Moms and Dads,
Congratulate your graduate with a gift from Downtown Ithaca.
Downtown Ithaca offers a great assortment of gift options that your graduate will love! Don’t just take our word for it…Check out these gift ideas below!
Watch from Mansour Jewelers
Visit the store: http://www.mansourjewelers.com/watches
Athletic gear from Finger Lakes Running and Triathlon Company
Cornell University Gear from the Cornell Store
Visit the store: https://store.cornell.edu
Gem Stone Power Braces from Linsey Layne Boutique
Every graduate needs a little accessories to top off their cap and gown!
Visit store: https://www.linseylayne.com
Ithaca Keepsakes from Sunny Days
Give them a gift that will remind them of the amazing city where they spent their high school/college/ or university career.
Visit the store at http://www.sunnydaysny.com.
Chocolates from Life’s So Sweet
Visit the store at http://www.lifessosweet.com/
Vintage Dresses from Petrune
Visit the Store: https://www.etsy.com/shop/Petrune
A Commuter Bag from Narrative Space
Shop at http://www.narrativespaceny.com/
Fashionable hats from Toko Imports
Visit the store: https://www.facebook.com/tokoradwoman/
A Downtown Ithaca Gift Card
Let your graduate decide what they want by giving them a Downtown Ithaca Gift Card. It’s accepting at more than 100 Downtown stores!
Purchase them at http://www.downtownithaca.com/ithaca-stores/our-store.html
You can find more gifts at other Downtown Ithaca stores, too! A listing of all of Downtown Ithaca’s Shops and Boutiques at www.downtownithaca.com
From Thursday, May 4th through Sunday, May 7th, Downtown Ithaca is going to be bursting with activity as the area plays host to many crowd-pleasing events.
The 8th Annual Spring Writes Literary Festival, a four-day (May 4 – May 7) Community Arts Partnership of Tompkins County program that features 90 writers at 35 literary-themed events, kicks off the weekend of amazing activities. Admission for the entire festival is a recommended $5 button purchase. Buttons will be at every event and beforehand at Buffalo Street Books and the Downtown Ithaca Visitor Center in Center Ithaca. Check out http://www.SpringWrites.org for a complete schedule.
Next up is Create Upstate, a three-day conference that will attract makers, designers, and creatives from across the state. Creatives will be in town to attend workshops sessions, discussions, and conference celebrations. This year, too, Create Upstate brings a public street fair from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. downtown on Friday, May 5 during the day on W. State Street. Additional information about this event can be found at http://createupstate.com.
Speaking of creatives and designers, you best not miss Downtown Ithaca Fashion Night and Gallery Night from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday, May 5 where you’ll find tons of great pieces to wear or display.
Fashion Night has become an annual tradition for retailers to greet customers with an evening of style and fashion-inspired entertainment. It’s the perfect event for those looking to spruce up their style for the summer, or just check out the latest trends in a comfortable and welcoming environment. Gallery Night is a monthly walking tour of the city’s galleries and other sites that showcase works from artists who practice different types of media — painting, drawing, sculpting, etc. Both of these events will be held from 5 to 8 p.m. at various locations throughout downtown and on The Commons. For more details, including participating locations, visit our Facebook Events Page by clicking here or visit http://www.gallerynightithaca.com.
Before heading over to Fashion and Gallery Night, grab a snack at Lou Cassaniti’s Annual Hot Dog Day Fundraiser which is set for Friday, May 5 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the Ithaca Commons near 15 Steps. By purchasing a hot dog, bratwurst, and/or chicken spiedies that day from Lou, you’ll be supporting the SPCA of Tompkins County! Vegan “not-dogs” will also be available for purchase.
You’ll also want to visit the Congo Square Market from 4 to 8 p.m. on Friday at Press Bay Alley where you’ll find nutritious and holistic foods, self-care products, spectacular music and entertainment, beautiful arts and crafts, and more.
Also, this Friday, experience Cinco De Mayo Downtown in Ithaca fashion by joining the Ithaca League of Women Rollers for its Season Kickoff Cinco de Mayo Bar Crawl! They’re starting at Viva Taqueria at 6 p.m. and making their way down the Commons.
Monks on the Commons will also be serving special drinks in celebration of Fashion Night and Cinco de Mayo, delicious finely crafted concoctions featuring fish and cajun tacos, Sangrias, and other specialty items.
Saturday and Sunday, May 6 and 7, you won’t want to miss the 6th Annual Ithaca Skate Jam which is brought to the area by Comet Skateboards and Real Action Sports. The action will take place at the Top of Buffalo Hill and at Ithaca Skatepark where participants will be able to shred to their heart’s content. Visit https://www.ithacaskatejam.com for more information, including details about registering for the event.
While you’re visiting downtown to check out the skaters, visit Comics for Collectors, 207 N. Aurora St., on Saturday between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. for its Annual Free Comic Book Day. More than 50 comic books will be up for grabs. Plus, Ithaca Digital Art Creator Jon Heaffner will be at this year’s event. Come meet and talk with him about his upcoming projects.
Of course, this isn’t the only time that’s downtown Ithaca is going to be hopping with activity. Keep an eye on our Facebook Events Page and subscribe to our E-Newsletter for information about many more spectacular events and full-filled activities happening in Downtown Ithaca this year.
Don’t forget parking is free on Saturday and Sunday in Downtown Ithaca. Spots will be available in the Green, Seneca and Cayuga Street garages. Valet parking is available from 12 noon to 10 p.m. at the Ithaca Marriott and Hilton Garden Inn.
Findings show cities with strong retail adopt parking policies that help support and bolster retail business community
ITHACA, MAY 1, 2017 — A comparative city parking study conducted by the Downtown Ithaca Alliance (DIA) demonstrates that the City of Ithaca charges more for the first two hours of on-street parking than other cities in the region; however, its garage rates and on- street rates are on par with comparable cities across the country. The study also found that comparable cities nationally charged for longer hours, but tended to offset these extra hours with free parking opportunities.
The DIA reviewed parking-related data from city websites and city officials in six regional cities — Binghamton, Syracuse, Corning, Elmira, Geneva and Auburn — and 12 cities from across the country — Burlington, Vermont.; Boulder, Colorado.; Northampton, Massachusetts.; Saratoga Springs, New York; Charlottesville, Virginia.; Ann Arbor, Michigan.; Tempe, Arizona.; State College, Pennsylvania.; Santa Cruz, California.; Eugene, Oregon.; Chapel Hill, North Carolina. and Portland, Maine.
The national comparative cities were selected for study because their downtowns contained a significant retail, business, and dining presence.
“We wanted to better understand how comparably sized cities with strong retail cores were dealing with parking,” said DIA Executive Director Gary Ferguson.
While reviewing public parking rates, the study found that Ithaca charges the highest rate for two-hour on-street parking in the region. The city charges $1.50 per hour with a two-hour limit.
Regionally, Corning and Geneva offer the lowest on-street parking rates as they don’t charge a fee for the first two hours of parking. Binghamton and Elmira charge the lowest per hour rates — 50 cents per hour with time limits between two (2) to four (4) hours — Auburn charges 75 cents per hour and Syracuse levies $1.25 per hour.
Ithaca’s on-street rates are among the highest nationally, as well. Of the cities surveyed, only Charlottesville and Chapel Hill have on-street parking rates as high as Ithaca. Charlottesville charges the most at $2 per hour with a two-hour limit and Chapel Hill charges $1.50 an hour which is the same as Ithaca’s rate. Northampton, Tempe, Santa Cruz and Portland’s rates are lower than Ithaca, as they charge $1 per hour. Burlington, Boulder, Eugene and Ann Arbor offer the first two hours of parking for free, with rates ranging from $1.20-$1.60 per hour after that. State College offers the first 30 minutes free and then charges $1 per hour after that.
For garage rates, Ithaca has the third highest rate in the region at $1 per hour and a $7 maximum fee, but knowledgeable residents may buy discounted (65 cents per hour) parking tokens at the Ithaca City Hall. If patrons take advantage of the discounted tokens program, they’ll pay less for garage parking than in most of the cities regionally and nationally.
Regionally, Corning and Elmira offer the lowest short-term garage parking rates. In Corning’s Gaffer District you can park for the day for $5 or after 1 p.m. pay $3 in the garages. In Elmira, near the First Arena Center, you’ll pay 50 cents for the first two hours and a $5 maximum fee. Syracuse charges $1 to $3 per hour and a $10 maximum, Auburn charges $1.50 for the first hour and $1.25 thereafter with an $8.75 maximum. Geneva doesn’t have parking structures.
When compared to the national cities, Ithaca’s two-hour rate is in the middle. Charlottesville ($2.50 per hour/$5 for two hours) levies the most followed by Portland ($2.00 hourly/$4 for two hours), Boulder ($1.25 hourly/$2.50 for two hours) and State College and Chapel Hill charge the same rate as Ithaca ($2 for two hours).
Communities that charge less than Ithaca for two hours are Santa Cruz (75 cents per hour/$1.50 for two hours), Eugene, which charges $1 per hour but the first hour for free ($1 for two hours), Northampton (50 cents for two hours) and Ann Arbor, which don’t charge for the first two hours of parking. Saratoga Springs public garage parking is free all day with time limits.
The DIA found that most of the cities balance their paid parking with free parking periods. The “free” incentives found include free short-term, weekend, evening, and holiday parking, reduced short-term garage parking fees, and parking validation programs. Offering parking incentives ensures that visitors will be able to shop and dine downtown without adding a hefty parking fee to their experience.
“It appears that cities with strong retail have adopted parking policies that help support and bolster their retail business community. While many cities actually charge on Saturdays or into the evenings, they balance these extra hours with free parking that encourages patronage and offsets the sting of charging for longer hours,” Ferguson notes.
Among the national cities reviewed, the best all-day deal is in Saratoga Springs. This city’s parking incentives include free all-day public parking in its garages and free two- and three-hour on-street and parking lot options.
According to Saratoga Chamber of Commerce President Todd Shimkis, the city’s private sector helps the city fund its free parking program.
Saratoga pays for its parking through bonds, an Industrial Development Agency grant, parking ticket revenues and a parking fund that was established with monies collected from the sale of land to build the parking structures. The city’s revenues from these sources have increased since the 1970’s and the city’s Department of Public Works maintains these structures without any dedicated funding, Shimkis said.
The best short-term parking garage deals are in Burlington, VT and Ann Arbor, MI where you can park for free for the first two hours. Northampton, Eugene and Tempe offer the first hour free.
Concerning on-street parking, half of the cities provide free parking for two or three hours during the weekday — and most of the cities, except for Burlington, offer free evening parking. After 6 p.m. appears to be the average time to end on-street parking enforcement. State College and Tempe were the only cities to start free on-street parking later in the evening, after 10 p.m. Monday through Friday; but, Tempe offers the first two hours of on-street parking for free during the day. Saratoga Springs offers free on-street and garage parking both days but with time limits.
Weekends and holidays are a prime time for shopping and dining. The DIA study found that most of the national comparable cities charged for some portion of weeknights and weekends, but also provided some level of free parking on weekends and weeknights as an offset. In nearly all the cities, parking was free both in the garages and on-street on Sundays and the holidays.
Regionally, nearby cities appear to provide free weekend and weeknight parking. Garage parking is free all day on Saturdays and Sundays in Ithaca, Binghamton, Elmira, Auburn, and Corning. Geneva, which has parking lots and on-street options, provides free parking on Saturday’s after 6 p.m. and free all-day parking on Sunday.
Free on-street weekend parking is available in Ithaca, Binghamton, Elmira, Syracuse and Auburn on Saturdays and Sundays; however, Binghamton, Syracuse, Auburn and Elmira don’t offer free parking on Saturdays until after 5 p.m. or later. Corning and Geneva offer free parking on both Saturday and Sunday, but they limit the free parking to two hours on Saturdays. These two cities also provide free two-hour parking during the week.
Most of the other cities, except for Charlottesville, offer free on-street parking on government-recognized holidays. Charlottesville, charges for garage parking all day, every day; however, many of its downtown businesses participate in a parking validation program where they will pay for up to two hours of parking for their patrons, so visitors can have their parking fees reduced/eliminated that way. Charlottesville also has designated free on-street parking for three streets adjacent or near to their pedestrian mall.
Nine cities advertise a validated parking program, an incentive where a downtown business pays for their customer’s short-term parking fee or offer a reduced parking rate. Burlington is launching an interim program this year.
To participate in a validation program, the customers have to make a purchase before the business will validate their parking. Merchants in some of the cities provide their patrons with discounted parking vouchers. Validation programs place the cost of parking onto the businesses who buy the tokens or tickets, albeit often at a discount.
The 18 city study has been shared with the City of Ithaca and may provide some insight as local officials ponder changes to City parking policy.
“The study shows that price wise we are at or near the top compared to our region, but in the middle of the pack nationally.It also suggests that parking policy and business support can and perhaps should be intertwined. It is probably not surprising that cities with robust downtown retail also have policies that consumers view as retail-friendly and supportive,” Ferguson said.
A summary chart of the 18 city parking analysis can be found at http://www.downtownithaca.com.
For more information about downtown Ithaca’s parking, including how and where to pay for it, visit www.parkithaca.com. If you have questions or comments, contact the city’s Department of Public Works at (607) 220-3362.
Water feature resembles city’s beautiful gorges
ITHACA, MAY 1, 2017 — Downtown Ithaca is thrilled to report that the City of Ithaca today celebrated the completion of the much-anticipated fountain on The Commons with a ribbon cutting ceremony at the site.
The granite fountain resembles a gorge and serves as an art piece and functioning water element on the pedestrian mall. Sasaki Associates, the firm that built The Commons, is credited with the design which was inspired by Ithaca’s landscape. It meant to help the public appreciate how water plays a role in the community. The structure sits in Bank Alley, a central gathering spot and the most spacious area on the newly renovated Commons.
“This fountain is an investment in the future of the community. When you’re trying to build a remarkable long-term public space, having some sort of water feature element is truly significant,” said Gary Ferguson, executive director of the Downtown Ithaca Alliance (DIA).
“It’s fitting with the character of our community and the surrounding geography that we have a water feature here. We take a moment today to reflect on the beauty of it and how it replicates the waterfalls and gorges in this beautiful area. We thank all that were involved for making this project come to fruition,” added Steven Headrick, president of the DIA Board of Directors.
When the fountain is operating, water bubbles near one end and flows along the top of the structure before it cascades over an indented portion of the structure while a couple of feet away a series of tiny sprinklers shoot water a couple of inches into the air. The fountain is controlled with a timer that sets water to operate during the day (weather permitting) from May through October. The fountain has a system that will recycle the water to limit water use.
Under the leadership of Mayor Svante Myrick and City of Ithaca staff, the fountain was funded as a part of the comprehensive $15.7 million Commons Reconstruction Project, which received Federal, State, and local funding. Roberto DiVincentis, president of Vacri Construction Corporation, the construction company hired for The Ithaca Commons Repair and Upgrade Project, also made a substantial financial contribution in honor of his father Raimondo DeVincentis for whom the fountain is named, noted Joann Cornish, director of economic development for the city.
“Most great public spaces have some type of water feature. We in Ithaca are truly lucky to be surrounded by beautiful waterfalls, gorges, and natural beauty. We wanted to bring some of those features into the heart of the city. While not as grand as originally envisioned, we love the new water feature and are celebrating the completion of the last remaining feature capping off many years of planning for the Commons,” Cornish said.
For more information about the fountain, contact Economic Development Planner Jennifer Kusznir at (607) 274-6550 or email her at email@example.com.
ITHACA NY MAY 1, 2017 — The City of Ithaca will celebrate the new granite fountain on The Commons during a Ribbon Cutting Ceremony at 12 p.m. (noon) Monday, May 1 at the fountain site in Bank Alley.
Mayor Svante Myrick and other public officials will share details about the project during the ceremony.
Roberto DiVincentis, president of Vacri Construction Corporation, will also speak. DiVicentis donated funds to the fountain project in honor of his father Raimondo DeVincentis whose name is etched on the fountain step.
For the fountain design, the city worked with Sasaki Associates, the firm that designed The Commons. The fountain resembles a gorge and serves as an art piece and functioning water element on the pedestrian mall. Sasaki Associates inspiration for this masterpiece comes from Ithaca’s landscape and is meant to help the public appreciate how water plays a role in the community.
The fountain will be controlled with a timer that sets it to operate during the day (weather permitting) from May through October. The fountain has a system installed in it that will recycle the water to limit water use.
For additional information about the fountain, contact Economic Development Planner Jennifer Kusznir at (607) 274-6550 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.