A Local Restaurateur’s Look at Influx of Students

Carriage House Cafe, John Thomas Steakhouse and Ten Forward Cafe.  These are just a few of Ithaca’s restaurants forced into early closings by the COVID-19 pandemic. Suddenly, Ithaca business owners had to reevaluate as they faced massive losses in revenue; as it is estimated that Cornell students spend around $4 million every week in Ithaca, the loss of this steady income took its toll. Yet as Cornell students begin to interact with the greater Ithaca community once again, how are local restaurateurs reacting to our return? Is it a welcome change to have the students back in town once again, or has our arrival made some Ithaca business owners’ jobs even harder?

Priotizing Life Over Property

Many are saying that “it is not fair” what is happening to these restaurants. And they are right — it is not fair. For some of these owners, these restaurants are their entire livelihoods. But so much of this is not fair.

A Promise for a Better Father’s Day

The sound of two different alarms pierces the quiet calm atmosphere of an early Mother’s Day morning, followed by distinct thumps and rustling as my dad and I quickly scramble to shut them off and drag my brother out of bed. All of us slowly creep down the stairs, trying not to disturb my mom’s well-deserved slumber as she slept, for once, without an alarm, knowing she wouldn’t have to wake up early and prepare breakfast as it was our turn now. Two hours later, we’ve set the porch table with fancy cutlery that rarely gets to taste a drop of food as it sits on display 364 out of 365 days a year, and with vibrant red roses plucked from the bushes in our front yard. On the gold-rimmed porcelain plate, we delicately place a heart shaped slice of homemade banana bread, still warm from the embrace of the oven and smelling sweet of raisins and maple syrup, accompanied by a colorful array of fresh and juicy fruits. From a gold-rimmed porcelain cup, emanates the nutty smell of cardamom and the earthy aroma of ginger stemming from my dad’s special chai recipe that he had passed down to me.

Supporting Black Owned Vegan Eateries Across the U.S.

Significant changes need to occur to move towards an anti-racist society. One small, but impactful, step we all can take is to support Black owned businesses. According to a study by the Stanford Institute of Economic Policy Research, Black owned businesses have not only had a more difficult time accessing capital, but they have been disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Washington Post noted the “number of working Black business owners fell 40 percent amid coronavirus.” As many small, Black owned businesses are struggling, it’s important to seek out and support them now and in the future. Numerous Black owned plant-based restaurants exist throughout the country.

Racial & Food Justice — A Resource

As the murder of George Floyd has shocked the nation into protest and the realities of systemic racism are further exposed, it is important to consider just how deeply this racism permeates. As the farmers market pavilion in Ithaca opens for its 46th year and many home gardens in the upstate region finally begin to flourish after a long winter’s frost, it is incredibly important to consider the intersection of food and racial justice. Our country was founded on colonialism and inequality. These same inequalities proliferate into our current food system, creating vast disparities in access to food and land. As a growing number of movements seek to dismantle our current food system in hopes of erecting one founded on principles of sustainability, health and justice, we must also acknowledge that food justice is racial justice.

Murali Dreams of Good Food

This is my last article. I’ve been writing for the Dining Department for four years now, and, to be perfectly honest, I am not ready to say goodbye. But, that’s mostly because I have annoyingly discovered that I have multiple thoughts left to tell all of you about! So, I guess instead of multiple separate posts, you’ll have to deal with the abridged versions. Boba is not that good.

When the City that Never Sleeps Takes a Rest: What Does That Mean for Local Farmers?

As empty restaurant tables continue to collect dust in New York City, 60 miles east in Brookhaven, Long Island, Early Girl Farm is bursting with life. Tomato, eggplant and pepper seedlings are beginning to extend their leafy limbs out into the world as employees carefully prepare the soil, adjusting its mineral levels and incorporating nutrient-rich compost to create optimal growing conditions for this summer’s crops. Patty Gentry, a former restaurant owner and chef turned professional farmer, owns and operates the small but mighty farm, which provides seasonal, organic produce to restaurants in the New York City Metro Area. 2020 marks Patty’s tenth year as a professional farmer. She is an expert in her field, who understands the science of organic farming down to the microscopic levels of soil composition.