November 16, 2008

"There’s no end to the number of things you can do here."

Says a resident of a particular city that the NYT is glowing about in its real estate pages. And isn't it the truth about anyplace that there is an infinite number of things to do? How many of the infinite number of things to do in your town do you do... do you want to do?

30 comments:

rhhardin said...

Ithica was the home of an abandoned shopping cart photo essay in the Fall 1985 issue (`` The Rubbish Issue'') of Diacritics (XV.3) by Stephanie Vaughn.

Inside the back cover are the following fun facts

Celebrity Shopping Cart - A cart abandoned in the left field of Fenway Park is credited with making the last out in the 1975 World Series.

Blue Ribbon Shopping Cart - The largest shopping cart on record weighs 742 pounds and was raised by Pennsylvanian Mary Dehnbostel, who fed it irradiated corn grown on her farm near Three Mile Island. Ms. Dehnbostel raised the cart as part of a 4-H project.

The President and the Shopping Cart - in 1980, President Reagan announced that the shopping cart would be used in the school lunch program and reclassified as a vegetable.

Shopping Cart Heaven - Six Safeway carts were used to gather 96 pounds of rocks during America's third lunar landing in 1971. One cart was returned to earth for exhibition in the Smithsonian, while the other five carts, along with a golf ball hit by Astronaut Alan Shephard, remain on the moon, clean and shining and ageless.

ricpic said...

I live just 5 miles outside Ithaca and I admit not taking advantage of all the town has to offer.

Of course it's a leftist hellhole, what the Slimes calls progressive.

Interesting that one of the best things about Ithaca, Wegman's, an incredible supermarket/cafe, is not mentioned by the Slimes. Although a lot of the beeyootiful people patronize Wegman's it's probably too bourgeoise not bohemian enough for the Slimes.

Did you get it that the Times is the Slimes?

P.S. Wegman's polices its shopping carts ruthlessly.

Freeman Hunt said...

“I can bring my boat into town and dock it at the farmers’ market, or outside one of the restaurants,” said Steve Greene, a 1965 Cornell graduate who bought a lakefront vacation house two miles out of the city six years ago. “Or I can go the other way, up to a Cayuga Lake winery.” ...

In the last 10 years, various publications have named Ithaca the “most enlightened city,” “best emerging city,” one of “America’s smartest cities,” and among the best cities for gays and lesbians, retirees, mountain bikers, vegetarians, career growth and green living.


This article makes it sound like Ithaca is a bit insufferable.

Meade said...

No, Freeman... the mountain bikers and retirees make it sufferable.

That and the cranky shopping cartophobic poets living 5 miles outside of town.

john said...

What people do is what we are now doing: sitting at a computer Sunday morning while the rest of the family is still in bed, or getting ready for church, or toasting a bagel, or brewing coffee. We can do those things anywhere.

In fact, there's no end to the number of places we can do this one thing in.

Meade said...

True, John, but only home is home.

john said...

True, Meade, but just for the record, there's no end to the number of reasons I don't live there.

AllenS said...

My closest town has 500 people and 3 bars. Don't need much more than that.

Hey, how about those GIANT Badgers? They slayed the lowly Gopher and now we have Paul Bunyon's Axe, so we can chop down the forests.

jdeeripper said...

john said...What people do is what we are now doing: sitting at a computer Sunday morning while the rest of the family is still in bed

SSSSSSSSHHHH, 11am and they're sleeping.

A soft warm place to sleep and some chew toys. Home.

Paul Zrimsek said...

I bet that Mormon musical-theater director from California could find an end to the number of things you can do in Ithaca.

Meade said...

Paul Z made me laugh.

Freeman Hunt said...

No, Freeman... the mountain bikers and retirees make it sufferable.

Can they ever outweigh living somewhere that journalists call “most enlightened city?" Can they ever outweigh "vegetarians, career growth and green living?"

That's not to say that I dislike vegetarians and good careers. But those coupled so closely with enlightenment and "smartest" make me read them as follows:

vegetarians = militant vegetarians and too many restaurants with mediocre food that everyone pretends is great

good careers = yupsters consumed by pretentious conspicuous consumption

green living = annoying people who are snatching paper napkins out of your hand as you toss them in the trash to move them to the recycle bin

Of course, I write all of this as I make plans to move to a very similar town in my own state. Hmmmm.

Slightly OT: How did farmers' markets get to be so in vogue? How much longer will they be so? At least around here, and it sounds like in Ithaca as well, the farmers' market is the hip Saturday activity. People even buy special accessories like expensive, trendy-looking reusable shopping bags and high end down home-ish clothes for going there.

Palladian said...

"In the last 10 years, various publications have named Ithaca the “most enlightened city,” “best emerging city,” one of “America’s smartest cities,” and among the best cities for gays and lesbians, retirees, mountain bikers, vegetarians, career growth and green living."

Ah, so the criteria for "best city" is "completely unproductive".

Palladian said...

"How did farmers' markets get to be so in vogue? How much longer will they be so?"

Well, they're more fun than going to the supermarket.

William said...

Sometimes the background scenery writes the drama. I grew up in a housing project in a dying mill town. The project was an ugly place. The stairwells smelled of urine, the lightbulbs were caged, and the walls of the apartment were cinder blocks. A fair number of my neighbors were sociopaths. There was a sense of dread and failure about the place that got into my pores and became a part of me. It was a place where one became more aware of the limitations than the possibilities of life....By most accounting standards I have had a fortunate adult life, but the sense of futility endures. I think happiness and good times are just God's way of setting you up for the inevitable tragedy that will soon follow.... Ithaca is a fine town. The students there are bound to have some good memories of college days and expectations of even better times to follow. We are all deluded but some delusions are more fun than others.

TheCrankyProfessor said...

I have a friend who is the vegan gay offspring of a Sufi dancer and a Zen master chef (both from Brooklyn originally) and claims that he is the ultimate example of a native Ithacan.

He calls Ithaca "The Bubble" and couldn't wait to grow up and move away to Rochester and then Boston!

BJM said...

Number one thing I can do that Ithacan's cannot: go to the beach in February.

jdeeripper said...

The NYTimes would go crazy for Ashland, Oregon.

Perfect White liberal town. Liberal, pro-gay, college town, coffee shops on every corner, Shakespeare festival, very green, skiing in winter, low humidity and almost no blacks.

If Vermont was a small town near the California border.

Theo Boehm said...

As one who lives in something of a bubble (a famous old bubble at that) near Boston, I can tell you categorically that mountain bikers, vegetarians, and green livers are very likely to be insufferable bores. But I'm sure you knew that already.

There are plenty of them around here, but there is also enough traffic to intimidate the bikers, enough fast food hamburgers to disgust the vegetarians, and enough reality to embarrass the green livers that they remain in check.

If they ever get to Ithica-like numbers, we're moving to Revere.

David said...

Ithaca exists to make Madison seem less smug. It succeeds in this effort.

Ann Althouse said...

Madison has 10 times the population of Ithaca. That makes a huge difference. Plus, there is industry, business, the state government. It's a much more substantial place.

That said, I would have loved to have gone to Ithaca when I started law teaching in 1984. That kind of completely removed from reality academic town was my ideal.

The first interview I did was at Cornell Law School, btw. I was frightened to death!

Bissage said...

I greatly admire William’s comments, in general.

His 11:04 is a masterpiece, IMHO.

Theo Boehm said...

What Bissage said.

Theo Boehm said...

That kind of completely removed from reality academic town was my ideal.

Wow! I have this sense that I understand Althouse, and then she comes out with something like that. Perhaps having lived in New York inoculates you against wanting to live in the real world.

Personally, I want to get as far away from insular, little college towns as possible. Living in Manhattan or, say, the 5th in Paris is my ideal.

Never will happen, though. I'm too busy protecting my kids against the evils of the big city in our insular, little Boston suburb, known locally as "Mayberry, RFD."

Ann Althouse said...

Theo, that statement expresses how I felt 25 years ago, after 10 years of living in NYC, and while married with 2 very young children.

Theo Boehm said...

Yep, that's the reason we're out here in the leafy 'burbs. Two kids can produce that sort of attitude adjustment.

I was in Paris recently, and the thing that struck me is the relatively large number of children that are integrated into adult life. But they are very well-behaved, having learnt early to keep their elbows in, as the French say. The French also don't hesitate to correct others' bratty kids, something a bit shocking to Americans.

It's certainly a different life that our suburban ideal, but having known a number of French people who grew up in Paris, I'm not sure it's the worst place to raise kids.

Then again, Paris is not New York, although I've known plenty of well-adjusted people who were raised in Manhattan. It's just their parents who end up crazy.

former law student said...

And isn't it the truth about anyplace that there is an infinite number of things to do?

No. Where I grew up -- a truck farm turned subdivision to house returning GIs -- there was literally nothing to do except what fun we made for ourselves. Even building a treehouse was impossible before I was grown and married. I would have killed to have a Radio Shack store to buy electronic parts from.

I envy people who live in college towns, because they combine urban amenities (coffee houses, concerts, theater) with a human-scaled population. Plus restaurants offer interesting food, priced for the student budget.

former law student said...

theo: an essay I once read contrasted US and French child-rearing children by asserting that US children are allowed to be wild as pre-teens, while they must act maturely as teenagers; whereas French children must behave when they are pre-teens, but they can go wild as teenagers.

Theo Boehm said...

FLS: That's quite true, although "teenagers" should be amended to mean 17-year-olds and above. French kids are regimented and severely repressed up through their graduation from lyceé. They are also given a first-rate education, such that 17-year-olds commonly have the equivalent of at least the first two years of an American college education.

After that, the typical life of a French university student is one of sowing wild oats in ways that American college grinds would find incomprehensible. Student life in France is about romance and discovering life, after a dreary and serious childhood.

We all must cultivate our abilities and prepare for life. The French just believe in getting it out of the way early, while we think we can put it off until it is not quite too late.

Chip Ahoy said...

Ithica sounds a lot like Boulder, Colorado, with probably a few less Mexican restaruants, and I find Boulder very bearable. It's mountain biking, green tendency towards vegetaranism, and carreer growth potential along with strong GBL and retirees mixed with high student population are all very attractive.

There are infinite things to do. Not just organized things but things you think up yourself. Today I took my camera with me to shop for plants for the balcony planters. Went around the whole nursery snapping pictures and nobody minded because they were all too busy picking out their plants.