Quiet But Never Boring

Photo illustration of Press Bay Alley. Original photograph by Arleigh Rodgers.
By Arleigh Rodgers

I am approaching my senior year in college faster than I anticipated. By the end of last year, I had only been to a select few noteworthy places in Ithaca, including the famous Ithaca Farmers Market, and most of the places I went to during the fall of 2019.

It wasn’t until my sophomore year of college that I had a car to drive on campus, therefore allowing me quicker access to places like the Farmers Market or even Wegmans without depending on a ride from a friend or public transportation.

For a reason I don’t remember, or don’t have, I never really drove to places I hadn’t explored until last semester. My roommate Maya and I went on routine visits to the farmers market, especially in September and October because the weather was still warm. We would stock up on produce — zucchinis in handfuls, garlic from my favorite seller, and sweet cherry tomatoes were among my favorites — grab a coffee from our usual spot, and make the usual up-and-back round of the market. Sometimes I would splurge on honey or local, handmade bread. I would always stop at the miniature give-and-get library near the ATM machine, and I dropped off a handful of books after the semester ended. And when we were done perusing each farmer’s table, we would take our breakfast — sometimes a breakfast falafel pita, other times I would skip straight to lunch and get food from a Thai restaurant vendor — and sit on the dock overlooking a small section of Cayuga Lake.

Before that semester, I didn’t consider what my life would be like with the farmer’s market in it. But now, I can’t imagine never going again.

The same applies to another recent discovery I made. I had heard of Press Bay Alley from my Editor-In-Chief at The Ithacan, Ithaca College’s student newspaper where I work as an editor. I recently wrote an article on the alley, a place I had never been to let alone heard of before my Editor-In-Chief mentioned it. It’s a small strip of shops off of West Green Street in Ithaca, and it features new and established shops in a small building, among them is Press Cafe. I stopped into the cafe and was enchanted by its minimalistic yet warm atmosphere. When I spoke to the barista, it was clear he was excited about the people who came in and how the environment of both the cafe and the alley remained laid back despite The Commons and downtown being so close. It was quiet in the shops I went into, but it was never boring.

I think that idea — quiet but never boring — encapsulates many of the experiences I’ve had in Ithaca, especially ones that I’ve been able to share with other people. On my last day at the Ithaca Farmers Market back in December, right before I was about to leave to go home for winter break, I saw a flyer describing the market’s new winter location: another place, another setting, another experience!

According to theithacan.org, Ithaca Farmers Market moves to Triphammer Marketplace, located on Triphammer Road, where it will be held from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. every Saturday until March 28. The market will move back to its outdoor location in April.


Arleigh Rodgers is a junior English major at Ithaca College. She is currently the assistant Life & Culture editor at The Ithacan, Ithaca College’s student-run newspaper. She enjoys reading, playing the piano and visiting the Ithaca Farmer’s Market every weekend.

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