Ithaca, New York

Ithaca, New York

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The city of Ithaca, is a city in upstate New York and the county seat of Tompkins County, as well as the largest community in the Ithaca-Tompkins County metropolitan area
Metropolitan area
The term metropolitan area refers to a region consisting of a densely populated urban core and its less-populated surrounding territories, sharing industry, infrastructure, and housing. A metropolitan area usually encompasses multiple jurisdictions and municipalities: neighborhoods, townships,...

 (which also contains the separate municipalities of the town of Ithaca
Ithaca (town), New York
Ithaca is a town in Tompkins County, New York, United States. The population was 18,198 at the 2000 census.The Town of Ithaca is a horseshoe-shaped portion of the metropolitan area of Ithaca, New York. It surrounds the City of Ithaca and is the City's only border, although the City has a...

, the village of Cayuga Heights
Cayuga Heights, New York
Cayuga Heights is a village in Tompkins County, New York, United States. The population was 3,273 at the 2000 census.The Village of Cayuga Heights is in the Town of Ithaca, north of the City of Ithaca...

, the village of Lansing
Lansing (village), New York
Lansing is a village in Tompkins County, New York, United States. The population was 3,417 at the 2000 census.The Village of Lansing is in the Town of Lansing and is north of Ithaca....

 and other towns and villages in Tompkins County
Tompkins County, New York
Tompkins County is a county located in the U.S. state of New York, and comprises the whole of the Ithaca metropolitan area. As of the 2010 census, the population was 101,564. The county seat is Ithaca, and the county is home to Cornell University, Ithaca College and Tompkins Cortland Community...

). The city of Ithaca sits on the southern shore of Cayuga Lake
Cayuga Lake
Cayuga Lake   is the longest of central New York's glacial Finger Lakes, and is the second largest in surface area and second largest in volume. It is just under 40 miles long. Its average width is 1.7 miles , and it is at its widest point near Aurora...

, in Central
Central New York
Central New York is a term used to broadly describe the central region of New York State, roughly including the following counties and cities:...

 New York. It is named for the Greek island of Ithaca
Ithaca
Ithaca or Ithaka is an island located in the Ionian Sea, in Greece, with an area of and a little more than three thousand inhabitants. It is also a separate regional unit of the Ionian Islands region, and the only municipality of the regional unit. It lies off the northeast coast of Kefalonia and...

,

Ithaca is best known for being home to Cornell University
Cornell University
Cornell University is an Ivy League university located in Ithaca, New York, United States. It is a private land-grant university, receiving annual funding from the State of New York for certain educational missions...

, an Ivy League
Ivy League
The Ivy League is an athletic conference comprising eight private institutions of higher education in the Northeastern United States. The conference name is also commonly used to refer to those eight schools as a group...

 school of over 20,000 students (most of whom study on Cornell’s Ithaca campus). Ithaca College
Ithaca College
Ithaca College is a private college located on the South Hill of Ithaca, New York. The school was founded by William Egbert in 1892 as a conservatory of music. The college has a strong liberal arts core, but also offers several pre-professional programs and some graduate programs. The college is...

 is located just south of the city in the town of Ithaca
Ithaca (town), New York
Ithaca is a town in Tompkins County, New York, United States. The population was 18,198 at the 2000 census.The Town of Ithaca is a horseshoe-shaped portion of the metropolitan area of Ithaca, New York. It surrounds the City of Ithaca and is the City's only border, although the City has a...

, adding to Ithaca’s "college town
College town
A college town or university town is a community which is dominated by its university population...

" focus and atmosphere. Nearby is Tompkins Cortland Community College
Tompkins Cortland Community College
Tompkins Cortland Community College is a public two-year college supported by Cortland and Tompkins Counties. The main college campus is located in the Town of Dryden. Extension sites are located in Cortland, New York and Ithaca, New York...

 (TC3). These three colleges influence Ithaca's seasonal population. In 2010, the city's population was 30,014, and the metropolitan area had a population of 101,564.

Namgyal Monastery
Namgyal Monastery
Namgyal Monastery is a Tibetan Buddhist monastery associated with the Dalai Lamas. Founded in 1575 by the Third Dalai Lama, Sonam Gyatso, Namgyal Monastery was historically housed within the Potala Palace...

 in Ithaca is the North American seat
Family seat
A seat or family seat is the principal residence of a family. The residence usually denotes the social, economic, political, or historic connection of the family within a given area. Some families took their dynasty name from their family seat , or named their family seat after their own dynasty...

 of Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama
14th Dalai Lama
The 14th Dalai Lama is the 14th and current Dalai Lama. Dalai Lamas are the most influential figures in the Gelugpa lineage of Tibetan Buddhism, although the 14th has consolidated control over the other lineages in recent years...

.

Early history


The inhabitants of the Ithaca area at the time Europeans began arriving were the Saponi
Saponi
Saponi is one of the eastern Siouan-language tribes, related to the Tutelo, Occaneechi, Monacan, Manahoac and other eastern Siouan peoples. Its ancestral homeland was in North Carolina and Virginia. The tribe was long believed extinct, as its members migrated north to merge with other tribes...

 and Tutelo
Tutelo
The Tutelo were Native people living above the Fall Line in present-day Virginia and West Virginia, speaking a Siouan dialect of the Tutelo language thought to be similar to that of their neighbors, the Monacan and Manahoac nations...

  Indians, dependent tribes of the Cayuga Indians who formed part of the Iroquois confederation
Iroquois
The Iroquois , also known as the Haudenosaunee or the "People of the Longhouse", are an association of several tribes of indigenous people of North America...

. These tribes had been allowed to settle on Cayuga-controlled hunting lands at the south end of Cayuga Lake
Cayuga Lake
Cayuga Lake   is the longest of central New York's glacial Finger Lakes, and is the second largest in surface area and second largest in volume. It is just under 40 miles long. Its average width is 1.7 miles , and it is at its widest point near Aurora...

 as well as in Pony (originally Sapony) Hollow of Newfield, New York
Newfield, New York
Newfield is a town in Tompkins County, New York, United States. The population was 5,108 at the 2000 census. The town's name is derived from the many unoccupied tracts of land that were once in the town....

, after being forced from North Carolina
North Carolina
North Carolina is a state located in the southeastern United States. The state borders South Carolina and Georgia to the south, Tennessee to the west and Virginia to the north. North Carolina contains 100 counties. Its capital is Raleigh, and its largest city is Charlotte...

 by European invasion. They were driven from the area by the Sullivan Expedition
Sullivan Expedition
The Sullivan Expedition, also known as the Sullivan-Clinton Expedition, was an American campaign led by Major General John Sullivan and Brigadier General James Clinton against Loyalists and the four nations of the Iroquois who had sided with the British in the American Revolutionary War.The...

 which destroyed the Tutelo village of Coregonal, located near the junction of state routes 13 and 13A just south of the Ithaca city limits. Indian presence in the current City of Ithaca was limited to a temporary hunting camp at the base of Cascadilla Gorge. The destruction of Iroquois confederation
Iroquois
The Iroquois , also known as the Haudenosaunee or the "People of the Longhouse", are an association of several tribes of indigenous people of North America...

 power opened the region to settlement by people of European origin, a process which began in 1789. In 1790, an official program began for distributing land in the area as a reward for service to the American soldiers of the Revolutionary War; most local land titles trace back to the Revolutionary war grants. Lots were drawn in 1791; informal settlement had already started.

Partition of the Military Tract


As part of this process, the Central New York Military Tract
Central New York Military Tract
The Military Tract of Central New York, also called the New Military Tract, consisted of nearly two million acres of bounty land set aside to compensate New York’s soldiers after their participation in the Revolutionary War....

, which included northern Tompkins County, was surveyed by Simeon DeWitt. His clerk Robert Harpur
Robert Harpur
Robert Harpur was an American teacher, politician, pioneer, and landowner who settled in the Binghamton, New York area.-Life:...

 had a fondness for ancient Greek and Roman history as well as English authors and philosophers (as evidenced by the nearby townships of Dryden and Locke). The Commissioners of Lands of New York State (chairman Gov. George Clinton
George Clinton (British politician)
Admiral of the Fleet The Hon. George Clinton was a British naval officer and political leader who served as the colonial governor of Newfoundland in 1731 and of New York from 1743 to 1753....

) followed Harpur's recommendations at a meeting in 1790. The Military Tract township in which proto-Ithaca was located he named the Town of Ulysses
Ulysses, New York
Ulysses is a town located in northwest Tompkins County, New York, U.S.. The population was 4,900 at the 2010 census. The town was named after the hero of the Odyssey....

, the Latin form of the Greek Odysseus
Odysseus
Odysseus or Ulysses was a legendary Greek king of Ithaca and the hero of Homer's epic poem the Odyssey. Odysseus also plays a key role in Homer's Iliad and other works in the Epic Cycle....

 from Homer's Odyssey. A few years later DeWitt moved to Ithaca, then called variously "The Flats," "The City," or "Sodom," and named it for the Greek island home of Ulysses
Odysseus
Odysseus or Ulysses was a legendary Greek king of Ithaca and the hero of Homer's epic poem the Odyssey. Odysseus also plays a key role in Homer's Iliad and other works in the Epic Cycle....

 (still the surrounding township at the time — nowadays Ulysses is a separate town in Tompkins County). Contrary to popular myth, DeWitt did not name many of the classical references found in Upstate New York
Upstate New York
Upstate New York is the region of the U.S. state of New York that is located north of the core of the New York metropolitan area.-Definition:There is no clear or official boundary between Upstate New York and Downstate New York...

 such as Syracuse
Syracuse, New York
Syracuse is a city in and the county seat of Onondaga County, New York, United States, the largest U.S. city with the name "Syracuse", and the fifth most populous city in the state. At the 2010 census, the city population was 145,170, and its metropolitan area had a population of 742,603...

 and Troy
Troy, New York
Troy is a city in the US State of New York and the seat of Rensselaer County. Troy is located on the western edge of Rensselaer County and on the eastern bank of the Hudson River. Troy has close ties to the nearby cities of Albany and Schenectady, forming a region popularly called the Capital...

; these were from the general classical fervor of the times.

The growth of Ithaca, village and city




In the 1820s and 1830, Ithaca held high hopes of becoming a major city when the primitive Ithaca and Owego Railway was completed in 1832 to connect the Erie Canal
Erie Canal
The Erie Canal is a waterway in New York that runs about from Albany, New York, on the Hudson River to Buffalo, New York, at Lake Erie, completing a navigable water route from the Atlantic Ocean to the Great Lakes. The canal contains 36 locks and encompasses a total elevation differential of...

 navigation with the Susquehanna River to the south. In 1821, the village set itself off by incorporation at the same time the Town of Ithaca parted with the parent town of Ulysses. These hopes survived the depression of 1837 when the railroad was re-organized as the Cayuga & Susquehanna and re-engineered with switchbacks in the late 1840s; much of this route is now used by the South Hill Recreation Way. However, easier routes soon became available, such as the Syracuse, Binghamton & New York (1854). In the decade following the Civil War railroads were built from Ithaca to all surrounding points (Geneva, New York
Geneva, New York
Geneva is a city in Ontario and Seneca counties in the U.S. state of New York. The population was 13,617 at the 2000 census. Some claim it is named after the city and canton of Geneva in Switzerland. Others believe the name came from confusion over the letters in the word "Seneca" written in cursive...

; Cayuga, New York
Cayuga, New York
Cayuga is a village in Cayuga County, New York, United States. The population was 509 at the 2000 census. The village derives its name from the local Cayuga tribe and the lake named after them....

; Cortland, New York
Cortland, New York
Cortland is a city in Cortland County, New York, USA. As of the 2000 census, the city had a population of 18,740. It is the county seat of Cortland County.The City of Cortland, near the west border of the county, is surrounded by the Town of Cortlandville....

; Elmira, New York
Elmira, New York
Elmira is a city in Chemung County, New York, USA. It is the principal city of the 'Elmira, New York Metropolitan Statistical Area' which encompasses Chemung County, New York. The population was 29,200 at the 2010 census. It is the county seat of Chemung County.The City of Elmira is located in...

; Athens, Pennsylvania
Athens, Pennsylvania
Athens is a borough in Bradford County, Pennsylvania, two miles south of the N. Y. State line on the Susquehanna and Chemung rivers. Population in 1900, 3,749; and in 1910, 3,796. The population was 3,415 at the 2000 census...

) mainly with financing from Ezra Cornell
Ezra Cornell
Ezra Cornell was an American businessman and education administrator. He was a founder of Western Union and a co-founder of Cornell University...

; however, the geography of the city has always prevented it from lying on a major transportation artery. When the Lehigh Valley Railroad
Lehigh Valley Railroad
The Lehigh Valley Railroad was one of a number of railroads built in the northeastern United States primarily to haul anthracite coal.It was authorized April 21, 1846 in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania and incorporated September 20, 1847 as the Delaware, Lehigh, Schuylkill and Susquehanna Railroad...

 later built its main line from Pennsylvania to Buffalo in 1890 it bypassed Ithaca (running via eastern Schuyler County
Schuyler County, New York
As of the census of 2000, there were 19,224 people, 7,374 households, and 5,191 families residing in the county. The population density was 58 people per square mile . There were 9,181 housing units at an average density of 28 per square mile...

 on easier grades), as the Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Railroad
Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Railroad
The Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Railroad Company was a railroad connecting Pennsylvania's Lackawanna Valley, rich in anthracite coal, to Hoboken, New Jersey, , Buffalo and Oswego, New York...

 had done in the 1850s.

The late nineteenth century gave birth to the two major postsecondary educational institutions Ithaca has today. In 1865, Ezra Cornell
Ezra Cornell
Ezra Cornell was an American businessman and education administrator. He was a founder of Western Union and a co-founder of Cornell University...

 founded Cornell University
Cornell University
Cornell University is an Ivy League university located in Ithaca, New York, United States. It is a private land-grant university, receiving annual funding from the State of New York for certain educational missions...

. It was opened as a coeducational institution, which was extremely unusual at the time; women first enrolled in 1870. Ezra Cornell also established a public library for the city. Ithaca College
Ithaca College
Ithaca College is a private college located on the South Hill of Ithaca, New York. The school was founded by William Egbert in 1892 as a conservatory of music. The college has a strong liberal arts core, but also offers several pre-professional programs and some graduate programs. The college is...

 was founded as the Ithaca Conservatory of Music in 1892. Ithaca College was originally located in the Downtown, but due to the lack of space, it was relocated to South Hill in the 1960s.

Ithaca became a city in 1888 and emerged as a small manufacturing and retail center. Notably the Ithaca Gun Factory opened in 1881. The largest industrial company (and associated building) in the area was Morse Chain, elements of which were absorbed into Emerson
Emerson Electric Company
Emerson Electric Company is a major multinational corporation headquartered in Ferguson, Missouri, United States. This Fortune 500 company manufactures products and provides engineering services for a wide range of industrial, commercial, and consumer markets.Emerson is one of the largest...

 Power Transmission on South Hill and Borg Warner Automotive
BorgWarner
BorgWarner Inc. is a United States-based worldwide automotive industry components and parts supplier. It is primarily known for its powertrain products, which include manual and automatic transmissions and transmission components, , turbochargers, engine valve timing system...

 in Lansing, New York
Lansing (town), New York
Lansing is a town in Tompkins County, New York, United States. The population was 10,521 at the 2000 census. The town is named after John Lansing. Settlers from Lansing were early residents of the then-township of Lansing, Michigan and named it after their hometown; it would later become a city...

. In the post-World War II decades, National Cash Register and the Langmuir Research Labs of General Electric
General Electric
General Electric Company , or GE, is an American multinational conglomerate corporation incorporated in Schenectady, New York and headquartered in Fairfield, Connecticut, United States...

 were also major employers.

During the early 20th century, Ithaca was an important center in the silent film
Silent film
A silent film is a film with no synchronized recorded sound, especially with no spoken dialogue. In silent films for entertainment the dialogue is transmitted through muted gestures, pantomime and title cards...

 industry. The most common type of film produced was the cliffhanger
Cliffhanger
A cliffhanger or cliffhanger ending is a plot device in fiction which features a main character in a precarious or difficult dilemma, or confronted with a shocking revelation at the end of an episode of serialized fiction...

 serial
Serial (film)
Serials, more specifically known as Movie serials, Film serials or Chapter plays, were short subjects originally shown in theaters in conjunction with a feature film. They were related to pulp magazine serialized fiction...

. These films often featured the local natural scenery. Many of these films were the work of Leopold Wharton
Leopold Wharton
Leopold Wharton was an American film director, producer and writer. He directed 37 films between 1911 and 1922, including the 1915 film The New Adventures of J. Rufus Wallingford, which featured Oliver Hardy....

 and his brother Theodore Wharton
Theodore Wharton
Theodore Wharton was an American film director, producer and writer. He directed 48 films in the 1910s and 1920s, including the 1915 film The New Adventures of J. Rufus Wallingford, which featured Oliver Hardy....

 in their studio on the site of what is now Stewart Park
Stewart Park
Stewart Park is in Ithaca, New York. Ithaca is located on the southern tip of Cayuga Lake, the largest Finger Lake, and Stewart sits directly on that tip. The park is a popular place for barbecues, frisbee, tennis, baseball, and softball, as well as fishing and swimming on the lake. The park has a...

. Eventually the film industry centralized in Hollywood, which offered the possibility of year-round filming, and film production in Ithaca effectively ceased. Few of the silent films made in Ithaca are preserved today.

Geography and climate


The valley in which Cayuga Lake is located is long and narrow with a north-south orientation. Ithaca is at the southern end (the "head") of the lake, but the valley continues to the southwest behind the city. Originally a river valley, it was deepened and widened by the action of Pleistocene ice sheets over the last several hundred thousand years. The lake, which drains to the north, formed behind a dam of glacial moraine
Moraine
A moraine is any glacially formed accumulation of unconsolidated glacial debris which can occur in currently glaciated and formerly glaciated regions, such as those areas acted upon by a past glacial maximum. This debris may have been plucked off a valley floor as a glacier advanced or it may have...

. The rock is predominantly Devonian
Devonian
The Devonian is a geologic period and system of the Paleozoic Era spanning from the end of the Silurian Period, about 416.0 ± 2.8 Mya , to the beginning of the Carboniferous Period, about 359.2 ± 2.5 Mya...

 and, north of Ithaca, is relatively fossil rich. Glacial erratic
Glacial erratic
A glacial erratic is a piece of rock that differs from the size and type of rock native to the area in which it rests. "Erratics" take their name from the Latin word errare, and are carried by glacial ice, often over distances of hundreds of kilometres...

s can be found in the area. The world-renowned fossils found in this area can be examined at the Museum of the Earth
Museum of the Earth
The Museum of the Earth is a public natural history museum. It is located in Ithaca, New York, on the campus of the PRI, its parent organization.-Paleontological Research Institution:...

.

Ithaca was founded on flat land just south of the lake — land that formed in fairly recent geological times when silt filled the southern end of the lake. The city ultimately spread to the adjacent hillsides, which rise several hundred feet above the central flats: East Hill, West Hill, and South Hill. Its sides are fairly steep, and a number of the streams that flow into the valley from east or west have cut deep canyons, usually with several waterfall
Waterfall
A waterfall is a place where flowing water rapidly drops in elevation as it flows over a steep region or a cliff.-Formation:Waterfalls are commonly formed when a river is young. At these times the channel is often narrow and deep. When the river courses over resistant bedrock, erosion happens...

s.

Ithaca experiences a moderate continental climate
Continental climate
Continental climate is a climate characterized by important annual variation in temperature due to the lack of significant bodies of water nearby...

, with cold, snowy winters and sometimes hot and humid summers. The valley flatland has slightly milder weather in winter, and occasionally Ithacans experience simultaneous snow on the hills and rain in the valley. The phenomenon of mixed precipitation (rain, wind, and snow), common in the late fall and early spring, is known tongue-in-cheek as ithacation to many of the local residents.

The natural vegetation of the Ithaca area, seen in areas unbuilt and unfarmed, is northern temperate broadleaf forest
Temperate broadleaf and mixed forests
Mixed forests are a temperate and humid biome. The typical structure of these forests includes four layers. The uppermost layer is the canopy composed of tall mature trees ranging from 33 to 66 m high. Below the canopy is the three-layered, shade-tolerant understory that is roughly 9 to...

, dominated by deciduous trees.

Due to the microclimate
Microclimate
A microclimate is a local atmospheric zone where the climate differs from the surrounding area. The term may refer to areas as small as a few square feet or as large as many square miles...

s created by the impact of the lakes, the region surrounding Ithaca (Finger Lakes
Finger Lakes
The Finger Lakes are a pattern of lakes in the west-central section of Upstate New York in the United States. They are a popular tourist destination. The lakes are long and thin , each oriented roughly on a north-south axis. The two longest, Cayuga Lake and Seneca Lake, are among the deepest in...

 American Viticultural Area
American Viticultural Area
An American Viticultural Area is a designated wine grape-growing region in the United States distinguishable by geographic features, with boundaries defined by the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau , United States Department of the Treasury....

) experiences a short but adequate growing season for winemaking. As such the region is home to many wineries.

Education


Ithaca is a major educational center in Central New York
Central New York
Central New York is a term used to broadly describe the central region of New York State, roughly including the following counties and cities:...

. The city is home to Cornell University
Cornell University
Cornell University is an Ivy League university located in Ithaca, New York, United States. It is a private land-grant university, receiving annual funding from the State of New York for certain educational missions...

 which overlooks the town from East Hill, and Ithaca College
Ithaca College
Ithaca College is a private college located on the South Hill of Ithaca, New York. The school was founded by William Egbert in 1892 as a conservatory of music. The college has a strong liberal arts core, but also offers several pre-professional programs and some graduate programs. The college is...

, situated on South Hill. The student population
College town
A college town or university town is a community which is dominated by its university population...

 is very high as there are currently more than 20,000 students enrolled at Cornell, with an additional 6,300 students at Ithaca College. Tompkins Cortland Community College
Tompkins Cortland Community College
Tompkins Cortland Community College is a public two-year college supported by Cortland and Tompkins Counties. The main college campus is located in the Town of Dryden. Extension sites are located in Cortland, New York and Ithaca, New York...

 is located in the neighboring town of Dryden, New York
Dryden (town), New York
Dryden is a town in Tompkins County, New York, USA. The population was 13,532 at the 2000 census. The town contains two villages: one also named Dryden and one named Freeville...

, and has an extension center in downtown Ithaca. Empire State College
Empire State College
Empire State College, one of the thirteen arts and science colleges of the State University of New York, is a multi-site institution offering associate, bachelor's, and master's degrees. It is primarily oriented towards the adult learner...

 offers non-traditional college courses to adults in downtown Ithaca.

The Ithaca City School District
Ithaca City School District
The Ithaca City School District is a public school district centered in Ithaca, Caroline, Danby, Dryden and Enfield. Approximately 500 teachers work in the district, along with 100 other professional staff members and 200 paraprofessionals....

, which encompasses Ithaca and the surrounding area, enrolls about 5,500 K-12 students in eight elementary schools, two middle schools, Ithaca High School
Ithaca High School (Ithaca, New York)
Ithaca High School is a public high school in Ithaca, New York. It is part of the Ithaca City School District, and has an enrollment of approximately 1,675. Jarett Powers has been principal since 2011.-About:...

, and the Lehman Alternative Community School
Lehman Alternative Community School
The Lehman Alternative Community School is a nationally renowned public, educational alternative, combined middle and high school in the Ithaca City School District in Ithaca, New York. Serving grades 6-12 with approximately 305 students, the school is known for its small class size,...

, which provides its students wide-ranging freedom to choose their own curriculum. There are also several private elementary and secondary schools in the Ithaca area, including Immaculate Conception School, the Cascadilla School
Cascadilla School
Cascadilla School is a preparatory school in Ithaca, New York. It was founded in 1876 as a boys' preparatory school for Cornell University. At this time Universities typically required students to be proficient in Latin and Greek. However, students from rural areas often did not have access to...

, and New Roots Charter School. New Roots is a small charter school of approximately 175 students, 225 at full enrollment featuring small class sizes, mentoring relationships with faculty, and a Farm to School meal program. The school has a cross-disciplinary, experience-based, “whole Earth community” curriculum and is located in the Clinton House on N. Cayuga St across from the Ithaca Commons.

Economy


The economy of Ithaca is based on education and manufacturing with high tech and tourism in strong supporting roles. As of 2006, Ithaca remains one of the few expanding economies in economically troubled New York State outside of New York City, and draws commuters from the neighboring rural counties of Cortland
Cortland County, New York
Cortland County is a county located in the U.S. state of New York, named after Federico Van Cortlandt, president of the convention at Kingston that wrote the first New York State Constitution in 1777, and first lieutenant governor of the state. The county seat is Cortland...

, Tioga
Tioga County, New York
As of the census of 2010, there were 51,125 people residing in the county, with 22,203 housing units, of these 20,350 occupied, 1,853 vacant. The population density was 98 people per square mile...

, and Schuyler
Schuyler County, New York
As of the census of 2000, there were 19,224 people, 7,374 households, and 5,191 families residing in the county. The population density was 58 people per square mile . There were 9,181 housing units at an average density of 28 per square mile...

, as well as from the more urbanized Chemung County
Chemung County, New York
Chemung County is a county located in the U.S. state of New York. It is part of the 'Elmira, New York Metropolitan Statistical Area' which encompasses all of Chemung County. As of the 2010 census, the population was 88,830. Its name is derived from the name of a Delaware Indian village . Its...

.

With some level of success, Ithaca has tried to maintain a traditional downtown shopping area that includes the Ithaca Commons
Ithaca Commons
The Ithaca Commons is a two-block pedestrian mall in downtown Ithaca, New York, built in 1974. Its boundaries are Green Street to the south, Cayuga Street to the west, Seneca Street to the north, and Aurora Street to the east. It sits at the intersection of Tioga and State Streets...

 pedestrian mall and Center Ithaca, a small mixed-use complex built at the end of the urban renewal era. Some in the community regret that downtown has lost vitality to two expanding commercial zones to the northeast and southwest of the old city. These areas contain an increasing number of large retail stores and restaurants run by national chains. Others say the chain stores boost local shopping options for residents considerably, many of whom would have previously shopped elsewhere, while increasing sales tax revenue for the city and county. Still others note that the stores, restaurants, and businesses that remain in downtown are not necessarily in direct competition with the larger chain stores. The tradeoff between sprawl and economic development continues to be debated throughout the city and the surrounding area. (Another commercial center, Collegetown, is located next to the Cornell campus. It features a number of restaurants, shops, and bars, and an increasing number of high rise apartments and is primarily frequented by Cornell University
Cornell University
Cornell University is an Ivy League university located in Ithaca, New York, United States. It is a private land-grant university, receiving annual funding from the State of New York for certain educational missions...

 students.)

Ithaca has many of the businesses characteristic of small American university towns: used bookstores, art house cinemas, craft stores, and vegetarian restaurants. The collective Moosewood Restaurant
Moosewood Restaurant
Moosewood Restaurant is a restaurant that was founded by Mollie Katzen and others in 1973 in downtown Ithaca, New York. Moosewood is located on the first floor of the Dewitt Mall building, which is a converted high school....

, founded in 1973, was the wellspring for a number of vegetarian cookbooks; Bon Appetit
Bon Appétit
Bon Appétit describes itself as "a food and entertaining magazine" and is published monthly. Named after the French phrase for "Enjoy your meal", it was started by M. Frank Jones in Kansas City in 1956...

 magazine ranked it among the thirteen most influential restaurants of the 20th century. It is claimed locally that Ithaca has more restaurants per capita than New York City. Ithaca has many local restaurants and chains both in the city and town with a range of ethnic foods. Perhaps Ithaca's most well known restaurant is Moosewood Restaurant
Moosewood Restaurant
Moosewood Restaurant is a restaurant that was founded by Mollie Katzen and others in 1973 in downtown Ithaca, New York. Moosewood is located on the first floor of the Dewitt Mall building, which is a converted high school....

, known for its vegetarian cooking, which was named one of the thirteen most influential restaurants of the 20th century by Bon Appetit magazine. The innovative and popular Ithaca Bakery chain , and the Ithaca Farmers Market also provide a range of foods.


Culture


Ithacans support the Ithaca Farmers Market, professional theaters (Kitchen Theatre, Hangar Theatre, Icarus Theatre), a civic orchestra
Orchestra
An orchestra is a sizable instrumental ensemble that contains sections of string, brass, woodwind, and percussion instruments. The term orchestra derives from the Greek ορχήστρα, the name for the area in front of an ancient Greek stage reserved for the Greek chorus...

, much parkland, the Sciencenter
Sciencenter
Sciencenter is a hands-on science museum in Ithaca, New York. It was founded on February 28, 1983 as a 501 not-for-profit educational organization. The Sciencenter grew out of the volunteer-run hands-on science program run for 15 years at several elementary schools in the Ithaca City School District...

, a hands-on science museum for people of all ages, an independent movie theater (Cinemapolis), and the Museum of the Earth
Museum of the Earth
The Museum of the Earth is a public natural history museum. It is located in Ithaca, New York, on the campus of the PRI, its parent organization.-Paleontological Research Institution:...

. Ithaca is noted for its annual artistic celebration of community: The Ithaca Festival (and its parade), the Circus Eccentrithaca. The Constance Saltonstall Foundation for the Arts provides grants and Summer Fellowships at the Saltonstall Arts Colony for New York State artists and writers. Ithaca also hosts what is described as the third-largest used-book sale in the United States.
Other festivals occur annually, with music and food. These include The Apple Festival in the fall, with many different varieties of apples and apple products; Chili Fest in February, a local contest involving many local restaurants who compete to make the best chili in several different categories; the Finger Lakes International Dragon Boat Festival in July; Porchfest in late September, which included an eclectic mix of local musicians performing throughout the day on an array of porches in Fall Creek homes.

In June 2008, local peace activist Trevor Dougherty
Trevor Dougherty
Trevor Dougherty is an independent journalist with CNN's iReport program, currently studying at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Dougherty is also a YouTube Partner, and since 2008 his short videos and advocacy work have been featured by several international media outlets such as...

 led almost 6,000 members of the Ithaca community in forming a giant human peace sign. This event took part during the Ithaca Festival, making Ithaca the unofficial home of the world's largest human peace sign.

In August, Women's Swimmin' has a swim across Cayuga Lake
Cayuga Lake
Cayuga Lake   is the longest of central New York's glacial Finger Lakes, and is the second largest in surface area and second largest in volume. It is just under 40 miles long. Its average width is 1.7 miles , and it is at its widest point near Aurora...

 to raise money for Hospicare.

Ithaca has also pioneered the Ithaca Health Fund, a popular cooperative health insurance. Ithaca is also home to one of the United States' first local currency
Local currency
In economics, a local currency, in its common usage, is a currency not backed by a national government , and intended to trade only in a small area. As a tool of fiscal localism, local moneys can raise awareness of the state of the local economy, especially among those who may be unfamiliar or...

 systems, Ithaca Hours
Ithaca Hours
The Ithaca HOUR is a local currency used in Ithaca, New York and is the oldest and largest local currency system in the United States that is still operating. It has inspired other similar systems in Madison, Wisconsin; Corvallis, Oregon; and a proposed system in the Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania...

, developed by Paul Glover
Paul Glover
Paul Glover is a community organizer currently based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He has been adjunct faculty at Temple University and founder of the Philly Orchard Project and editor of Green Jobs Philly News....

 (building on the pioneering work of Ralph Borsodi
Ralph Borsodi
Ralph Borsodi was an agrarian theorist and practical experimenter interested in ways of living useful to the modern family desiring greater self-reliance...

 and Robert Swann
Robert Swann
Robert Swann may refer to:*Robert L. Swann , comptroller of the State of Maryland in the United States*Robert L. Swann , American lawyer, and Colonel in the United States Armed Services...

).

It is claimed locally that in 1891, Rev. John M. Scott and a local druggist, Chester Platt
Chester Platt
Chester C. Platt operated a drugstore in Ithaca, New York and he was credited with the invention of the ice cream sundae. He was the owner of the Ithaca Democrat, the Batavia Times, and the Madison Wisconsin Leader. He was secretary to New York Governor William Sulzer, and was involved in...

, invented the ice cream sundae
Sundae
The sundae is an ice cream dessert. It typically consists of a scoop of ice cream topped with sauce or syrup, and in some cases other toppings including chopped nuts, sprinkles, whipped cream, or maraschino cherries.-History:...

 in Ithaca, though other cities, such as Two Rivers, Wisconsin, make the same claim.

Music and musicians


Ithaca is known for its resident musicians, who contribute to a music scene which is unusually talented and diverse for such a small town. These musicians have come from many backgrounds to pursue their careers in Ithaca; the School of Music at Ithaca College attracts talented musicians, some of whom remain in Ithaca after graduating and take up work as performing musicians or in the sound engineering field. Ithaca is the seat of the Official Orchestra of the City of Ithaca, commonly known under the name Cayuga Chamber Orchestra
Cayuga Chamber Orchestra
The Cayuga Chamber Orchestra, conducted by Lanfranco Marcelletti, Jr., is based in Ithaca, New York. The 2010-2011 season will mark its 34th year...

.

Several notable musicians have relocated from other countries to Ithaca in order to begin their careers, most notably Samite
Samite (musician)
Samite is the stage name for African musician Samite Mulondo. Originally from Uganda, Samite now lives in Ithaca, New York. He plays the flute and kalimba, a type of thumb piano....

 of Uganda, Mamadou Diabaté
Mamadou Diabaté
Mamadou Diabaté is a kora player. He began playing quite early in his life, became known as a musician in the area of Mali in which he lived, and has since moved to the United States, recording several albums.-Life and career:...

 of Mali and Malang Jobateh of Senegal. Other regionally, nationally and internationally known performers and musical groups that call Ithaca home include: Donna the Buffalo
Donna the Buffalo
Donna the Buffalo is a band from Trumansburg, New York. They play both originals and covers....

, The Burns Sisters
The Burns Sisters
Folk, pop and rock are given a Celtic slant by Ithaca, New York-based vocalists the Burns Sisters. Accompanied by Rich DePaolo's guitar, Eric Aceto's fiddle and their own guitar and mandolin, the three sisters—Annie, Marie and Jeannie—harmonize with heartfelt spirit...

, jazz cellist Hank Roberts
Hank Roberts
Hank Roberts is an American jazz cellist and vocalist. He plays the electric cello, and his style is a mixture of rock, jazz, avant garde, folk and classical influences...

, Johnny Dowd
Johnny Dowd
Johnny Dowd is an American alternative country musician from Ithaca, New York. Typical of his style are experimental, noisy breaks in his songs and strong gothic elements in the lyrics as well as in the music...

, Jimkata, John Brown's Body
John Brown's Body (band)
John Brown's Body is a reggae band from Boston, MA and Ithaca, NY that tours the world performing what the group calls “Future Roots Music”. The sound is rooted in reggae rhythms and blended with a variety of other styles including dub, electronic, funk, ska, hip-hop, and dubstep.Originally...

, Ayurveda, The Gunpoets, The Sim Redmond Band, Nate & Kate, The Horse Flies
The Horse Flies
The Horse Flies are an American alternative rock/folk band, founded in the late 1970s under the name 'Tompkins County Horseflies' by husband and wife Jeff Claus and Judy Hyman, along with Richie Stearns and John Hayward.- Background :...

, Technicolor Trailer Park, Mike Brindisi & The New York Rock, Who You Are, Willie B, and Kevin Kinsella
Kevin Kinsella
Kevin Kinsella is a reggae and roots rock musician who has participated 10 studio albums since 1996. Formerly a member of John Brown's Body and a currently a member of 10 Ft. Ganja Plant, he lives in Ithaca, New York. He has a solo project which he sings and play keyboards for...

. Traditional folk music is a staple and is featured weekly on North America's longest running live folk concert broadcast WVBR 93.5 FM's Bound for Glory.

In the nearby village of Trumansburg, the Finger Lakes Grassroots Festival of Music and Dance
Finger Lakes GrassRoots Festival of Music and Dance
Starting in 1991, the Finger Lakes GrassRoots Festival of Music and Dance is an annual festival held the second-to-last weekend of July in Trumansburg, New York, a small town ten miles north of Ithaca. The GrassRoots Festival, or simply GrassRoots, as it is known, draws nearly 20,000 visitors...

 is held every third week in July. Initiated as a benefit for Aids research at the State Theater in Ithaca by the band Donna the Buffalo
Donna the Buffalo
Donna the Buffalo is a band from Trumansburg, New York. They play both originals and covers....

, it has successfully occurred every year for the past 18 years. The Grassroots Festival has brought hundreds and hundreds of bands through the region, further enriching the local musical palate with every new introduction of musical style and culture. Several local bands call it home as either a figurative birthplace or a nurturing environment within which to develop new forms of music. Other notable local music festivals include the Ithaca Festival, Musefest, the Summertime Block Party, the Juneteenth Celebration and Rock the Arts.

Ithaca is also home to an Underground Music
Underground music
Underground music comprises a range of different musical genres that operate outside of mainstream culture. Such music can typically share common values, such as the valuing of sincerity and intimacy; an emphasis on freedom of creative expression; an appreciation of artistic creativity...

 scene known as Ithaca Underground. This music scene is a non-commercial, DIY scene that focuses on genres of music outside the pop music mainstream(s), including genres that many people would consider unlistenable. All Ithaca Underground shows are all ages shows and book both local and national bands that focus on these music genres.

Media



The dominant local newspaper in Ithaca is a morning daily, The Ithaca Journal, founded 1815. The paper is owned by Gannett, Inc., publishers of USA Today
USA Today
USA Today is a national American daily newspaper published by the Gannett Company. It was founded by Al Neuharth. The newspaper vies with The Wall Street Journal for the position of having the widest circulation of any newspaper in the United States, something it previously held since 2003...

. The alternative weekly newspaper Ithaca Times is distributed free of charge. Other area publications include Tompkins Weekly, the Ithaca Community News
Ithaca Community News
The Ithaca Community News is a semi-monthly email newsletter and web site founded by former local resident and activist Paul Glover. He had over 7,900 subscribers, not including website readers, which represented roughly a quarter of the population of Ithaca, NY. Many subscribers were from other...

, 14850 Magazine, the Cornell Daily Sun, the Ithacan, and the Tattler
Tattler (student newspaper)
The Tattler is the student newspaper of Ithaca High School in Ithaca, New York. Founded in 1892, it is one of the oldest student newspapers in the United States...

. (The latter three are run by student staffs at Cornell University, Ithaca College, and Ithaca High School, respectively.)

Ithaca is also home to several radio stations. WVBR
WVBR
WVBR-FM is a college radio station that broadcasts to Ithaca, New York, and surrounding areas. It operates at 3 kilowatts from a transmitter on Hungerford Hill, in Ithaca. A translator on 105.5 FM provides a cleaner signal to certain areas of Ithaca...

 93.5 FM is associated with Cornell University
Cornell University
Cornell University is an Ivy League university located in Ithaca, New York, United States. It is a private land-grant university, receiving annual funding from the State of New York for certain educational missions...

 in the sense that it is owned and predominantly staffed by an association composed of enrolled Cornell students; but it is an independent, financially self-supporting commercial station in the rock format playing a mix of modern and classic rock during the week and specialty shows on the weekend. WICB
WICB
WICB is a radio station licensed to serve Ithaca, New York, USA. Established in 1947, the station is owned by Ithaca College.WICB broadcasts an alternative music format to the greater Ithaca area...

 91.7 FM is an award-winning, non-commercial, student-run station owned by Ithaca College
Ithaca College
Ithaca College is a private college located on the South Hill of Ithaca, New York. The school was founded by William Egbert in 1892 as a conservatory of music. The college has a strong liberal arts core, but also offers several pre-professional programs and some graduate programs. The college is...

. The Cayuga Radio Group, a subsidiary of Saga Communications, Inc., owns country WQNY
WQNY
WQNY is a radio station broadcasting a Country music format. Licensed to Ithaca, New York, USA, the station serves that market and occasionally has appeared in the Elmira-Corning ratings, as the station can be heard well in the eastern and northeastern parts of that market...

 "Q-Country" 103.7 FM, WYXL
WYXL
WYXL is a radio station in Ithaca, New York that programs an adult contemporary format. The station has been owned by Saga Communications since 2005. It is co-owned with WHCU, WQNY, WIII, and WNYY...

 "Lite Rock" 97.3 FM, news/talk WHCU
WHCU
WHCU is a radio station in Ithaca, New York that programs a news/talk format. The station has been owned by Saga Communications since 2005.-History:...

 870 AM, progressive talk WNYY
WNYY
WNYY is a radio station broadcasting a Talk/Personality format. Licensed to Ithaca, New York, USA, the station serves the Ithaca area...

 1470 AM, as well as classic rock "I-100" WIII
WIII (FM)
-External links:*...

 99.9 FM, with its main transmitter in Cortland
Cortland, New York
Cortland is a city in Cortland County, New York, USA. As of the 2000 census, the city had a population of 18,740. It is the county seat of Cortland County.The City of Cortland, near the west border of the county, is surrounded by the Town of Cortlandville....

 and a repeating station at 100.3 FM in Ithaca. Saga also has lower-powered "translator" stations "Hits 103.3" and "98.7 The Vine" on the FM dial. WFIZ "Z95.5" is also in the area, broadcasting a top-40, CHR format. Classic rock "The Wall" WLLW 99.3 and 96.3, based in Seneca Falls
Seneca Falls (village), New York
Seneca Falls is a village in Seneca County, New York, United States. The population was 6,861 at the 2000 census. The village is in the Town of Seneca Falls, east of Geneva, New York. On March 16, 2010, village residents voted to dissolve the village, a move that would take effect at the end of 2011...

, has a transmitter in Ithaca. There is also NPR and classical programming available on WSQG 90.9 FM, NPR/college programming on WEOS repeater 88.1 FM, and Christian music and talk Family Life Network on 88.9 FM.

Politics


Politically, the city's population has a significant tilt toward liberalism and the Democratic Party
Democratic Party (United States)
The Democratic Party is one of two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Republican Party. The party's socially liberal and progressive platform is largely considered center-left in the U.S. political spectrum. The party has the lengthiest record of continuous...

. A November, 2004 study by ePodunk
EPodunk
ePodunk is a website that profiles communities in the United States, Canada, Ireland, and the UK. It provides geocoded information that includes local museums, attractions, parks, colleges, libraries, cemeteries and other features, as well as local history and trivia...

 lists it as New York's most liberal town. This contrasts with the more conservative
American conservatism
Conservatism in the United States has played an important role in American politics since the 1950s. Historian Gregory Schneider identifies several constants in American conservatism: respect for tradition, support of republicanism, preservation of "the rule of law and the Christian religion", and...

 leanings of the surrounding Upstate New York
Upstate New York
Upstate New York is the region of the U.S. state of New York that is located north of the core of the New York metropolitan area.-Definition:There is no clear or official boundary between Upstate New York and Downstate New York...

 region, and is also somewhat more liberal than the rest of Tompkins County. In 1988 Jesse Jackson
Jesse Jackson
Jesse Louis Jackson, Sr. is an African-American civil rights activist and Baptist minister. He was a candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination in 1984 and 1988 and served as shadow senator for the District of Columbia from 1991 to 1997. He was the founder of both entities that merged to...

 received the most votes in Ithaca in the Democratic Presidential primary. In 2000 Ralph Nader
Ralph Nader
Ralph Nader is an American political activist, as well as an author, lecturer, and attorney. Areas of particular concern to Nader include consumer protection, humanitarianism, environmentalism, and democratic government....

 received more votes for President than George W. Bush
George W. Bush
George Walker Bush is an American politician who served as the 43rd President of the United States, from 2001 to 2009. Before that, he was the 46th Governor of Texas, having served from 1995 to 2000....

 in the City of Ithaca, and 11% county-wide. In 2008, Barack Obama
Barack Obama
Barack Hussein Obama II is the 44th and current President of the United States. He is the first African American to hold the office. Obama previously served as a United States Senator from Illinois, from January 2005 until he resigned following his victory in the 2008 presidential election.Born in...

, running against New York State's Senator Hillary Clinton, won Tompkins County in the Democratic Presidential Primary, the only county that he won in New York State. Obama went on to win Tompkins County (including Ithaca) by a wide margin of 41% over his opponent John McCain in the November 2008 election.

Local government


The name Ithaca designates two governmental entities in the area, the Town of Ithaca
Ithaca (town), New York
Ithaca is a town in Tompkins County, New York, United States. The population was 18,198 at the 2000 census.The Town of Ithaca is a horseshoe-shaped portion of the metropolitan area of Ithaca, New York. It surrounds the City of Ithaca and is the City's only border, although the City has a...

 and the City of Ithaca.

The Town of Ithaca is one of the nine towns comprised by Tompkins County. (Towns in New York are something like townships in other states; every county outside New York City is subdivided into towns.) The City of Ithaca is surrounded by, but legally independent of, the Town. The Town of Ithaca contains the Village of Cayuga Heights, a small incorporated upper-middle class suburb located to the northeast of the City of Ithaca.

The City of Ithaca has a mayor-council government
Mayor-council government
The mayor–council government system, sometimes called the mayor–commission government system, is one of the two most common forms of local government for municipalities...

. The charter of the City of Ithaca provides for a full-time mayor and city judge, each independent and elected at large. Since 1995, the mayor has been elected to a four-year term, and since 1989, the city judge has been elected to a six-year term. Since 1983, the city has been divided into five wards, each electing two members to the city council, known as the Common Council, for staggered four-year terms.

The Town government consists of an executive, the Town Supervisor, elected to a four-year term, and a Town Council of five members also elected for terms of four years.

The majority of local property taxes are actually assessed by an entirely independent agency with entirely different borders, the Ithaca City School District
Ithaca City School District
The Ithaca City School District is a public school district centered in Ithaca, Caroline, Danby, Dryden and Enfield. Approximately 500 teachers work in the district, along with 100 other professional staff members and 200 paraprofessionals....

.

City-Town consolidation


In December 2005, the City and Town governments began discussing opportunities for increased government consolidation, including the possibility of joining the two into a single entity. This topic had been previously discussed in 1963 and 1969.

The possibility of consolidation is controversial for Town residents who could be forced to pay higher taxes as they help shoulder the higher debt burden that the City has taken on. Some Town residents also worry that consolidation could lead to increased sprawl and traffic congestion. However, most of the Town's population is already concentrated in hamlets in proximity to the City's borders and Town residents take advantage of City amenities. Mayor Walter Lynn of the Village of Cayuga Heights (an affluent Ithaca suburb located in the Town) called consolidation discussion a "waste of time."

Greater Ithaca


The term "Greater Ithaca" encompasses both the City and Town of Ithaca, as well as several smaller settled places within or adjacent to the Town:

Municipalities
  • Village of Grotonhttp://www.grotonny.org
  • Village of Lansing
    Lansing (village), New York
    Lansing is a village in Tompkins County, New York, United States. The population was 3,417 at the 2000 census.The Village of Lansing is in the Town of Lansing and is north of Ithaca....

  • the southern part of the Town of Lansing
    Lansing (town), New York
    Lansing is a town in Tompkins County, New York, United States. The population was 10,521 at the 2000 census. The town is named after John Lansing. Settlers from Lansing were early residents of the then-township of Lansing, Michigan and named it after their hometown; it would later become a city...

  • Village of Cayuga Heights
    Cayuga Heights, New York
    Cayuga Heights is a village in Tompkins County, New York, United States. The population was 3,273 at the 2000 census.The Village of Cayuga Heights is in the Town of Ithaca, north of the City of Ithaca...

  • Hamlet of Forest Home
    Forest Home, New York
    Forest Home is a census-designated place in Tompkins County, New York, United States. The population was 941 at the 2000 census.The community of Forest Home is in the Town of Ithaca, northeast of the City of Ithaca and north of Cornell University....

  • Hamlet of South Hill
    South Hill, New York
    South Hill is a census-designated place in Tompkins County, New York, United States. The population was 6,003 at the 2000 census.The South Hill CDP is located within the town of Ithaca. It is located near the south end of Cayuga Lake...



Census-designated place
Census-designated place
A census-designated place is a concentration of population identified by the United States Census Bureau for statistical purposes. CDPs are delineated for each decennial census as the statistical counterparts of incorporated places such as cities, towns and villages...

s
  • East Ithaca
    East Ithaca, New York
    East Ithaca is a suburban community in Tompkins County, New York, United States. The population was 2,192 at the 2000 census.East Ithaca is a suburb of the City of Ithaca on its eastern city line and in the Town of Ithaca...

  • Northeast Ithaca
    Northeast Ithaca, New York
    Northeast Ithaca is a census-designated place in Tompkins County, New York, United States. The population was 2,655 at the 2000 census.Northeast Ithaca is a suburb of adjacent Ithaca, New York.-Geography:...

  • Northwest Ithaca
    Northwest Ithaca, New York
    Northwest Ithaca is a census-designated place in Tompkins County, New York, United States. The population was 1,115 at the 2000 census.-Geography:Northwest Ithaca is located at ....


Demographics


Ithaca is the larger principal city of the Ithaca-Cortland CSA, a Combined Statistical Area
Combined Statistical Area
The United States Office of Management and Budget defines micropolitan and metropolitan statistical areas. Metropolitan and micropolitan statistical areas consist of one or more counties...

 that includes the Ithaca metropolitan area
Tompkins County, New York
Tompkins County is a county located in the U.S. state of New York, and comprises the whole of the Ithaca metropolitan area. As of the 2010 census, the population was 101,564. The county seat is Ithaca, and the county is home to Cornell University, Ithaca College and Tompkins Cortland Community...

 (Tompkins County) and the Cortland micropolitan area
Cortland County, New York
Cortland County is a county located in the U.S. state of New York, named after Federico Van Cortlandt, president of the convention at Kingston that wrote the first New York State Constitution in 1777, and first lieutenant governor of the state. The county seat is Cortland...

 (Cortland County), which had a combined population of 145,100 at the 2000 census.

As of the census of 2000, there were 29,287 people, 10,287 households, and 2,962 families residing in the city. The population density
Population density
Population density is a measurement of population per unit area or unit volume. It is frequently applied to living organisms, and particularly to humans...

 was 5,360.9 people per square mile (2,071.0/km²). There were 10,736 housing units at an average density of 1,965.2 per square mile (759.2/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 73.97% White, 6.71% Black or African American
Race (United States Census)
Race and ethnicity in the United States Census, as defined by the Federal Office of Management and Budget and the United States Census Bureau, are self-identification data items in which residents choose the race or races with which they most closely identify, and indicate whether or not they are...

, 0.39% Native American, 13.65% Asian, 0.05% Pacific Islander, 1.86% from other races
Race (United States Census)
Race and ethnicity in the United States Census, as defined by the Federal Office of Management and Budget and the United States Census Bureau, are self-identification data items in which residents choose the race or races with which they most closely identify, and indicate whether or not they are...

, and 3.36% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 5.31% of the population.

There were 10,287 households out of which 14.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 19.0% were married couples living together, 7.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 71.2% were non-families. 43.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 7.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.13 and the average family size was 2.81.

In the city the population was spread out with 9.2% under the age of 18, 53.8% from 18 to 24, 20.1% from 25 to 44, 10.6% from 45 to 64, and 6.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 22 years. For every 100 females there were 102.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 102.2 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $21,441, and the median income for a family was $42,304. Males had a median income of $29,562 versus $27,828 for females. The per capita income
Per capita income
Per capita income or income per person is a measure of mean income within an economic aggregate, such as a country or city. It is calculated by taking a measure of all sources of income in the aggregate and dividing it by the total population...

 for the city was $13,408. About 13.2% of individuals and 4.2% of families were below the poverty line.

Transportation


Ithaca is in the rural Finger Lakes
Finger Lakes
The Finger Lakes are a pattern of lakes in the west-central section of Upstate New York in the United States. They are a popular tourist destination. The lakes are long and thin , each oriented roughly on a north-south axis. The two longest, Cayuga Lake and Seneca Lake, are among the deepest in...

 region about 225 miles to the northwest of New York City; the nearest larger cities, Binghamton
Binghamton, New York
Binghamton is a city in the Southern Tier of New York in the United States. It is near the Pennsylvania border, in a bowl-shaped valley at the confluence of the Susquehanna and Chenango Rivers...

 and Syracuse
Syracuse, New York
Syracuse is a city in and the county seat of Onondaga County, New York, United States, the largest U.S. city with the name "Syracuse", and the fifth most populous city in the state. At the 2010 census, the city population was 145,170, and its metropolitan area had a population of 742,603...

, are an hour's drive away by car, Rochester
Rochester, New York
Rochester is a city in Monroe County, New York, south of Lake Ontario in the United States. Known as The World's Image Centre, it was also once known as The Flour City, and more recently as The Flower City...

 and Scranton are two hours, Buffalo is three.

Ithaca is served by Ithaca Tompkins Regional Airport
Ithaca Tompkins Regional Airport
-Bus:TCAT Route 32 travels to the Commons and Cornell University Monday through Friday, As of 2010, Route 72 serves the airport on weekends.-Taxi:Ithaca Dispatch operates a taxi stand at the airport, although it may be necessary to call in advance, especially during peak hours...

, located about three miles to the northeast of the city center. US Airways Express
US Airways Express
US Airways Express is an airline brand name, rather than a fully certified airline, and as such, the US Airways Express name is used by several individually owned airlines or airline holding companies which provide regional airline and commuter service for US Airways.Operations are conducted from...

 offers flights to New York LaGuardia
LaGuardia Airport
LaGuardia Airport is an airport located in the northern part of Queens County on Long Island in the City of New York. The airport is located on the waterfront of Flushing Bay and Bowery Bay, and borders the neighborhoods of Astoria, Jackson Heights and East Elmhurst. The airport was originally...

 and its hub at Philadelphia
Philadelphia International Airport
Philadelphia International Airport is a major airport in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States, and is the largest airport in the Delaware Valley region and in Pennsylvania...

 using a mixture of small jets and propeller craft. Delta Air Lines
Delta Air Lines
Delta Air Lines, Inc. is a major airline based in the United States and headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia. The airline operates an extensive domestic and international network serving all continents except Antarctica. Delta and its subsidiaries operate over 4,000 flights every day...

 provides thrice-daily jet service to its hub at Detroit Metro
Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport
Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport , usually called Detroit Metro Airport, Metro Airport locally, or simply DTW, is a major international airport covering in Romulus, Michigan, a suburb of Detroit. It is Michigan's busiest airport....

 airport and Continental Connection
Continental Connection
Continental Connection is a brand name under which several commuter airline carriers and their holding companies operate services marketed exclusively by Continental Airlines...

 offers three daily turboprop
Turboprop
A turboprop engine is a type of turbine engine which drives an aircraft propeller using a reduction gear.The gas turbine is designed specifically for this application, with almost all of its output being used to drive the propeller...

 flights to Newark Liberty International Airport
Newark Liberty International Airport
Newark Liberty International Airport , first named Newark Metropolitan Airport and later Newark International Airport, is an international airport within the city limits of both Newark and Elizabeth, New Jersey, United States...

. Some residents choose to travel to Syracuse Hancock International Airport
Syracuse Hancock International Airport
Syracuse Hancock International Airport is a joint civil-military public airport located northeast of Syracuse, in Onondaga County, New York, off of Interstate 81 near Mattydale, New York. The main terminal complex is located at the eastern end of Colonel Eileen Collins Boulevard.-History:In 1927...

, Greater Binghamton Airport
Greater Binghamton Airport
Greater Binghamton Airport is a medium-sized regional airport located in Maine, New York that serves the Southern Tier of New York, primarily Broome and Tioga counties....

, Elmira-Corning Regional Airport
Elmira-Corning Regional Airport
-Top Destinations:-Incidents:On June 23, 1967, Mohawk Airlines Flight 40, operated on a BAC-111 regional jet, crashed in Blossburg, Pennsylvania, shortly after taking off from Elmira-Corning, killing all 34 persons on board....

 or Greater Rochester International Airport
Greater Rochester International Airport
Greater Rochester International Airport is a county-owned public-use airport located three nautical miles southwest of the central business district of Rochester, a city in Monroe County, New York, United States...

 for more airline service options.

Ithaca lies at over a half hour's drive from any interstate highway, and all car trips to Ithaca involve some driving on two-lane state rural highways. The city is at the convergence of many regional two-lane state highways: Routes 13
New York State Route 13
New York State Route 13 is a state highway that runs mainly north–south for between NY 14 in Horseheads and NY 3 west of Pulaski in Central New York in the United States. In between, NY 13 intersects with Interstate 81 in Cortland and Pulaski and meets the New York...

, 13A, 34
New York State Route 34
New York State Route 34 is a north–south New York state route located in Central New York. Its southern terminus is at the Pennsylvania state line in the village of Waverly, where it connects to Pennsylvania Route 199 and meets NY 17...

, 79
New York State Route 79
New York State Route 79 is an east–west state highway in the Southern Tier of New York, United States. The western terminus of the route is at the intersection with NY 414 near the southern end of Seneca Lake east of Watkins Glen...

, 89
New York State Route 89
New York State Route 89 is a north–south state highway in central New York in the United States. It extends for from an intersection with NY 13, NY 34, and NY 96 in the Tompkins County city of Ithaca to an interchange with NY 104 in the Wayne County town of town of Wolcott...

, 96
New York State Route 96
New York State Route 96 is a northwest–southeast state highway in the Finger Lakes region of New York in the United States. The southern terminus of the route is at an interchange with NY 17 in the Southern Tier village of Owego, Tioga County. Its northern terminus is at a junction with...

, 96B
New York State Route 96B
New York State Route 96B is a north–south state highway in the Southern Tier of New York, United States. It connects NY 96 in the village of Candor in Tioga County to NY 13, NY 34, and NY 96 in the city of Ithaca in Tompkins County...

, and 366
New York State Route 366
New York State Route 366 is an east–west state highway located entirely within Tompkins County in the Finger Lakes region of New York in the United States. It runs for from State Street just east of downtown Ithaca to NY 38 in Freeville...

. These are usually not congested except in Ithaca proper. There is frequent intercity bus service by Greyhound Lines
Greyhound Lines
Greyhound Lines, Inc., based in Dallas, Texas, is an intercity common carrier of passengers by bus serving over 3,700 destinations in the United States, Canada and Mexico, operating under the well-known logo of a leaping greyhound. It was founded in Hibbing, Minnesota, USA, in 1914 and...

, New York Trailways, and Shortline (Coach USA), particularly to Binghamton
Binghamton, New York
Binghamton is a city in the Southern Tier of New York in the United States. It is near the Pennsylvania border, in a bowl-shaped valley at the confluence of the Susquehanna and Chenango Rivers...

 and New York City, with limited service to Rochester
Rochester, New York
Rochester is a city in Monroe County, New York, south of Lake Ontario in the United States. Known as The World's Image Centre, it was also once known as The Flour City, and more recently as The Flower City...

, Buffalo
Buffalo, New York
Buffalo is the second most populous city in the state of New York, after New York City. Located in Western New York on the eastern shores of Lake Erie and at the head of the Niagara River across from Fort Erie, Ontario, Buffalo is the seat of Erie County and the principal city of the...

 and Syracuse
Syracuse, New York
Syracuse is a city in and the county seat of Onondaga County, New York, United States, the largest U.S. city with the name "Syracuse", and the fifth most populous city in the state. At the 2010 census, the city population was 145,170, and its metropolitan area had a population of 742,603...

, and (via connections in Binghamton
Binghamton, New York
Binghamton is a city in the Southern Tier of New York in the United States. It is near the Pennsylvania border, in a bowl-shaped valley at the confluence of the Susquehanna and Chenango Rivers...

) to Utica and Albany. The bus station serving all these companies is the former Delaware, Lackawanna & Western railway station on Meadow St. between W State and W Seneca streets, a little over half a mile west of downtown Ithaca.

Ithaca is the center of an extensive bus public transportation system — Tompkins Consolidated Area Transit
Tompkins Consolidated Area Transit
Tompkins Consolidated Area Transit, Inc., usually referred to as TCAT, is a private, non-profit public transportation operator, created by Cornell University, Tompkins County and the City of Ithaca to serve Tompkins County, New York and the Towns of Richford, Berkshire & Newark Valley in Tioga County...

 (TCAT) — which carried 3.1 million passengers in 2005. TCAT was reorganized as a non-profit corporation in 2004 and is primarily supported locally by Cornell University, the City of Ithaca and Tompkins County. TCAT operates 39 routes, many running seven days a week. It has frequent service to downtown, Cornell, Ithaca College, and the Pyramid Mall in the neighboring Town of Lansing
Lansing (town), New York
Lansing is a town in Tompkins County, New York, United States. The population was 10,521 at the 2000 census. The town is named after John Lansing. Settlers from Lansing were early residents of the then-township of Lansing, Michigan and named it after their hometown; it would later become a city...

, but less frequent service to many residential and rural areas, including Trumansburg
Trumansburg, New York
Trumansburg is a village in Tompkins County, New York, United States. The population was 1,581 at the 2000 census. The name is a variant spelling of the surname of the founder, Abner Treman...

 and Newfield
Newfield, New York
Newfield is a town in Tompkins County, New York, United States. The population was 5,108 at the 2000 census. The town's name is derived from the many unoccupied tracts of land that were once in the town....

. Chemung County Transit runs weekday commuter routes into Schuyler
Schuyler County, New York
As of the census of 2000, there were 19,224 people, 7,374 households, and 5,191 families residing in the county. The population density was 58 people per square mile . There were 9,181 housing units at an average density of 28 per square mile...

 and Chemung
Chemung County, New York
Chemung County is a county located in the U.S. state of New York. It is part of the 'Elmira, New York Metropolitan Statistical Area' which encompasses all of Chemung County. As of the 2010 census, the population was 88,830. Its name is derived from the name of a Delaware Indian village . Its...

 counties, and Tioga County Public Transit runs weekday routes into neighboring Tioga
Tioga County, New York
As of the census of 2010, there were 51,125 people residing in the county, with 22,203 housing units, of these 20,350 occupied, 1,853 vacant. The population density was 98 people per square mile...

, primarily to serve Cornell employees who prefer to live in these rural counties, or are forced to because of the high house prices near Ithaca.

GADABOUT Transportation Services, Inc. provides demand-response paratransit service for seniors over 60 and people with disabilities. Ithaca Dispatch provides local and regional taxi service. In addition, Ithaca Airline Limousine and IthaCar Service connect to the local airports.

In July 2008, a non-profit called Ithaca Carshare began a carsharing
Carsharing
Car sharing or Carsharing is a model of car rental where people rent cars for short periods of time, often by the hour. They are attractive to customers who make only occasional use of a vehicle, as well as others who would like occasional access to a vehicle of a different type than they use...

 service in Ithaca. Ithaca Carshare has a fleet of 15 vehicles shared by over 1150 members as of October 2011 and has become a popular service among both city residents and the college communities. Vehicles are located throughout Ithaca downtown and the two major institutions. With Ithaca Carshare as the first locally run carsharing organization in New York State, others have since launched in Buffalo
Buffalo, New York
Buffalo is the second most populous city in the state of New York, after New York City. Located in Western New York on the eastern shores of Lake Erie and at the head of the Niagara River across from Fort Erie, Ontario, Buffalo is the seat of Erie County and the principal city of the...

 and Syracuse
Syracuse, New York
Syracuse is a city in and the county seat of Onondaga County, New York, United States, the largest U.S. city with the name "Syracuse", and the fifth most populous city in the state. At the 2010 census, the city population was 145,170, and its metropolitan area had a population of 742,603...

.

Norfolk Southern freight trains reach Ithaca from Sayre, Pennsylvania
Sayre, Pennsylvania
Sayre is the largest borough in Bradford County, Pennsylvania, northwest of Scranton. In the past, various iron products were made there. In 1900, 5,243 people lived there; in 1910, 6,426 people lived there, and in 1940, 7,569 persons made their homes in Sayre. The population was 5,813 at the 2000...

, mainly to deliver coal to AES
AES Corporation
AES Corporation is a Fortune 500 company that generates and distributes electrical power. The company was founded on January 28, 1981, as Applied Energy Services by Roger Sant from the US Federal Energy Administration and Dennis Bakke from the Office of Management and Budget. AES Corporation is...

 Cayuga, a coal power plant (known as Milliken Station during NYSEG ownership) and haul out salt from the Cargill salt mine, both on the east shore of Cayuga Lake. There is no passenger rail service, although from the 1870s through the 1950s there were trains to Buffalo via Geneva, New York
Geneva, New York
Geneva is a city in Ontario and Seneca counties in the U.S. state of New York. The population was 13,617 at the 2000 census. Some claim it is named after the city and canton of Geneva in Switzerland. Others believe the name came from confusion over the letters in the word "Seneca" written in cursive...

; to New York City via Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania
Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania
Wilkes-Barre is a city in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania, the county seat of Luzerne County. It is at the center of the Wyoming Valley area and is one of the principal cities in the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre metropolitan area, which had a population of 563,631 as of the 2010 Census...

 (Lehigh Valley Railroad
Lehigh Valley Railroad
The Lehigh Valley Railroad was one of a number of railroads built in the northeastern United States primarily to haul anthracite coal.It was authorized April 21, 1846 in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania and incorporated September 20, 1847 as the Delaware, Lehigh, Schuylkill and Susquehanna Railroad...

) and Scranton, Pennsylvania
Scranton, Pennsylvania
Scranton is a city in the northeastern part of Pennsylvania, United States. It is the county seat of Lackawanna County and the largest principal city in the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre metropolitan area. Scranton had a population of 76,089 in 2010, according to the U.S...

 (DL&W
Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Railroad
The Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Railroad Company was a railroad connecting Pennsylvania's Lackawanna Valley, rich in anthracite coal, to Hoboken, New Jersey, , Buffalo and Oswego, New York...

); to Auburn, New York
Auburn, New York
Auburn is a city in Cayuga County, New York, United States of America. As of the 2010 census, the city had a population of 27,687...

; and to the US northeast
Northeastern United States
The Northeastern United States is a region of the United States as defined by the United States Census Bureau.-Composition:The region comprises nine states: the New England states of Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont; and the Mid-Atlantic states of New...

 via Cortland, New York
Cortland, New York
Cortland is a city in Cortland County, New York, USA. As of the 2000 census, the city had a population of 18,740. It is the county seat of Cortland County.The City of Cortland, near the west border of the county, is surrounded by the Town of Cortlandville....

; service to Buffalo and New York City lasted until 1961. The Lehigh Valley's top New York City-Ithaca-Buffalo passenger train, "The Black Diamond", was optimistically publicized as 'The Handsomest Train in the World', perhaps to compensate for its roundabout route to Buffalo. It was named after the railroad's largest commodity, anthracite coal.

Ithaca was the fourth community in New York state with a street railway; streetcars ran from 1887 to summer 1935.

As a growing urban area, Ithaca is facing steady increases in levels of vehicular traffic on the city grid and on the state highways. Outlying areas have limited bus service, and many people consider a car essential. However, many consider Ithaca a walkable and bikeable community. One positive trend for the health of downtown Ithaca is the new wave of increasing urban density in and around the Ithaca Commons. Because the downtown area is the region's central business district, dense mixed-use development that includes housing may increase the proportion of people who can walk to work and recreation, and mitigate the likely increased pressure on already busy roads as Ithaca grows. The downtown area is also the area best served by frequent public transportation. Still, traffic congestion around the Commons is likely to progressively increase.

Unlike most urbanized areas in the United States, Ithaca does not have direct access to the Interstate highway system. In 1968, it was proposed to convert Route 13 from Horseheads to Cortland through Ithaca into a limited access highway (it is currently such for three miles heading north from Ithaca), but the plan lost local and State support.

Other recent changes and trends



For decades, the Ithaca Gun Company
Ithaca Gun Company
The Ithaca Gun Company is a manufacturer of shotguns and rifles originally established in Ithaca, New York in 1880.-Production:Ithaca became famous for building firearms based on expired patents owned by Remington Arms...

 tested their shotguns behind the plant on Lake Street; the shot fell into Fall Creek (a tributary of Cayuga Lake) right at the base of Ithaca Falls
Ithaca Falls
Ithaca Falls is a waterfall of Fall Creek in Ithaca, New York, near the Cornell University campus and within the city of Ithaca. It is the last step of a series of waterfalls from the hanging valley of Fall Creek to the glacial trough of Cayuga Lake. The falls are in an amphitheatre formed by...

. A major clean-up effort sponsored by the United States Superfund took place from 2002 to 2004. After many years of debate and environmental concerns, the old Ithaca Gun building has been dismantled and is scheduled to be replaced by an apartment complex.

The former Morse Chain company factory on South Hill, now owned by Emerson Power Transmission, was the site of extensive groundwater and soil contamination. Emerson Power Transmission has been working with the state and South Hill residents to determine the extent and danger of the contamination and aid in cleanup.

Reputation


In addition to its liberal politics, Ithaca is commonly listed among the most culturally liberal of American small cities. The Utne Reader
Utne Reader
Utne Reader is an American bimonthly magazine. The magazine collects and reprints articles on politics, culture, and the environment from generally alternative media sources, including journals, newsletters, weeklies, zines, music and DVDs...

named Ithaca "America's most enlightened town" in 1997. According to ePodunk's Gay Index, Ithaca has a score of 231, versus a national average score of 100.

Like many small college towns, Ithaca has also received accolades for having a high overall quality of life. In 2004, Cities Ranked and Rated named Ithaca the best "emerging city" to live in the United States. In 2006, the Internet realty website "Relocate America" named Ithaca the fourth best city in the country to relocate to. In July 2006, Ithaca was listed as one of the "12 Hippest Hometowns for Vegetarians" by VegNews Magazine and chosen by Mother Earth News
Mother Earth News
Mother Earth News is a bi-monthly American magazine that has a circulation of 475,000. It is based in Topeka, Kansas.Approaching environmental problems from a down-to-earth, practical, how-to standpoint, Mother Earth News has, since the magazine’s founding in 1970, been a pioneer in the promotion...

as one of the "12 Great Places You've Never Heard Of."

In its earliest years during frontier days, what is now Ithaca was briefly known by the names "The Flats" and "Sodom," the name of the Biblical city of sin, due to its reputation as a town of "notorious immorality", a place of horse racing, gambling, profanity, Sabbath breaking, and readily available liquor. These names did not last long; Simeon DeWitt renamed the town Ithaca in the early 19th century, though nearby Robert H. Treman State Park
Robert H. Treman State Park
Robert H. Treman State Park is a state park located in Tompkins County, New York in the United States. The park is located along State Route 327, just west of State Routes 13, 34, and 96, situated in the Towns of Ithaca, Enfield and Newfield....

 still contains Lucifer Falls.

Points of interest


  • Beebe Lake
  • Buttermilk Falls State Park
    Buttermilk Falls State Park
    Buttermilk Falls State Park is located southwest of Ithaca, New York, USA. Like Robert H. Treman State Park, the initial grant of land for the park came from Robert and Laura Treman, in 1924....

  • Carl Sagan
    Carl Sagan
    Carl Edward Sagan was an American astronomer, astrophysicist, cosmologist, author, science popularizer and science communicator in astronomy and natural sciences. He published more than 600 scientific papers and articles and was author, co-author or editor of more than 20 books...

    's Grave
  • Cayuga Nature Center
  • Collegetown
  • Cornell University
    Cornell University
    Cornell University is an Ivy League university located in Ithaca, New York, United States. It is a private land-grant university, receiving annual funding from the State of New York for certain educational missions...

  • Cornell Plantations
    Cornell Plantations
    The Cornell Plantations are botanical gardens located adjacent to the Cornell University campus in Ithaca, New York. The Plantations proper consist of of botanical gardens and of the F.R. Newman Arboretum...

  • Llenroc House
    Llenroc
    Llenroc is the house constructed for Ezra Cornell just below the campus of Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, United States. It now houses the Cornell chapter of the Delta Phi fraternity.- The House :...

  • F.R. Newman Arboretum
  • Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology
    Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology
    The Cornell Lab of Ornithology is a member-supported unit of Cornell University in Ithaca, New York which studies birds and other wildlife. It is housed in the Imogene Powers Johnson Center for Birds and Biodiversity in Sapsucker Woods Sanctuary...

  • Finger Lakes Trail
    Finger Lakes Trail
    The Finger Lakes Trail System consists of a network of trails in New York. The trail system is administered by the , a non-profit, volunteer organization....

  • Ithaca College
    Ithaca College
    Ithaca College is a private college located on the South Hill of Ithaca, New York. The school was founded by William Egbert in 1892 as a conservatory of music. The college has a strong liberal arts core, but also offers several pre-professional programs and some graduate programs. The college is...

  • Ithaca Commons
    Ithaca Commons
    The Ithaca Commons is a two-block pedestrian mall in downtown Ithaca, New York, built in 1974. Its boundaries are Green Street to the south, Cayuga Street to the west, Seneca Street to the north, and Aurora Street to the east. It sits at the intersection of Tioga and State Streets...

  • Ithaca Farmers Market
  • Moosewood Restaurant
    Moosewood Restaurant
    Moosewood Restaurant is a restaurant that was founded by Mollie Katzen and others in 1973 in downtown Ithaca, New York. Moosewood is located on the first floor of the Dewitt Mall building, which is a converted high school....

  • Paleontological Research Institution's Museum of the Earth
  • Robert H. Treman State Park
    Robert H. Treman State Park
    Robert H. Treman State Park is a state park located in Tompkins County, New York in the United States. The park is located along State Route 327, just west of State Routes 13, 34, and 96, situated in the Towns of Ithaca, Enfield and Newfield....

  • Sciencenter
  • Stewart Park
    Stewart Park
    Stewart Park is in Ithaca, New York. Ithaca is located on the southern tip of Cayuga Lake, the largest Finger Lake, and Stewart sits directly on that tip. The park is a popular place for barbecues, frisbee, tennis, baseball, and softball, as well as fishing and swimming on the lake. The park has a...

  • Taughannock Falls State Park
    Taughannock Falls State Park
    Taughannock Falls State Park is located in the Town of Ulysses in Tompkins County, New York, in the United States. The park is northwest of Ithaca near Trumansburg, New York...



For additional information about recreational trails see: Trails in Ithaca, New York
Trails in Ithaca, New York
-Multiuse and commuter trails:Many of the major trails in Ithaca and the surrounding areas lie in abandoned railway beds. Ithaca was part of the first big railroad boom in the 1830s...

.

Books set (at least partially) in Ithaca

  • Lolita
    Lolita
    Lolita is a novel by Vladimir Nabokov, first written in English and published in 1955 in Paris and 1958 in New York, and later translated by the author into Russian...

    by Vladimir Nabokov
    Vladimir Nabokov
    Vladimir Vladimirovich Nabokov was a multilingual Russian novelist and short story writer. Nabokov wrote his first nine novels in Russian, then rose to international prominence as a master English prose stylist...

     (schoolgirl dialog captured on Ithaca city buses)
  • Pnin
    Pnin
    Pnin is Vladimir Nabokov's 13th novel and his fourth written in English; it was published in 1957.-Plot summary:The book's eponymous protagonist, Timofey Pavlovich Pnin, is a Russian-born professor living in the United States...

    by Vladimir Nabokov
    Vladimir Nabokov
    Vladimir Vladimirovich Nabokov was a multilingual Russian novelist and short story writer. Nabokov wrote his first nine novels in Russian, then rose to international prominence as a master English prose stylist...

     ('Waindell University' a portrait of Cornell)
  • The War Between the Tates
    The War Between the Tates
    The War Between the Tates is a campus novel by Alison Lurie that takes place an elite university during the upheavals of the late sixties and gently and deftly skewers all sides in the turmoils and conflicts of that era — opposition to the Vietnam war, the start of the feminist movement, the...

    by Alison Lurie
    Alison Lurie
    Alison Lurie is an American novelist and academic. She won the Pulitzer Prize for her 1984 novel Foreign Affairs. Although better known as a novelist, she has also written numerous non-fiction books and articles, particularly on children's literature and the semiotics of dress.-Personal...

     ('Corinth University', a thinly-disguised portrait of Cornell)
  • Been Down So Long It Looks Like Up to Me
    Been Down So Long It Looks Like Up to Me
    Been Down So Long It Looks Like Up to Me is a novel by Richard Fariña. First published in the United States during 1966 the novel, based largely on Fariña's college experiences and travels, is a comic picaresque story that is set in the American West, in Cuba during the Cuban Revolution, and at an...

    by Richard Fariña
    Richard Fariña
    Richard George Fariña was an American writer and folksinger.-Early years and education:Richard Fariña was born in Brooklyn, New York, of Cuban and Irish descent. He grew up in the Flatbush neighborhood of Brooklyn and attended Brooklyn Technical High School...

     ('Mentor University', same as above)
  • The Widening Stain by Morris Bishop
    Morris Bishop
    Morris Gilbert Bishop was an American scholar, historian, biographer, author, and humorist.Raised in Canada and New York, he attended Cornell from 1910–1913, earning a Bachelor's in 1913 and then a Master of Arts degree in 1914...

  • The Names of the Dead by Stewart O'Nan
    Stewart O'Nan
    - Life and work :Born on February 4, 1961 to John Lee O'Nan and Mary Ann O'Nan, née Smith. He and his brother were raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania....

  • Enchantment
    Enchantment (novel)
    Enchantment is an English language fantasy novel written by Orson Scott Card. First published in 1999, the novel is based on the Russian version of Sleeping Beauty and other folk tales...

    by Orson Scott Card
    Orson Scott Card
    Orson Scott Card is an American author, critic, public speaker, essayist, columnist, and political activist. He writes in several genres, but is primarily known for his science fiction. His novel Ender's Game and its sequel Speaker for the Dead both won Hugo and Nebula Awards, making Card the...

     (partially set in Ithaca and fictional nearby towns)
  • Various Kurt Vonnegut
    Kurt Vonnegut
    Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. was a 20th century American writer. His works such as Cat's Cradle , Slaughterhouse-Five and Breakfast of Champions blend satire, gallows humor and science fiction. He was known for his humanist beliefs and was honorary president of the American Humanist Association.-Early...

     books have Ithaca references, most notably Player Piano
    Player Piano
    Player Piano, author Kurt Vonnegut's first novel, was published in 1952. It is a dystopia of automation and capitalism, describing the dereliction they cause in the quality of life. The...

    , Slaughterhouse-Five
    Slaughterhouse-Five
    Slaughterhouse-Five, or The Children's Crusade: A Duty-Dance with Death is a satirical novel by Kurt Vonnegut about World War II experiences and journeys through time of a soldier called Billy Pilgrim...

    , and Cat's Cradle
    Cat's Cradle
    Cat's Cradle is the fourth novel by American writer Kurt Vonnegut, first published in 1963. It explores issues of science, technology, and religion, satirizing the arms race and many other targets along the way...

  • Fool on the Hill
    Fool on the Hill (novel)
    Fool on the Hill is a 1988 comic fantasy novel by Matt Ruff, set at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York.The novel is the story of two authors. Cornell University resident and author Stephen Titus George finds that his real life is becoming the main plot of a retired god, known as Mr. Sunshine. Mr...

    by Matt Ruff
    Matt Ruff
    Matthew Theron Ruff is an American author of thriller, science-fiction and comic novels.-Background and education:...

  • The Emigrants by W. G. Sebald
    W. G. Sebald
    W. G. Maximilian Sebald was a German writer and academic. At the time of his death at the age of 57, he was being cited by many literary critics as one of the greatest living authors and had been tipped as a possible future winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature...

  • The Alex Bernier Mysteries by Beth Saulnier takes place in a fictionalized Ithaca known as Gabriel
  • We Were the Mulvaneys
    We Were the Mulvaneys
    We Were the Mulvaneys is a novel written by Joyce Carol Oates and was published in 1996. We Were the Mulvaneys was featured in Oprah's Book Club in 2001.The Mulvaneys, a family living in the small, rural town of Mt...

    by Joyce Carol Oates
    Joyce Carol Oates
    Joyce Carol Oates is an American author. Oates published her first book in 1963 and has since published over fifty novels, as well as many volumes of short stories, poetry, and nonfiction...

  • Triphammer by Dan McCall
  • Mailman by J. Robert Lennon
    J. Robert Lennon
    John Robert Lennon is an American novelist, short story writer, musician and composer.Lennon was raised in Phillipsburg, New Jersey. He earned a B.A. in English from the University of Pennsylvania and an M.F.A. from the University of Montana...

     takes place in a fictionalized Ithaca known as Nestor
  • Z For Zachariah
    Z for Zachariah
    Z for Zachariah is a novel by Robert C. O'Brien which was published posthumously in 1973. He died when writing the last chapter, so his family finished the book for him. It is written from the first person perspective of a sixteen-year-old girl named Ann Burden, who survives a nuclear war in a...

    by Robert C. O'Brien
    Robert C. O'Brien
    Robert Leslie Conly was an American author and journalist for National Geographic Magazine.-Early life:...

  • Between Two Fires
    Between Two Fires
    "Between Two Fires" is a single by American country music artist Gary Morris. Released in 1984, it was the first single from album Faded Blue. The song reached #7 on the Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks chart.-Chart performance:...

    by Nicholas Nicastro
    Nicholas Nicastro
    Nicholas Nicastro is a historical novelist.Born in Astoria, New York in 1963, he received a BA in English from Cornell University , an MFA in filmmaking from New York University , an M.A. in archaeology and a Ph.D. in psychology from Cornell...

     describes scenes in and around the site of Ithaca during the Revolutionary War
  • Water for Elephants
    Water for Elephants
    Water for Elephants is a historical novel by Sara Gruen. Gruen originally wrote the novel as part of National Novel Writing Month.- Plot :...

    by Sara Gruen
    Sara Gruen
    Sara Gruen is a Canada-born dual citizen author. Her books deal greatly with animals and she is a supporter of numerous charitable organizations that support animals and wildlife.-Early life and education:...

     (the main character, Jacob, was a Cornell University veterinary student)
  • "Spiral
    Spiral
    In mathematics, a spiral is a curve which emanates from a central point, getting progressively farther away as it revolves around the point.-Spiral or helix:...

    " by Paul McEuen
    Paul McEuen
    Paul McEuen is an American physicist. He received his B.S. in engineering physics at the University of Oklahoma , and his Ph.D. in applied physics at Yale University . After postdoctoral work at MIT , he became a professor at the University of California, Berkeley...


Movies set or filmed (at least partially) in Ithaca

  • Green Lights (2002) — dir. Robert H. Lieberman
    Robert H. Lieberman
    Robert H. Lieberman is a novelist, film director, and a long-time member of the Physics faculty at Cornell University. Initially he came to Cornell to study to be a veterinarian, but ended up becoming an electrical engineer and doing research in neurophysiology. He has also been professor of...

  • The Manhattan Project
    Manhattan Project (film)
    The Manhattan Project is an American film, released in 1986. Named after the World War II-era program, the plot revolves around a gifted high school student who decides to construct a nuclear bomb for a national science fair. The film's underlying theme involves the Cold War of the 1980s when...

    — dir. Marshall Brickman
    Marshall Brickman
    Marshall Brickman is a screenwriter, best known for his collaborations with Woody Allen. He is also known for playing the banjo with Eric Weissberg in the 1960s, and for a series of comical parodies published in The New Yorker.-Biography:After attending the University of Wisconsin–Madison, he...

  • Road Trip (2000) — dir. Todd Phillips
    Todd Phillips
    Todd Phillips is an American screenwriter and film director. He is best known for directing the comedy films Road Trip, Old School, The Hangover, and Due Date.-Early life:...

  • The Sure Thing
    The Sure Thing
    The Sure Thing is a 1985 romantic comedy directed by Rob Reiner, written by Steven L. Bloom and Jonathan Roberts and starring John Cusack, Daphne Zuniga, Viveca Lindfors, and Nicollette Sheridan...

    (1985) — dir. Rob Reiner
    Rob Reiner
    Robert "Rob" Reiner is an American actor, director, producer, writer, and political activist.As an actor, Reiner first came to national prominence as Archie and Edith Bunker's son-in-law, Michael "Meathead" Stivic, on All in the Family. That role earned him two Emmy Awards during the 1970s...

  • Waiting on Alphie (2005) — dir. Kevin Hicks
  • Love Story
    Love Story (1970 film)
    Love Story is a 1970 romantic drama film written by Erich Segal and based on his novel Love Story. It was directed by Arthur Hiller. The film, well known as a tragedy, is considered one of the most romantic of all time by the American Film Institute , and was followed by a sequel, Oliver's Story...

    (1970) — dir. Arthur Hiller
    Arthur Hiller
    Arthur Hiller, OC is a Canadian film director. His filmography includes 33 major studio releases, including the 1970 film Love Story...

  • The Three Stooges Meet Hercules
    The Three Stooges Meet Hercules
    The Three Stooges Meet Hercules was the third feature film to star the Three Stooges after their 1959 resurgence in popularity. By this time, the trio consisted of Moe Howard, Larry Fine, and Joe DeRita . Released by Columbia Pictures, The Three Stooges Meet Hercules was directed by long-time...

    (1962) – dir. Edward Bernds
    Edward Bernds
    Edward Bernds was an American screenwriter and director, born in Chicago, Illinois.-Career:While in his junior year in Lake View High School, he and several friends formed a small radio clique and obtained amateur licenses...



See also The Whartons Studio for films shot in Ithaca prior to 1920.

Notable residents and natives


This list is abridged from
  • Josh Bard
    Josh Bard
    Joshua David Bard is an American professional baseball catcher and designated hitter who is a free agent. Bard is a switch-hitter who throws right-handed....

    . MLB baseball catcher for the Washington Nationals
  • Hans Bethe
    Hans Bethe
    Hans Albrecht Bethe was a German-American nuclear physicist, and Nobel laureate in physics for his work on the theory of stellar nucleosynthesis. A versatile theoretical physicist, Bethe also made important contributions to quantum electrodynamics, nuclear physics, solid-state physics and...

    , resident, physicist, Nobel Prize winner, Cornell Professor, head of theoretical division of the Manhattan Project
    Manhattan Project
    The Manhattan Project was a research and development program, led by the United States with participation from the United Kingdom and Canada, that produced the first atomic bomb during World War II. From 1942 to 1946, the project was under the direction of Major General Leslie Groves of the US Army...

  • Dustin Brown, NHL player for the Los Angeles Kings
  • Amelia Campbell
    Amelia Campbell
    Amelia Campbell is a Canadian-born, American-raised actress. She was born in Montreal but grew up in Ithaca, New York, USA. She mostly works in the theatre but occasionally makes film appearances in films. Notable roles include The Paper, My Louisiana Sky, Single White Female, and Lorenzo's Oil...

    , actress, 1991 Tony Award
    Tony Award
    The Antoinette Perry Award for Excellence in Theatre, more commonly known as a Tony Award, recognizes achievement in live Broadway theatre. The awards are presented by the American Theatre Wing and The Broadway League at an annual ceremony in New York City. The awards are given for Broadway...

     nominee
  • Johnny Dowd
    Johnny Dowd
    Johnny Dowd is an American alternative country musician from Ithaca, New York. Typical of his style are experimental, noisy breaks in his songs and strong gothic elements in the lyrics as well as in the music...

    , resident, musician, poet, and co-founder of Zolar Trucking
  • Richard Feynman
    Richard Feynman
    Richard Phillips Feynman was an American physicist known for his work in the path integral formulation of quantum mechanics, the theory of quantum electrodynamics and the physics of the superfluidity of supercooled liquid helium, as well as in particle physics...

    , resident, Nobel Prize winner, professor of physics
  • Greg Graffin
    Greg Graffin
    Gregory Walter Graffin, Ph.D. is an American punk rock musician, college professor, and author. He is most recognized as the lead vocalist and songwriter of the noted Los Angeles band Bad Religion, which he co-founded in 1979 and is the band's only constant member, even though it now features two...

    , resident, lead singer of the seminal punk band Bad Religion
    Bad Religion
    Bad Religion is a punk rock band that formed in Los Angeles in 1979. Their current line-up consists of Greg Graffin , Brett Gurewitz , Jay Bentley , Greg Hetson , Brian Baker and Brooks Wackerman . Gurewitz is also the founder of the label Epitaph Records, which has released almost all of the...

     and holds a Ph.D from Cornell University
    Cornell University
    Cornell University is an Ivy League university located in Ithaca, New York, United States. It is a private land-grant university, receiving annual funding from the State of New York for certain educational missions...

     in Zoology
    Zoology
    Zoology |zoölogy]]), is the branch of biology that relates to the animal kingdom, including the structure, embryology, evolution, classification, habits, and distribution of all animals, both living and extinct...

    . Graffin is currently a professor at UCLA.
  • Alex Haley
    Alex Haley
    Alexander Murray Palmer Haley was an African-American writer. He is best known as the author of Roots: The Saga of an American Family and the coauthor of The Autobiography of Malcolm X.-Early life:...

    , native, author of Roots: The Saga of an American Family
    Roots: The Saga of an American Family
    Roots: The Saga of an American Family is a novel written by Alex Haley and first published in 1976. It tells the story of Kunta Kinte, an 18th-century African, captured as an adolescent and sold into slavery in the United States, and follows his life and the lives of his descendants in the U.S....

    and the Autobiography of Malcolm X
  • Roald Hoffmann
    Roald Hoffmann
    Roald Hoffmann is an American theoretical chemist who won the 1981 Nobel Prize in Chemistry. He currently teaches at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York.-Escape from the Holocaust:...

    , Nobel Prize winner, American theoretical chemist
  • Disashi Lumumba-Kasongo, guitarist for band Gym Class Heroes
  • Max Maven
    Max Maven
    Max Maven is an American magician and mentalist. He often appears on television magic shows to perform "interactive" mind reading tricks that work for the television audience....

    , native, illusionist and actor (moved with his family to Boston during his youth)
  • Mary McDonnell
    Mary McDonnell
    Mary Eileen McDonnell is an American film, stage, and television actress. She received an Academy Award nomination for her role as Stands With A Fist in Dances with Wolves, and she is also very well known for her performance as President Laura Roslin in Battlestar Galactica, the President's wife...

    , native, actor in Dances with Wolves
    Dances with Wolves
    Dances with Wolves is a 1990 epic western film directed by and starring Kevin Costner. It is a film adaptation of the 1988 book of the same name by Michael Blake and tells the story of a Union Army Lieutenant who travels to the American frontier to find a military post, and his dealings with a...

    , Independence Day
    Independence Day (film)
    Independence Day is a 1996 science fiction film about an alien invasion of Earth, focusing on a disparate group of individuals and families as they converge in the Nevada desert and, along with the rest of the human population, participate in a last-chance counterattack on July 4 – the same...

    , Battlestar Galactica
    Battlestar Galactica (2004 TV series)
    Battlestar Galactica is an American military science fiction television series, and part of the Battlestar Galactica franchise. The show was developed by Ronald D. Moore as a re-imagining of the 1978 Battlestar Galactica television series created by Glen A. Larson...

    , and others
  • Vladimir Nabokov
    Vladimir Nabokov
    Vladimir Vladimirovich Nabokov was a multilingual Russian novelist and short story writer. Nabokov wrote his first nine novels in Russian, then rose to international prominence as a master English prose stylist...

    , resident, Cornell Professor, author (most famously of Lolita
    Lolita
    Lolita is a novel by Vladimir Nabokov, first written in English and published in 1955 in Paris and 1958 in New York, and later translated by the author into Russian...

    )
  • Roy H. Park
    Roy H. Park
    Roy Hampton Park was an American media executive and entrepreneur. -Biography:Park was born in Dobson, North Carolina, the son of a tenant farmer...

    , resident, media executive, founder of Park Communications and the Park Foundation
  • Carl Sagan
    Carl Sagan
    Carl Edward Sagan was an American astronomer, astrophysicist, cosmologist, author, science popularizer and science communicator in astronomy and natural sciences. He published more than 600 scientific papers and articles and was author, co-author or editor of more than 20 books...

    , resident, astronomer, Cornell Professor, popularizer of science, and author and host of Cosmos
    Cosmos: A Personal Voyage
    Cosmos: A Personal Voyage is a thirteen-part television series written by Carl Sagan, Ann Druyan, and Steven Soter, with Sagan as presenter. It was executive-produced by Adrian Malone, produced by David Kennard, Geoffrey Haines-Stiles and Gregory Andorfer, and directed by the producers, David...

  • Rod Serling
    Rod Serling
    Rodman Edward "Rod" Serling was an American screenwriter, novelist, television producer, and narrator best known for his live television dramas of the 1950s and his science fiction anthology TV series, The Twilight Zone. Serling was active in politics, both on and off the screen and helped form...

    , resident (of nearby Interlaken, NY
    Interlaken, New York
    Interlaken is a village in Seneca County, New York, United States. The population was 674 at the 2000 census. The name is related to the village's position between two lakes....

    ), Ithaca College
    Ithaca College
    Ithaca College is a private college located on the South Hill of Ithaca, New York. The school was founded by William Egbert in 1892 as a conservatory of music. The college has a strong liberal arts core, but also offers several pre-professional programs and some graduate programs. The college is...

     Professor, screenwriter, creator and host of The Twilight Zone
    The Twilight Zone (1959 TV series)
    The Twilight Zone is an American anthology television series created by Rod Serling, which ran for five seasons on CBS from 1959 to 1964. The series consisted of unrelated episodes depicting paranormal, futuristic, dystopian, or simply disturbing events; each show typically featured a surprising...

  • Steve Squyres
    Steve Squyres
    Steven W. Squyres is the Goldwin Smith Professor of Astronomy at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. His research area is in planetary sciences, with a focus on large solid bodies in the solar system such as the terrestrial planets and the moons of the Jovian planets. Squyres is principal...

    , resident, astronomer, Cornell Professor, Principal Investigator of the Mars Exploration Rover Mission
  • William H. Thomas (physician)
    William H. Thomas (physician)
    Dr. Bill Thomas is an international authority on geriatric medicine and eldercare from upstate New York. He is the founder of the Eden Alternative, a philosophy and program that de-institutionalized nursing homes in all 50 states and worldwide over the past 20 years...

    , Geriatrician, Novelist, Ashoka Fellow, Heinz Award
    Heinz Award
    The Heinz Award is an award currently given annually to ten honorees by the Heinz Family Foundation. The Heinz Awards recognize outstanding individuals for their contributions in the five areas of: Arts and Humanities, the Environment, the Human Condition, Public Policy, and Technology, the Economy...

     winner, author of "What are Old People For?"
  • David Foster Wallace
    David Foster Wallace
    David Foster Wallace was an American author of novels, essays, and short stories, and a professor at Pomona College in Claremont, California...

    , native, novelist
  • E. B. White
    E. B. White
    Elwyn Brooks White , usually known as E. B. White, was an American writer. A long-time contributor to The New Yorker magazine, he also wrote many famous books for both adults and children, such as the popular Charlotte's Web and Stuart Little, and co-authored a widely used writing guide, The...

    , resident, novelist, author of Charlotte's Web
    Charlotte's Web
    Charlotte's Web is an award-winning children's novel by acclaimed American author E. B. White, about a pig named Wilbur who is saved from being slaughtered by an intelligent spider named Charlotte. The book was first published in 1952, with illustrations by Garth Williams.The novel tells the story...

    and co-author of The Elements of Style
    The Elements of Style
    The Elements of Style , also known as Strunk & White, by William Strunk, Jr. and E. B. White, is a prescriptive American English writing style guide comprising eight "elementary rules of usage", ten "elementary principles of composition", "a few matters of form", a list of forty-nine "words and...

  • Paul Wolfowitz
    Paul Wolfowitz
    Paul Dundes Wolfowitz is a former United States Ambassador to Indonesia, U.S. Deputy Secretary of Defense, President of the World Bank, and former dean of the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University...

    , native, academic, Deputy Secretary of Defense (2001–05), former President of the World Bank
    World Bank
    The World Bank is an international financial institution that provides loans to developing countries for capital programmes.The World Bank's official goal is the reduction of poverty...

     (2005–07)

See also




External links