Explore Corning 2024

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E ditors & P ublish E rs

Teresa Banik Capuzzo

Michael Capuzzo

A ssoci A t E E ditor & P ublish E r

Lilace Mellin Guignard

A ssoci A t E P ublish E r

George Bochetto, Esq.

A rt d ir E ctor

Wade Spencer A ccounting

Amy Packard contributing WritErs

Ann E. Duckett, David Higgins, Gayle Morrow, Karey Solomon contributing PhotogrAPhErs

Tim Coleman, Alex Hamer, Gayle Morrow

Becky Simpson with Stealing Magnolia Photography

s A l E s r EP r E s E nt A tiv E s Shelly Moore, Amy Woodbury d istribution

Michael Banik, Amy Woodbury

#ExploreCORNING is published by Beagle Media, LLC, 39 Water St., Wellsboro, PA 16901, in partnership with Corning’s Gaffer District. Copyright © 2024 Beagle Media, LLC. All rights reserved. E-mail info@ mountainhomemag.com, or call (570) 724-3838. #ExploreCORNING is distributed at hundreds of locations in Tioga, Potter, Bradford, Lycoming, Union, and Clinton counties in PA and Steuben, Chemung, Schuyler, Yates, Seneca, Tioga, and Ontario counties in NY.

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#ExploreCORNING 2024 Guide
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Hello and welcome to the 2024 edition of the Explore Corning area guide. For the first time we are sharing the pages of this publication with our neighbors in Downtown Elmira. We are sister cities who both celebrate our community’s unique history and the legacy of family-owned businesses, as well as beloved annual events and activities for people to discover and enjoy.

In the last few years, people have a greater desire than ever to explore, make memories with family and friends, and discover experiences in our region. Corning’s Gaffer District is fortunate to have a downtown with over 200 independently owned businesses. In addition, we are home to the world-renowned Corning Museum of Glass, the Rockwell Museum, and a number of galleries. Our many restaurants will quickly show you why we are named a Bon Appetit Dining destination.

Grab a coffee or ice cream from a café, or a book at our bookstore, and stroll over to the award-winning Centerway Bridge, which is now a suspended park over the Chemung River. Everywhere you look a magnificent view of the valley awaits you. Our public art displays throughout the downtown also make a stroll a delight at every turn.

I encourage you to go to gafferdistrict.com and check out our full year of family events which kicks off with our 15th annual GlassFest event in May and closes with our 50th Sparkle in December.

Although I cannot predict which of your experiences will be enjoyed the most in the Gaffer District, I can promise you that you will be so very glad you decided to come and visit. We look forward to welcoming you and helping you make incredible memories!



Gaffer District GuiDe

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2024 Endless Mountain

Friday, July 19

“Opening Night Fireworks in Red, White and Blue!”

7:00 p.m. – Steadman Theatre, Commonwealth University at Mansfield, Mansfield, PA

Sponsored by C&N

Bach ................................................. Suite No. 3

Creston .................................. “Dance Overture”

Cowell...................Symphony No. 13 (“Madras”)


Boyer ................... PA premiere of “Rhapsody in Red, White and Blue” Featuring Jeffrey Biegel, piano

Saturday, July 20

“Happy Birthday, Gershwin!” A Celebration of the 100th year of “Rhapsody in Blue”

7:00 p.m. – Corning Museum of Glass, Corning, NY

Sponsored by Corning Incorporated and Mountain Home Magazine Brahms .................................. Symphony No. 2


Tsontakis .......................................... “Laconika”

Gershwin “Rhapsody in Blue”Featuring – Jeffrey Biegel, piano

Sunday, July 21

“Neil Diamond to Funk” Pops ConcertFeaturing the EMMF Orchestra playing a selection of popular favorites from “East St. Louis Blues” and “Also Funk Zarathustra,” to “Sweet Caroline,” “What a Wonderful World,” and “YMCA.” Also featuring clarinetist Trina Gross in “Viktor’s Tale” by John Williams. 2:30 p.m. – Wellsboro High School Auditorium, Wellsboro, PA - FREE Sponsored by the Dunham Family Foundation in Memory of Robert C. Dunham, UPMC & UPMC Health Care, and Wellsboro Electric Company

Sunday, July 21

“EMMF Brass Under the Stars!” featuring the EMMF Brass Section

8:00 p.m. – Cherry Springs State Park, Overnight Astronomy Observation Field (by the telescope domes) - FREE Sponsored by The David G. Patterson Foundation and The Gale Foundation

Monday, July 22

FREE Seminar: “Maverick American Composers” featuring George Tsontakis, Stephen Gunzenhauser, Hiroko Sakurazawa

12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. –Corning Museum of Glass, Corning, NY

Sponsored by Corning Incorporated

Monday, July 22

“EMMF String Quartet Performs Classic Gems” featuring Lisa Scott, violin; Hua Jin, violin; Charlie Alves, viola; and Perry Scott, cello

7:00 p.m. – 171 Cedar Art Center, Corning, NY

Sponsored by Corning Incorporated

Tuesday, July 23

“Flute and Harp Sister Duo!” featuring Melissa Mashner, flute; and Melanie Mashner, harp

7:00 p.m. – Deane Center Grand Community Room, Wellsboro, PA, — Sponsored by FCCB

Wednesday, July 24

“Music is My Weapon!” featuring Jason Mathena and David Wert, percussion

7:00 p.m. –Knoxville Yoked Church, Knoxville, PA – FREE

Sponsored by the Deerfield Charitable Trust

Thursday, July 25

“EMMF’s Famous Brass Quintet”

7:00 p.m. – Deane Center for the Performing Arts, Coolidge Theatre, Wellsboro, PA–BYOB Sponsored by Spencer, Gleason, Hebe, & Rague, PC

17 EVENTS IN 17 DAYS! JULY 19-AUGUST 4, 2024

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Music Festival Season

Friday, July 26

“Hear the Voices”

7:00 p.m. – Commonwealth University at Mansfield, Steadman Theatre

Sponsored by Ward Manufacturing

J.G. AlbrechtsbergerConcerto for Alto Trombone

Featuring Alexander Walden, trombone Arban Variations on “Norma”

Featuring Brian Strawley, trumpet

Teresa Cheung, Resident Conductor Intermission

Rutter ................................................... Requiem Peggy Dettwiler, Choral Director

Saturday, July 27

“Dvořák Shines”

7:00 p.m. – Corning Museum of Glass, Corning, NY

Sponsored by Corning Incorporated Lyadov .......................“Mazurka” Mozart ”Sinfonia Concertante”

Featuring Hua Jin, violin and Carol Argenta, viola Intermission

Dvořák ..................

“In Nature’s Realm” Opus 91, “Carnival” Opus 92, “Othello” Opus 93

Sunday, July 28

“Sweet Sounds of Violin and Piano” featuring Noelle Tretick Gosling, violin and Erico Bazeera, piano

7:00 p.m. – Gmeiner Art & Cultural Center, Wellsboro, PA

Sponsored by Eugene Seelye

Monday, July 29

EMMF String Quartet featuring Jennifer Farquhar and Diane Joiner, violin; Lauren Strachen, viola; and Gita Ladd, cello

7:00 p.m. – Tioga County Courthouse, Wellsboro, PA

Sponsored by Guthrie

Tuesday, July 30

Clarinet Recital featuring Trina Gross

7:00 p.m. – Deane Center for the Performing Arts, Grand Community Room, Wellsboro, PA

Sponsored by Seneca Resources

Wednesday, July 31

“Endless Mountain Standard Time” featuring Ron Stabinsky, jazz piano and Friends

7:00 p.m. – Penn Wells Dining Room, Wellsboro, PA

Sponsored by Penn Wells Hotel - (Dinner available 5:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. For reservations, call 570-724-2111)

Thursday, August 1

Dave Stahl Jazz Sextet

7:00 p.m. – Deane Center for the Performing Arts, Coolidge Theatre - BYOB Sponsored by Hon. Daniel & Mrs. Mary Ann Garrett

Friday, August 2

“The Way Things Were”

7:00 p.m. – Commonwealth University at Mansfield, Steadman Theatre

Sponsored by Visit Potter-Tioga & Quality Inn of Mansfield

D. Shostakovich .................. “Festive Overture” Schickele .................... “Pentangle, Five Songs for French Horn and Orchestra” Featuring Robert Danforth, French horn Intermission

Schubert Symphony No. 5

Saturday, August 3

“Franckly Speaking”

7:00 p.m. – Corning Museum of Glass, Corning, NY Sponsored by Corning Incorporated Kabalevsky “Colas Breugnon Overture” Mozart .......... Piano Concerto No. 20 in D minor Featuring Sheng Cai, piano Intermission

Franck.............................. Symphony in D minor

Sunday, August 4

“It’s Showtime!” featuring Anthony Nunziata, with orchestra

2:30 p.m. – Corning Museum of Glass Auditorium, Corning, NY - FREE Sponsored by Corning Incorporated, Community Foundation of Elmira-Corning and the Finger Lakes, the Rotary Club of Corning and Laura Douglas

www.endlessmountain.net • 570-787-7800

GlassFest Shares History and Lore of the Haudenosaunee

For GlassFest 2024 in Corning’s Gaffer District, the Friends of the Ganondagan are offering an unforgettable experience steeped in the tradition and lore of the Haudenosaunee culture. Haudenosaunee translates as “People of the Longhouse.”

Performances and workshops by the Allegany River Seneca Dancers Native American Learning Experience will occur throughout the day Saturday, May 25, on Market Street. All are free and open to the public.

The performances begin with the compelling rhythms of ancient Haudenosaunee drums. Adorned in traditional outfits, a kaleidoscope of colors, and symbolic patterns, the Friends will perform time-honored ceremonial dances. Each movement, each note, will be a window into the world of their ancestors. The Gaffer District hopes viewers will not only be entertained but also increase their appreciation for diversity, promoting a greater sense of unity and understanding in the community.

An educational session will follow the performance when the Friends walk the audience through the history and customs of the Haudenosaunee people, a journey from distant origins to the present day. Traditional skills will be demonstrated, showcasing their rich heritage and meticulous craftsmanship. From beads that weave narratives to the crafting of a traditional lacrosse stick, each artifact will illustrate centuries-old artistry.

Bill Crouse, a member of the Hawk Clan of the Seneca Nation, says, “Our performances are more than just entertainment. They represent a heartbeat and a rhythm that connects us to the earth and narrate a history that textbooks often overlook.” Spectators will not just witness a mesmerizing performance but also acquire a deeper understanding of the Haudenosaunee culture. The event will gently remind attendees that the very ground they are standing on is, indeed, Seneca land.

Saturday, May 25 on Market Street (between Chestnut and Bridge Streets)

11–11:30 a.m.—Dance Performance

12–12:45 p.m.—Make-n-Take (bead necklace & rattle making)

1:15–1:45 p.m.—Traditional Seneca Games

2–2:30 p.m.—Music Workshop

3–3:40 p.m.—Storytelling

4–4:45 p.m.—Dance Performance

~David Higgins

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festivals anD events

EMMF in Corning

This year, during the eighteenth season of the Endless Mountains Music Festival, four performances will take place at the Corning Museum of Glass—and one of them is free. EMMF Music Director and Conductor Stephen Gunzenhauser puts together the eclectic programs that delight Twin Tiers audiences, many of whom are not avid classical music fans. “A lot of people say all we do is classical music,” Stephen explains, “and my response is we don’t. We do symphonic music.”

Saturday, July 20, brings world class pianist Jeffrey Biegel (above) to celebrate one hundred years of Rhapsody in Blue, by George Gershwin, who composed it for solo piano and jazz band. It’s a mix of classical and jazz, and the piece helped define the Jazz Age. Jeffrey will be playing with orchestras in all fifty states this year during his Rhapsody National Initiative. He says, “The centennial of George Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue provided the inspiration to celebrate America through music, to show that music can unite us—by which I mean all of us in the US.” The Saturday, July 27, performance Dvorak Shines highlights Dvorak’s Nature, Life, and Love trilogy, which Stephen says is “a wonderful statement about humanity and a reminder of how we get in the way of nature.” It also includes Mozart’s Sinfonia Concertante featuring concert master Hua Jin and principal violist Carol Argenta.

Stephen is excited to bring pianist Sheng Cai, who played with EMMF in Pennsylvania several years ago, to Corning audiences on Saturday, August 3. He will be playing Mozart’s Piano Concerto #20 in D. The show is called Franckly Speaking after Franck’s Symphony in D Minor. All three Saturday performances begin at 7 p.m.

Anthony Nunziata—singer, songwriter, and Broadwayworld award winner—is back in Corning for a third time but his first performance at CMoG. At 2:30 p.m. Sunday, August 4, he’ll perform the free POPS concert It’s Showtime, which includes new arrangements of his songs and classics, some funk, and Motown. This concert is sponsored in part by the Corning Incorporated Foundation and the Community Foundation of Elmira and the Southern Finger Lakes.

EMMF is also holding an event at 171 Cedar Arts Center in Corning at 7 p.m. Monday, July 22. String Trio features Lisa Scott on violin, Charlie Alves on viola, and Perry Scott on cello. For more information on these concerts and more, and to buy tickets, go to endlessmountains.net.

~Lilace Mellin Guignard

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arts & culture



Gus Macker 3-on-3 Tournament

The Macker is basketball for the love of the game: no lawyers, no agents—just friendly competition and a tidy sum for charity. America’s biggest streetball tournament was founded by Scott McNeal (dubbed “Gus Macker” by his high school shop teacher) fifty years ago in his parents’ driveway in small-town Michigan. And though it’s gone nationwide, including three events in upstate New York this season, it remains “a celebration of basketball, community, and the spirit of competition.” B-ball is the magnet, but it’s also a neighborhood festival, with balloons, hot dog carts, and family activities. If you love hoops, it’s like Christmas crossed with Mardi Gras.

This July 20 to 21 it’s coming to Corning. A joint endeavor between the Gaffer District and Elmira Downtown Development, they are passing the tournament back and forth, with 2025 slated for Elmira.

The half-court, 3-on-3 format guarantees fast, fun games. The entry fees pay for referees and trophies and ensure just enough regimentation to make it all run smoothly. The tournament stresses inclusivity: Mackerites span all ages, sizes, and experience levels, from ten and under (with lowered baskets) to the Top Mens and Top Womens (the only ones which allow dunking). There’s even a bracket for those over forty. You’ll see a huge range of ability, but each competitor is united in giving it their all. Last-place finishers are awarded the lightly coveted “Toilet Bowl” trophy (exactly that: a miniature potty), but it’s all in good clean fun. And in the Top finals, the serious ballers will vie for the sweetest possible prize: bragging rights. Expect to see some intense, high-octane hoops!

John Abercrombie (above center) and his team won in the over forty division in Ithaca last year. A member of the Corning-Painted Post Hall of Fame for basketball (2008), John has played in over 100 tournaments and is an emphatic Gus fan. He says, “Of all the 3-on-3 I’ve played in, the Gus Macker is by far the best. They are organized, professional, and just make it an enjoyable event to be at. It’s more than a basketball tournament—it’s an event. The crowds, music, and the basketball atmosphere make it top-notch.”

The entry fee is $168 per team. Players can register for the tournament at macker.com. Corporate sponsorships are available and welcomed. And as the tournament relies on an army of volunteers, including officials and scorekeepers, you can do your part by contacting marshall@gafferdistrict.com for more information.

~David Higgins

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The 50th Anniversary of Sparkle

All that sparkles can be found at Corning’s holiday celebration, The Sparkle of Christmas, now marking fifty years of magic and wonder. Glowing shops and restaurants set in a beautiful downtown make you think you have stepped into a snow globe.

Starting the weekend after Thanksgiving with Shop Small Saturday, folks gather with family and friends for merriment on Market Street, where something exciting happens every weekend through the end of the year. They stroll among galleries and shops offering gifts and decorations. Restaurants and bars provide a respite where they can savor the flavors of local, regional, and international dishes, sip inspired beverages, or raise a cup of cheer.

“We are such a welcoming community and want everyone to share in these marvelous traditions. Come and create your own here in downtown Corning,” says Coleen Fabrizi, executive director of Corning’s Gaffer District. “It’s enchanting. I love watching families, often multiple generations together with new grandchildren, taking in The Sparkle of the season.”

Highlights include time with Santa, who’s waiting to hear wishes from the wee ones in his Crystal House throughout the month. Festival-goers bundle up for a horse drawn carriage ride around town as sleigh bells jingle all the way, and immerse themselves in the sights and sounds of the Parade of Lights, now with more than fifty participants.

Fortunately, Corning has kept its small-town sparkle due to the imagination and collaboration of people working together. Looking back to 1974 when The Sparkle of Christmas started, the small businesses were competing with malls that lured shoppers away from downtown, and holiday sales suffered. The community’s spirit and resolve were already being tested, as it was still recovering from the effects of Hurricane Agnes.

“The flood of 1972 devastated us, yet the City of Glass rose above that tragedy. Corning is built on pride and resilience,” notes Coleen. Thanks to visionaries like Norman Mintz (see page 36), both the downtown revitalization and celebration reflect that spirit. No surprise Norman is known as America’s First Main Street Manager.

2024’s Crystal City Christmas promises to be like no other. Whether it’s a year-long anticipated family event or your first time experiencing the magic of Sparkle, you’ll leave with countless holiday treasures, among them some cherished memories. For a complete list of attractions and activities, visit gafferdistrict.com, find the Gaffer District on Facebook, or call them at (607) 937-6292.

~Ann E. Duckett

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Hallmark Christmas Cam

In 2022, Hallmark Channel reached out to the Gaffer District asking if they’d like to have a livestream webcam showcasing Centerway Square during the holiday season. Of course, the answer was yes. As a part of Hallmark Channel’s Countdown to Christmas, the network says they are “teaming up with towns across the country that evoke the real-life essence of the festive communities featured in Hallmark holiday movies to bring a one-ofa-kind experience to Hallmark Channel’s website for people everywhere looking to relax, indulge, and be inspired to get into the holiday spirit.” Corning is one of six cities chosen and to date has had 184,500 viewers averaging over a three-minute watch time.

What’s the fuss? Hallmark Christmas movies are hugely popular for their beautiful settings and stories that are comforting and hopeful. Toss in two lonely adults (often one in flannel) that fate brings together over the holidays and you have a formula that makes millions of viewers happy. The Christmas Cams extend the feel-good Hallmark brand by letting viewers virtually visit real towns that have the special essence that the fictional movie communities do.

Sometimes it inspires more-than-virtual visits. Coleen Fabrizzi, executive director of the Gaffer District, remembers the first year it was up. She and her staff had just started closing Market Street for the Parade of Lights, and four couples were out early, moseying around. “They were longtime friends from Virginia, Philly, and Gettysburg who’d come to stay at the Radisson and enjoy Sparkle because they’d seen Corning on the Christmas Cam.”

The camera, mounted high on the parking garage, shows the Christmas tree, clock tower, Santa’s House, and part of the stage. The cam broadcasts 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. from right after Thanksgiving to December 30. Now folks at home anywhere can have a Corning Christmas, and those in town can wave and mug for the camera.

Powered by EarthCam, the camera never stops—the feed can be viewed at earthcam.com. So, keep your shenanigans to the side streets and avoid making wardrobe adjustments when walking through the square. But if you’re thinking of proposing, there’s no better place than on Centerway Square, and there’s no better time than the holidays to get that Hallmark happy ending for yourself! Bonus: your mother in California can watch the whole thing. Don’t forget to wear your flannel and bring a golden retriever.

~Lilace Mellin Guignard

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The ARTS Council of the Southern Finger Lakes

If your job includes overseeing an art gallery, you might be very, very pleased about facility renovations such as new overhead lighting, new UV-protection windows, and new window shades. Dr. Connie Sullivan-Blum, executive director of the ARTS Council of the Southern Finger Lakes, is. And, really, what’s not to love about lights you can move around to highlight a particular piece of art, windows that let in all kinds of sun and streetscape scenes but keep out the ultraviolet rays that can wreak havoc on paintings, and window shades that are so easy to adjust?

She is equally enthusiastic about the upstairs windows—they actually open now!—the new AC system, the new floor, the new front door, the new paint, and the reconfigured office and program space upstairs. The renovations at the ARTS Council’s Evelyn Peeler Peacock Gallery at 79 West Market Street, which began in August of 2023, are impressive, a long time coming, and so, so welcome.

Connie explains that the money for the renovations came from a grant—$50,000 from the New York State Council of the Arts—and it was intended to support art spaces.

“It serves artists, because all of the work is highlighted,” she says.

She’s been the executive director for nine years, before that was the folk arts coordinator (“It’s how I use my anthropology degree,” she says with a grin.), and estimates her time with the ARTS Council to be about seventeen years at this point. Her own work was highlighted recently, too, with the Corning Chamber of Commerce 2023 Business Achievement Award.

“I was so thrilled, and kind of surprised,” she says. “During the last several years there were so many decisions to make. But we’ve come out of it in good shape.”

Moving programs online during covid “was an enormous amount of work,” Connie says, adding that while there are “good things about remote work, it can be lonely, [so] being back together with the team in the building has been great.” When the pandemic ended, “we were into the endowment campaign”—a big success, by the way.

“The fact that we could get a million dollars from the community…” she marvels. “It is a way to try to give the ARTS Council a buffer for the future. So, you’re really asking your donors to think twenty years ahead.”

The ARTS Council continues to enjoy a full calendar of events, programs, and exhibits. Find out more at earts.org or call (607) 962-1332.

~Gayle Morrow

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West End Gallery

When the West End Gallery’s 30th Annual Little Gems Exhibit opened in early February, the space at 12 Market Street was thronged with viewers out to appreciate and buy art. Nearly half of the artists represented by the gallery had work included. In addition to the framed work approximately 6” by 8” hung on the walls, customers’ attention was also drawn to the pottery, glass, jewelry, and woodwork, arranged beautifully throughout the gallery.

For forty-seven years, the West End Gallery has celebrated regional artists. When artist Thomas Gardner and his wife, Lin, began the showroom integrated into their framing studio—a business they sold in 1991 to concentrate on representing artists—they saw it as a mission as well as a livelihood. “The big thing is to make art accessible to everyone without exception," says current owner Jesse Gardner (above), quoting her father. “It was embedded in me as a human growing up.”

Her involvement with the gallery took a serious turn when, as a teen, she found herself captivated by a painting of Martin Poole’s on display there. To buy it, she took on extra chores at home and worked long hours at the gallery, inaugurating the gallery’s pay-on-time plan. She recalls that she dedicated a year of her free time to earn the money. “It’s still one of my greatest treasures,” she says.

Many come in simply to admire the art. In keeping with Tom’s convictions, special needs viewers, school groups, and everyone else is welcomed. In 2015, Jesse and her husband, John Gardner, bought the gallery from her parents, and now Jesse is owner and director while John is the CFO. Jesse and Lin work together to hang shows and run the gallery, while Tom now paints full time. The gallery represents fifty artists.

Several internationally known artists got their start here, including Gary (GC) Myers, whose work is in the photo above. Exhibits change every four to six weeks, on both floors. Jesse says, “We always keep the featured exhibit on the first floor in the Main Gallery for accessibility reasons.” Artists they represent often have artwork in the Upstairs Gallery.

West End Gallery main exhibits can be seen in person or online (westendgallery.net) where you can also purchase work. The gallery is open Tuesday through Saturday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and by appointment. For more information, call (607) 936-2011.

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Card Carrying Books & Gifts

Past where the bookshelves end, just about halfway down the long, narrow space that is Card Carrying Books & Gifts, is the Pay it Forward Board. It’s the spot where people leave friendly, encouraging messages, kind thoughts, and where somebody who might like to buy something the store offers can find the help—in the form of a store credit that another person purchased on a stranger’s behalf—to do so.

The board is full.

As owner Bethany Hammond says of the 15 East Market Street shop, it’s “a tiny store with a huge heart.” It reminds her of a clown car—it looks tiny, but once you get inside it’s overflowing with resources and good energy. She’s been the owner for less than a year, but says she’s “always been a customer, and always loved the store.” Her opportunity to take that next step came after a serendipitous query to the previous owners, Dusty and Randi Hewit, during covid when they were making deliveries to customers. Did they need help? Bethany asked. They did, and so she helped. Then in August of 2023, Dusty asked if she wanted to buy the business.

“Yes! Of course!” was her response. And now, “I am keeping the owners’ original goal, which was to be an intersectional feminism clubhouse.” Intersectional feminism looks at how different forms of inequality affect and often exacerbate each other. “Feminism, over the years, has been kind of whitewashed,” she says.

“It’s important to us that all people can walk in and find resources,” Bethany continues. “We want to make sure we’re highlighting people you won’t find elsewhere, who won’t stand out in big bookstores.”

The bookshelves here are home to fiction, nonfiction, young adult, and books for children, and they cover topics including memoir, biography, social sciences, family, and relationships. Because space is limited, she can’t keep everything in stock, but can order what you might want. There is a small gift section, with selections that change regularly (Taylor Swift-inspired candles, anyone?) but always include locally made soaps, lotions, and lip balms from the Elmira-based Craft Farm.

The store is also a hub of activities ranging from fundraising and activism, teen and adult monthly book clubs, poetry open mic night, a drag queen story hour, and a variety of collaborations.

“We just try to have fun,” Bethany says.

Call (607) 684-6114 or visit cardcarryingshop.com. Hours are noon to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.

~Gayle Morrow

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27 FOR ALL YOUR FRAMING NEEDS www.corningartandframe.com Fine Custom Framing • Prints • Posters • Mirrors All You’ll Need is Space and a Hammer! 87 West Market St. Corning, NY 14830 607-962-8692 corningartandframe.com Mondays by appt only Tues-Sat 10am-5pm HOME AGAIN 607-248-9159 26 W. Market St., Corning, NY Steuben Glass Gallery Corning’s UpsCale resale shop!

Sudha’s Emporium

Shanti Venugopal’s shop at 60 East Market Street, Sudha’s Emporium, holds treasures shoppers often aren’t aware existed, but the tables and shelves beckon folks to explore. Displays of seasonal goods suggest decorating possibilities for a party, with ideas of what to serve. Sudha’s is named for Shanti’s mother who died in December 2020, whom Shanti cites as her inspiration for the business, which opened in July of 2022. “She liked cooking and decorating,” says Shanti.

Originally, she was going to offer all globally inspired and procured products, but she realized that would be cost-prohibitive. She compromised with keeping the food products global and getting the home décor items from more conventional sources. The store is spacious, the inventory diverse—both offering room for growth, and Shanti says the response so far has been great.

Shanti and her family hail from New Jersey. She and her husband were married in 2008 and moved to Corning in 2011 with jobs affiliated with Corning Incorporated. Shanti’s husband still works there, but her work as an independent contractor ended, and the ensuing job-related uncertainty, plus her mother’s death, helped push her to take the “great opportunity to be my own boss.”

The building had been a UPS store, an art studio, and a satellite news station. Now, it’s bright interior features tastefully arranged displays of international and domestic foods and cooking tools, including beer bread mixes, black truffle-flavored olive oil, Sichuan chili oil, tortilla presses, mixology kits, salsas, Effie’s Oatcakes, Bento containers, Stojo collapsible bottles and bowls, soup mixes, Big Heart Tea Company products, Spicewalla spices, and Amish Garden dip mixes. “I try to offer some vegan and gluten-free products,” Shanti notes.

There are some clothing selections, and an intriguing section with themed baskets, which can be customized, and one called the “mystery box kitchen basket.” It would be a great shower or housewarming gift. There are also cookbooks, jewelry and accessories, and home fragrances. By summer, Shanti hopes to have a refrigerator on site so she can offer a variety of cheeses and gourmet chocolates. She also hopes to bring in tabletop serving wear, and, possibly, bedding. “I do have the space to grow,” she says.

Sudha’s Emporium is open Monday and Tuesday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Wednesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Visit sudhasemporium.com for more information or call (607) 654-4166.

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29 Boutiques & specialty shops 89 E. Market St • Corning, NY (607) 962-6301 Pip’s Boutique Bring in this Ad & Receive $1000 OFF your $50 purchase! Carrying the best women’s clothing, jewelry, & shoes around ! Mon-Tues: 10a-4p • Wed: 10a-6p Thurs-Fri: 10a-7p • Sat: 10a-6p • Sun: 12-4pm PIPSBOUTIQUECORNINGNY.COM Casual Elegance Since 1987 Linens - All Sizes (100 colors) Bistro, Round & Banquet Tables Chairs, Vases, Pipe & Drape Custom Centerpieces & Bouquets info@ccpartycenter.com CCPartyCenter.com 607-962-0830 10 W. market st — corning, ny - 607-962-3339 GLA HOP BACALLES Glass Animals • Paper Weights Hand-Crafted Personal Care Items Largest Selection Springbok® Puzzles EST. 1967 For all your knitting & crocheting wants & needs. 91 E. Market Street, Corning, NY 14830 607.973.2885 • woolyminded.com The Corning Building Co. Your Complete Home & Idea Center - Since “1848” 346 Park Ave., Corning, NY 14830 Visit us at: www.corningbldg.com Mon-Fri: 7:30 am-6:00 pm Sat: 7:30 am - 4:30 pm 607-936-9921 Grace holistic beauty & wellness graceholisticbeautyandwellness.com 52 E. Market St., Corning • (607) 973-2153 nature based products + relaxation based experience

The Axe Lounge at Three Birds

Let’s set the scene. You and your dining companions are at Three Birds on 73 East Market Street, just finishing a lovely meal. You started with cocktails from the full service bar, then the table shared oysters on the half shell, brie en croute, and papa rellenos for appetizers. Salads of baby greens with Modena-balsamic vinaigrette and classic Caesar were the picks for the next round, followed by entrées including roasted vegetable étouffée, New York strip, and New Zealand rack of lamb. What’s next? Why, going upstairs to throw axes, of course.

Fortunately, someone had the foresight to reserve lanes, as the Axe Lounge sometimes has a queue of axe-throwing wannabes. It’s like darts with an attitude. Debra Loehnert, who owns and operates the restaurant and lounge with her husband, John, explains that for the first twenty years of Three Birds’ twenty-one years of existence in this six-floor building (it was once a car dealership), the space was a banquet room. It has floor-to-ceiling windows, with a bird’s-eye view of Market Street. It was “Kermit green,” she notes. During covid, they used the space for socially distanced dining. Post-covid, “the banquets didn’t come back.”

“We had this huge space, and thought ‘What can we do with it?’” Debra says. They went to a place offering axe throwing, had fun, and, throwing caution and a few axes to the wind, the Axe Lounge was born in July of 2023.

There are six lanes, each with a hemlock target at the end. Hemlock, Debra says, “heals” and “accepts the axe.” She continues, “We decided to go with digital games.” That means each lane, complete with protective barriers to guard against errant axes, has its own set-up to project the game you choose onto the hemlock target. Games include tic-tac-toe, battleaxe, battleship, duck hunter, zombie hunter, seasonal and holiday-themed games, and a standard bullseye target.

“We do have axeperts to show you when you come in how to start the game,” she says. “You don’t have to know what you’re doing. You don’t have to be a lumberjack.” There are World Axe Throwing League-approved axes here to use, but “we do allow you to bring your own axe.” Debra adds, “Really the only rule is that you have to wear close-toed shoes.”

The Axe Lounge is open Thursday through Saturday from 5 to 9 p.m. Reservations are encouraged but not necessary. You can book parties or other group events. Call (607) 9368862 or visit threebirdsrestaurant.com.

~Gayle Morrow

30 #ExploreCORNING
31 Great eats oldworl.d.cofe.ccm I] West Market Street & Centerway Square In Corning Corning's favorite lunch break. Featuring hearty homemade soups, sandwiches & salads, specialty gourmet foods & gifts. Purity ice cream creations served in the charming ambiance of a Victorian Ice Cream Parlor. oldworl.d.cofe.ccm I] Hours: Fall 10am-6pm; Summer 10am-9pm • Sun. 12-5pm “Happiness in every homemade scoop.” 46 E. Market St • Corning, NY 607-542-9416 www.dippitydodahs.com 22 Signature Homemade Flavors Offered All Year Round Pints & Quarts To Go Rotating Seasonal Flavors Ice Cream Cakes Non-Dairy Options Available OPEN DAILY 58 W. Market Street 607-962-4649 CorningBurgers.beer Kitchen Open Daily 96 W Market St, Corning NY 607-973-2604 NFL TICKET 13 TVs OTB HORSE BETTING QUICK DRAW

The Cellar

“We spend so much time here, it better be fun,” says Michael Lanahan, executive chef, who co-owns The Cellar at 21 West Market Street with his wife, Ellen, who is the manager. Anyone who has worked in a restaurant knows how stressful the work can be. Especially in a made-from-scratch kitchen like The Cellar. But Michael and Ellen have created a culture of mutual support that values creativity in team members, and patrons can tell.

Michael worked in the kitchen before the two of them bought the restaurant in 2015. Ellen worked at food and retail establishments in town before taking over The Cellar, but her education is in technical theater. And restaurants, she’ll tell you, have a lot in common with theater. There are seats to fill, timing is key, and, she adds, “We have a lovely amount of regulars.” In the last couple years, they’ve been getting more families than before, something they attribute to the fact that, because everything is made from scratch, dishes can be altered for picky eaters. They also pride themselves on a wide variety of food options for glutenfree, vegetarian, and vegan. Ellen, who is a vegetarian, often gets a version of their signature chicken and waffles, but with fried cauliflower.

Michael and his kitchen crew process thirty to forty chickens a week, making stock from the bones. The leftover wings they cook for themselves, trading off who makes sauces and trying new ones out on each other. Michael says that while everything on the menu is his creation, all bear the stamp of chefs who’ve worked for him.

In January, the bar area got a makeover. Michael describes it as “shifting from a library of wine to a relaxing cocktail and food feel.” Previously large bookshelf-esque cabinets holding Cruvinet wine dispensing systems, which needed more and more maintenance, loomed on either side. Now the bar area is open with warm lighting, and the space flows seamlessly into the eating area. If Gunner is bartending, tell him what you like and let him get creative. Not sure what wine to have with your chicken tikka masala? Your server will be glad to recommend something.

The Cellar is closed Sundays, and otherwise opens at 4:30 p.m. Final seating time for food Monday through Thursday is 8:30 p.m. and Friday and Saturday is 9 p.m. The bar stays open later. Find out more about at corningwinebar.com, on Facebook, and by calling (607) 377-5552.

~Lilace Mellin Guignard

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Cugini Cafe

Marco Musso knows pizza. Although he was born in Brooklyn, he lived in Sicily with his parents for more than a dozen years. He returned to the states at seventeen with his uncles and found his way to Corning to work for his childhood friend Marco Hickey, who with his cousins was the previous owner of Cugini Cafe at 16 West Market Street. Cugini means “cousins” in Italian, and although the two Marcos are not actually related, Marco Musso jokes, “Now I’m the only cousin left.” He took over the business in 2019.

The original business, which began in 2016, was more of a market, deli, and panini shop, but Marco has expanded the restaurant and shrunk the market. Most notably, he’s incorporated handmade pizzas—there are twelve rustic varieties, which on request can be made as strombolis or calzones. Paninis remain on the menu. A variety of hot subs are available, or diners can request a build-your-own combination of meats, cheeses, veggies, and condiments. The dinner entrees include lasagna, seafood linguini, and several other takes on pasta. “I want the food to be authentic, the closest to Sicily I can get to with ingredients I can get here,” Marco says. His chicken Caesar insalate is particularly popular. In addition, there are often specials, like chili served with fresh-baked bread.

The downstairs seating area features warm exposed-brick walls and can seat about forty; the mezzanine area upstairs is available for parties. During lunch and dinner, the restaurant is hopping. Be warned—they do not take reservations. About a third of their customers get their meals as take-out, which flourished during the pandemic. But customers dining in can also enjoy beer and wine with their meals. Dessert includes Nutella knots and cannoli. Last winter, Cugini’s ran a contest among their customers—the person who suggests a winning filling they adopt as a specialty for the month is rewarded with half a dozen cannoli to take home. Recent winners included a brownie/raspberry swirl and banana/toffee.

Call ahead and you could also get one of their home-baked olive breads or another artisanal loaf to take home with you after your meal.

On occasion, Marco will host a band or a wine tasting, “just to make it fun,” he says. In warm weather, the hours expand, the windows open, and sidewalk seating is available. Cugini is closed Sunday and Monday. Other days it opens at 11 a.m. and closes at 8 p.m., except for Friday and Saturday when it stays open till 9 p.m. Find out more on their Facebook or Instagram pages, or call them at (607) 973-2269.

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35 58 Bridge St • Corning • 607-377-5651 www.careysbrewhouse.com Friends & Family Dining Area 40+ Beers on Tap • Full Service Bar Nice Selection of Wines Banquet Area available-ask about our custom menu options! Kids Eat Free on Tuesday & Saturday! 2 E. MARKET STREET • CORNING NY 607-463-8801 • quincyexchange.com Reservations are appreciated, but not required BRUNCH • Saturday & Sunday 11a DINNER • Wednesday-Sunday 5p A fresh American Bistro in the heart of Corning's vibrant Gaffer District Local & International WINE • BEER • SPIRITS Great eats

Market Street Restoration Agency

“We’re in a nice place, we’re very lucky,” says Kristin Brewer, director of preservation and design for the Gaffer District. “Our storefronts are 92 percent full. That’s a wonderful place to be.”

Once—and now again—a thriving retail and living community, by the 1960s downtown Corning was in decline after many businesses moved to malls. Storefronts became dilapidated. Corning, Inc., going strong, brought talented scientists to the city, whose families were unhappy with the shopping district they found. Several banded together to spearhead improvements that became the Market Street Restoration Agency (a.k.a. MSRA, now under the Gaffer District umbrella). They hired Norman Mintz, then finishing his graduate degree in historic preservation at Columbia University.

“I made it up as I went along,” Norman says now. He began by visiting every business and talking to each business owner. He made a lot of friends, he adds. He saw many vacant storefronts; many of those occupied were in bad shape. What if they could be spruced up? He helped one merchant renovate his storefront with paint and new signage. Other projects followed. “It was incremental,” he recalls of the improvement and rebirth of civic pride. He located contractors for the improvements merchants wanted. Grants from Corning, Inc. helped. The MSRA took no government urban renewal money, which allowed the group to move more quickly and efficiently. Norman also began a tradition beloved to this day, the downtown holiday celebration known as Sparkle (see page 18). After nine years, he moved on.

Centerway Square was reconstructed into a community gathering space with a park in the middle, and increased the city’s amenities to make it walkable and friendly. Other annual downtown events were added, creating a vibrant, often celebratory environment.

While the street-level businesses were thriving, many upper stories of the historic buildings were neglected, used only for storage and, informally, by pigeons. In 1990, preservation architect Elise Johnson-Schmidt took over, bringing a new focus to upper-level apartments (see page 38). The project took off as building and business owners realized the rents from these spaces could help fund the cost of maintaining the historic buildings, many of which are listed on the National Register.

Kristin says MSRA’s work continues. “We offer free design services if someone needs help with a façade or needs structural drawings or help with choosing colors that fit with the historic look.” Find out more at gafferdistrict.com or call them at (607) 937-6292.

~Karey Solomon

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37 950 County Route 64 Target Plaza in Big Flats. One discount per purchase. Not valid on previous purchases, optics, gift cards, DSC membership or sale items. 20% OFF One Regularly-priced Item *at the Elmira WBU store 950 County Route 64 Target Plaza in Big Flats Only valid at Elmira WBU store. One discount per purchase. Not valid on previous purchases, optics, gift cards, DSC membership, or sale items. We invite everyone from everywhere to come “Experience Bradford County!” Kayaking & Hiking History & Heritage Adventure Awaits Fairs & Festivals PostcardLike Streets www.visitbradfordcounty.com 570.265.TOUR Follow us on

Elise Johnson-Schmidt, Architect

“Everyone said no one’s going to want to live on Market Street,” preservation architect Elise Johnson-Schmidt recalls. Recruited in 1990 to head up the next phase of the Market Street Restoration project in the Gaffer District, she saw historic buildings with “good bones” and an opportunity for owners to fund their preservation and upkeep while bringing new life to the street. Once the treasured dwellings of merchants whose street-level businesses kept Market Street humming, over time the upper stories of most buildings had become neglected spaces sometimes used for storage. She started with one conversion, then invited the community to an open house. Five hundred people came. “And things took off.” Elise spearheaded the project of creating 150 market-rate apartments whose residents enjoyed the amenities of the many eateries, specialty shops, and nearby entertainment, even a Wegmans supermarket at the west end of Market Street and a Radisson hotel at the east end—all within walking distance.

“I was always interested in how things went together and worked,” says Elise, who began her studies with a double major in engineering and animal science. Then a summer course in architecture changed her career path, and she shifted her focus to the art of transforming buildings into homes that in turn transform a community. After eleven years directing the Market Street Restoration Agency, now an arm of the Gaffer District, Elise began her own practice in Corning, Johnson-Schmidt & Associates at 15 East Market Street, Suite 202, and took on other projects like the creation of Academy Place Apartments—fifty-eight units in the former Corning Free Academy, another of the city’s historic buildings.

“I love what I do. I feel so fortunate to have a career that brings joy to me every day,” she says. It’s a joy she shares each year with 400 area second graders, who make a field trip to the Gaffer District for a mini-course Elise designed to highlight some of its architectural elements. The following day, each child is given a box of store-front proportion to decorate as a building facade with their favorite features. Lined up together, the children’s artwork becomes a mini-city, which often kindles an interest in architecture. And a number of those former second graders have indeed gone on to study architecture and intern in Elise’s office. For more views of current and completed projects from her firm, see preservationarchitects. com or call them at (607) 937-1946.

~Karey Solomon

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39 607-962-9222 | corning-cc.edu Empowering Our Students. Elevating Our Community. BecominG a local

Blown Away Star Moves to Corning

Spring at the Poźniak residence was a little hectic. Janusz and Michelle, both hot glass professionals, scrambled to get their studio and furnace up and running. Two free-range little boys chased squirrels through the greening yard as a staple gun hammered nearby like a dystopian woodpecker. It was late March 2024 on Spencer Hill, and Janusz Poźniak had moved with his family from Seattle to Corning to raise their children and grow their business.

Michelle and Janusz (ya-NOOSH) married in 2011 and settled in his small apartment in Seattle. Their first son arrived in 2016. To pay the bills, Janusz was working as an assistant gaffer, crafting work for hire. He’d built six hotshops for clients but had never had one of his own. Michelle, too, had little time to spare for her own work. Seattle was becoming a very expensive place to live. Then, in 2018, Netflix was looking for glassblowers to star in the new reality series Blown Away. Janusz was one of ten who made the original roster. Show feedback on social media ratified him as an immediate viewer favorite. “I’m just shocked at how many people liked me. I’m still humbled beyond belief,” Janusz marvels. He won three of the ten weekly challenges before falling just short (among much controversy) in the climactic episode.

Though their financial outlook had brightened, when their second son came along in 2020, the Poźniaks realized that Seattle was becoming a less desirable place to raise a family. It was time to move. Despite passing through the Crystal City several times, Janusz wasn’t all that familiar with it. Michelle had been to Corning once, in 2009, “but I remembered it as a nice little town.” One day in early 2023, she found online a woodland homestead on Spencer Hill at a price they could (barely) manage with ponds and an outbuilding that could be remodeled into a studio. Something they could never have afforded in Seattle. They discovered that the property, built in 1973, had been the home of Jamie Houghton, former CEO of Corning Incorporated, whose family had founded the Glass Works and Corning Museum of Glass. Janusz says, “The Houghtons meant so much in the glass world. It’s an honor to raise our kids where they once raised theirs.” Look for their work at hohmmeyd.com and januszpozniak.com, and on Facebook and Instagram as well. They will host an open house in fall 2024 closer to the holidays.

~David Higgins

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