Back to my happy place, upstate NY! Specifically the area around Ithaca. We managed to drive here in one day, albeit long day, from Chicago. About 11.5 hours with a few stops primarily for Millie the dog. The scenery was blah through Indiana, Ohio and Pennsylvania until a few seconds after we crossed into western NY on Interstate 86. Like clockwork came the wooded hills, the emerald green fields dotted with red barns and white farmhouses, the shimmering lakes and rivers. And the sky! A drama show with dark clouds or fluffy white clouds in the distance, moving across a blue sky, sun blaring through.
In Corning, we stopped for a quick dinner at Nichols BBQ for an excellent Brisket sandwich and an excellent pulled pork sandwich which we ate at an outside table so Millie could join us. People were so sweet to Millie including a nice guy who asked if he could take a photo of Millie as his “dog of the day.” Turns out he and another guy with him were on a 47-day bike ride across the US from Portland to Portland, run by Trek, the bike maker.
On Sunday, we went on our always fun obligatory trip to the Ithaca Farmers Market where I had excellent Cambodian food and bought Ithaca gear for the grandkids. With the weather improving, we decided to walk around Cascadilla falls in one of my favorite neighborhoods, Fall creek, we spotted a band playing on a porch, with a small crowd. Interesting.
Then another band on a porch and then another. Turns out it was Porchfest 2022, an annual event where local musicians of all kinds play on porch’s throughout the neighborhood … jug and banjos, electric guitars, a soul singer with a sound machine, a family with little kids. Too much fun! One volunteer told me Ithaca’s was the first Porchfest. And it went on hiatus during the height of the pandemic.
Apparently other cities have them too, including Des Moines. The sun came out after a thunderstorm and lit the neighborhood. Then a half hour later, as we were listening to a crazy band, with kids dancing frenetically, the sky got dark and it poured again. No one cared.