7 Reasons Why Living In Binghamton Is Pretty Great

By | Updates

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 Yes, we struggle with crime, poverty, and an outdated infrastructure, but then again what town doesn’t have issues?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)

By | Updates

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

By | Updates

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)

By | Updates

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

By | Updates

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

By | Updates

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

By | Weekly Freebie Rundown

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

4 Spring Time Activities to Get Rid of the Winter Blues

By | Updates

1. Binghamton Parks
Ostiningo Park
If you’re like me, you have been yearning to take your workouts outside. Binghamton is home to beautiful parks that will make you feel calm and relaxed during your sweaty adventures. For students on campus, the nature preserve is your best friend. Get lost one afternoon, but not too lost, and navigate the serene setting in your backyard. My goal is to make it to Otsiningo park located off of Front Street. I hear there are two and four mile loops that are perfect for a warm spring day running around a quiet lake.
2. Hanging in the Quad
Binghamton Quad
This is as college as it gets. Frisbees flying, guys in tank tops and girls in sun dresses will flood the quad. Now that the construction isn’t consuming Binghamton’s free space, this large grassy area will fill up quick as soon as the sun breaks through those clouds. Class will seem miles away and attendance numbers will go down. Grab a snack to eat and bum out with your friends for hours to catch up with them and on your Vitamin D levels that have been low all winter.
3. Eating Outside
picnic
Whether you want to make a picnic for the quad or head downtown for a nice lunch with friends, eating outside brings spring activity into the summer time bliss category. There’s nothing more relaxing than eating a nice fresh meal with a slight breeze cooling off the blistering sun. If you’re old enough, grab a drink and sit back and ignore graduation for just a few more hours. Burger Mondays is set to open outdoor eating and drinking this year so keep an eye out for that. And Zona’s deck can’t be beat on a bright sunny day.
4. Spring Fling

One of the biggest days of the spring semester is Spring Fling. A full day of fun, food and festivities brought to you by the SA. This year is going to be even bigger with Matt and Kim headlining on May 3rd. All of campus will be alive and excited to watch student groups perform throughout the day, have fun on the many rides across the quad and grab some funnel cakes from the food vendors lined up the spine.
As soon as you feel that sun on your skin, take advantage of these activities. Before you know it, you will be back from school and locked inside working the summer away. Get out there and enjoy all Binghamton has to offer this spring.
Spencer Kostrinsky – CommuniKey Intern and food blogger at Fooduncovered.com

Southern Tier Crossfit: Downtown’s Newest Fitness Facility

By | Weekly Freebie Rundown

What is crossfit exactly? Is that the thing with the tires and stuff right?

We get both of these questions fairly often. Officially, crossfit is a work-out regime that incorporates high-intensity interval training, Olympic weightlifting, powerlifting, gymnastics, calisthenics, strongman exercises and other disciplines. But if you talk to any hardcore crossfitter they’ll tell you that it’s much more than that; it’s a lifestyle and the ultimate way to train your body and your mind.

Luckily for us Binghamtonians (I think that’s right?) there is now a crossfit center located right downtown. Southern Tier Crossfit is Binghamton’s newest fitness facility. They opened their DT facility last summer and are dedicated to providing you with the ultimate crossfit experience. ST Crossfit holds classes every day, throughout the entire day, which is conducive to almost any schedule.

ST Crossfit strives to provide an environment that is supportive and free of intimidation. So if you’re looking to get into a great shape and become physically and emotionally healthier, Southern Tier Crossfit is the perfect solution.

PS: ST Crossfit completely renovated a vacant building, adding to the economic development of downtown. Also, check out their new sign. The owner built it with his bare hands. It’s pretty awesome.

The Café That Has You Crawling On All Fours

By | Weekly Freebie Rundown

Nezuntoz (think knees and toes) located on Pennsylvania Avenue connected to Weis Markets is serving up everything from soup to espresso. Just a short drive from campus, this café has a variety of options to choose from on their vibrant menu. The colorful chalkboards are the first thing that hits your senses when you walk through the door. With so many delectable sounding dishes to choose from, you may want to look at the menu beforehand and maybe even place your order online and it will be ready for pickup as soon as you get there.
Nezuntos
My first time in their doors I had to go after one of the many Panini sandwiches with interesting names that I heard great reviews about. I settled on the hungry hiker which has turkey, Muenster cheese which happens to be my favorite, avocado and bacon aioli. It was the aioli that sold me because anytime you read a menu item and it says aioli, it basically means another added layer of flavor. It was a heavy sandwich because of the three types of fats, but the crunchy Panini bread that grilled up perfectly in the press was definitely my favorite part. For me, the bread is always the most important part of a sandwich and Nezuntoz didn’t disappoint.
Nezuntoz sandwich
Besides sandwiches, they have breakfast options, a plethora of coffee creations, homemade soups and salads and plenty of sweet treats to finish your meal. Grab a bite to eat before you head into the supermarket to pick up your groceries for the week to try and recreate the amazing meal you just had. It’s a fun thing to try one night a week: buy ingredients to imitate your favorite meal at a restaurant to see if you can do it any justice. Grab this week’s freebie fast to enjoy a spot serving up food that satisfies all ages.
Spencer Kostrinsky – CommuniKey Intern and Binghamton Food Blogger at Fooduncovered.com