By Gabrielle L. Wheeler
Known as America’s Crystal City, Corning is a jewel nestled amongst rolling hills and the winding Chemung River. Safe and comfortable and with an air of elegance, there is always something to do in this city, whether it is glass blowing at the museum or just strolling the shops of Market Street.
Corning Museum of Glass – Opened in 1951 by Corning Incorporated (then Corning Glass Works), the Corning Museum of Glass houses nearly 50,000 objects related to the art of working with glass. Glass as art and functional objects from throughout the past 3,500 years are on display, as well as contemporary artwork and sculpture. The Museum offers glassblowing demonstrations daily, as well as seasonal opportunities for visitors to make their own artwork. Pre-registration is required for most programs. Visit cmog.org for more information.
Rockwell Museum – Resting in the 19th-century Historic Old City Hall a block from Market Street, the Rockwell museum is a collection of artworks “celebrating the essence of the American experience, character and values through the eyes of American artists,” as described on the Museum’s website. Beautifully laid out and peacefully quiet, the Museum offer visitors a chance to reflect upon the history of the US with its collection, much of which focuses on west-ward expansion. A great place to take the kids, at my last visit we were given a scavenger hunt to do, and the Museum now offers a Kid’s Art Lab a block away. For more information, visit rockwellmuseum.org.
Eileen Collin’s Observatory – Located at Corning Community College, the Observatory gets its name from the famous astronaut who was the first woman pilot and first female commander of a space shuttle. A fun fact, Collins was born in Elmira, NY and attended Corning Community College. Today, the Observatory is open to the public on the first and third Fridays of the month. Various telescopes are on display at the Observatory, some of which may be used by the public for observation. On March 1, Dr. Keith Fisher of Corning Incorporated will be giving a lecture on Galaxies, beginning at 7:30pm. Please visit https://www.corning-cc.edu/locations/observatory for more information.
Maybe I am partial because I attended Corning Community College, but the sun always seems to shine more brightly in Corning than surrounding areas, perhaps because of all the glass windows. The city is not exempt from a snow day, however, but that doesn’t prevent Corning from being an excellent destination for the day, the week, or just the afternoon.