50 Things I Love About the Finger Lakes

Well, 50 blogs for Life in the Finger Lakes have come and gone – in honor, here’s a list of things (in no particular order and by no means complete) that keep the Finger Lakes close to my heart:

  1. The water- not just the lakes, but the creeks, rivers, and Lake Ontario, too
  2. The woods – so much greenery!
  3. Black raspberry picking in the summer.
  4. Cheesecake!
  5. The boats! Sailboats, canoes, kayaks, you name it.
  6. Tony’s white veggie pizza in Dansville, NY.
  7. The fire-y fall foliage.
  8. The Bristol Hills ski lift ride.
  9. The night sky – is it weird to have a favorite constellation? (Mine’s Orion, which always seemed to be right about my house.)
  10. The snow! When you’re annually buried by it, you might as well love it!
  11. The thunderstorms – much more impressive than the wimpy Midwest rain.
  12. Our bagels – Naples’ The Grainery has a spinach bagel that I literally had shipped to me for my last birthday.
  13. The glacial hills – giant’s toes, dinosaur backs, however you prefer to see them- they’re cool.
  14. Hiking days for the win.
  15. Small schools with soccer club rivalries.
  16. Cool cabin nights (complete with scary stories).
  17. Zweigles hot dogs.
  18. Corning Museum of Glass.
  19. The Queen Anne’s Lace, Black-eyed Susan, and Forget-Me-Not wildflowers.
  20. Stony Brook State Park’s natural swimming pool.
  21. Ganondagon’s Seneca longhouse.
  22. The abundance of horse barns and 4H shows.
  23. Chiavetta’s BBQ marinade.
  24. Farmer’s markets like Joseph’s Wayside in Naples, NY.
  25. Crooked Lake Ice Cream Parlor in Hammondsport.
  26. Letchworth’s Glen Iris and Mary Jemison statue.
  27. My grandparents’ cosmos in front of the house.
  28. Clam Bakes with friends and family.
  29. The focus on healthy, holistic lifestyles.
  30. Quiet, hometown libraries.
  31. Local shops like the Book Den and Dansville Stationers.
  32. Schooners (and the Genesee River locals’ culture).
  33. The Genesee Brewhouse and beers.
  34. Artist galleries like Artizann’s in Naples.
  35. Grape pies!
  36. Religious and political variation.
  37. Swain skiing and tubing in the winter.
  38. Archery!
  39. Venison stews and snacks from neighbors after hunting season.
  40. The smell of the breeze after it’s blown across a freshwater lake in the spring.
  41. The photography community – funny how beautiful places draw them in!
  42. Muddy boats and raincoats.
  43. The Abbots along the piers in Charlotte (pronouched Shuh-lot).
  44. My grandpa’s vegetable garden and my aunt’s herb garden.
  45. The wildlife – black bears, coyotes, the occasional wolves or lost mountain cats.
  46. Fish Fry Friday from the Sunrise in Dansville.
  47. The vineyards!
  48. May Day parties at my aunt’s house.
  49. Grassroots music and jam sessions.
  50. Family – they make the Finger Lakes my home, forever and always.

Halie Solea 2013Story and photo by Halie Solea