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Ithaca, N.Y.
Ithaca, N.Y.
Bill and Sarah Demo in front of the house they bought in Ithaca.
Name: Bill and Sarah Demo
Age: 64 and 58
Why they love it: Small town, big culture

After ending careers that were mostly in higher education, my wife and I retired in Ithaca, where each of us had been living for decades. I left my job two years ago.

We moved into town from Lansing, a semi-rural location north of Ithaca, where we had a modern house on 2.5 acres. We loved it there, but the strongest motivator for the move into town was the ability to walk virtually anywhere in town or around campus. It's a stimulating youthful environment and a great quality of life.

We bought a five-bedroom, 100-year-old "Craftsman foursquare" a block from the Cornell University campus, where Sarah used to work. We got good deal on the house. It was listed for $330,000 and we got it for $282,000

We had explored similar towns in New England -- Burlington, Vt., for example -- but ended up staying in Ithaca mainly due to family considerations. Plus, what's not to like in Ithaca! Small town, big city culture, natural beauty, great dining, and a long list of other superlatives that have insured a place for it on many "Best of" lists.

We're film buffs, and Ithaca is a film lover's dream. A five-theater, nonprofit movie house called Cinemopolis opened recently. We worked on fundraising for it and did some of the labor too, like helping install the theater seats.

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Last updated September 13 2010: 8:42 AM ET

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