I should mention that on my way to and from Corning, I again passed through the little creepsville that is Mansfield, Ohio. You might recall that my stay there involved an unpleasant encounter with a murdered individual in a hotel. I have another story for you, but I have to write it up first.
As far as claims to fame go, glass-blowing isn’t that cool. I mean I’ve been to places that claim to be the birthplace of a nation or the birthplace of flight — and most importantly the future birthplace of James Tiberius Kirk. My own home town’s claim to fame is being the location of that mountain used in the Nature Valley granola bar commercials.
But among minor claims to fame go, like that city that was overrun by Germans in two different world wars, glass-blowing is pretty cool. Well, hot I guess. I mean, it’s a skill where you shape molten glass (at the temperature of lava) with your breath. It’s properly awesome. I’ve heard — and I have no idea if this is true — that if you accidentally suck air up through the rod you’re using it will singe your lungs and you will die. This means that glass blowers are playing with death every time they blow. Take that, potters!
Corning’s glass-blowing claim-to-fame has led — predictably — to an awful lot of glass related … stuff! Like a Glassfest and a glass museum, stores filled with glass art, and cooking ware. Lot’s of cooking ware. Most of it isn’t even glass. It’s a word association thing I guess. It must be good cookware too because my mom got some for her wedding and continued to use it through most of my life. Pretty good run.
Corning also has nearby “wilderness.” I put that in quotes because it has been tamed and surrounded, but it’s still pretty. Tourism has also created a thriving restaurant industry. Every place we visited was delicious, although my girlfriend informed me that tourists eat pizza at Atlas (I admit being taken in by the smells) while locals eat at Aniello’s.
It’s certainly worth checking out.