Amy and I drove the 7+ hours from home to Ithaca to visit our son who now lives here. Ithaca is a star in the Finger Lakes region of central New York. A popular marketing hook is, "Ithaca is Gorges," a clever play on words for the idea that Ithaca is gorgeous - it truly is. Waterfalls like the above tumble through the gorges and are steps from downtown. And there are dozens more in the greater Ithaca area.
Ithaca awakens a nostalgic sense in me - a sort of 1960's, hippies, long skirt, long hair, anti-war, Beatles, peace and love kind of feeling. A time when "odd" was really odd. Back when idealism was rampant and anything and everything seemed possible. Remember the "Moosewood Cookbook"? Well, the Moosewood Restaurant is still operating in downtown Ithaca all these years later (since 1973). And yes, we had a wonderful lunch there.
But this image is what really opened up all those memories and the nostalgic bent of today's blog post. They came flooding back just from seeing this clever license plate on a VW Bug in a Cornell University parking lot: "Eleanor Rigby."
My first dusting of snow for this year occurred during the visit - leaves still on the trees - Strawberry Fields forever in the background.
Back in those days, (and still today), folks would plant anything in the garden hoping it would grow.
Like a modern version of Paul from the Sgt Pepper's album cover. He's not growing.
Back in those days, a crosswalk was imagined to hold the Fab Four strutting across Abbey Road. Back then, any mention of "dead" referred to Paul's fate in the garbled lyrics or, maybe, another upstart band of the era the "Grateful Dead." Houses were painted odd colors - electric blue - the color of the sky on a summer's day, or black, both of which today we would hiply title "azure" or "eggplant."
A time when a long tunnel view might evoke a sense of the Jefferson Airplane's, "White Rabbit."
When sitting around the fire on a cold winter's eve gettin' a buzz on and listening to music was as exciting as it could get - no internet, no computers, no cell phones - just conversation, dreams, and a record player and a few vinyl record albums.
Nature was our friend and we reveled in the outdoors - along with sex, drugs, and rock and roll.
"Wow man, just look at those groovy colors!"
I like Ithaca.