0082 A different sort of City (USA 047—revisit)

Lancaster Travel Blog

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A bit disappointed by my Amish adventure, I next turn to Lancaster in search of an interesting discovery.  Suddenly memories pop up in my mind all the way back from July of 1982 almost 26 years ago!  It was a family reunion on my mother’s side and my first encounter with most of my relatives. 

 Random memories from that time pop into my head like post it notes being stuck on a frig.  I remember hearing stories from my grandfather about our great-great-great-great-great grandmother defying the curfew of Napoleon back in the Motherland, Holland.   Perhaps that was a seed that would someday sprout into a desire to learn more about my roots back in Europe. Then there was my older cousin Jeff, who I looked up to, who would go on to be the rebel of the family—and be quite successful in the entertainment industry…

 Maybe there’s a clue buried in there somewhere that might help me make the decisions I need to make today.

 Exploring Lancaster

I park my car a good way from downtown so I can hike from there.  I soon come across a magnificent castle smack in the middle of a residential area.  Something looked suspicious about it, so I come closer for a look... sure enough, it’s a prison, not a castle!  Nice try though...

Lancaster has a different feel about it, I can’t quite figure out what it is. The home are mostly old school working class row houses, crammed together. typical of gritty urban neighbourhoods.  But there’s little sign of urban decay or abandonment.  Many of them are recently painted and with cheerful plants and decorations outside...  Well dressed folks amble about, coming home from church...

I also notice a nice racial mixture here--  blacks, whites, latino, not the ethnic divide that I’m used to seeing in these types of urban neighbourhoods... and a real family atmosphere.

I’m really liking this city, Lancaster...

I reach downtown with a couple of mid rises, an indoor market which unfortunately is closed and a nice little Civil War themed plaza in the heart of town--  a good spot to take my clip.  After my clip I head on back down a different street, pondering on what might be the secret to this cheerful city... how it seems to be avoiding some of the blights of ethnic divide and urban decay that plague many cities in this region.  Of course I’m just a casual observer--there may be much more going on below the surface.


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photo by: vances