I was born in Ithaca and grew up in the surrounding area. It often receives a bum rap as a place with horrible weather, as it is mostly commented upon by students of its two universities, Ithaca College and Cornell University. For the most part, these kids only experience the climate as it is during the school year. In the summer months, Ithaca is beautiful. The city itself is situated in a valley, surrounded by lush green hills on three sides and lies on the southern tip of Cayuga Lake, one of the Finger Lakes. On many a car can be seen bumperstickers emblazoned with "Ithaca is Gorges." The area was long ago carved out by glaciers, leaving tremendous gorges and breathtaking waterfalls, including Ithaca Falls, Buttermilk Falls, and nearby Taughannock Falls. Taughannock is the highest waterfall in the Northeastearn United States; a great deal higher than Niagara Falls.
Ithaca is a very liberal community and boasts its own monetary system called Ithaca Hours.