Good to know: Giles Tree House


The wifi network is: Bird Nest Far

Password: treepeace

If the internet is not working, unplug the modem and router in the living room beside the couch, wait a minute, and plug them in again.  If reseting the modem and router does not solve the problem, call Spectrum to have a technician try to fix it: Call 855-707-7328, choose internet support, Alicia Freedman is name on account. Address: 220 Giles St. Account # 762716514.


The driveway can fit 2 cars if the car on the right pulls up towards the top and close to the stone wall. You’ll want a running start because the gravel is a little loose at the top of the driveway. There is free 24 hour street parking nearby for additional cars.


There are snow shovels and sidewalk salt at the house. The broom on the front porch is good for sweeping the exterior steps when there is light snow. And if the forecast calls for snow, you want to back into the driveway so you can easily drive out and park just behind the concrete pad and in the low center of the driveway. It will be easier to shovel if your car is in the center of the driveway and closer to the road. But keep the car back enough so a city snow plow doesn’t hit it while it plows the road in a storm!

if it’s just a light snow and don’t need to salt anything. We do sprinkle salt on any icy patches on the paths to the street. Since there is no city sidewalk down on the street level in front of the house, we are not obligated to remove snow at any particular place. If you are expecting packages to be delivered, keeping the front staircase clear is good for deliveries. We have had one delivery person leave packages in our driveway sometimes, so you might want to look there if a package has been delivered but you don’t see it at the mailbox, front steps or front porch.


The closest place to get trash tags is the Commons Market. There are many other places you can buy them (Wegmans, Greenstar, etc) as well. You can put the trash tag on the trash can lid if the contents are under 35 lbs.

Trash pickup is every Tuesday night / before dawn Wednesday mornings. Recycling is every other Tuesday night. Set up a bi-weekly reminder in your calendar so you remember.

Giles Tree house trash and recyclin

The trash and recycling cans are on the patio just outside the basement door. Raccoons do like to get into the cans and make a mess at night, so make sure the lids are on tight and even add a brick to the top if there is food in the trash can.


Recycling guidelines

Can recycle curbside: Clean plastic containers #1, #2 & #5, paper, boxboard, flattened cardboard, aluminum and glass containers

CANNOT recycle curbside: Styrofoam, plastic bags and films, padded envelopes dirty containers, compostable containers, electronics, wood, other metals. Clean plastic bags can be recycled near customer service at Walmart, in the entrance of Wegmans and Home Depot, etc.

The dump is amazing. It’s past Wegmans on Rt. 13. Turn right at the big “Harbor Freight” sign on Rt. 13. You can recycle rigid plastic, and electronics at the dump but not curbside. It is free to take all of your recycling there. They’re open Mon-Sat 7am – 3:30pm unless it’s a holiday.


If you would like to compost, you can! If you choose not to compost, you will want to secure the exterior trash can lids with a brick and/or bungee cord. The local raccoons enjoy opening the exterior trash cans with food in them, and they are not very good at cleaning up after themselves…

The Earth Machine in the backyard behind the wood pile is designed for composting in a city. Only put food scraps from plants in the compost. Do not put anything that is meat, dairy, seafood or eggs in the compost(rinsed eggshells are the only exception). Animal foods attract rats and raccoons. After adding food scraps to the center of the Earth Machine, cover them with leaves and put the lid on so that a raccoon cannot remove it. You will need to turn it after f In the fall, collect a trash can of leaves to leave by the Earth Machine and use all winter. Compostable containers (cups, clam shell containers, etc) will not break down in our little Earth Machine. Please take them to the industrial compost at the dump.

In the winter if the lid is frozen shut, you might need to bang on the top and pour hot (but not boiling hot water that will damage the plastic) water on it to open it.

Cornell Cooperative Extension has great resources on composting if you want to learn more.


There are a couple places where the basement leaks, so there is a trickle of water on the floor at times. It is best not to keep anything on the basement floor that cannot get wet. A dehumidifier runs a couple times a day in the basement. It is set up on a timer.


The thermostat for the house is in the living room. When it is consistently below 60 degrees, keep the windows closed and the heat at 72 degrees. It is a steam boiler, so in the morning there is often condensation on some windows. This is normal.


There is a fuse box in the basement just inside the exterior basement door. If you use the microwave and toaster at the same time, you will blow a fuse and will need to reset the circuit. Please use the toaster and microwave one at a time!

The electricity in Ithaca has been going out for a couple hours every month or so. These are widespread outages. Not sure why. But if the electricity goes off at the house, since we bought the house in 2017 electrical outages have always been a grid issue rather than a house electric issue.


It’s a great stove, but the digital interface can be a little tricky to use!


There is a drainage ditch beside the house that can get clogged and cause big problems. Once the driveway literally washed away because the drainage ditch had debris in it and water overflowed like a river onto the patio and into the driveway. When you go to the compost bin, feel free to take a look at the drainage ditch on the way to make sure there are no big rocks or branches stuck in it.

Please make sure you don’t put oil or coffee grounds down the sink drain. That could damage the plumbing. Keep the garbage disposal in the kitchen sink drain free of large seeds (from olives, etc) and other hard objects and run the water when the garbage disposal is on.


If you would like to hire the professional cleaner who usually cleans the house, ask Alicia for their contact info.

The Shark RV1001AE IQ Robot Self-Empty XL, Robot Vacuum is very useful, but it takes some care. Make sure the ends of cords are not on the floor as well as other things smaller than an inch long that you don’t want to get sucked up. The hard copy of the manual is in the kitchen drawer under the microwave. There is a roller that can be popped out if there is string or hair caught on it.

There are instructions in the video description. Please make sure you pick up any fabric, wires, etc that could get sucked in and stuck before turning on the robot.

AirBnb House Manual: 

Climbing the staircase to the house makes you feel like you’re hidden above the city of Ithaca, even though everything is so close by. There is a light switch for the stairs in just inside the front door of the house. There is another switch underneath the floodlights near the bottom of the stairs. Switch the outside lights on if you walk home at night. Please take care on the stairs.

Wet shoes stay on the porch or on the mats just inside the front door. Dry shoes and coats can go in the mirror closet. Please take your shoes off when you enter the house.

Walk to the downtown Ithaca Commons for happy hour at Viva Taqueria and a diverse cluster of restaurants and bars with everything from burgers to gourmet Asian fusion. Check out our printed Guidebook in the Tree House for suggestions.

Six Mile Creek is at the bottom of the gorge and you can see it when you open the porch door. Hike the wildflower preserve and first dam just a 10 minute walk up Giles Street. Walk over to the Cornell campus to tour the old Arts Quad and feel the youthfulness of Collegetown. Ithaca College is a 25 minute walk away as well. Drive 15 min west to Taughannock for the tall thin waterfall or 10 min south to Buttermilk and Treman.

The driveway can fit 2 cars, and there is free 24 hour street parking nearby for additional cars.

The open kitchen has granite countertops and is fully equipped to cook large and small meals. Cupboards and drawers are labeled so it is easy to find what you are looking for. There is also a composting Earth Machine behind the woodpile if you need it. There are labeled cans for clean recycling and trash in the kitchen.

IN THE WARM MONTHS: Please check yourself for ticks if you go walking in the plants around the house. Please only open windows that have screens and close them when you leave the house.

IN THE COLD MONTHS: If you turn the thermostat (between the living room and bathroom) up to 72 degrees in the cold months the house will be comfortable. Please be patient. The thermostat controls a newer steam boiler that heats nicely and warms up slowly. Each tall radiator has a 2-3 inch wheel you can turn counter clockwise to open to heat or clockwise to close to heat. Please do not disturb the little whistle-like metal piece on the side of each radiator. When you check out you can turn the thermostat down to 55 degrees (not any lower though please!). The purple bedroom has an additional electric heat register because the  steam boiler doesn’t heat that room. You can turn it on with the dial right on the baseboard. Please turn this electric baseboard radiator off when you leave the house as well, and keep anything combustable (towels, fabric, etc) at least 1 foot away from it.

For coffee lovers: We try to keep a stash of locally roasted coffee in the kitchen. To use the French press and make big cups of coffee for 2 in the Tree House…
1. Start boiling water
2. Add 2-3 tbsp of ground coffee to the empty french press
3. Fill the french press about half way with the hot water and stir
4. Replace the lid with plunger arm raised high
5. Wait about 3 minutes
6. Press down, pour out and enjoy

There are towels and sheets in the closet to the left of the bathroom as well as a first aid kit.

The iron and ironing board are in the basement with the laundry machines.

If you want to play music, just beside the living room couch there is an auxiliary cable attached to the knob of the drawer above the stereo. Press the AUX button to turn the stereo on and the OFF button to turn it off. Turn the volume dial slowly. It’s a little funny.

TO WALK TO THE CLOSEST WATERFALL AND TRAIL: Cross the street to the walking path on the gorge side and go right. You can walk to the wildflower preserve and first dam in less than 10 minutes. You can see first dam from the bridge or take the steep path at the gate to the left before you reach the bridge. Bring a camera and wear good shoes. The wildflower preserve is a nice walk in the woods. Cross over the bridge and take a right down the first paved hill.

TO WALK TO THE COMMONS: Take a left on the street when you leave the house. Cross the street to walk on the sidewalk on the gorge side. For a quieter walk, keep going straight (sometimes a little to the right) down the hill on Giles/Hudson St. Turn right at the end. You’ll see the restaurants on Aurora St in front of you and the Commons on your left. For a busier walk, take a right on the footbridge at the intersection of Giles/Hudson and Columbia, veer slightly left on Ferris when you step off the bridge, and then go left again downhill on busy E State St.

TO WALK TO CORNELL: Our favorite path is over the footbridge, straight (slight left) on Ferris Place, at the end of Ferris Place go a little downhill to the traffic light on the intersection of Stewart Ave and E State Street. Cross over to Stewart Ave and walk about 5 minutes until you see Campus Road going uphill to your right. Cross over onto Campus Road and head uphill. Take the path on Libe Slope by the 350 year old oak tree. It is a special tree.

Check out the printed Guidebook waiting for you in the Tree House for recommendations on brunch, dinner, coffee shops, happy hour, etc. Most restaurants in Ithaca close at 10pm. Let us know if you have any questions!


For a real emergency: 911

Ithaca Police Dept: (607) 272-9973

If you need something related to the house urgently call this number and include your name, address and apt #, and concern:

  • ‪Carla at 607-261-1949‬