Busy day, exploring Ithaca and Cornell. I forgot how easy it is to entertain yourself here when the weather is half way decent. (Today it was cloudy but no rain and oddly warm, in the low 70s.)
This morning we met an old friend from Des Moines (who now lives here part-time) at the Gimme Coffee near the foot of Cascadilla Gorge (There are now so many gimme locations that our friend initially went to another one). We walked up and down the gorge, which was full of water thanks to recent rains. A strenuous and very scenic hike. Nets are now strategically placed underneath the bridges high above the gorges to prevent jumpers. I also was pleased to see some repaired steps which makes the trip slightly less nerve wracking. As a student I walked up and down those slippery wet, leaf-strewn rugged stone steps without a care. Not so much now having broken two arms and my foot on occasion.
Collegetown Bagels is relocated across the street from its old location but still has the same alternative vibe and good sandwiches. There are almost no old buildings left in Collegetown, all of them replaced by bland modern buildings, several housing Asian restaurants of one sort or another. Are there any bars left? Not that I care.
We went over to the suspension bridge across Fall Creek Gorge, which was closed last time I was here two years ago. I forgot how much higher that gorge is than Cascadilla and can’t remember how we managed to get down in it sunbathe on the flat rocks as students. But I did see there is now an informational sign with some suggested hikes along the gorge. Next trip.
Next stop, Forest Home, one of my favorite tiny neighborhoods with narrow winding streets and a one-lane bridge. We ended up across the road at what used to be called the Cornell Plantations but that’s not PC these days so it was rebranded as Cornell Botanic Gardens. It’s huge and lovely. We drove around a bit and then wandered on foot among the wildflowers and herbs by the visitors center. And who could resist Cornell ice cream, located nearby at the Cornell Dairy Barn, also a new glass building completely changed from what I vaguely remembered from my years here as a kid. The ice cream was still excellent. I recommend Chocolate Gorges, chocolate cream with fudge swirl and bits of Oreos.