Is Market Street Living for You?

I’ve lived on Market Street for more than 15 years, so I’m a go-to guy when people want to know, “what’s it like?”  It’s not perfect, but for me there’s nowhere else in town that really comes close.  When I moved here in 1997 there were roughly a dozen low to mid-end options.  Today Market Street boasts over 100 residential units.  And with nearly two dozen more in the works by the end of 2015, there have never been more options for upper-story living in Corning.  Is it for you?  Take this test to find out!

 

Do you like hardwood floors and high ceilings? (+3)

Most Market Street apartments exhibit features in keeping with the age of their buildings.  If you’re a fan of the unique character found in historic structures, it’s not hard to find when apartment hunting on Market Street.  Most recent renovations have concentrated on either thoughtfully preserving the vintage nature of the spaces – or re-creating that aesthetic with modern materials.  It’s not unusual to find ceiling heights in the 10-12′ range – and few interior walls – which can lend an open and airy feel to even smaller square-footage dwellings.

Do you hate shoveling snow? (+1)

Scientific studies have shown that the human brain finds snow the prettiest when it knows it does not have to shovel it.  I owned a home on a steep part of the Southside hill… with a double-wide driveway… on a corner lot – which is roughly equivalent to shoveling Wegmans parking lot.  On Market Street – as in most all places – building owners are ultimately responsible for keeping their sidewalks clear.  However, the bonus here is that the Gaffer District often beats them to it – with their maintenance staff clearing at least a decent pathway every time it snows.
snow out window
Enjoy all the beauty, without the shoveling (and follow us on instagram @urbancorning)

Do you love your car like it’s your baby? (-2)

Parking issues are a pretty universal gripe amongst the residents of Corning (and, well pretty much every city).  This is especially true for Market Street residents – who, while they may have a permit for one of the City lots (ideally on the same block as their building) – are not in most cases actually guaranteed a spot.  At peak times a resident might end up waiting quite awhile to park their car.  And once they do settle into a spot and walk away, will inevitably cringe knowing the next time they approach their vehicle it’s likely to have a new door ding.

no parking
What it looks like when you come back from Wegmans during lunch rush

Do you hate little yellow leaves? (-1/2)

The something-locust (right?) tress lining the streets are beautiful and perfectly-sized.  The Gaffer District keeps them nicely pruned, and the lights that adorn them lend a warm glow to the streetscape.  But the little yellow leaves that descend every fall find their way… well, everywhere.  For residents, the little leaf season is 12 months long.  You can never get them all.  I swear every time I sweep my floor I’m collecting multiple generations of the little suckers.  As annoying as they can be, we’re only deducting a half point here because given enough time as a Market Street resident, you’ll pass through all these and learn to peacefully co-exist with – if not fully embrace them.

leaf comp01
From the trees… to everywhere else

Do you get a voyeuristic thrill watching parallel parking FAILs? (+1)

Admit it – even if you’re terrible at it yourself, watching people attempt to parallel park is a guilty pleasure… and more entertaining than 94% of what’s on television at any given time.  As a Market Street resident, your windows are like movie theater screens… and the feature attraction is playing all day, every day.

 

Do you like to go to bed early/sleep late? (-2)

There are bars on Market Street.  And while it’s particularly noisy on weekends, no night of the week is immune to drunken revelers marching from one end to the other.  More often than not the best philosophy is, “if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em.”   Noise is not confined to the late hours, however.  Between the Gaffer District staff wielding leaf blowers out front – and the trash companies banging dumpsters out back – you’ll want to invest in one of these if you expect to sleep in any given morning.

 

Do you like to go out drinking? (+2)

There are bars on Market Street.  When you pick up your keys to a Market Street apartment you turn in your Designated Driver card.  Bar-bars, restaurants with bars, and neighboring residents with bar-carts are all just footsteps from your door.

 

Do you work in/near Corning’s Gaffer District? (+3)

Whether you want to be green, or just get some easy exercise, Market Street residents are within walking distance of anything in downtown Corning.  Library?  High School? City Hall?  CMoG?  Corning Incorporated?  The list goes on.  I live and work on the street and sometimes don’t even start my car for several days in a row.

 

Do you have a lot of stuff? (-2)

I’ve lived in five different Market Street apartments, and none of them had all that much closet space.  Though some buildings offer residents limited basement storage, there’s no attic and no garage.  And unless you’re into paying for the upper echelon of apartments on the street, you’re not going to have a spare room.  If you have a lot of belongings, your move to Market Street will probably include a storage unit rental.

 

Do you like to grill out? (-1)

Private outdoor space is rare… especially for non owner-occupied buildings.  If you’re into cooking out, gardening, etc. you’re going to have to either go without or do so on a much smaller scale than you could in a place with a private yard.

rooftop grilling
A few select buildings have rooftop decks (not my place, but did I mention @urbancorning is on instagram?)

Do you like to be in the middle of everything? (+5)

There’s no doubt in my mind this is the single most important reason to consider Market Street living.  Even in our small city, you feel more a part of every event & activity that happens downtown.  Corning’s Gaffer District – along with all the businesses that inhabit it – make Market Street the most dynamic neighborhood in the City.  With the right frame of mind, many of the liabilities described above have corresponding benefits.  You are steps away from an ever-evolving array of retail shops, eateries, and drinking establishments… and have a front row seat to everything from Glassfest to the Parade of Lights and Sparkle.

AH_WineglassMarathon1
Great view of the Wineglass Marathon finish, right from the living room

Admittedly, the economics may not work for everyone.  Location, location, location… means that these apartments often carry a premium over equivalent units elsewhere in the City.  And with the proliferation of newer luxury residences, there are fewer low-cost options than there used to be.  However, there are still many sub-$1000/month options if you have patience and ask around.

This Sunday’s 8th Annual Apartment Tour is the perfect opportunity to check out many of these apartments – and perhaps even have specific questions answered by their residents.  Or test drive the experience by booking a room at the Inn at the Gaffer Grille for a weekend.

Corning’s Gaffer District maintains a list of buildings that house apartments – along with landlord contact info – here.  And I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention there are upper-story living options on Bridge Street as well.

 

Scoring:

4 or less: Stay where you live now, but visit us on Market Street as often as possible!

5-10: Take the Apartment Tour and see if you’re swayed one way or the other

10-15: Move to Market Street today!  You can crash on my couch until your find your own place*

 

 

 

*terms and conditions apply – not affiliated with airbnb

 

 

Dave Rochelle
Dave owns Rochelle Media Works and is a partner at CreAgent Marketing in Corning, NY
Dave Rochelle
Dave Rochelle

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