Ithaca is commonly listed among the most culturally liberal (or, more controversially and presumptuously, "enlightened") of American small cities ... Like many small college towns, Ithaca has also received accolades for having a high overall quality of life ...
In its earliest years during frontier days, what is now Ithaca was briefly known by the names "The Flats" and "Sodom," the name of the Biblical city of sin, due to its reputation as a town of readily-available loose pleasures. These names did not last long; Simeon Dewitt renamed the town Ithaca in the early 1800s.
Brought to you by an entry at It Shines For All, a real grownup blog at the New York Sun by Daniel Freedman, whom I haven't met but is one of Justin's gmail buddies via a mutual friend. Justin is "a reader" who alerted Daniel to Ithaca's reputation.
The first paragraph, from what I can determine, is true, although Ithaca ain't no Berkeley. Berkeley is not part of a county that has more cows than people. Cows seem to have a moderating effect on political activism, or else they correspond with a more mellow outlook on life. Maybe it's the methane. Anyway, everyone I've ever met who is from or has lived in Ithaca is pleasant in a nerdy sort of way, including and most especially my husband.