Thanksgiving is a time to remember the people who are most important to us and the moments we get to share with them. In our digital world, it’s easy to find SNL clips and Internet memes assuming argumentative, dysfunctional family time; but when you truly get a chance to replace your mobile device with a glass of wine and your Facebook post with a face-to-face conversation, you know you’ve hit the holiday sweet spot.
As the day winds down and you realize you have a long weekend in front of you, you’ll check your phone for friends in town, community events, and holiday shopping deals… and you might even stumble across an Urban Corning post that promises to highlight some of the local businesses that offer unique gift ideas you won’t find on the Internet. However, if you’re checking your phone at the dinner table and someone asks what you’re looking at, read the first paragraph again (out loud to the whole family) and then bookmark this page. Once the tryptophan kicks in, they won’t ask again.
The following is a list of the types of gifts you can find in and around Corning’s Gaffer District, categorized for your scanning pleasure and in no particular order:
There are a few stores on Market Street that have this gift-giving concept down cold, perhaps none better than Connor’s Mercantile and Pure Design. This year, Pure Design brings even more to the game by featuring a wide selection from BEEKMAN 1802. When the pop-up store closed, Pure Design picked up the brand and kept it alive in Corning. Now you have even more chances to find a perfectly unique gift for anyone – and that’s not just marketing code for “come shop here.” BEEKMAN adds their famous pasta sauces, goat milk Soaps, organic peanut butters and jams, and more to the already awesome home furnishings, decorations, and kitchenware you’ll find at Pure Design.
Food and Beverage
It’s easy to pick up a gift certificate from any of the great restaurants and bars in Corning, and since nothing good ever comes from exceeding expectations, that’s probably what I’ll do. But if you have some more ambition, you’ll find a variety of food and beverage options to wrap up. Perhaps a full growler from Market Street Brewing Company or Iron Flamingo will tell your boss he needs to relax – a bottle of liquor from Bottles & Corks or Four Fights Distilling can really get the message across. Additionally, Crystal City Olive Oil offers gift packages and you can always assemble your own basket of local goodies at The Source.
Local Artwork and Hand-Made Gifts
With all the art galleries in Corning, an adequate search will turn up the perfect painting or photograph for anyone on your list. If you’re buying for someone you’ve dated for less than 2 months, an expensive piece of artwork might scream “I’m rich and super into you,” so definitely go for it. However, if it’s just for a family member or something like that, you can find a wide variety of locally hand-made goods. Check out the jewelry and glass tumblers at West End Gallery, stop into the studio at Vitrix, or support the up-and-coming local artists on display at The ARTS Council. Since Corning is a true destination for all kinds of creative people, you’re not short on options in this category.
Antique and Vintage Treasures
Unless you’re not that cool, you’ve probably noticed a lot of design trends recently classified as “reclaimed,” “mid-century,” “retro,” or “vintage.” Well don’t worry, Corning has got that covered, as well! There are 9 businesses featured as part of Corning’s Gaffer District’s Antiques & Vintage Collectables Experience Trail, which is an absurdly long name for a bunch of cool shops. One full day of shopping this year can be completely dedicated to perusing and sifting through thousands of one-of-a-kind treasures to find the perfect gift that is truly unique.
One of the things you really won’t find at the mall or online is a personally curated selection of clothes, shoes, and fashion accessories by one of our local boutique owners. Pip’s (Sarah Files), Posh (Courtney Lando), Glamour & Glow (Christine Spreng), and Heels & Hobos (Dee Reid) are true community staples of fashion thanks to the creativity and vision of these owners who take pride in their selection and service.
Memberships and Classes
Think outside the box. Literally. Think about the things that you can’t wrap up and place in a box because experiences make for awesome gifts, and there are many of them to be had in Corning. Sign someone up for any of these classes around town, get them a season subscription for the Orchestra of the Southern Finger Lakes, buy a museum membership at The Rockwell Museum or CMOG, let them make their own bead creation at Soulshine Studio, or enroll them for 6 months at Snap Fitness or Journey Fitness.
Editor’s Note: think long and hard about what you’re trying to say before you sign someone up for a gym membership…
By now, you’ve been fully enveloped by the Thanksgiving and holiday spirit and you’re just begging for some ways to express your gratitude for those important people in your life. I think of myself as just a simple blogger, someone who doesn’t need anything in return, someone who just enjoys writing and providing a little slice of entertainment to the readers of Urban Corning. I know you probably disagree and you’re trying to find a way to repay me and our team of writers, but it’s okay – we feel good just being able to have this opportunity to talk about the city we love to the people who live here. So please, as you are thinking of us while shopping in Corning this year, there’s no need to stop in our office at 41 East Market Street Suite 202 next to the Tommy Hilfiger Store (above Pure Design). Even though we’re almost out of bourbon and could use some new glass tumblers with which to drink it, we’d never expect a thing from you other than having a happy, guilt-free holiday season.