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Ithaca, NY

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All my life I've lived in a big city and I've loved it. now I'm about to spend 5 years of my life in a tiny little town 4hrs drive from the city of my dreams, NYC. I mean, I love the program at Cornell and all, but please tell me something nice about Ithaca.

Thanks

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I too am hoping to hear good things about Ithaca, especially as I'll be coming from NYC...

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I can't give you a detailed description, but 10 years ago when I went to Ithica to visit other family for Christmas, I remember it looking exactly like the song "Walking in a Winter Wonderland."

But that's my 2 cents of non-useful information. hahaha

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Guest Madeleine

You'll get to work a lot (nothing else to do anyway). Seriously, if you like vegan food, sustainability (however it's spelled), deers and squirrels, it's the place to be.

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Guest I started this thread
I too am hoping to hear good things about Ithaca, especially as I'll be coming from NYC...

So you'll hate the place even more than I will. my home town is far smaller than NYC. Maybe we could spend one weekend a month or so in the Big city?

to the other guys, please say something NICE about Ithaca. Please.

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Guest

If you're into wine, then Ithaca is in a good spot. It's close to the heart of New York's wine region (their red wines aren't that great, but they have fantastic white wines), and the Finger Lakes are absolutely beautiful. If you like nature, you'll be in for a treat.

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Guest Madeleine

Cornell is great. No doubt. People are nice, bright, helpful.

You can make a nice living in Ithaca, there are some nice bars, restaurants. If you're into shopping, well, too bad for you (unless you like the usual A&F, PacSun and American Company stuff).

If you like running, skiing, sports and nature, you'll feel great.

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Guest I started this thread

shopping won't be my main problem, I get the shopping frenzy twice a year, buy tons of stuff and then I don't think about it until 6 months later.

what I'm really addicted to is wild clubbing once a month and lots of jazz ocncerts, theater plays, opera and art exhibitions in between. any chance of getting that in Ithaca/Cornell?

well, I also like nature and outdoor activities and wine, so I'll enjoy that part of Ithaca and the surrounding area...

thanks

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I went to Cornell for undergrad and loved both the school and Ithaca. It has great food and is really beautiful. There is plenty to do with two colleges, it is cheap to live in, etc. I can't say enough about it. Go there, its a great school and a great place.

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Guest potential cornellian

Is it possible to have a car? I noticed on my visit to Ithaca that the roads are steep around Cornell, and I wondered if they keep them clear in the winter or if it's dangerous. Should I plan to live on the bus route or is it possible to drive all the time? Any suggestions on neighborhoods that work well for Cornell students (quiet, affordable, easy commute, pets ok)? I couldn't get a straight answer from the students: is it gray all the time in Ithaca or does the sun come out even when it's cold? I don't mind cold, just don't like gray. Sorry, I'm from the south...

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It is gray a large portion of the time in Ithaca, but it makes the sunny days even better. Having a car is a plus; if you live in the Collegetown area, you will need a car to go downtown to shop, etc. Not having a car isn't impossible, but it is very helpful. As for places to live: collegetown is where most undergraduates live from sophomore year on. A lot of grad students live there too, some in downtown, and some up on North campus in graduate student housing. Take a look at Schuyler house in collegetown.

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Oh, and the roads are cleaned with amazing efficiency. Do not worry about that, just don't drive when it gets too bad out.

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Guest potential cornellian

Thanks for the info. Looks like Cornell's housing doesn't allow pets. Anyone know a good source for Ithaca apartment listings? Or lived in a great place or neighborhood that you'd recommend? I need to be on the bus route or close to campus. Someone told me that Collegetown is pricey and loud. Is that the case?

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Guest Madeleine

Hi! Collegetown is pricier than Downtown, but also more convenient to campus. You can walk from downtown to campus, although you'd have to climb a slope (you'll grow great leg muscles) :-P

Areas which are within walkable distance: Collegetown, Downtown, The Commons, Fall Creek, East Hill (which is opposite the town, i.e. more isolated)

Cornell campus housing does not allow pets except those "which can be kept in a crate or an aquarium without cruelty" - that is, Fluffy the hamster and Bubble the goldfish.

You can look for off-campus housing at:

http://ppmhomes.com/

http://ithaca.craigslist.org/

https://edining.campuslife.cornell.edu/ ... efault.asp (this is the university official off-campus housing listing)

For bus routes:

http://www.tcatbus.com/

(bus passes are free for students enrolling for the first time at Cornell)

Good luck :)

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Guest potential cornellian

Any advice on when to go apartment hunting in Ithaca? I can't afford to fly up there more than once to apartment shop, so I need to go when I know I can find something. May? July?

From what I've seen, I like Fall Creek. Any thoughts on that neighborhood? I love the Cascadilla gorge. Is it less windy down the hill by any chance? It was incredibly windy on campus while I was visiting.

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Guest guest

You will hate the weather in Ithaca, guaranteed (unless you're from Buffalo, then you're used to even suckier weather). It gets awfully cold in the winter and it snows a lot and it is GRAY a lot.

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Guest Madeleine
Any advice on when to go apartment hunting in Ithaca? I can't afford to fly up there more than once to apartment shop, so I need to go when I know I can find something. May? July?

From what I've seen, I like Fall Creek. Any thoughts on that neighborhood? I love the Cascadilla gorge. Is it less windy down the hill by any chance? It was incredibly windy on campus while I was visiting.

I'd say July? That's what one of my friends did last year. Maybe you can start emailing or phoning some landlords, I'm sure some of them would be glad to send you pics of apartments.

You will hate the weather in Ithaca, guaranteed (unless you're from Buffalo, then you're used to even suckier weather). It gets awfully cold in the winter and it snows a lot and it is GRAY a lot.

Granted, it's not Florida, but it's bearable :lol:

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I'm a senior @ Cornell and have been living off campus in collegetown for 3 years now so I've had a decent amount of experience living in Ithaca as a student.

Good things about Ithaca / Cornell:

- Cornell has huge and absolutely beautiful campus - gorges and waterfalls all over the place, lakes too

- It is possible to live there without a car - I have, although it is convenient to have friends with cars to take you shopping (collegetown is overpriced as expected)

- You can find places to live on a TA salary (mostly in downtown Ithaca, East Hill, and the other surrounding areas). Collegetown is livable as well if you look for places a little off the main streets (College & Dryden)

- Downtown Ithaca has some really good restaurants and a lot of weird little stores if you're into that sort of thing

- There are lakes, lots of bike trails, great parks, places to climb, and loads of outdoors stuff to do everywhere

- The summers have great sunny weather most of the time - it can even get into the upper 90s

Bad things about Ithaca / Cornell:

- You will not see the sun between November and March

- Winters can be ridiculously cold and windy (and even with all this, there's not *that* much snow)

- Cornell will never close, even if there's a foot of snow on the ground (they did cancel afternoon classes last week when there were two feet though)

- If you're used to city life, you'll probably find Ithaca very boring, there is not that much to in the actual "city" of Ithaca

- Closest cities worth visiting (this counts you out Syracuse, although I love Dinosaur BBQ) are 4-6 hrs. away (Philly, NYC, Boston)

- Ithaca airport is disgustingly expensive to fly out of, most people take planes to/from Syracuse or NYC

So whether you like Ithaca or not will depend on what you like to do. If you plan on devoting yourself to your classwork all the time (which many people here do), then Ithaca will hardly matter to you. Parts of Ithaca can be quiet and peaceful (not collegetown). If you don't mind a frigid wasteland during the winters and like the outdoors then you'll probably love it here. I personally found it a fine place to live for four years. Although the undergrad experience is much different from being a grad here, I never really minded the boredom of Ithaca - my friends usually made up for it anyway.

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A reason to stop lurking: I grew up near Ithaca. It's a very nice place to live if you are any combination of the following things: an outdoorsy type, politically liberal, vegan, not in need some sorts of cultural phenomena (such as recent independent movies or lots of big malls) and OK with lots of aging hippies.

As for neighborhoods, Collegetown is of course the most convenient and not entirely unaffordable. It's pretty easy to get to campus from downtown. Unless you have large reserves of cash or luck, forget Cayuga Heights and most of Fall Creek. Both are lovely, though, if you can swing it. You might want to have a car, I'm not sure how convenient they are to buses and both are definitely beyond walking distance. And I'm not sure if I would call most of Cornell's student lots within walking distance from campus either. But watch out, I've paid a small fortune in parking tickets to Cornell Public Safety (I want to see a pie chart of their incoming revenue, I'm sure parking fines rival tuition).

And, honestly, it's not that cold. Syracuse is cold. Ithaca is moderate.

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How often would you say people get to NYC?

I'm apprehensive about Ithaca. I lived in New Haven for 4 years for college, and I wasn't miserable in the small town/cold weather, bc there was such an active undergrad life. And I could go to NYC by train every so often, if necessary.

But Ithaca seems even smaller and colder...

Is there a vibrant grad student life there?

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How often would you say people get to NYC?

I'm apprehensive about Ithaca. I lived in New Haven for 4 years for college, and I wasn't miserable in the small town/cold weather, bc there was such an active undergrad life. And I could go to NYC by train every so often, if necessary.

But Ithaca seems even smaller and colder...

Is there a vibrant grad student life there?

For NYC .. you can use shortline busses, of which there are are around 5/day, at a cost of about $90 roundtrip; the journey is about 5 hours. If you're loaded you can fly from ITH to LGA. Or, you can hitch a ride with another student arranged via the rideboard/facebook/craigslist.

Ithaca is small, but not that cold. The locals are friendly and there's a pretty vibrant grad life. There's actually a lot of variety here!

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I loved Cornell as an undergrad. Ithaca has bunches of great ethnic restaurants, the scenery is bucolic, and not all the townies are backwards hicks / stoners (though are quite a number of both). Reminded me a bit of Amherst, MA if you've been there: a fantastic mix of worldly culture and small town feel.

The biggest drawbacks are: a very long and gray January through March, time consuming to get to New York, and there aren

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