Taughanock Falls, Ithaca Commons, Cornell, Forest Home, Aurora— exploring old Ithaca haunts


Late post: I set out on a gorgeous morning for the gorges…where else? They have always been my favorite landscape feature here. After a short drive down around the lake past downtown Ithaca, I was at the grand daddy of falls, high-falling Taughanock. It was an easy 20 minute there and 20 minutes back walk on the wide dirt path through the woods lining the flat rocks of the gorge, lined by high canyon walls. Lots of water crashing down on them there falls. I noticed that the beautiful old Taughanock Farms Inn, which I used to go to for a splurge dinner with my parents as a kid, is now the Inn at Taughanock. Still there, as is the Glenwood Pines, an old roadhouse along Route 89. Last time we went there about 20 years ago, the restaurant review I did of the Pines in 1980 was still tacked up on the knotty pine wall.

Nut ridge road (to the cottage @ the lake❤️)

As forewarned, the Ithaca Commons is rapidly being dwarfed by modern high-rise apartments which I gather are designed for wealthy foreign students and remote-location tech workers. Not good. There are still some old brick buildings along what was once a street, some with good little shops, including an excellent craft gallery with some very good local ceramics. Just south of the commons, I chanced upon an amazing shop that sells “not quite perfect” (NQP) Eileen Fisher clothing for a fraction of the original cost. We are talking dresses and jackets for $29, shirts and pants for $19. I cleaned up!

Myra at their cottage!

I did a quick drive through Collegetown, at the foot of the Cornell campus and saw that our old house at the bottom of steep Williams street is still standing, still beating the odds (and gravity). The suspension bridge over the gorge was closed (boo) so went onto the little hidden hamlet of Forest Home north of North Campus and sat on a flat rock, dipping my feet in the surprisingly warm water and watched somewhat wistfully the young kids riding the gently rushing water over the slippery flat rocks. Those days are over for me. Don’t need a third broken arm. I stopped briefly for a late light lunch (chicken soup) at the new general store in an old building in King Ferry and then drove a little further past lovely old white farmhouses and dairy farms high above Cayuga’s waters to check out Aurora, a sweet little town with some well-maintained old buildings (thanks to a philanthropist who went to Wells College there). Some businesses have closed sadly but still a pretty place. Didn’t make it to Mackenzie Child’s, the pricey home goods company based a mile north of Aurora.

Forest Home

1 Comment

Filed under Ithaca, New York, Uncategorized

One response to “Taughanock Falls, Ithaca Commons, Cornell, Forest Home, Aurora— exploring old Ithaca haunts

  1. Looks like it has changed since 1957🥴

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