In Ithaca, there’s no shortage of places that carry rich, creamy, decadent and adorable chocolates, candies and delicious baked goods made especially for this springtime holiday. However, there are three downtown locations that you must visit when searching for Easter treats.
Green Street Pharmacy, 131 E. Green St.
While Green Street Pharmacy may be a less obvious choice for Easter treats, but it’s great option nonetheless.
Near the pharmacy’s cafe, customers will find a table loaded with an assortment of Easter treats available for purchase, including classics such as miniature Cadbury eggs (chocolate eggs filled with cream or caramel), many brands of jelly beans and a variety of different colored Peeps along with egg-shaped Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups.
In case you’re looking for a unique treat, the pharmacy also carries homemade chocolate and maple walnut fudge cups made by Heavenly Treats in Corning along with handmade chocolates from Rose Fox of Savona. Ms. Fox makes chocolate bunny “suckers” for $.50 each and a variety of chocolate eggs for $.60 each. Green Street Pharmacy also offers chocolate covered cherry, maple filled, maple nut filled, and chocolate covered peanut butter eggs. Yummy!
Holiday decorations, such as various sized hand-painted ceramic bunnies, are also available for purchase.
Ithaca Coffee Company, 311 E. Green St
In spite of the fact that chocolates are an Easter staple, one may care to switch things up by filling basket(s) or their holiday feast table with another sort of sweet treat: gourmet prepared products.
Cue in Ithaca Coffee Company where a grand selection of freshly-baked items awaits you.
This fine establishment located in the Gateway Center offers a moist and sweet lemon pound cake, a lemon soaked cake with lemon glaze. This citrusy treat is sure to please anyone looking for a tasty, bittersweet option.
Lemon flavor also makes its presence known in Ithaca Coffee Company’s Easter Cupcake, a lemon curd filled vanilla cupcake topped with rich vanilla bean buttercream. You or your children are sure to gobble up this moist and creamy treat in seconds!
Coconut flavor fans who also enjoy chocolate will be able to satisfy both cravings by purchasing the coconut macaroon nest, a gluten-free coconut macaroon nest filled with dark chocolate ganache and finished with jelly beans. The nest is an adorable, decorative and delicious piece that should certainly be added to your holiday spread.
However, if you’re dead set on offering some candies in your home this holiday, Ithaca Coffee also has an array of fine chocolates and confections available for purchase.
Life’s So Sweet Chocolates,116 W. Green Street
This is downtown’s premier location for freshly produced chocolate-related goodies and other sugary delights. Beautifully designed and especially tasty chocolate bunnies, lambs, eggs and religious crosses line the shelves along with chocolate lollipops and malted balls, colorful spiced and jelly beans, and pastel-colored candy corn.
Most of the chocolate pieces come in dark, milk and white chocolate and are created in a variety of sizes, from palm-sized to 9.6 ounces. You’ll also have your choice of hollow or solid chocolates.
If you looking for chocolate items that add a bit of secretive fun to the equation, purchase the Surprise Eggs. These adorable eggs are made of hollow chocolate (milk or dark) and then filled with surprise edible treats (candy corn, spiced or jelly beans). These perfectly sized treats are served in a box and surrounded by assorted miniature solid chocolate eggs, bunnies and chicks.
Another special treat are the chocolate-dipped Peeps, a fluffy marshmallow baby chick (sometimes available in bunny shape) shrouded in colorful sugar and half dunked in Life So Sweet’s signature fair trade chocolate. These Peeps were plunged in milk or dark chocolate and are packaged two to a pack.
Small, medium and large boxes carrying delicious hand-crafted chocolates including but not limited to truffles, caramels, creams, solids, coated nuts and exotic flavors are also available for purchase.
Once you’ve found the perfect treats, complete your order by purchasing a decorative basket, recyclable fake grass and a soft and cuddly plush animal. All of these items are available in the make a basket station in the corner of the store near the chocolate making station.
Now that your mind is filled with all sorts of sweet treat images, come downtown and purchase your holiday treats at one or all of these locations.
More information, including store hours can be found by clicking on the name of the business.
For additional information about places to shop in downtown Ithaca, visit www.downtownithaca.com.
Ithaca’s live performance festival, in its fourth year, features acts from near and far
The fourth annual Ithaca Fringe Festival of performance-based arts is coming to town Thursday-Sunday, April 20-23, sponsored for the second year by Tompkins Trust Company. The fourth installment has an eclectic lineup of acts featuring performers from as far away as Scotland, as well as home-grown talent.
The festival will get underway on Thursday, April 20 at 7 p.m. at Fringe Central in the Visitors Center, on the Ithaca Commons, and it’s an event that is open to the entire community.
The Fringe Kickoff Party will feature delicious eatables donated by Manndible Cafe, music by area artists, and sneak previews of some of the Fringe shows, which will be performed over the next three days at Cinemapolis, Circus Culture, Community School of Music and Arts, the History Center, and Lifelong.
Ithaca Fringe, which gives 100% of ticket sales to the artists, is unjuried: Eligible submissions are pulled out of a hat (truly).
“It’s all the more exciting because you never know if you’ll get plays, comedies, dances, monologues, puppetry, vaudeville, storytelling, mixed genres or something else,” said George Sapio, producing artistic director. “It also eliminates bias and makes the experience more inclusive. Who am I, or some committee members, to judge what is and what isn’t good art? Everyone has different tastes.”
Sapio pointed out, “we’ve been fortunate in our first three years to have had a lot of very good acts, and some truly extraordinary and ground-breaking ones.”
The festival relies on dozens of volunteers, who sell tickets, assist audience members, run errands, and act as house managers and venue technicians. Out-of-town acts are billeted with area residents who open their homes and hearts sometimes making lifelong friendships in the process.
Although the Fringe hopes that all the artists walk away well compensated, they keep ticket prices affordable.
“Our prices are well below average theater ticket prices so that everyone in the community can see a show or two, or all eight,” Sapio said.
Fringe Central, at the Visitors Center, 171 E. State St., will be open for audience-artist mingling throughout the festival, thanks to the generosity of the Downtown Ithaca Alliance, Community Arts Partnership, and Ithaca Visitors Bureau.
Besides the community kick-off event on Thursday evening, Fringe Central will be open all weekend long for networking, games, entertainment by local musicians, and food donated by other area restaurants including Ithaca Bakery, Northstar House, and Istanbul.
The first-ever late-night Fringe Video Showcase will be screened at 10 p.m. Saturday, and Audience Pick and Andrew M. Dixon Awards will be given on Sunday at 5 p.m. at the Fringe wrap party.
Delirium; Martin Dockery, Brooklyn, NY
Important Nonsense; Wolf’s Mouth Theatre Company, Ithaca, NY
Kara Sevda; Now What Theatre, Sebastian, FL
The Lightning Gap; James Comfort II, Ithaca, NY
Mississippi Smiles; Runboyrun Productions, Philadelphia, PA
My Lack of Social Life; Bad Idea Entertainment, Norristown, PA
Spy in the House of Men; Penny. For Your Thoughts, Rochester, NY
The World Will Stop If We Make a Mistake, New Village Ensemble, Scranton, PA
The festival is boosted by a grant from the Ithaca Tourism Board and help from the Downtown Ithaca Alliance and sponsors. Sponsorship slots are still available, and individuals can support the festival with donations.
Tickets are $10, with discounts for three, five, or all eight shows. Students with ID may purchase individual show tickets at Fringe Central or at the door for $8.
Learn more about how to volunteer, donate, sponsor and purchase tickets at www.ithacafringe.com. Videographers may submit (links to their) 3- to 10-minute films, and musicians interested in playing, please contact email@example.com.
We are delighted to let you know we have two conferences taking place in Ithaca coming up, and they are looking to engage with the local businesses!
Finger Lakes Library System YSS Conference
Friday, April 28, 2017
Attendance estimate approx. 300 people plus spouses. We are working with the conference organizers to compile a list of businesses downtown who will offer value-added incentives or discounts to conference attendees. We are also collecting coupons to put in the conference registration packets along with our seasonal guides.
More about the conference here: YSS NYLA
Long-time city administrator garners special acknowledgment
ITHACA, MARCH 14, 2017 — Hardworking and dedicated city and downtown employees and the city’s latest developments were in the spotlight Monday night as the Downtown Ithaca Alliance presented awards during its Annual Dinner at Ithaca’s newest hotel Marriott on The Commons.
“So many people work every day to make downtown a successful and vibrant place. This is our opportunity to highlight and recognize a few of these people and businesses that have helped to shape and grow downtown. The one common denominator for all of the awards…a passion for downtown and the community,” said Gary Ferguson, Executive Director of the Downtown Ithaca Alliance.
Eight awards were given including a special distinction for Phyllisa DeSarno who was honored for her extraordinary contribution to the life and improvement of Downtown Ithaca during her 12-year career as the city’s Economic Development Director and long-time DIA board of directors member.
“Philly has been a key and vital force working to recruit new businesses and bring new investment to the city’s center. Over the years, Philly has made countless trips to other cities, with the DIA and on her own, to attract new businesses and investors to Ithaca. Her successes are many. Businesses such as the Finger Lakes School of Massage, F. Olivers, and the Cornell Store exemplify just a few. Philly has worked with developers to help shape and facilitate projects…downtown’s new Commons, Seneca Way and this Marriott Hotel are three such examples. Most of all, DeSarno has been a tireless champion and advocate for Ithaca… to small and large businesses alike,” said DIA Board of Directors President Steve Hendrick during the special presentation.
Plaques were also presented to The Carey Building owned by Travis/Hyde Properties, Marriott Hotel owned by Urgo Hotels, Simeon’s on The Commons owned by Dean Zervos and Rich Avery, and the American Crafts building owned by Robbie Dein and managed by Joseph Gaylord. Each structure earned an Economic Development Project of the Year award.
The Carey Building, located on East State Street, was a two-story retail and office property that had not been upgraded in years. Owners, Travis/Hyde Partners, working with Cornell University, came up with a bold plan to take this small but strategically located property and transform it into a much larger and significant building. Travis/Hyde actually did an overbuild, adding five stories above the architecturally significant original building. The Carey Building’s four-story vertical expansion adds residential space and more room for the REV Ithaca Startup Works, downtown’s community business incubator program. The project also features the region’s first micro-apartments, which became an instant hit with the market. The building added balconies and neon light flourishes that result in a striking contemporary image that helps reshape the Downtown landscape.The expanded portion welcomed new tenants in August.
Marriott, located in the heart of downtown and a bookend on Ithaca’s award-winning Commons, opened in the late Fall and showcases a sleek and sophisticated design throughout its exterior and interior that is sure to catch any visitor’s eye. A view from the upper levels of the hotel offers a stunning perspective of downtown. The property also features Monks On The Commons, its own in-house restaurant.
A devastating accident prompted the beautiful redesign of one of downtown Ithaca’s beloved restaurants, Simeon’s on The Commons. The restaurant’s exterior is a near replica of the former historic design while the interior features an updated bar and dining area on the first floor and an upscale dining space and cozy sitting area on the second floor.
American Crafts also underwent a transformation. The once pink-hued structure with a dark colored facade now boasts a creamy butter tint, and the cast iron Corinthian column accent pieces are muted gold — a color scheme that was selected by building and store proprietor Robbie Dein and local designer Denise Rusoff.
This investment, which has added attention-grabbing color and unique, decorative tile work to the 150-year-old structure, is just one of many building refurbishments Dein has had done since purchasing the building 30 years ago.
Downtown and city employees also garnered honors during the ceremony.
Green Street Pharmacist Nicole Pagano, the DIA’s Operations Committee chair and a member of the City of Ithaca mayor’s Drug Task Force was named DIA Board Member of the Year, Homegrown Skateshop owner Andrew Douglas was named the Young Retail Entrepreneur of the Year, and Commons Crew Chief Duane Ross was recognized as City Employee of the Year.
The evening affair, sponsored by Tompkins Trust Company and Ithaca Renting, also focused on the future of downtown with TED-style talks from special guests The Cornell Store’s Patricia Wynn, Watershed’s Ashley Cake, and Travis/Hyde Properties’ Frost Travis who each offered informative speeches about the future of their respected industries.
The Chili Cook-Off ballots have been counted!
Congratulations to Monks On The Commons for winning both the People’s Choice AND Best Presentation!
Official Juried Results:
Best Vegetarian Chili:
First Place: Moosewood Restaurant
Second Place: Viva Taqueria
Third Place: Franziska Rackers Center
Best Vegan Chili:
First Place: Greenstar
Second Place: Simeon’s
Third Place: Collegetown Bagels & Ithaca Bakery – Crispy Kale Chili
Best Meat Chili:
First Place: Cayuga Medical Center – Medicine Man Texas Chili
Second Place: Gorger’s Sub Shop – Black Bean, Andouille Sausage Chili
Third Place: Just a Taste – Chili Verde
First Place: Rooster Fish – Abbey Belgian Double
Second Place: Ithaca Beer Co. – Coffee Stout
Third Place: Lucky Hare Brewing – IPA
Best Other Chili-inspired Items:
First Place: Life’s So Sweet Chocolates – Sriracha potato chip bark
Many thanks to all of this year’s participants , volunteers, attendees, and Tompkins Trust Company! We appreciate you all!
ABOUT GALLERY NIGHT: Gallery Night Ithaca is a walkable tour of art openings and other special cultural events in and around downtown Ithaca, New York. This event takes place from 5:00-8:00 PM on the first Friday of every month.
For additional information, visit http://www.gallerynightithaca.wordpress.com.