Get YOUR Marco Polo on: fabulous shopping in New York’s Finger Lakes

Before heading to New York’s Finger Lakes region, do as my mom always advises: “Save your pennies!” The shops are outstanding and prices are pretty good. My souvenir drive — my Marco Polo-ness, if you will — kicked in extra indulgently: I was there during my birthday.

I started my treasure acquisitions at Antique Revival, just east of Corning. They have New York’s largest selection of antique furniture, vintage lighting and more. I was there during their annual 50% off sale. Whaaa?! They have room after room of furniture and leave it authentic — no refinishing. My family was in the furniture business since 1917. The stretches of unique fixtures, Japonesque objets d’art, formal French furniture and more, with their aged wood scent, certainly brought back memories. Then, I found this. I almost lost it right there and then!

They also have vintage accessories. There’s a marvelous selection of baubles hand-crafted by NYC artisan “Miss Ellie NYC“. She makes vintage-style jewelry and hair accessories from real gems and antique jewelry findings. They, too, were 50% off!

The actual historic town of Corning — the “Gaffer District” — also has a bunch of fun antique stores, many carrying vintage Corningware. One shop has a hushed atmosphere: apparently, Carder Steuben glass is a true luxury product! In one shop, I got a set of 8 1970’s cool Perrier glasses for a super reasonable price. Can you believe they all made back with me intact? Packed in a backpack? I’m hoping they inspire me to drink more water, because my whole life, I have never drank enough. If there was water content in cheese, however, I’d be set.

Another interesting store in Corning is on Market Street: This and That. The owner commissions women in developing countries around the world to make big, bold, beautiful costume jewelry. It’s cool to be able to get Caribbean, Slavic and other worldly fashion statements. The prices are affordable, too.

Did you know Tommy Hilfiger is from the Finger Lakes? He started his career re-cutting jeans he bought in NYC as a teen and selling them back in the Finger Lakes region. Again, whaaat?! I’d love to come across those vintage pieces, wouldn’t you? He’s opened one of his eponymous stores right in Corning.

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There are lots of olive oil/vinegar shops in small towns, but Crystal City Olive Oil stands out. They carry TSA-friendly sized bottles to fill and lots of local cookbooks. They did a lovely job wrapping my treasures which arrived home intact!

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Hammondsport is well-heeled and their antiques are lovely. Opera House Antiques has a good selection of Taylor Wine vintage goodies. Shethar 57 has a fine stock of mid-century antiques, including these Glenn Miller 45’s which are now mine. and these mysterious Royal Palm pop bottles. Tamar means palm in Hebrew, so it being my birthday . . . they, too made it back home intact! Must be birthday blessings.

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This here is just a cool pic I took in town on my birthday. Yay, America!

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