Binghamton Parade Day Fails

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We’re less than a week away from Binghamton’s most revered annual tradition: Parade Day. I’ve been partaking in Parade Day for almost a decade now and have been witness to a lot of interesting stuff. Below are three of the biggest fails I’ve experienced.

Why “Kirk”, Why

I’m starting off with the best story I have. So last year I lived in an apartment on Court Street which gave me a great view of the parade as well as Fail #1. It was just getting dark (about 2 hours after the parade) and things were starting to die down, or so we thought. My friends and I peered out my side window and noticed a guy (hereafter referred to as “Kirk”) hanging out on top of a roof (not sure how he got there) about three buildings away. Kirk then proceeded to make his way two buildings closer to mine, which put him only one building away. He started stumbling towards my building but there was one issue, the current rooftop he was on was higher than the rooftop he was jumping to, and my building’s roof was another 30 feet higher than that building. So he was essentially walking into a trap. Kirk only realized this after he had jumped down to the lower roof. Kirk was now trapped and looked like a mouse in one of those mazes…

We opened our side window and called out to him but he was so distraught he didn’t really comprehend what was going on. And to top it off his pants had fallen off, he was standing in a foot of snow, and it was about 15 degrees at this point. Being the responsible people we are, my friends and I called the police. About an hour later Kirk was rescued off the roof by the fire department. Learn from Kirk: roof hopping on Parade Day (or in general) is never a good idea.

Sweeping Her Off Her Feet

Fail #2 happened about three years ago but is still vivid in my memory. It involved my two friends who had been dating for a couple years at that point. My one friend wasn’t a huge fan of getting tickled (is anyone really?). Anyways her boyfriend thought it would be a good idea to start tickling her profusely. She tried to get away but was so overcome with laughter that it was hard for her to move.

After about 2 minutes she was able to slip out of his grasp and started to run around the dining room table, her boyfriend in hot pursuit, outstretching his hands for a second round of tickling. Having had a few beverages at this point, she thought the rational thing to do was run out of the apartment, barefoot. He, also being mildly inebriated, picked up a broom and ran out of the apartment (also shoe-less) and chased after her pretending to sweep her away (don’t ask me why).

My friends and I sprinted to the window only to witness the two of them disappear around the corner and out of sight. We didn’t see them again that day. Although, we later found out that they ran about a quarter mile to her apartment where they took a post-parade day nap together. I guess you could call that a fairy tale ending?

This Story Will Have You “Crawling” Back For More

This last Fail also happened three years ago. My one friend “Jim” had hurt his back weightlifting two days before Parade Day and could barely walk. My friends somehow convinced him to partake in Parade Day anyways and were fairly confident that a few beers would clear his back pain right up. Their sage pain management advice seemed to pay off and Jim seemed like his normal self. He even took part in our Parade Day “Harlem Shake” dance video (remember when that was a thing?).

The rest of the day went as planned, we all made it down to the parade, hit up a few bars and had an enjoyable time. All seemed to be going well for Jim until his buzz started to wear off, he got separated from us, and his phone died (recipe for disaster). We later found out from Jim, when he finally made it back to the apartment, that after his phone died and he couldn’t find us, that he started to walk back to our place on his own. About half-way through his trek back (3 mile journey), his back completely locked up. With no phone to call someone for help with, Jim was forced to continue his journey. BUT the pain had gotten so bad that he had to finish the trip on his hands and knees. Took him almost an hour to crawl a mile back to the apartment. Poor Jim.

Those are just a few of the biggest Parade Day fails I’ve been apart of. I’m sure you all have a few tales of your own, which we encourage you to share on our Facebook page.

Have a SAFE and happy Parade Day everyone!

Where I Would Go If The Zombie Apocalypse Hit Binghamton

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The mid-season premier of The Walking Dead aired last night. As I was watching, I thought to myself (as I have hundreds of times before): where would I go if the zombie apocalypse were to hit Downtown Binghamton? Don’t lie, you’ve thought the same thing.

After some careful thinking and strategizing I came up with three spots in Downtown Binghamton I’d head to first, in the event of a zombie take-over.

Twin River Commons

This place is a fortress. It’s made out of solid concrete and is surrounded on all sides by iron gates and chain linked fences. Presumably, if those barricades hold, nothing’s getting in. There’s also a variety of other security features like alarms, cameras and motion lights. Pretty secure if you ask me. And because it’s an apartment complex (for college students, no less) there’s an ample supply of bathrooms (assuming the plumbing is working), food (non-perishable Ramen), water and beer.

Even if the first floor were to be breached it would be easy to head to the top floors and just barricade the stairwells.

Oh and did I mention there’s a gym? Perfect for keeping fit to fight against any intruding zombies.

NYSEG Stadium

From the outside this place looks impenetrable. The entire outside is made of cinderblocks and 20 foot high steel gates. Once inside you have a couple options for shelter. Assuming the outer walls aren’t breached you could make your home in the luxury skyboxes, which have a high probability of being stocked with food if the BMets are in season. Even if they aren’t I’m sure there are freezers full of food somewhere inside the stadium. If the walls were to become breached you could lock yourself in the locker rooms, which lie deep in the stadium and would provide ample protection.

NYSEG Stadium is appealing for a couple other reasons: escape routes and weaponry. If things were to go south, the field is plenty big enough to support a couple of evac helicopters. And there’s also the possibility of hopping on a train passing through Binghamton on it’s way to salvation. If you get pinned down you’ll have ample baseball bats to choose from to fight your way through the zombie horde.

The Arena

Similar to NYSEG stadium and TRC, this place is pretty secure. Most of the entrance ways can be blocked with heavy metal doors and gates. The windows that surround the Arena will give survivors a 360 degree view of what’s going on around them to help make decisions and plan escape routes, if necessary.

If things get really hairy you can run up the spiral stairs (you know the ones you loved running down as a kid) and lock yourself up on the second floor. Besides the staircase the only way up are elevators and from the seats themselves. Luckily, the skyboxes all have pull down gates so you’re protected from the seating area and to my knowledge, zombies don’t know how to use elevators. Double bonus: the 2nd floor skyboxes and bar area will have food and water (hopefully).

If the zombie apocalypse were to hit Binghamton, where would you go? Let us know on our Facebook page.

CommuniKey Weekly Observations (9/22)

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Here’s our succinct take on the top things that happened in Binghamton last week. Enjoy!

Look Back At Last Week

1. Restaurant Week-This event is pretty much a holiday in Binghamton. So much so that we strongly feel that everyone should have off from work during Restaurant Week. Get out and support the local restaurants!

2. Cult Movie Thursdays at The Bundy-Every Thursday the fine folks at the Bundy Museum have screenings of cult classic horror movies. It’s a good way to start getting into the Halloween spirit. Also, our friends at Muckles’ Ink are on-hand, live-printing some stylish tees to commemorate the occasion.

3.Reaper’s Revenge-OK, so this technically isn’t in Binghamton but it’s worth mentioning that they opened this past weekend. This haunted hayride is very well done and is a must visit for anyone looking for a great time/scare.

 

7 Reasons Why Living In Binghamton Is Pretty Great

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Don’t listen to the haters. Binghamton isn’t the hick town that everyone makes it out to be. Yes, we struggle with crime, poverty, and an outdated infrastructure, but then again what town doesn’t have issues? There’s actually a lot going on here and anyone that tells you otherwise is either misinformed or ignorant. So go ahead and bask in your Binghamton pride!

1. The Food-Binghamton (and Broome County) is a foodie destination. We are not only the birthplace of the iconic Spiedie sub, but also host to a multitude of other ethnic and diverse dining options. On any given night you can get Italian, Greek, Thai, French, Middle Eastern, Indian, American, Cuban, Southwestern, Chinese, Japanese, Polish, Mexican, German, etc. We have good pizza, good burgers, good steaks, and good sushi. Basically, if you want it, some restaurant in the area is bound to serve it.

2. The Arts-For its size, Binghamton has a thriving and vibrant arts scene. Artists’ Row on State Street is home to several world-famous artists and their galleries are heavily attended the First Friday of every month. Looking for performing arts? Binghamton has it! There’s the Broadway Theatre League, The Forum, The KNOW Theatre, The Art Mission, Tri-Cities Opera, The Binghamton Philharmonic, The Goodwill Theatre and EPAC (sorry if we missed anyone). We also want to recognize all of the independent photographers, performers and artists who also greatly contribute to our arts scene.

3. The Sports-Binghamton is a sports town. We are home to two minor league champion sports franchises. The Binghamton Mets are the AA affiliate to the New York Mets and recently took home the Eastern League Crown. The Binghamton Senators are the AHL affiliate to the Ottawa Senators who were the Calder Cup champions in 2011. Binghamtonians can also enjoy a variety of D1 sports at Binghamton University.

4. The Location-Binghamton is within driving distance of many large metropolitan areas on the East Coast/Midwest including NYC (3 hours), Philadelphia (3 hours), Washington DC (5 hours), Boston (5 hours), Baltimore (5 hours), Pittsburgh (6 hours), Cleveland (6 hours), and Toronto (6 hours). We’re also a short distance away from other destinations such as the Finger Lakes, the Adirondacks, the Catskills, Atlantic City, the Jersey Shore, etc. Binghamton should be called the “Road Trip” City.

5. Nature-First of all it’s a huge plus that we experience all four seasons (well maybe Winter not so much). In the Fall the hills light up with changing leaves. There’s something magical about the City covered in a light dusting of snow in the Winter. The Spring may be wet but there’s no better feeling in the world when that weather starts to warm up. Our summers are pretty warm which is perfect for outdoor activities. Binghamton is also home to many parks, trails and recreation areas to experience the outdoors.

6. The Events-Binghamton/Broome County plays host to many large festivals/gatherings/events throughout the year which include: Spiedie Fest, Restaurant Week, The Dick’s Open, St. Anthony’s Bazaar, St. Mary’s Bazaar, Pride Palooza, Santacon, Empire Fest, First Friday, Parade Day, July Fest and Gusto Italian Festival to name a few. Parade Day can’t come soon enough.

7. The History-We normally like to focus on the future but it’s worth looking back at our past once in a while. Binghamton and Broome County have a rich history. We’re the birthplace to IBM as well as many celebrities including Rod Serling, Johnny Hart, The Jones Brothers and Jim Johnson (to name a select few). Binghamton was once a major manufacturing and industrial center and we’re optimistic that we can achieve the economic prosperity that the region enjoyed in years past.

CommuniKey Weekly Observations (9/15)

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Here’s our succinct take on the top things that happened in Binghamton last week. Enjoy!

Look Back At Last Week

1. Binghamton Brew Fest-We couldn’t make it down to the event but we heard great things. We’re all in favor of anything that brings thousands of gallons of beer into Downtown Binghamton.

2. Primary Elections-Bravo to all of you who exercised your civic duty and voted in the primary elections. Hoping these candidates will bring passion to the job of making Binghamton a better place to live and work.

3.9/11 Remembrance-Glad to see many different memorial ceremonies across the City and University. We will #NeverForget.

 

10 Can’t Miss Fall Activities In Binghamton

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Yes, Fall is here. Well technically it’s not Fall until September 22nd, but it’s close enough. Time for cooler weather, changing leaves, and Halloween activities.

There’s actually a ton to do in and around Binghamton during the Fall. We’ve listed our most favorite activities (in no particular order) below. Get out there and check these items off of your Fall bucket list.

1. Apple Picking: Our go-to spot for Apple picking is Apple Hills. It’s located out towards Whitney Point, only a 15-20 minute drive from most places in Broome County. Apple picking runs through September and into October so there’s still plenty of time to get out there. AND if you weren’t aware, Apple Hills has one of the most delicious and scenic breakfasts in the area. We highly recommend the hash brown casserole (served on Sundays).

2. Cider Mill: Stop reading this post right now and run (yes, run) to the Cider Mill. Located in Endicott, the Cider Mill serves up the most delectable cider, doughnuts, candied applies and pies in the area. If you have never been to the Cider Mill your life is sadly incomplete.

3. Stoughton Farms: Think corn maze but on steroids. Open late September through October, Stoughton Farms creates an epically challenging corn maze filled with dead ends and wrong turns. Tackle this maze in the dark for an added challenge and amusement. This year’s design is of a dog and cat in support of animal adoption.

4. Reaper’s Revenge: Technically, this isn’t located in Binghamton, but believe us when we tell you that Reaper’s Revenge is amazing. Reaper’s Revenge is an intricately themed haunted hay-ride through the back woods of Pennsylvania. They enact scenes from a variety of horror flicks and guide you through their “Haunted Carnival”. After the ride you have the option of wandering through “Pitch Black” which is basically a maze in complete darkness. We cannot overstate how much of a great time this place is. Worth the drive.

5. The Pumpkin Farms: There are 2 major pumpkin farms near Binghamton: Jackson’s and Iron Kettle. Both are located out towards Owego and offer hay rides, haunted houses, mazes, and more. Both are a great place to visit on a weekend.

6. Wine Tour: Fall is the perfect season for a wine tour. Every season is technically a good season for wine but Fall is especially fun. Luckily, Binghamton is located only a short distance from the Finger Lakes. Most wineries only charge $3-$4 per tasting so it’s an affordable way to experience Upstate NY. If you want to stay local, Black Bear Winery offers wine tastings year-round. PS: PLEASE DON’T DRINK AND DRIVE.

7. Nature: Upstate NY has been ranked one of the top places in the country to view the Fall foliage. Binghamton is surrounded by large rolling hills covered with forests so it’s pretty much impossible to miss seeing the changing leaves. Truly a beautiful sight.

8. Boo at The Zoo: The Ross Park Zoo turns the zoo into a massive outdoor haunted house one weekend every October. It’s a good time and mildly scary. Don’t worry, no animals are harmed in the putting on of this event.

9. STIC Haunted Halls of Horror: We’re going to go out on a limb and say this is the scariest attraction located in Binghamton. It’s basically a giant indoor maze with dozens of different scary scenes. It runs almost every weekend in October and admission is only $10.

10. First Friday Zombie Walk: Zombies take over downtown Binghamton the first Friday of every October. Enough said.

That’s our top 10. Get out there an experience the best season of the year.

CommuniKey Weekly Observations (9/8)

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We’re trying something new here. We hate long draw out blog posts. So we decided to start a “weekly observations” piece. We’ll basically take a look back at the top three or four things that happened in Binghamton last week and give you a brief commentary.  The idea is to keep it short, informative and mildly entertaing.

Look Back At Last Week

1. Empire Fest-There’s a lot of potential with this. Great seeing so many people Downtown in addition to a relevant musical act (Bro Safari) coming to Binghamton. Road closures and lack of information on subsequent closures were definitely issues but we’re excited to see this event bigger and better in 2015.

2. First Friday-This monthly tradition was exceptionally awesome this month. The weather was unbeatable and Downtown seemed more vibrant than normal. Great to see the streets, restaurants, galleries and shops filled with people. October’s First Friday will feature a Zombie Walk so we’re looking forward to that.

3. Binghamton University & SUNY Broome Started Classes-Yes, lines may be longer at your favorite restaurant, but this is the sacrifice that needs to be made. The students bring a lot of energy to Binghamton and anyone who thinks otherwise is delusional. SUNY Broome recently opened their Student Village which will undoubtedly add a whole new dynamic to things in the region.

4. Football Is Here-Que the proverbial groan from non-sports fans and girlfriends, alike. Football is back (including fantasy). For many people (us included) this is almost a religious experience. The start of the NFL season also signifies the beginning of Fall, cooler weather and fun Halloween activities.

Going Above and Beyond Restaurant Week

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With the ten day long extravaganza of Binghamton Restaurant Week now coming to an end, where does Binghamton’s food scene go from here? It was exciting to see restaurants filled with guests ready to sample a three course meal to benefit VINES and the Boys and Girls Club of Binghamton over the past week, but will this buzz about eating locally continue? With the help of social media, I think that the trend of #bingfood can have a big impact on the future of this city.

Between BingSpot and the Binghamton Restaurant Week Facebook page, your news feed has probably been flooded with menus, pictures and statuses promoting the participating restaurants. Being the college town that Binghamton is and will become with the 2020 plan, this type of interaction between students and local businesses needs to continue. It’s fairly obvious that college students spend a lot of time checking their phones and various forms of media. Reaching them on these platforms will be vital to the success of the downtown community.

It is important for restaurants and other local businesses looking to appeal to college students to get used to engaging through social media. It is these businesses that utilize these tactics that will thrive and connect with the younger Binghamton generation. The reason I’m stressing this point is because there is a lot of room for improvement with the social media scene that is present in Binghamton today.

No matter how much businesses promote their work, it is the student’s job to take action and support their local community. The more money that is going directly back to residents and businesses for growth, the quicker the town will become a better place to settle down after your four years. Think about where your money is going and who you are supporting. Take action to give back to the city that gives you so much and you never know what the future may hold for Binghamton.

And don’t forget that CommuniKey is here to help you discover all of the great restaurants/businesses that Binghamton has to offer!

Get Tan Before Spring Break

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Looking for the perfect tanning experience? Stop into Tanfastic located on Pennsylvania Ave to feel rejuvenated after a long winter at Binghamton!

Tanfastic has advanced tanning equipment, a variety of lotions and skin therapy services that are great for giving you a daily boost, especially of Vitamin D. One bed that many customers love is the “Onyx,” which makes you feel like you have had several hours in the sun. They offer spray tans, too, so make yourself believe you went away somewhere warm and sunny for spring break! This tan applies in seconds and lasts for days.

Rates are 15% off for CommuniKey members. It is just a short distance away from downtown so there is no reason why you shouldn’t try it out.

The BMets Are Back

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It’s spring, it’s April and it’s time for baseball. The warm weather has been holding off long enough and Binghamton is ready to support its home town team. The Binghamton Mets, which play in the Eastern League, is the Double-A affiliate of the New York Mets major-league club. If you didn’t make it to a game last year or this is your first spring in Binghamton, April is your chance to go to a game for just $1 with your CommuniKey.

B-Mets

Courtesy of 365 Binghamton

The stadium has deals throughout the week to amp up your experience. Two for Tuesdays and Thirsty Thursdays offer drink deals to add another level of entertainment to chilling in the sun. Grab a group of friends and come by for a full afternoon of fun.
This is the perfect timing to transition from watching the Binghamton Senators all winter to an outdoor season of exciting action. The B-Mets placed first in the Eastern league standings last year and will look to continue their dominance this year. April 3rd is opening day and the team hits the ground running with a full week of home games so there are many chances to check them out. Head over in the next couple of weeks to support the community, have a good time and cheer on our very own Binghamton Mets.
Spencer Kostrinsky – CommuniKey Intern and food blogger at Fooduncovered.com