The Five Coolest People Born In Ithaca New York

The Five Coolest People Born In Ithaca New York

Ithaca's full of cool people, but these are the coolest people born here.
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Ithaca, New York is a cool town, and those who live here are irrefutably cooler than those who do not. Don’t argue with me, I have proof — a Magic 8 Ball agreed with me (though it did tell me to “ask again later” several times, which I have always found to be rather presumptuous). If people who live here are cooler than those who don’t, it must only follow that those who were born here are even cooler still, right?

Well, maybe. After extensive research, it seems that more interesting people migrated to Ithaca than may have been born here. This left me in a bit of a pickle. I'd already picked the headline, and what was I going to do, change that? No, I had to buckle down, dig deep into the crevices of the Internet and find at least a handful of truly cool people born here. And here they are, the coolest people born in Ithaca.

1. David Foster Wallace

First up on the list is the inimitable postmodernist writer David Foster Wallace. Wallace's cool points are immediately clear. Look at him rocking that bandana, those glasses, that scruffy beard and long hair. Here's a guy who saw three different styles — nerdy, punk, and man without razor — and threw them together successfully. He also wrote "Infinite Jest," one of the most influential books of the last few decades, so that's pretty cool as well. As a writer, Wallace's street cred extended beyond his death. His final novel, "The Pale King," garnered a Pulitzer Prize nomination despite being unfinished. You know you're good when you can leave your novel (and this plane of existence) unfinished and people still think it's one of the best books of the year.

Wallace loses some cool points for two reasons. Despite being born here, he left fairly young and doesn't seem to have ever returned. Two, there was that one time he maybe kind of tried to push his girlfriend out of a moving car. Bad genre-redefining writer, bad!

2. Bre Pettis

The concept of cool is, in many ways, a superficial thing, often focused entirely on superficial aspects. But, superficially speaking, Bre Pettis is a rad dude. He's pulling one of the most casual fist-pumps in human history while wearing a watch without a face. Those sideburns are as long as they are out of style, and he doesn't care at all. Plus, let's consider the name. Bre Pettis. It could have been Bret, but he somewhere along the line he decided that the letter t was too mundane for his first name.

Bre Pettis was one of the co-founders and CEO of MakerBot Industries. Again, superficially, this sounds like one of the coolest companies ever, as if the company makes robots which make other robots. In reality, they produced 3D printers and helped in the development of the technology. Their most noteworthy achievement? Sending a bust of Stephen Colbert's head into space. Pettis no longer works with MakerBot, but I think we can all agree that he deserve a Nobel Peace Prize for this achievement.

3. Lonnie Park

Lonnie Park is a musician who earned a Grammy nomination on Arun Shenoy's album "Rumbadoodle." So what makes Lonnie Park cool? I'm 75 percent certain that he wrote his own Wikipedia entry. It contains verb tense disagreements, a flagrant lack of citations and downright ballsy claims, such as "Lonnie continues to be the go-to source for industrial sound systems." Viewing the page history, a number of the edits were done by someone cleverly named "LonniePark2." Which raises the question of LonniePark1's fate.

But you know what? Good for him. This is a power move as far as I'm concerned. Here's a man who recognizes that modern people use Wikipedia as a reference for who a person is and decided to define his own destiny. He stood up and said, "I will NOT allow others to say who I am, I will NOT allow myself to fade into Internet obscurity! I will shout from the electronic rooftops that I am cool, I am great, I am Lonnie Goddamn Park!"

In all seriousness, the album he helped on is pretty good. Give it a listen if I made you feel bad for him.

4. Dustin Brown

I'll be honest, I know nothing about sports. It's not exactly in my wheelhouse. So while Dustin seems pretty cool, his inclusion is based on three and only three things: 1) He led the Los Angeles Kings to win the Stanley Cup twice. This is good, right? Are the Kings the bad guys of sports? I'm going to assume no. Bad guys don't smile like that unless they also have a long, waxy mustache. 2) He once played for a team from Zürich. Zürich is a cool name for a city. 3) Five people for a list is much better than four people for a list. Go on, judge me.

5. Alex Haley

Writer Alex Haley is the coolest person born in Ithaca. I'd wish him congratulations, but he's had the kind of career that doesn't really need extra praise. He was the writer of "Roots: The Saga of an American Family," winner of a Special Pulitzer Prize. Considering that a regular old Pulitzer Prize is generally pretty well-respected, getting a special one seems like the sort of thing one would lead within every conversation they ever had for the rest of their lives. His first novel was "The Autobiography of Malcolm X." This is especially impressive considering that he was Alex Haley and not Malcolm X. He's received medals from the NAACP for his writings, and from South Korea and the U.S. Coast Guard for his service in the Korean War. One important demerit on his exceptionally cool record: he likely plagiarized portions of "Roots" from another writer. While definitely not a cool move, he gets a pass since the rest of it is still freaking "Roots."

There you have it, the five coolest people born in Ithaca, New York. Or, four plus Lonnie Park.

Cover Image Credit: Salon

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8 Struggles Of Being 21 And Looking 12

The struggle is real, my friends.
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“You'll appreciate it when you're older." Do you know how many times my mom has told me this? Too many to count. Every time I complain about looking young that is the response I get. I know she's right, I will love looking young when I'm in my 40s. However, looking young is a real struggle in your 20s. Here's what we have to deal with:

1. Everyone thinks your younger sister or brother is the older one.

True story: someone actually thought my younger sister was my mom once. I've really gotten used to this but it still sucks.

2. You ALWAYS get carded.

Every. Single. Time. Since I know I look young, I never even bothered with a fake ID my first couple of years of college because I knew it would never work. If I'm being completely honest, I was nervous when I turned 21 that the bartender would think my real driver's license was a fake.

3. People look at your driver's license for an awkward amount of time.

So no one has actually thought my real driver's license is fake but that doesn't stop them from doing a double take and giving me *that look.* The look that says, “Wow, you don't look that old." And sometimes people will just flat out say that. The best part is this doesn't just happen when you're purchasing alcohol. This has happened to me at the movie theater.

SEE ALSO: 10 Things People Who Look 12 Hate Hearing

4. People will give you *that look* when they see you drinking alcohol.

You just want to turn around and scream “I'M 21, IT'S LEGAL. STOP JUDGING ME."

5. People are shocked to find out you're in college.

If I had a dollar for every time someone had a shocked expression on their face after I told them I'm a junior in college I could pay off all of my student loan debt. It's funny because when random people ask me how school is going, I pretty much assume they think I'm in high school and the shocked look on their face when I start to talk about my college classes confirms I'm right.

6. For some reason wearing your hair in a ponytail makes you look younger.

I don't understand this one but it's true. Especially if I don't have any makeup on I could honestly pass for a child.

7. Meeting an actual 12-year-old who looks older than you.

We all know one. That random 12-year-old who looks extremely mature for her age and you get angry because life isn't fair.

8. Being handed a kids' menu.

This is my personal favorite. It happens more often than it should. The best part of this is it's your turn to give someone a look. The look that says, "You've got to be kidding me".

Looking young is a real struggle and I don't think everyone realizes it. However, with all the struggles that come with looking young, we still take advantage of it. Have you ever gone to a museum or event where if you're under a certain age you get in for a discounted price? Yeah? Well, that's when I bet you wish you were us. And kids' meals are way cheaper than regular meals so there have definitely been a couple times when I've kept that kids' menu.

So, all in all, it's not the worst thing in the world but it's definitely a struggle.

Cover Image Credit: Jenna Collins

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Blanche, Dorothy, Rose, and Sophia..four unique middle aged women from different backgrounds under one roof.

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One of the greatest shows of all time (at least in my opinion) is Golden Girls. I was not born yet when it first aired in 1985, but thankfully it is on Hulu. Here are just some of the many quotes from the series's seven-year run.

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2. Go to sleep sweetheart. Pray for brains. -Dorothy Zbornak

3. Dorothy, was Sophia naked just now, or does her dress really need ironing. -Rose Nylund

4. People waste their time pondering whether a glass if half empty of half full. Me, I just drink whatever's in the glass. -Sophia Petrillo

5. I've been having a giood time, and there wasn't even a man in the room. -Blanche Devereaux

6. As they say in St. Olaf, Helgenbargenflergenflurfennerfen. -Rose Nylund

7. Have I given you any indication that I care? -Sophia Petrillo

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9. Blanche, I could get herpes listening to this story -Dorothy Zbornak

10. I had a knack for coming up with the firmest, most appealing yams. -Rose Nylund

11. No, I will not have a nice day! -Dorothy Zbornak

12. Look, you didn't ask for my opinion, but I'm old, so I'm giving it anyway. -Sophia Petrillo

13. There is a fine line between having a good time and being a wanton slut. My toe has been on that line. Blanche Devereaux

14. You'll have to excuse my mother. She suffered a slight stroke a few years ago which rendered her totally annoying. -Dorothy Zbornak

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16. Silly rabbi. Tricks are for kids. -Sophia Petrillo

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