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trip to Cornell (Ithaca) -- any suggestions or advice?

Lula

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Hi, I've got a two-day meeting at Cornell University in New York later in May. It's my first visit to New York State in many years. Anybody here live or work in that area who can give me some idea of the local college dress code? I've booked my flight, but still need to book a hotel. The school has given me several recommendations; two closest hotels to campus seem to be the Holiday Inn or the Hilton (or maybe it's a Sheraton?). I need to book my room this weekend. Recommendations welcome!

Anything else you can tell me about the culture, the city, getting around (Can I rely on shuttles and taxis?) and of course recommendations for food and shopping (cute local stores with unique stuff, including jewelry!).

Thanks...
 

jstarfireb

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I went to Cornell for undergrad, so I have a lot to say!

I'm not sure what you mean by "local college dress code" - it's like any other college. Most students were jeans and a sweatshirt or something. It's probably still long sleeve weather there (it actually snowed in May my last year there). It gets really nice later in the summer.

The closest hotel is the Statler, which is on campus and run by the hotel school students, but it's expensive. If you want to slum it, my parents stayed at the Hillside Inn (off of West Campus) a lot. It's safe, cheap, and clean but a bit of a dive (e.g. one B&B-like building, no elevators).

Getting around is actually quite difficult without a car. Taxis are pretty much nonexistent, but you can call one if you really need a ride. Ithaca isn't the type of place that has taxis readily available like NYC or Philly. There's a bus system, TCAT, that can get you from campus to some places like the mall (it's called The Shops at Ithaca Mall but will always be Pyramid Mall to me!) and Ithaca Commons, but it's a bit limited.

As for things to do, check out Ithaca Commons for restaurants, kitschy shops including jewelry places, live outdoor music on Saturdays, etc. Downtown doesn't have too much to offer, but you'll probably want to walk through the Collegetown area and check out some of the restaurants and bars. Take some time to walk around campus - it's gorgeous and huge. Visit the Johnson art museum (on campus) and climb the bell tower. And DEFINITELY see the gorges such as Cascadilla. You don't need to go down to the bottom, but just view them from the bridges and take lots of pictures!

Some links:
http://www.visitithaca.com/visitor-info/the-ithaca-experience.html
http://www.tcatbus.com/
http://www.cornell.edu
http://www.downtownithaca.com/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ithaca_Commons
 

slg47

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jstarfireb|1305266689|2920473 said:
I went to Cornell for undergrad, so I have a lot to say!

I'm not sure what you mean by "local college dress code" - it's like any other college. Most students were jeans and a sweatshirt or something. It's probably still long sleeve weather there (it actually snowed in May my last year there). It gets really nice later in the summer.

The closest hotel is the Statler, which is on campus and run by the hotel school students, but it's expensive. If you want to slum it, my parents stayed at the Hillside Inn (off of West Campus) a lot. It's safe, cheap, and clean but a bit of a dive (e.g. one B&B-like building, no elevators).

Getting around is actually quite difficult without a car. Taxis are pretty much nonexistent, but you can call one if you really need a ride. Ithaca isn't the type of place that has taxis readily available like NYC or Philly. There's a bus system, TCAT, that can get you from campus to some places like the mall (it's called The Shops at Ithaca Mall but will always be Pyramid Mall to me!) and Ithaca Commons, but it's a bit limited.

As for things to do, check out Ithaca Commons for restaurants, kitschy shops including jewelry places, live outdoor music on Saturdays, etc. Downtown doesn't have too much to offer, but you'll probably want to walk through the Collegetown area and check out some of the restaurants and bars. Take some time to walk around campus - it's gorgeous and huge. Visit the Johnson art museum (on campus) and climb the bell tower. And DEFINITELY see the gorges such as Cascadilla. You don't need to go down to the bottom, but just view them from the bridges and take lots of pictures!

Some links:
http://www.visitithaca.com/visitor-info/the-ithaca-experience.html
http://www.tcatbus.com/
http://www.cornell.edu
http://www.downtownithaca.com/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ithaca_Commons

JStar...I also went to Cornell!

as far as dress code...the types of meetings you are going to will probably dictate that?

my favorite restaurant there is the Lost Dog in the Commons...but the Commons also has many other good options. I think most hotels downtown will have a free shuttle to campus (FI was at a meeting there in Feb. and took the shuttle). TCAT is also an option for getting around, or you can take a taxi. The 'downtown' area is a pretty far walk from campus, so you would need to either take TCAT or taxi.

If you've ever been to a real mall don't bother with Pyramid Mall...not much to do unless you need a Target. Someone earlier was posting about a jewelry store in Ithaca...I haven't been there but it might be nice? http://www.ithacajewelbox.com/

Anyway, if you have any more questions, feel free to ask :)
 

Loves Vintage

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Hi Lula,

Will you be flying into Ithaca airport then? I would tend to want to rent a car, but I have only ever driven to Ithaca, so that's probably why. I'm not familiar with the public transport available there.

The Moosewood Restaurant http://www.moosewoodrestaurant.com/, famous for its classic vegetarian cookbook, is in Ithaca, just at the beginning of the Commons. I really liked it, but I am a veggie, so I could see how it wouldn't necessarily make the top of your list.

My friends (who live in Ithaca) really like this tapas restaurant http://www.just-a-taste.com/. I highly recommend it.

And, as the bumper stickers say, "Ithaca is Gorges." If you have any extra time, you can find some delightful hiking in Ithaca. This would be a nice place to explore too: http://www.cornellplantations.org/our-gardens.
 

Lula

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jstar -- sorry -- I was typing late at night, and I was a bit confusing about "college dress code." I live in a college town in the Midwest and it is very casual here -- polar fleece casual. So my question about dress code was more about the general standards (no, I won't be wearing pajamas or sweats with sayings across the butt - LOL-- I was thinking "business casual"). This visit combines informal meetings with some academic presentations, but even thought they are informal, they are professional meetings. And thanks for the information on the hotels. I would prefer not to have to deal with a car, so the closer to campus the better, since I'm there for just a limited time. If there are excursions planned, I will definitely look for the gorges -- I'd love to see those.

slg - I've seen the website for the jewelbox, and had no idea that it was in Ithaca -- that is for sure on my list, and I will report back with details.

Thanks again for your suggestions; I'll check out the websites you linked, and follow up with questions.
 

Novel

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slg47|1305268340|2920484 said:
jstarfireb|1305266689|2920473 said:
I went to Cornell for undergrad, so I have a lot to say!

I'm not sure what you mean by "local college dress code" - it's like any other college. Most students were jeans and a sweatshirt or something. It's probably still long sleeve weather there (it actually snowed in May my last year there). It gets really nice later in the summer.

The closest hotel is the Statler, which is on campus and run by the hotel school students, but it's expensive. If you want to slum it, my parents stayed at the Hillside Inn (off of West Campus) a lot. It's safe, cheap, and clean but a bit of a dive (e.g. one B&B-like building, no elevators).

Getting around is actually quite difficult without a car. Taxis are pretty much nonexistent, but you can call one if you really need a ride. Ithaca isn't the type of place that has taxis readily available like NYC or Philly. There's a bus system, TCAT, that can get you from campus to some places like the mall (it's called The Shops at Ithaca Mall but will always be Pyramid Mall to me!) and Ithaca Commons, but it's a bit limited.

As for things to do, check out Ithaca Commons for restaurants, kitschy shops including jewelry places, live outdoor music on Saturdays, etc. Downtown doesn't have too much to offer, but you'll probably want to walk through the Collegetown area and check out some of the restaurants and bars. Take some time to walk around campus - it's gorgeous and huge. Visit the Johnson art museum (on campus) and climb the bell tower. And DEFINITELY see the gorges such as Cascadilla. You don't need to go down to the bottom, but just view them from the bridges and take lots of pictures!

Some links:
http://www.visitithaca.com/visitor-info/the-ithaca-experience.html
http://www.tcatbus.com/
http://www.cornell.edu
http://www.downtownithaca.com/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ithaca_Commons

JStar...I also went to Cornell!

as far as dress code...the types of meetings you are going to will probably dictate that?

my favorite restaurant there is the Lost Dog in the Commons...but the Commons also has many other good options. I think most hotels downtown will have a free shuttle to campus (FI was at a meeting there in Feb. and took the shuttle). TCAT is also an option for getting around, or you can take a taxi. The 'downtown' area is a pretty far walk from campus, so you would need to either take TCAT or taxi.

If you've ever been to a real mall don't bother with Pyramid Mall...not much to do unless you need a Target. Someone earlier was posting about a jewelry store in Ithaca...I haven't been there but it might be nice? http://www.ithacajewelbox.com/

Anyway, if you have any more questions, feel free to ask :)

I did, too! And I love Ithaca. Sadly, Lost Dog isn't there anymore, but Just a Taste is a wonderful tapas place and has great wine flutes and Madelene's is also on the Commons and has great food and fantastic desserts. The Commons can have some fun walking around to do - Ten Thousand Villages, some local upscale crafts shops that also carry jewelry and glass, etc, and great people watching. If you're not getting a car, bring comfortable shoes! Even if there are no excursions planned, it's a very beautiful campus to walk around.

Have a good time!
 

elrohwen

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JStar, slg, and Novel, I went to Cornell too! :wavey: What did you ladies major in?

I would say dress code recently (when I've been back to campus) is black leggings and Uggs. Ick. So really anything you wear will be better than that ::)

Everyone else gave such great advice that there's not much I can add. Check out some wineries if you can! They're super close (though you'll need a car). There are also some great natural places like Taughannock and Buttermilk Falls. There are also gorges you can see just walking around campus - no trips or car needed - one is between Collegetown and central campus, while the other is between North campus and central - both areas have student housing and are more than walkable from wherever you'll be.

Ithaca is a great hippy town and the Commons has some fun stores with everything from used books to hippy stores.

Some great restaurant advice! The Commons is walkable from the Collegetown area, though it's down a very steep hill and kind of a pain to come back up (but doable if you like to walk). Just head down Seneca St, go one block to your left and you'll find it. If you want to eat in Collegetown (walkable from the Statler if you stay there) Alladin's is pretty good - vegetarian Greek-type food. Many of the places are your standard college pizza and chinese places, but there are some decent ones too. Ruloff's is a good bar/restaurant with a great interior (the food isn't bad either). Collegetown Bagels is a great place for a morning cup of coffe or bagel if you have time.

Have fun! I'm going back there for July 4th weekend (skipping my reunion though) and I can't wait. It's such a cute town.
 

slg47

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oh that's right, I forgot Lost Dog had closed! sad :(

anyway, there are plenty of other options on the commons for dinner.

Elrohwen is right about leggings tucked into ugg boots paired with a north face jacket, pearl studs, and a messy ponytail :) So really, anything you wear will be just fine.


nice to see so many cornellians on PS!
 

Novel

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Elrohwen|1305301302|2920755 said:
JStar, slg, and Novel, I went to Cornell too! :wavey: What did you ladies major in?

I would say dress code recently (when I've been back to campus) is black leggings and Uggs. Ick. So really anything you wear will be better than that ::)

Everyone else gave such great advice that there's not much I can add. Check out some wineries if you can! They're super close (though you'll need a car). There are also some great natural places like Taughannock and Buttermilk Falls. There are also gorges you can see just walking around campus - no trips or car needed - one is between Collegetown and central campus, while the other is between North campus and central - both areas have student housing and are more than walkable from wherever you'll be.

Ithaca is a great hippy town and the Commons has some fun stores with everything from used books to hippy stores.

Some great restaurant advice! The Commons is walkable from the Collegetown area, though it's down a very steep hill and kind of a pain to come back up (but doable if you like to walk). Just head down Seneca St, go one block to your left and you'll find it. If you want to eat in Collegetown (walkable from the Statler if you stay there) Alladin's is pretty good - vegetarian Greek-type food. Many of the places are your standard college pizza and chinese places, but there are some decent ones too. Ruloff's is a good bar/restaurant with a great interior (the food isn't bad either). Collegetown Bagels is a great place for a morning cup of coffe or bagel if you have time.

Have fun! I'm going back there for July 4th weekend (skipping my reunion though) and I can't wait. It's such a cute town.

Oh right, Collegetown food! Definitely go to Stella's, both for food and drinks. They have a great crabcake burger, a coffee house, and great cocktails! And yup, Collegetown Bagels (CTB) is great for bagels and coffee and watching students, in a non-creepy way.

As for dress code, unfortunately, Elrohwen is right, leggings and Uggs. But there is also a good segment up there that dresses like they're already working for Goldman Sachs, and an equally large segment that are hippies/art students/theater majors/studying too much to care, etc. So you should feel comfortable in anything, just remember that it gets pretty cold up there at night with the wind, even this time of year.

I was a history major, not too exciting! You guys?
 

elrohwen

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Engineering for me! Chemical, technically. DH was too and it's fun to be able to go back and relive memories together.

And I forgot about Stella's! The pizza and corn nuggets at the Nines are really good (the deep dish is some of the best I've had, if you like deep dish). It's a little bit of a dive, but they have live music on Fridays (I think) and Saranac Black Forest beer on tap :lickout:
 

slg47

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definitely Collegetown Bagels!

Biology and Chemistry major for me!
 

Novel

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I had no idea there were so many Cornellians on here! Fun! I'll be honest, my real determining factor was that I lived in Risley.

Oooh, the Nines. The Nines' pizza is fantastic, and the place is really fun. Loud on the weekends, though. I used to love their dumbwaiter (it's the little things, right?). A friend of mine actually still bartends there. He never left Ithaca.

ETA: Sorry, we've gotten slightly offtopic! But I hope our Ithaca enthusiasm will make you love your visit :D
 

Lula

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Thanks for all the great information! I downloaded a map of Cornell, and found many of the places you suggested. I decided to stay at the Statler. It is a little more expensive, but it's right on campus, so much more convenient than having to deal with taxis and shuttles. Their shuttle will be waiting for me at the airport when I arrive -- really nice people working their front desk!

Don't be concerned about the threadjack -- I thought it was interesting that so many PS'ers went to Cornell.

And about the Uggs and the black tights -- whew. Good to know that college students in the Midwest are no different than their East Coast sisters -- when will that look go out of style? I'm there for meetings, so I'll be in business casual -- something that can survive a plane trip without looking too wrinkled upon arrival :loopy:
 

elrohwen

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Lula|1305309719|2920903 said:
Thanks for all the great information! I downloaded a map of Cornell, and found many of the places you suggested. I decided to stay at the Statler. It is a little more expensive, but it's right on campus, so much more convenient than having to deal with taxis and shuttles. Their shuttle will be waiting for me at the airport when I arrive -- really nice people working their front desk!

Don't be concerned about the threadjack -- I thought it was interesting that so many PS'ers went to Cornell.

And about the Uggs and the black tights -- whew. Good to know that college students in the Midwest are no different than their East Coast sisters -- when will that look go out of style? I'm there for meetings, so I'll be in business casual -- something that can survive a plane trip without looking too wrinkled upon arrival :loopy:


I wore jeans every day (rather than leggings or pj pants), so I considered myself a pretty snazzy dresser :rodent:
 

Novel

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Elrohwen|1305310818|2920921 said:
Lula|1305309719|2920903 said:
Thanks for all the great information! I downloaded a map of Cornell, and found many of the places you suggested. I decided to stay at the Statler. It is a little more expensive, but it's right on campus, so much more convenient than having to deal with taxis and shuttles. Their shuttle will be waiting for me at the airport when I arrive -- really nice people working their front desk!

Don't be concerned about the threadjack -- I thought it was interesting that so many PS'ers went to Cornell.

And about the Uggs and the black tights -- whew. Good to know that college students in the Midwest are no different than their East Coast sisters -- when will that look go out of style? I'm there for meetings, so I'll be in business casual -- something that can survive a plane trip without looking too wrinkled upon arrival :loopy:


I wore jeans every day (rather than leggings or pj pants), so I considered myself a pretty snazzy dresser :rodent:

The Statler is great, and IMO, totally worth the money to stay there. You'll be right on campus, you can walk everywhere you need or want to go, and I always liked that it's run by students.
 

jstarfireb

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Ooh, forgot the wineries! Six mile creek is the closest if you want to check one out. I'm a Riesling girl, and some fabulous Riesling grapes are grown in the Finger Lakes. Fun fact: Cornell offers a course on wine tasting! Sad fact: I couldn't take it because it didn't fit into my schedule during second semester of senior year (after I turned 21).

Cornellians: I was a bio and psych double major in the Arts school. I lived in High Rise 5 on north campus my freshman year, then McFaddin on west campus sophomore year, then off campus. Where did you all live freshman year?

Is Rulloff's still open? That was one of my favorite restaurants/bars.
 

slg47

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jstarfireb|1305401868|2921861 said:
Ooh, forgot the wineries! Six mile creek is the closest if you want to check one out. I'm a Riesling girl, and some fabulous Riesling grapes are grown in the Finger Lakes. Fun fact: Cornell offers a course on wine tasting! Sad fact: I couldn't take it because it didn't fit into my schedule during second semester of senior year (after I turned 21).

Cornellians: I was a bio and psych double major in the Arts school. I lived in High Rise 5 on north campus my freshman year, then McFaddin on west campus sophomore year, then off campus. Where did you all live freshman year?

Is Rulloff's still open? That was one of my favorite restaurants/bars.

High Rise 5 for me too! and then off campus.

just curious, what year did y'all graduate?

Lula sorry for taking over your thread...enjoy your visit to Ithaca!
 

jstarfireb

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2004 for me.
 

elrohwen

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I was 2006.

Ruloff's is definitely still open! At least it was the last time I was on campus, maybe a year or two ago (we live just a few hours away and it's midway between our house and MIL's house, which is fun).

And the wine class was my favorite! I remember that you didn't actually need to be 21, since my BFF took it while she was still 20 (she has a really late birthday and is 11 months younger than me).

Freshman year I lived in Dickson (yay single! even though I didn't ask for it). Sophomore year I lived in one of the class halls that they tore down a couple years ago (I can't for the life of me remember which one). Junior and senior year I had a place in Collegetown, pretty close to Dunbar's, if you remember that bar. I could be at the ChemE building in 5-10 min, so it was great.
 

jstarfireb

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Sieve! Sieve! Sieve!

ETA: Just looked at all your graduation years, and now I feel old. :cheeky:
 

cakeny

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jstarfireb said:
Sieve! Sieve! Sieve!

ETA: Just looked at all your graduation years, and now I feel old. :cheeky:

Me too! Class of 98 here :). The last time I went back was in 2003 and boy have things changed (and I'm sure even more so now). I was at Donlon, then Balch, then collegetown for the remainder of my years. Oh, history major (hi Novel!)

All the ladies have given such great suggestions so I don't have too much to add but will vouch for the Nines (hello delicious Corn Nuggets). I spent a ton of time at Stellas, Ruloffs & Cosmos. Does anyone remember the shoe store Fontana? I think it was on Eddy St.

Ah such fond memories. Nice to see so many Cornellians here. :)
 

elrohwen

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Corn nuggets are the best! My friends found a bar around here that has them and it's awesome - totally takes me back.

And I remember that shoe store! I bought a pair of black heels there for my interviews for an internship.
 

Novel

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cakeny|1305916057|2926704 said:
jstarfireb said:
Sieve! Sieve! Sieve!

ETA: Just looked at all your graduation years, and now I feel old. :cheeky:

Me too! Class of 98 here :). The last time I went back was in 2003 and boy have things changed (and I'm sure even more so now). I was at Donlon, then Balch, then collegetown for the remainder of my years. Oh, history major (hi Novel!)

All the ladies have given such great suggestions so I don't have too much to add but will vouch for the Nines (hello delicious Corn Nuggets). I spent a ton of time at Stellas, Ruloffs & Cosmos. Does anyone remember the shoe store Fontana? I think it was on Eddy St.

Ah such fond memories. Nice to see so many Cornellians here. :)

:appl: Yay history, Cakeny!

I loved Fontana's! Do any of you guys remember the Souvlaki House, right next door? The owner of it owned the building I lived in in ctown. He used to put a giant blow up turkey on his lawn for Thanksgiving. Ah, Ithaca.
 

jstarfireb

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I never shopped at Fontana's but I knew people who did. I liked the Souvlaki House! My favorite C-town restaurant was Vietnam. To this day I still haven't found a place with spring rolls as good as Vietnam's, not for lack of trying!
 
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