The past two weekends, Matt and I have ventured to the Ithaca’s Farmers Market and Friends of Tompkins County Library Book Fair. Basically, it was so awesome the first weekend we had to do it again one more (maybe three more) times.
The Farmers Market is amazing. The wooded structure is covered and snugs right up to the Steamboat Landing on Cayuga. It’s rustic and just big enough to fit all its vendors and customers comfortably. From ‘not too spicy’ sprouts and every kind of lavender you could imagine to locally made hummus and kefir cheese they have it all. Grass-fed beef, range-free eggs, organic vegetables and herbs, hanging plants, maple syrup, honey, and fresh cut flowers (even my favorite: Ranunculus, which I learned the florist grows in cold frames through the cooler months), wine sampling, locally roasted coffee, and homemade pastries and bread (the twice-baked almond brioche is phenomenal).
The food needs its own paragraph. There’s Greek food, Cambodian food, Japanese, Thai, Cuban, Vietnamese, Tibetan, curries of all kinds, and wood fired flatbread pizza just to name a few. Under normal circumstances I might be ashamed to admit this but for the sake of informing my readers of the magnificence – I will spare my humiliation. I ate an NFL football sized gyro, it was ridiculous – it could have easily fed two people. Now get ready because it’s about to get ugly: directly, I mean directly after gorging that gyro – I skipped right back to the face-sized cinnamon roll I saw earlier, bought it, and ate the entire thing. I had to! Those buns were selling like hot cakes and I had to know what the fuss was all about. As suspected, they were amazing. I will really have to monitor the cinnamon bun indulgences because I could easily eat one or five every day. I have promised myself that I won’t lose control of my eats every time that I visit the Farmers Market – but it’s not going to be easy. Outside of the devilishly ‘bad’ food – you will also find many delicious healthy options, too – fresh and homemade ‘to-go’ salads, tons of vegetarian options, and on-the-spot fresh-squeezed juice from Biz & Benny’s – I tried the beet lemonade Saturday and it was out of this world. You’ve got to get yourself to the market – it’s such a treat to see so many happy people!
A couple of weekends ago, my lovely friend Meaghan invited me to join a book club. Our first meeting was at Felicia’s Atomic Lounge. I met Sarah, Penelope, Christy, Emilee, and Meg: Five beautiful, funny, and ohso welcoming ladies! We noshed on local delicious eats and filled up on hot coffee and light toddies. We all went around and offered a couple of titles that we were interested in – and at the end we picked The World According to Garp by John Irving from the bowl. I’m currently on chapter 3, and although it was slow to start I’m getting to know the characters and liking it more and more each page I read. Whilst eating and chatting the ladies informed me of this amazing book sale that takes place during three weekends in May. It’s really something you have to see to believe. It’s basically an entire warehouse full of every type of book you could imagine – I brought a list of at least three-dozen titles and found almost every single one. I also found an old Calvin & Hobbes chapter book while I was there and tossed it into my overflowing cardboard box. When I got home and opened it up - two very beautifully captured black and white photos fell out (pictured above), it was fate. <3
All paperbacks are $2.50 the first weekend and the price goes down substantially each weekend thereafter. They also have a fairly large section of audio books, vinyl records, VHS tapes, cassette tapes, CDs, and games. They will be offering another book sale throughout October. The volunteers that aid in the production of this event have done a fantastic job organizing. It’s very easy to navigate but help or good conversation is always right around the corner if you need it. You can read more about the sale here.
So! If you’re up for an adventure – take next Saturday or Sunday and come shop the last weekend of the book sale! If you’re not able to make the May sale – make sure you mark your calendar for the next one in October. It’s amazing – and I promise, you won’t leave empty handed (in fact, bring a tote or box). The Farmer’s Market runs every weekend in the summer so come on over! Even if you don’t buy anything – the vibe is totally worth the visit. Hope to see you there!