I can’t pretend that Ithaca could be called a city, but the resemblances are budding if you look closely enough. At the State St. house, I was precisely halfway between collegetown and downtown, which are the focal points of most activity in the area. It’s as busy as this town gets, which is quite dull. Still, it’s a few steps away from suburban, and I was surprised at the quantity of adjustments I found necessary. It took me a while to sleep through sirens a few times a night (on weekends especially), or just the generally constant passing of traffic. Once I adjusted, though, it became like white noise not unlike the whine of cicadas. Not unpleasant, and perhaps even a welcome reminder that the world is still going on. It even made me feel a bit jealous on those days I was bedridden with disease, knowing that everyone else was doing their thing while I could not.

There was, however, a sense of aesthetic disconnection from nature. This feels strange to say given the sometimes awkward artificiality of suburban landscapes (even in Ithaca), but there is something to be said for the sheer quantity of greenery consuming the visual field. Roads, sidewalks, power lines, and buildings gradually become more densely packed while trees and bushes seem more at odds with their surroundings. The roof was a delightful escape from this offense; at somewhere between three and four stories tall, the house was just tall enough to see above the tree canopy. It was distant enough from the ground and obscured from the main road by trees, so it bestowed just enough privacy to feel at ease. It was also well above the street lights, allowing for a very wide view of the stars at night. It was a place of intense excellence.

Continue reading urbanly


Video games have been a defining force in my life as far back as my memory goes. The relationship is complex and varied, but it has remained, for me, totally unexplained. What have the 20,000 hours of my life spent immersed in virtual entertainment done for me? Why do my friends and I find such continued delight in them? Are they really just abstracted pleasure buttons, isolating us from the real world? Do video games actually have anything to offer society aside from escape?

Continue reading emulation

Food for Thought

Although extremely generic, the title is fitting. I was pondering momentarily on the earth in general after reading an article about how bananas will probably become extinct for a while, until some genius finds a way to resurrect them. And someone will, because there will be huge money behind it. But, it made me feel deeply sad in general to think of the possibility that I’d be telling kids 20 years from now what a banana tastes like, and how banana-flavored items don’t taste like banana anymore (not that they do now).

Now, I’m not a frothing environmentalist by most standards. I like my hybrids and I think the earth is getting warmer, but whether or not it’s our fault is up for grabs, in my opinion. But for once, I was actually deeply saddened that a common product might not be around in 10 years. It’s not even my fault, and there’s nothing I can do about it. I don’t even like bananas, but now I want to like bananas, because of the thought that they might die out soon.

Isn’t that funny? It’s so human to miss things we don’t like just because they aren’t there anymore. I’m not even a sentimental person, but by golly, bananas can get me in the gut just as much as the next guy. So, please, next time you fill your gas tank, think of the children. Think of the bananas.