The Downtown Ithaca Alliance today announced that a new downtown store will be opening this spring devoted to the mission of capturing and celebrating the essence of Ithaca and the region. Sunny Days… A New York Marketplace will be located at 123 South Cayuga Street, on the corner of Cayuga and Green Streets across from the Tompkins County Public Library. At this highly visible vehicular and pedestrian location the new store will specialize in arts, crafts, gifts, local music, and other memorabilia representing Ithaca, the Finger Lakes region, and New York.
According to store owner Deirdre Kurzweil, “Sunny Days will be a destination where both residents and visitors will be able to find a gift for themselves or others that reflects our dynamic community.” The store is also intended to serve as an informal place for visitors to learn more about the attractions of the area. Notes Kurzweil, “we will partner with and promote area businesses, encouraging our customers to discover and enjoy as much of Ithaca as possible.”
Sunny Days had its origin in the roundtable discussions of the Downtown Ithaca Alliance’s Business Retention & Development Committee. Kurzweil serves as a member of that committee and was smitten by the committee’s idea to create a store that catered to tourists and visitors, featuring Ithaca and New York branded items. Says Gary Ferguson, Executive Director of the Downtown Ithaca Alliance, “Kurzweil will bring incredible energy and retail savvy to this new store. Visitors and local residents alike will appreciate this new addition to downtown. It will be a great place to get a piece of Ithaca and the Finger Lakes to share with the world.”
This is Deirdre’s second retail experience. Prior to moving to Ithaca, Kurzweil opened and operated aMuse, an independent toy store in Baltimore’s Fells Point neighborhood. This history in independent retailing will serve her well as she enters the downtown Ithaca marketplace. Deirdre currently manages – and will continue to run – WBA Research, a survey research company with over 50 employees also located in downtown Ithaca.
Sunny Days will occupy the corner of one of Ithaca’s busiest intersections, Cayuga and Green. The intersection is a gateway into downtown on Route 79 (Green Street) and Kurzweil thought it was important to have a store located there that would be relevant and interesting to the many people who drive and walk by it. She was also drawn to the location by the planned nearby new TC3 Coltivare project and the Hotel Ithaca expansion and conference center. She also liked the proximity to the County Library and City Hall.
The name Sunny Days is derived from Deirdre’s and her husband Todd’s affinity for music. The name was inspired by the Dickey Betts (of the Allman Brothers) song “Blue Sky.” Notes Deirdre, “Despite the reality that it is often overcast and gray here, Ithaca never feels dreary to me. We want to celebrate the many special things that distinguish Ithaca-the natural environment, the amazing food and drink, great music, the spirit of its people. These are what makes Ithaca a sunny place for us.”
The grand opening will be 10 AM on Tuesday, April 1, with live local music, a live painting exhibition, and food from 6:00-8:00 PM. The Downtown Ithaca Alliance will also hold a ribbon cutting ceremony with Mayor Svante Myrick at a time to be announced later. Regular store hours for Sunny Days will be: Sunday-Monday 10:00 AM-6:00 PM, Wednesday-Thursday 10:00 AM-8:00 PM, and Friday-Saturday 12:00 PM-10:00 PM.