Friday, February 22, 2008


So I've made it to New York City, my base of research operations for the next couple of weeks. Today I went to the public library's main humanities and social science branch (the famous one with the lions), to consult the special collections there. Research was good, but they didn't open until 11:00 and I stupidly arrived at 8:30. Fortunately it was snowing - heavy, wet flakes that built up quickly. I took some pictures in Bryant Park, just behind the library and a few blocks from Times Square if you know your way around Manhattan. (I don't, but I do know how to get to Bryant Park now.)

There's something about New York that looks good in black and white, so those are the tones for today's picture.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008


I think I'm done with my research here in Ithaca, so it's on to New York where there are five or six sites that I need to consult. I don't have any new photos from today, so I'll post another one from yesterday - one that shows the scale of the waterfalls shown below. I was standing on the bridge you see at the left, more or less showing what happens to the lake once it begins to fall away. Cornell University used to use this waterfall for hydraulic power, thus the deteriorating building on the right, which is almost my favorite part of the view.

After work today I walked down the hill about a mile to Ithaca's downtown, where I had dinner at the Moosewood Restaurant, surely the world's most famous vegetarian's not a vegetarian restaurant. But they do serve the world's most famous vegetarian food! One of the restaurant ideas I like best is to offer only 4 entrees, but change the menu twice a day, every day. Tastes like the cookbook!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Two Gorges. Damn!

That's right, there are two gorges on either side of Cornell's campus. The one that I saw yesterday is much smaller than the one I saw today, so they are not to be considered equal.

The archives close for an hour at lunch, so I'm forced to go wandering about for 40 minutes after I've had something to eat. Not a bad find for the day.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Ithaca is Gorges

Perhaps you have seen the phrase "Ithaca is Gorges" on a bumper sticker or a t-shirt somewhere. My arrival in Ithaca has, unfortunately, coincided with the death of the man who coined that semi-famous phrase. But here I am, in Ithaca, at the beginning of a three-week dissertation research trip. I've never been here before, and in reminds me of home in Iowa, except somewhat more prosperous and somewhat prettier. For one thing, its woodsier: less of the land has been given over to agriculture. For another, it's less flat. Cornell University is situated at the top of the hill around here, and this administration building is more or less then top of campus. It's nothing too steep, but anyone mounting an attack on the campus with a bicycle brigade would certainly be slowed by its insistent verticality.

It hardly seems fair that glaciers should have left my corners of the Midwest with fewer undulations than a heart monitor hooked up to a pickle and this place with lakes, furrows, and waterfalls all around. But so it goes. Indeed, I learned today that the campus of Cornell University is more or less squinched between two gorges. I walked over one on my way to the library today, but it was impossible to get a really good photograph of it. I'll go to the other one tomorrow and see if I can get a better one. It also snowed tonight, so things should look a good deal more wintry. That's probably for the best.