Last month, I paid a visit to Lancaster in Pennsylvania, a small city of some 58,000 souls surrounded by farmland.
I was staying in New York and wanted to spend a night out of town, selecting Lancaster by virtue of it being the home town of the wonderful – but sadly still obscure – American folk band The Innocence Mission.
The train trip was around three hours from Penn Station in New York, reversing out of Philadelphia along the way.
The train seats were large and comfortable but, alas, there was no buffet onboard.
Lancaster station is a fine looking Amtrak railroad station served by the Keystone Service between New York City and Harrisburg, and by the Pennsylvanian between New York and Pittsburgh.
Lancaster is the second busiest Amtrak station in Pennsylvania, and the twenty-first busiest in the United States. The current station building dates from 1929.
I was staying in an Airbnb on College Avenue so walked from the railroad station.
People were ridiculously friendly during my trip!
As the ginormous sign declares, this is the home of the Franklin & Marshall College, a private liberal arts college.
My walk took me past several college buildings.
Lancaster tends to be slightly republican based on voting results in recent elections. Compared to other nearby cities, Lancaster has more democratic voters. Compared to the nation as a whole, Lancaster leans more republican. [—]
There is some stunning architecture to be found around the town.
The Green Theatre is part of the college campus and was built in 1937.
Loved this gothic treat.
The city website notes:
Although the City’s residential character is largely defined by neighborhoods filled with late nineteenth-century Victorian era rowhouses, Lancaster has a wealth of historic buildings dating from the 1700s, 1800s, and 1900s that are representative of diverse architectural styles and functions.
A very thin house.
I enjoyed a delicious meal at Antonio’s Pizza House on W Chestnut Street and loved meeting these guys!
Some Halloween decorations were still up and these were pretty spectacular!
I had intended to take in a tour of the bars in the area but I ended up having such a good at Brendee’s Irish Pub I spent the whole evening there.
I absolutely loved this bar with its down to earth mixed clientele, friendly staff, cheap prices and a juke box playing a wildly eclectic selection from hip hop to metal.
I had an unexpectedly wild night – and it was lovely to meet you, Tara and friends!
Next day I spent a few hours walking around Lancaster, soaking up the autumn sunshine.
I guess I’ll never get to see The Innocence Mission perform, but here’s where they played many of their early shows.
There was a small ‘Show Your Work‘ exhibition taking place in the Pennsylvania College of Art & Design.
I loved this piece entitled ‘Outlet,’ by James Arnold.
The knackered looking façade of the Roburrito restaurant on North Prince St.
I enjoyed a splendid coffee and cream cheese everything bagel at the bike-themed Endo Cafe at 237 N Prince St.
The Amish have settled all around Lancaster and I saw this fella scooting around. Some Amish use regular pedal bikes while others restrict themselves to scooters – and no one is quite sure why.
Dappled sunlight on a red brick wall.
There’s a whole lot of churches and spires around Lancaster.
Lancaster’s new public library isn’t much of a looker.
This homeless guy was trying to sell t-shirts to raise funds.
It was great to meet vedo.underated and have a chat.
More splendid architecture.
Lancaster County Courthouse, built in 1852.
The Gothic Revival Soldiers and Sailors Monument stands 43-foot (13 m) tall in Penn Square and was dedicated on July 4, 1874
Back at Lancaster station.
Waiting for the train back to New York. The 1949 postcard (below) shows how the track layout has been rationalised over the years.