April 17, 2001

Exploring Ithaca

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Talk about a beautiful weekend at Cornell. The sun radiated, the birds chirped and the trees whisked in the spring wind. And I enjoyed all three days while I hit the links at the Newman Golf Course in downtown Ithaca.

This time of the year just makes me want to start a bonfire with my winter accessories to purify myself from any harsh winter remembrances. Though the bonfire idea might be a tad radical, some kind of spring ritualistic cleansing process is advisable. Let me give you some suggestions with an inside look into my newest bestseller, What To Do in Ithaca on a Picture-Perfect Day.

Now don’t all go running out to the nearest bookstore to get a copy because right now you will have the privilege of learning first hand my secrets to a successful Ithaca day pro bono. First, if there is school work to be done, go get yourself a lawn chair and hit the books on Libe Slope. You might even get a first-hand education on the newest trends in bikinis — I can surely guarantee you that there’s no hot-body bikini contests in Uris Library. Eostre, the Greek goddess of spring, just informed me that Cancun spring break is coming to an Ithaca grassy knoll near you.

Once all book studying and bikini viewing has been completed (if finishing the latter is ever possible), it is time to relish in the plethora of Ithaca’s outdoor possibilities. Besides the highly publicized gorges in Cornell (reference: “Ithaca is Gorges” slogan), there are other wonders of nature unbeknownst to the untrained Cornellian eye. Ithaca is the home of many spectacular parks including Buttermilk Falls State Park, Stewart Park, and Taughonnock Falls State Park. You can swim in Buttermilk Falls State park in its natural pool, merry-make on the restored carousel in Stewart Park or, if you are daring enough, hike two miles to view the breathtaking 215-foot waterfall in Taughonnock Falls State Park. If natural pools, the merry-go-round and waterfalls do not sound appealing, all three parks have acres of open grass waiting for Cornell students to play Frisbee, ride kites and have picnics. The options are endless, the natural beauties are plentiful and the cost is negligible. Excuse me while I take a quick swim at Buttermilk Falls.

Now that I am back and more rejuvenated than ever, here are some suggestions for the more adventurous. How about skydiving? I can’t think of a better way to get a more global look at Ithaca than to freefall with the reputable Finger Lakes Skydivers. If interested in exploring your crazy side call them and ask for the sane skydiver as your tandem jump partner. I hear that he has a good life-to-mortality ratio.

But if extreme sports in the air are not in your bag of outdoor tricks, what about land sports such as rollerblading or, to be generically correct, in-line skating? Most of the Ithaca parks do have well paved bike and in-line skating trails waiting to be put to use by outdoor bound Cornell students.

Archived article by Jason Skolnik