corning: what more do you need?

We went to Corning, NY yesterday. Yes, I did in fact go shopping on Black Friday. But wait, it's not what you think.

Corning on the day after Thanksgiving (in years when we're in Upper Dialup, PA for the holiday) became a tradition with us some years back. We were bored and frankly in need of some calorie burn off after the feast that year, so we drove to Corning and walked around for a few hours. We discovered an oldish downtown with some great little places here and there. In the town square a crowd of people awaited Santa. He arrived (in a police cruiser!) to great fanfare and began receiving visitors in his little Santa gazebo.

As years have passed, the downtown has endured a great deal of turnover. There are still a few more empty storefronts than I would have liked, but the must-stops are still there. Since Corning is still a well kept secret, we didn't have to fight crowds at all, but there were enough people around to lend a sense of life to downtown.

While enjoying some ice cream (25 degrees outside? It's never too cold for ice cream) at the Old World Cafe in the town center, I turned to Joy and said, "The only thing this town needs is a free wireless hotspot?" I've sinced realized that it also needs a decent bookstore.

Later I asked a shopkeeper who had satellite radio in her store about wifi access. "There's a hotspot right across the street in the town center." So I had been sitting in it when I made the observation. A quick scan of the blurb about the hotspot on the Corning Chamber website reveals this:

"Laptop users lacking an appropriate wi-fi PC card can borrow one, free of charge from the Information Center."

Nice! One suggestion for business owners and Corning chamber of commerce members: more and better web pages. Maybe start a blog while you're at it.

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