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Sunday, March 28, 2010

Watch your back

I don't know why, but recent posts got me to thinking about where I used to live in Ithaca, NY. Maybe it's the significant geographical loci, the low-grade onomamania, the apocalypticism. I dunno.

But something made me remember that in Ithaca there is a Sodom Road! Now, I get the idea of naming things after Biblical places, but Sodom? Not the most propitious name. I mean, buggery aside, the place was destroyed, no?

Leads me to wonder, why? Wtf?

Fortunately, some kind soul has photographed the street sign and released it to the public domain. Hence the proof you may require, above....

Some explanation:

"In its earliest years during frontier days, what is now Ithaca was briefly known by the names "The Flats" and "Sodom," the name of the Biblical city of sin, due to its reputation as a town of "notorious immorality",
a place of horse racing, gambling, profanity, Sabbath breaking, and readily available liquor. These names did not last long; Simeon DeWitt renamed the town Ithaca in the early 1800s, though nearby Robert H. Treman State Park still contains Lucifer Falls.

That early reputation for immorality, together with its more recent reputation as having a left-leaning population, has once again made Ithaca mildly infamous in some circles as the "City of Evil," due to a satirical campaign by members of a politically conservative online discussion board....According to religious conservatives, this idea is further buoyed by Cornell University's early nickname, "the godless university" which came about due to their lack of affiliation with any organized religion."


An evil place? Hardly. Cold as Hell, though....

P.S. There are others.

6 comments:

  1. now i have to post the link to the conservative website. i wish ithaca were sodom like. it's liberal but way too wholesome. actually, we had a very conservative mayor for some years. he opposed the iraq war, was pro-abortion, ate acid etc. he also didn't pay his sales tax. a perotista. his main drive was development. his great evil was swindling funds out of HUD, then headed up by mario cuomo's boy, to build a restaurant for friends. alas, tiny town. we get His Holiness The Dali Lama occasionally, and Hilary came often when she was Senator. Ah Ithaca. Not nearly sodomish enough, though we are pro-gay. i have dirty little fantasy: the tea bagger will come and protest here, and we can proclaim, as we chase them out, Don't Retreat, Reload! and of course, we sodomite are often known to sing, "Drill baby drill!"

    ReplyDelete
  2. now i have to post the link to the conservative website. i wish ithaca were sodom like. it's liberal but way too wholesome. actually, we had a very conservative mayor for some years. he opposed the iraq war, was pro-abortion, ate acid etc. he also didn't pay his sales tax. a perotista. his main drive was development. his great evil was swindling funds out of HUD, then headed up by mario cuomo's boy, to build a restaurant for friends. alas, tiny town. we get His Holiness The Dali Lama occasionally, and Hilary came often when she was Senator. Ah Ithaca. Not nearly sodomish enough, though we are pro-gay. i have dirty little fantasy: the tea bagger will come and protest here, and we can proclaim, as we chase them out, Don't Retreat, Reload! and of course, we sodomite are often known to sing, "Drill baby drill!"

    ReplyDelete
  3. i didn't mean to post this twice! sorry.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Haha! But you know, like all wholesome places, the place had a dark underbelly. Rampant with smack for example. Also, all those quasi-homeless kids on the Commons....

    When I lived on State and Plain I heard bricks tossed through windows, guns fired off right under mine, barely-teenaged kids puffing blunts on my doorstep.

    Of course, I kinda sought that stuff out....

    ReplyDelete
  5. i heard the same shit at my house on 3rd street. i moved there without even considering it might be a 'bad' neighborhood, since i had lived in NYC for so long. but it was a bad neighborhood! a guy got shot across the street from me in a drive-by. heroin goes way back too. they say in the sixties the mafia routed heroin through ithaca. and all through the nineties crack came up on the bus, because dealers thought ithaca police were such fools.just last week a cop shot a kid who tried to run him over during anarrest. shot him 3 times through the windshield. dead. but we are really a peaceful burg. the upstate cities have the high crime rate. albany, syracuse, rochester, kingston. you can find whatever you're looking for wherever you go. i'll bet we have a left-wing militia! but maybe that's wish-fulfillment.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I had a lot of nostalgiac thoughts of Ithaca today, perhaps because it was a point of departure--the last place I live in the US. My last memories, so to speak. Such a beautiful, stimulating place, but one in which I experienced the nadir of my existence thus far.

    In many ways, I "escaped" from Ithaca, or fled....but still, Cornell, the Gorges, Chanticleer, my drab flat....all are cherished memories.

    In many ways, it represents the best the US has to offer, despite my personal crisis there.

    A flashpoint of my life.

    ReplyDelete

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