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My Dinner with Ithaca

My Dinner with Ithaca

One girl. One summer. One Ithaca. Coming soon to a theater near you.

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Written by Krystal Cannon      Add a comment

Garden Apartments at Ithaca College (from Ithaca.edu)

 So this is going to be pretty straightforward because it's something that I think more students should educate themselves about. There comes a time in a young scholar's life where s/he must decide where to live. Believe it or not, you have a choice beyond whether or not you want to live in the quads, terraces, or towers. While all freshman are required to live on-campus, and all seniors are required to live off-campus (unless your request to stay on-campus as a senior is approved), you still have options.

  1. Should I stay or should I go?
    If you want to live in an apartment, you don't have to necessarily move off-campus if you don't want to or feel comfortable doing so. Many students apply to live in on-campus apartments to ease their way out into the real world of apartment leasing. The on-campus apartment options include the Circle Apartments and the Garden Apartments. They're both on opposite edges of the campus, with the Gardens being more down the hill and the Circles being more up the hill.

    The Gardens are located extremely close to the quad dorms and academic buildings, making it easy to live in an apartment setting while still being able to commute to school pretty easily. They're like mini-apartments in that they're sort of a mix between dorms and apartments. If you get a 2-person Garden, the room will be set up like a dorm with the exception that you'll have a couch, kitchenette, a separate closet room, your own bathroom, and a sliding door that leads to your own little hang-out spot outside/on your balcony. If you get a 4- or 6-person Garden, you'll have two to three bedrooms (each a double) to share with another roommate of your gender, but you get a full kitchen and living room (and because all 4- and 6- person gardens are on the upper floors of the Garden buildings, you'll always have a balcony with a great view (provided you're not behind another Garden building)!).

    The Circles are closer to the terraces, but they're far away enough to have more of an off-campus feel. They're a step up from Garden apartments in that every room in the apartment is a single that you can have all to yourself, and you still get the same benefits of having a full kitchen and living room, as well as your own bathroom. The downside, though, is that the view isn't as nice as the view from the Gardens and they're a bit of a walk away from campus. It's all about what works best for you.
     
  2. You can pick your friends, and you can pick your nose, but you can't pick your friend's nose because s/he might not want to live with you anymore
    Knowing who you're going to be living with is one of the toughest things to figure out. Some of your friends may be better friends with someone else, or your best friend may not want to live off-campus. Try early on to establish friendships with people that you know will last not only because it'll make it easier to find housemates, but making friends is what you do in college, duh. But really, being able to trust that a person is reliable and a good match for you to live with is extremely important in having a good time living off-campus. Being able to compromise is key in avoiding issues like who cleans or what time people should be quiet and stuff like that. Keep in mind that the higher your year, the more likely you are to get approved to live off-campus before your senior year; remember that when picking housemates to move off-campus with. 
     
  3. Money, that's what I want (and need if I'm going to be able to pay for my rent)
    Saving up money is extremely important in successfully finding an apartment to live in. Most landlords, upon signing a lease, want a security deposit as well as rent for the first and last months. That can amount to a lotta dollas. You need to be prepared to make these expenses, because they're no joke. Not paying your rent or utilities on time can make it harder for you to find a landlord who will rent a place to you in the future. Find a place within your price range; there are many affordable apartments in the Ithaca area, some of them right by campus!
     
  4. Jack be nimble, Jack be quick, Jack better find an apartment soon or else there won't be any left
    If you plan on living off-campus, you need to be planning things very carefully. You need to be almost a year ahead in figuring things out or else you're going to be stuck in an expensive apartment in town, a cheap apartment on the outskirts of town far away from school, or (gasp!) a dorm. Looking on Cragislist, or even just browsing around town will give you an idea of what's available and who to call. As I said earlier, all students are required to live off-campus their senior year unless they're approved to stay, so looking for an apartment in the fall semester of your junior year is the way to go. It gives you first dibs on the best affordable apartments with the most convenient locations.
     
  5. Prepare yourselves!
    Talk about what you're going to bring in advance. Plates, cookware, cleaning supplies, furniture, decorations, etc. Many apartments come furnished, but if not, it's easy to get things for free on Freecyle or cheap at thrift stores and antique shops in town. You can also get really fun decorations this way, making your apartment your own unique haven of college life. 

Anyway, that's all, folks.

 

Written by Krystal Cannon      Add a comment

fireworks

So, in the spirit of Samuel Johnson's quote, "Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel," I'll be honest and say that I'm not a huge fan of Independence Day. Don't get me wrong, I think it's way cool that people a couple hundred years ago fought for and won rights they totally should have already had. However, nothing says "misguided patriotism" like grilling burgers and watching stuff explode in the air. 

Fortunately, Ithaca celebrates Independence Day pretty tastefully, if I do say so myself.

The main 4th of July event of the area happened in Stewart Park (which is a really nice place to take a stroll by the water) on July 2nd. They had some live music and food, as well as vendors and other little things. They also had fireworks (duh), and even though fireworks are a thing I have trouble getting behind because of how wasteful and harmful they are, it was a good show that even I could appreciate. While I was snapping photos throughout the day, I had one of the most profound things said to me:

performer at Stewart Park


A performer there (featured above) pointed at me, "young lady," and said, "How do you know if you're halfway done doing nothing if there's no focal point to your nothingness?" Having just completed my sophomore year of college, being "halfway done" with "no focal point" was pretty relevant. I'll tell you, though, your sophomore year of college is really poignant in figuring things out. I don't know anybody who has gotten through their sophomore year without having some kind of huge mental crisis, but, you know, after getting over it I must say that I definitely have figured out what I'm doing (academically, anyway).

Which is another reason why being in Ithaca this summer has been great. A lot of IC and Cornell students are staying here in the off-season this year, and I've been spending time with and meeting people who share similar interests and ideas with me. Having the summer to think about those things rather than trying to focus my creative efforts during the hectic school year has definitely been wonderful. 

sunset at Stewart Park


Anyway, back to Independence Day. It ended about 2 hours ago, and it was a very nice day. Like I said, Ithaca's classy about it. Most places in the commons were closed, but there was still plenty to do there. I found myself at New Delhi Diamonds eating some of the tastiest food ever. Not quite the traditional July 4th meal, but I digress. I made up for it and America'd it up by then going to Purity Ice Cream (just outside of the commons) as the sun was setting. There were random blasts of fireworks going on all around, but they didn't seem to be the most well-orchestrated (or legal) fireworks out there. I tried to get a shot of them, but it was a pretty futile effort since all of the sparks found themselves happening very intermittently and mostly behind buildings.

I was invited by a few of my friends to go to some parties for the holiday (which happen quite frequently if you're in Ithaca over the summer, if that's your kind of thing) but I decided to keep it relaxed and learned how to play Stratego (keeping to yourself in a nice and quiet environment is also definitely possible if you're in Ithaca over the summer; it's like the best of both worlds, or, rather, the best of Ithaca). 

 

Written by Krystal Cannon      Add a comment

flowery tree

It's June 12, meaning that summer doesn't start for another 8 days, but I don't think Ithaca got the memo. Aside from some cold rainy days (as Ithaca is wont to have), it's been rather warm and sunshiney, giving me lots of time to take photos (but not much time to blog). See! Look!:

hey, it's the sky! no, look at how great it is!
purdy flowerz


Ithaca's been preparing for "dinner," too (getting my jokes yet?) with events like the Ithaca Festival, which ended the other day, and that was pretty cool, too:

Ithaca College students Sarabeth Loomis (left) and Lauren Williams (right) spending some time at the Ithaca Festival
Second Dam (they're a really good Ithaca College band that you should definitely check out)


Essentially, I'm beginning to feel like this summer is going to have a lot to offer and that there are plenty of fun times to be had. The things I'll be focusing on the most are music, food, and friends in Ithaca. It'll be awesome and you should totally read it. </end cheesy first blog post>

 

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