Editor’s Note: The following is an opinion column written by Joseph Gaylord, long-time Ithaca resident, Downtown Ithaca Alliance board member, and manager of American Crafts by Robbie Dein.

It was written after a column published in the Ithaca Voice, “Opinion: We are months away from a safe Ithaca Commons.”

To submit a guest column, contact me anytime at jstein@ithacavoice.com.

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Opinion from Joseph Gaylord:

Community def.-a feeling of fellowship with others, as a result of sharing common attitudes, interests, and goals.

The Commons construction has certainly made it difficult for all of us. As with any construction zone, there are hazards for all pedestrians. The broken, cracked and uneven former pavement was also responsible for many trips and falls over the years, as I am sure the city can attest to. Yet, with all those hazards and the continuing dust and noise, we can now see light at the end of the tunnel, as the construction nears completion.
Many friends and patrons have continued to support downtown.

We have felt the good spirits and positive attitude that many have shared with us throughout this process to create something strong and new and vibrant.

We have had visits and patronage from customers who have shopped downtown since before there was a Commons, and new friends who have moved to town to experience what the Ithaca Community really is.

We have, at the core of our city, in our shops and restaurants, shared weddings, and birthdays, and anniversaries, Bar and Bat Mitzvahs, graduations, Confirmations, new babies, retirements; celebrations of all kinds.

We have watched this process of rebuilding, and shared the concerns and difficulties of every day for the last 2 plus years.

We have seen disabled citizens, mothers with children in tow, students on crutches from sports accidents, senior citizens with walkers, fathers carrying new babies, sons and daughters and grandchildren, grandparents, aunts and uncles celebrating life, love, joy, family, and community. All have navigated the Commons and patronized its shops and restaurants, and theaters, and doctors and lawyers and accountants and opticians and hair salons.

We thank them and extend an invitation to all others.

The Ithaca Commons, heart of the city, has been and will continue to mirror the support of its citizens and visitors.

We are near the completion of one of the largest projects this city has ever undertaken: a complete rebuild of the very center of our community.

Like any huge change, there have been mistakes, successes, controversy and support.

We would like to thank those who have endured with us, commiserated with us, supported us, laughed and cried with us, and thankfully, embraced us. Without you, there would be no Ithaca.

You don’t have to be born here to be a true Ithacan. Ithaca Is Community.

— Joseph Gaylord

Part of the Ithaca Community since 1979
Commons Advisory Board Member
Downtown Ithaca Alliance Board Member
Community School of Music and Arts Board Member
Manager- American Crafts by Robbie Dein


Previous Ithaca Voice coverage of the new Commons


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Jeff Stein

Jeff Stein is the founder and former editor of the Ithaca Voice.