You don’t have to be a drummer to like Toko Imports in Ithaca. The owner, Tom, carries hats and hammocks as well as congas, djembes, gongs and every type of percussion instrument imaginable. Peggi rattled a donkey skull with the teeth still in their sockets, a primitive Vibra-Slap.
I bought some brushes and commented on the huge leaves on the wall behind the counter. Tom confirmed that they were indeed real, locally grown leaves from some common plants. He told us that we knew what these leaves were and pulled the right answers from us by giving us well rehearsed clues. Sunflower, Burdock, Rhubarb and Horseradish. The woman from Holland who was standing next to us had never heard of Horseradish.
After the Margaret Explosion gig last night, our bass player, Ken Frank, told me that he was going to bring his stand up bass again next week now that they have taken the holiday tree down. I guess there wasn’t enough room where we set up with the tree. I told him I never even noticed the tree. We still have ours up but I’ve stopped looking at it.
We got our fireplace insert installed today and I can’t stop looking at that. I thought my camera had gone haywire because when I took a photo and switched to review mode to check it out, it always showed the same photo from a few weeks ago. But I saved all my photos tonight and noticed that the number on the .jpg files had reached its limit of 9,999. It’s hard to believe I’ve taken that many photos. I certainly haven’t saved them all.
I just saved this one from the bed and breakfast we stayed at on New Years’s Eve. Taughannock Farms Inn is located just up the lake a bit from Ithaca. You can see the lake off to the right and the old yellow house with the widow’s walk is where they serve dinner. The state park and falls are next door with some beautiful hiking trails.
We have had a party on New Years for many years and we always waited to the last minute to invite people. If somebody had something better to do they would not be at our party. The key ingredient to a good party is low expectations.
We usually drive to Ithaca by going through Arthur Dove’s home town, Geneva, at the top of Seneca Lake and then cutting diagonally across to Rod Serling’s summer hometown at the bottom of Cayuga Lake. This time we drove down the east side of Cayuga for a change and stopped in Aurora to check in on the place after reading about it in the Times. Wells College just went coed and a 1962 graduate of that school, who made some money when she sold her American Girl doll and book company to Mattel, has been refurbishing the college and town. It is a pretty little town. We stopped at an art gallery but they were closed for New Year’s Eve.
Our first stop in Ithaca was the bookstore on the Commons. We have been here may times over the years but this will be our last visit. They are moving to NYC and they were having a 50% off sale on everything. I bought Marsden Hartley’s autobiography, a book of Rembrandt drawings, a 1931 book about Daumier (I was so taken by the drawings that I didn’t realize it was in German until I got it home) and a book called a “A Day With Picasso” with photographs by Jean Cocteau. All for about twenty bucks.
We walked around town and bought a few things at a natural foods store and then drove to a bed and breakfast near Taughannock Falls. We had a great meal in the Inn. I had portobello mushrooms and cheese infused pasta and Peggi had duck. We took a jacuzzi and slept in a king size bed. We turned the tv on around midnight and wished we hadn’t after seeing Dick Clark, Carrie Underwood and the Jonas Brothers. The show creeped us out before they dropped the eco-friendly ball.
We set the alarm to get up in time for a continental breakfast and we took a walk in the State Park next door. We hiked up the gorge to the falls which we read are 33 feet taller than Niagara Falls. We drove back through Middlesex (I love that name) and Lodi while skirting the Willard Facility for the Criminally Insane. We stopped by the side of the road to photograph some white deer on the former Seneca Army Depot grounds and talked about stopping for coffee as we drove though town after town with everything closed for the holiday. We finally found a suitable shop open and drank Ethiopian coffee by their fireplace.
When we got near Pittsford, we stopped to say hi to Peggi’s mom and she had the Buffalo Sabres outdoor hockey game on the Bills’ football field on so we watched a few periods of play. We left when it was tied but heard that Buffalo lost in overtime.