms. LaVere came to prominence about 5 years ago as a rising Americana artist. Born in Louisiana, she has been described as "a noir-ish southern storyteller."

She appeared as rockabilly legend Wanda Jackson in the film "Walk The Line". 

Ms. LaVere recently finished a European tour in support of her new release, "Stranger Me".

The in-store performance at Angry Mom Records starts at 5:30. The show at Lot 10 is at 9 p.m. Tickets for the show are available at Angry Mom.

Steve Burke
for Ithaca NY Blog

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Mets Stick With Binghamton

The glum word among local baseball fans was that the NY Mets would move their minor league team from Binghamton at the end of its contract this year.

But, good news. The Mets signed a new 5-year contract to keep the team in Binghamton.

The Binghamton Mets are a Double-A team, the second-highest minor league level. The team regularly develops and sends players to the major league Mets.

We go see the B-Mets, as they are known, a few times a season. Invariably the attendance is about 1,000 people, in a park that seats 5,000.

We wonder what the other people in Binghamton are doing. There are 250,000 in the Binghamton metropolitan area.

It's a professional sports franchise with significant affiliation. The ballpark is pleasant and clean. The tickets are cheaper than movie tickets.

The team was avidly pursued by other cities. Locals, and other regionals, please note. The team needs and deserves support.

The season opens on Thursday 5 April.

play ball!
Steve Burke
for Ithaca NY Blog

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Our Readers Like Mob Movies

We got a couple dozen replies to our question about movies our readers have watched most repeatedly.

It doesn't surprise us too much that the most popular were mob movies. "Godfather" and "Goodfellas" got numerous citations. "My Blue Heaven" got a nod: an oddball mob movie, but of the genre, technically.

On the other end of the sensibility spectrum, "The Sound Of Music" got two affirmations.

Personally, we have yet to see "The Sound Of Music".

The only other picture with more than one mention was "The Big Chill".

There were a couple of semi-classics: "Chinatown", "Duck Soup". There were some decidedly not classic; but this is what makes a horserace: "French Kiss", "Overboard", "That Thing You Do!".

A few we had to look up: "An Affair To Remember", "Wings Of Desire", "Inland Empire".

"A River Flows North" is probably pretty obscure to most, but not to Rip Torn fans, nor Ithacans (the Horse Flies did the soundtrack).

"Fail-Safe" was the only political film mentioned, and made us think, how does "Dr. Strangelove" miss this list? (We pretty much know "Dr. Strangelove" by heart.)

At the end, we thought, something is missing here, but we couldn't think what. Then it occurred to us: the movies that are on cable TV all the time. Why no entry from that group? Then, just a few minutes ago, came  this submission: " 'Moonstruck', of course."

Of course! We have seen "Moonstruck" a million times, too. We have always wondered about "Moonstruck" on the masculine/feminine movie matrix. But that's another topic.

Steve Burke
for Ithaca NY Blog

Sunday, March 04, 2012

What's Your Most-Watched Movie?

Last week, with the Oscars, we thought about the movies we like so much that we watch them repeatedly.

We think your #1 most-watched movie ever tells a lot about you.

Mine is "The Godfather." A co-worker's is "Tootsie." Nobody who knows us would have trouble guessing whose was whose.

What's yours? We're interested to know the roster among Ithaca Blog readers.

Tell us anonymously, if you wish, or with your name, and we will print them.

Steve Burke
for Ithaca NY Blog

Saturday, March 03, 2012

Rockwood Ferry on the Radio

A while back, we wrote here about Rockwood Ferry, a new old-timey band in town that features veteran player Richie Stearns and a newcomer to the scene named Tenzin Chopak, who plays guitar, sings, and writes songs.

We think (so we wrote) that Tenzin is the best male singer in town.

Tomorrow, you can hear Rockwood Ferry from the comfort of your living room. The band will play live on WITH-FM radio, 91.1, on the Rootabega [sic] Boogie program with Tracy Craig.

The band are talented and affable. It should be an entertaining show.

Steve Burke
for Ithaca NY Blog