Ok, Corning, let’s lace up the honesty shoes for a minute: if you primarily hang out on Market Street to do your shopping, your eating and drinking, or your casual strolling, then you probably carry some dissenting views about Bridge Street… downtown Corning’s “other” street. Maybe you hung out at Lando’s as a teenager and don’t want to run into the younger crowd any more, or maybe you’re so vehemently opposed to the idea that there’s a topless bar in town that you’d rather not even patronize the street it’s on. Whatever the reason, there’s a general connotation that Bridge Street has a bit of an edge.
But let’s keep those honesty shoes on for one more minute: who among us isn’t attracted to a bit of an edge? If you visit the Grand Canyon and don’t have some kind of primal urge to peek into the abyss, then what’s the point? If you’re on the observation deck of the Empire State Building and don’t lean against the railing for a minute, you don’t know what it’s like to feel a rush of butterflies from simply standing still. The only time an edge is a bad thing is when you go over it; Bridge Street doesn’t do that.
Tonight, Corning kicks off a brand new event called Taste of Summer. For many years, “Race Fever” was the premiere event on Bridge Street every August, but it’s gone now and Taste of Summer is taking over. It’s an event that aims to provide a full proverbial “taste” of everything the Gaffer District has to offer; more than 30 businesses from Market and Bridge Streets alike will offer food, fares, fun, or just a smiling face at the Thursday night festival.
And as much as it’s a celebration of Corning, it should also be a celebration of Bridge Street.
An edge is endearing – it’s something we all have, whether it comes out in our best of times or our worst. The edge signals a transition – the part of every experience that may seem difficult, but is usually most rewarding. The edge is real, it’s human, it’s essential for everything that is anything at all. The edge may take some heat, but it’s the first to see the light.
Tonight at Taste of Summer (and throughout the whole year) remember that there’s a bridge on Bridge Street for a reason: because it’s a crossing, a connection between the comfort zone and the edge. And this town will never grow if we all stay in the comfort zone. What a perfect place to enjoy a sampling of everything our beautiful town has to offer.