What’s in a name…

19 06 2008

So, I’m running on the optimistic impression that people know what Ithacation and Cornell Heights mean. However, that may not be the fairest thing to do, so let me explain.

Ithaca, New York is by any means an interesting place. While it tends to get more news for its political tendencies, or for the universities, it also experiences an uncommon weather pattern. The city is built into a valley, the colleges are on the East Hill (Cornell University) and South Hill (Ithaca College), and the weather is known for being…well, crappy. Ithaca is statistically one of the cloudiest cities in the U.S. (206 days per year [1,2]). Much of the time, it precipitates as well*. In the winter, it can rain in the city and snow at the colleges, thanks to the changes of temperature with elevation. When the temperature is near 32, this crappy, rain/sleet/snow mix occurs, leaving the ground icy, coats soaked, and in some cases, the best packing snow ever. We call this Ithacation. And in winter, it never really stops. So, like the persistance of these damned Ithacate showers, this blog will hopefully persist as well. Oh, and I’m a meteorology major (or as Cornell likes to call it “atmospheric science”, perhaps in some attempt to make it sound more professional and to avoid conjuring images of the local TV weather guy).

If that’s a little too verbose too remember, just commit this to memory- Ithacaction is when the weather sh*ts on you, and the meteorologists can’t even tell you why.

Now, the second one; Cornell Heights. As defined by the city of Ithaca:

“The Cornell Heights Historic District was listed on the National Register of Historic Places and designated a local historic district in 1989. The district includes 166 principal buildings. The northern boundary of the local historic district is the Ithaca city line [3].

To sum up the lengthy description on the site, Cornell Heights is a small neighborhood in Ithaca built in the early 1900s, bordering Cornell’s North Campus and south of the village of Cayuga Heights. This is where I live, in a small apartment building built in 1915 that was originally a private mansion. I share my apartment with three of my wonderful friends.

So, now you know about Ithacation and now you know where Cornell Heights is.

*And maybe this is why the weather sucks so much in Ithaca. Really, I think one day some poor meteorologist is going to get lynched, especially if it ever snows on Slope Day.

[1] http://www.city-data.com/forum/new-york/252940-any-info-virgil-ny.html

[2] http://met-www.cit.cornell.edu/ccd/clpcdy98.html




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