Getting ready for Mud Day!

Ithaca is a tremendous place – warm, friendly, open and passionate.  If you’ve seen Portlandia you’ll have a pretty fair sense of it.  If you haven’t, then imagine a town where the hippies got organized, and won.

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The downtown is pedestrianized and filled with trees and art, creating a plaza between the shops (all independent, of course) with generous benches for seating, cool dapples shade, and interesting sculptures half-hidden in the shrubbery.

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Oh, and a playground, which offers the only way one can “drive through town”.

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There are a dozen tie-dye clothing and glassware shops, three independent bookstores and an oil-and-vinegar emporium.  Everyone drinks coffee and no one is in a hurry.

I went to buy stamps and the man behind the counter heard my accent.  We had a jokey conversation about “damn foreigners”.

“At least you guys speak English,” he said, winking.

“Better than you lot do,” I replied.

“BOOM!” He shouted, startling the people in line behind me.  “Solid burn.  High five me!”

In how many towns are you high fived by public officials?

Rusty and the fabulous Anarchy Zone team brought me here to do some playwork training – what an amazing collection of brilliant, dedicated individuals!  I’m heading over there now to help get ready for International Mud Day.

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60 cubic yards of dirt are about to be delivered, and the fire department are coming tomorrow to hose it down.  This sheer quantity of mud won’t fit into my brain (though I’m sure that tomorrow a surprising amount will be squashed into my hair and clothing).  Hurray for mud!

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