Holiday Shopping Has Never Been More Fun

Posted on Nov 25, 2015 in Food & Drink, Local Arts, Unique Area Businesses

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:

Hunger Games Shopping Meme

sorry… I got a little caught up in the Hunger Games finale… stay safe out there.

Unique Gifts

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.

BEEKMAN 1802 at Pure Design

Pure Design is now carrying BEEKMAN 1802 and you’ll never get me to admit I bought 3 bars of goat milk soap.

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.

Crystal City Olive Oil on Market Street in Corning

Every time I go in here, I act like I’ve never been so I can justify tasting every single bottle before choosing the Tuscan oil again.

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.

West End Gallery in Corning, NY

West End Gallery features some of the most highly sought-after artists our region has to offer.

Hand Made Glass Tumblers at West End Gallery

When you drink an old fashioned out of a colorful, hand-made glass tumbler from West End, I think the alcohol doesn’t affect you at all.

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.

Glassware from 94 West Antiques in Corning

I drink my orange juice just like everyone else – out of a cut glass chalice from 94 West Antiques.

Winter Fashions

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.

Posh Boutique in Corning

If you asked me 5 years ago whether I’d step foot in a place called “Posh,” I would not have admitted the nickname I had for my living room at the time.

Pip's Boutique in Corning

I pretended to take pictures for the Urban Corning blog just so I had an excuse to walk into Pip’s and feel how incredibly soft and warm these accessories are.

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…

Orchestra of the Southern Finger Lakes

The Orchestra of the Southern Finger Lakes offers a holiday concert and a full season of music that is better than Justin Bieber.

Final Thoughts

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.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Sean Lukasik
Sean is the owner and partner at CreAgent Marketing in Corning, NY. He helps businesses find their voice on social media and build their audience online. He helps individuals find delicious meals and great drinks throughout the Southern Finger Lakes.
Sean Lukasik


A boutique agency specializing in web design, SEO, videography, internet marketing, and social media. We brand online for success everywhere.
RT @LoganSweet369: On a totally related note, my @CreagentMktg colleagues and I just launched this site for a local brewery.… - 2 months ago
Sean Lukasik
Sean Lukasik
Sean Lukasik

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