Ithaca Blog

Monday, December 30, 2013

Happy 2014 (We Bet)

Each December we get a lot of hits on Ithaca Blog with the search words, "Ithaca New Year's Eve," and we feel bad, as we don't keep up with New Year's Eve, and have nothing to report.

We never did quite get New Year's Eve. People drink a lot, but you can do that any eve. Beyond that, you are staying up till midnight to see if 2013 will be followed by 2014.

We would definitely hang out if there was a chance it wouldn't, and it was like the Twilight Zone, and it could be any year, but that has never happened, so we go to bed.

In recognition of the thing, though, here is a reprint of an Ithaca Blog public service announcement from a previous auld lang syne:

It's the most bibulous night of the year, and an evening of joie de vivre will turn into a day of woe for many, but we are here with sound advice.

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

The trick is in the timing. Start this process at about 9:30 p.m., and continue it until bedtime.

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

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Christmas Shopping Swinging Local?

We remember doing a posting a few years ago at this time about a trip to the mall, and how wicked it was, with parking lot traffic reaching to Route 13, frustrated people in cars and out, and then nothing we wanted in the mall, anyway.

When we were asked by a friend to take a trip there last night, we declined. She went anyway, and we wished her luck. In 20 minutes we got a message she was there, with "NO TRAFFIC, NONE," and a photo of an empty food court. "Maybe 30 people in Target," she wrote.

We're not saying this is good, but downtown tonight, we noticed a dearth of parking spots at around 6:30, which happens when there's a show at the State Theater, but there is none tonight, so it possibly means Christmas-time-in-the-city. Is the Local First group making its mark, and the shopping pendulum swinging?

Tuesday, December 03, 2013

And I Will Read "War And Peace" Before Christmas

The Sunday New York Times crossword puzzle was tricky this week. I know because I went to the post office today.

Monday, December 02, 2013

"Ice Cream Social: The Struggle For The Soul of Ben & Jerry's", New Book by Brad Edmondson

Ben & Jerry's ice cream was always an Ithaca kind of company: deliciously radical, with a Peace Pop and "Cherry Garcia," and a scoop shop operated by youths as a social project in the heart of our downtown.

Then, in 2000, the company was bought by Unilever, one of the world's largest food corporations. What happened to Small Is Beautiful?

Brad Edmondson, a local author, tells the tale in his new book, "Ice Cream Social: The Struggle For the Soul of Ben & Jerry's."

The book originally started as a collaboration between Edmondson and Jeff Furman, who lives in Ithaca and helped write Ben & Jerry's first business plan in 1977. Jeff has been called "the '&' in Ben & Jerry's." He still serves on the independent board that monitors Unilever's operation of Ben & Jerry's.

After some months of work, Edmondson and Furman decided the story was too big to be too much Jeff's. He supplies the epilogue and serves as a source. The book has a list of over 40 "Main Characters" (an actual list, in front of the book).

Edmondson said that despite the scope of the story, he wanted to write "a book that could be read in one sitting." We are reviewing the book for the Ithaca Times and told him that's exactly what we did, and that it reads at times like a soap opera. He said, "Really? That makes me happy.

"It's not a normal business book," he said. "It can serve as a reference book for certain business practices, and it tells a business story, but unlike many business books, it doesn't pretend to be a road map. It's a story. A story people can learn lessons from, I hope, but I don't tell you what the lessons are. I put the story between the covers and the lessons are for you to determine."

The book's release is imminent and there will be an event at Buffalo Street Books. The tentative date is 13 December. Please look for our full review in the Ithaca Times of Wednesday 11 December.