Ithaca Blog

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Seward Historian At Cornell Tonight

Last autumn, we reviewed in the Ithaca Times Walter Stahr's biography of William Seward, whom you might know as the perpetrator of "Seward's Folly," the purchase of Alaska for the U.S., or for his supporting role in the hit movie "Lincoln." Tonight, Mr. Stahr comes to Cornell to discuss his book.

Seward was from Auburn, New York. You will see many momentos of his life if you visit Auburn, and also of Harriet Tubman, with whom Seward worked on the Underground Railroad, bringing fugitive slaves from the south. Seward rented a house to Tubman and both their houses were used to harbor fugitives, in violation of federal law.

Walter Stahr discussed "Seward: Lincoln's Indispensible Man" tonight at 7:30 in Statler Auditorium. The event is free and open to the public.

We published an interview with Mr. Stahr in this week's Ithaca Times. It is viewable at

Friday, July 19, 2013

GrassRoots Parking Tip

If you're doing a same-day round-trip to GrassRoots, here's a tip: pass up the free parking at Agard Road and pay for parking on Route 96, near the fairgrounds.

The parking lot was fine yesterday (we used it), before a lot of people had arrived. Thursday is usually a slow day. So there were no lines to board the shuttle bus (also free), in either direction.

But tonight, and tomorrow, there will be a lot more people, and tonight a lot of them will be leaving at the same time: when Emmylou Harris stops singing, about 11 o'clock. That could mean long lines to board the bus to go home.

Across from the fairgrounds on Rt. 96, the various car dealerships, markets, etc. sell parking spaces for $10 a day. That means at the end of your night you can walk to your car and be home in Ithaca in half an hour (assuming you don't get stopped on Rt. 96 for squealing your tires, which happens a lot this weekend each year, when state troopers on 96 develop very sensitive hearing).

$10 can't do anything about the cops, we don't think, but for parking, it can be a very wise investment. By Sunday, the crowds have thinned enough to go back to free parking and the bus.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Beating The Heat (Again)

Almost exactly two years ago, Ithaca had record heat, and we posted here on IBlog an entry about hot beverages as a palliative for over-heatedness: method, or madness? It's too hot to retype or recap it here, so we simply refer you back to the posting, from 7/11/11. There's a search field on the blog pages that will find it for you if you enter "hot beverages."

Meanwhile, we got the idea of sticking our shirt into the freezer for a while before donning. We haven't done it, and are sure it is stupid enough not to mention again, but if we do it and it's cool, so to speak, we will, don't worry.

We will also report what we find when we log onto Amazon and Etsy and look up "ice-pack hats."