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Travel

Lancaster, PA: The City

Humans love physical, materialistic things, and we usually put a value of an entity by what we can see. There is a reason why we judge a book by its cover. As a result, we tend to determine the success of a civilization by its largest cities. Greeks, Athens; Italians, Rome; Americans, New York; Incas, Machu Picchu; Malian, Timbuktu. The list goes on and on, and you can learn them all by playing Civilization. I enjoy architecture and strolls in new, random cities, so I’ll start to document some of the places I have been to – they will be grouped under the Poleis tag. This post is going to be about Lancaster in PA.

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Record Shop.
Record Shop.
Washed out drugs advertisement.
Washed out drugs advertisement.

I thought that being the unofficial capital of Amish people, Lancaster is going to be a sleepy town surrounded by farmlands and horse buggies. I imagined it would look like 19th century towns filled with roadside inns and horses manure everywhere. A place that might fit perfectly in Game of Thrones. They even have a central market, a place similar to Reading Terminal in Philadelphia that I thought would be a large barn-like building with lots of shop selling food, things and maybe farm animals. Looking back, I’m definitely naive but hey, that would be a really cool town.

Lancaster Central Market
Lancaster Central Market
Lancaster Central Market
Lancaster Central Market

We parked in downtown Lancaster near the Central Market, but we couldn’t spot it from afar because it has been surrounded by taller buildings. It used to be the tallest building in the city and have the same style as Quincy market in Boston, but still function like a real market. We arrived barely before they close at 2pm so it was rather deserted and everyone was cleaning up for the weekend. This doesn’t prevent us from enjoying a walk in there and marveled at the wooden ceiling. Things-wise, there is a good mix of modern offerings, Amish cuisines and fresh goods. We got some coffee before getting booted out for good; it was rather hot in there so that wasn’t too bad.

Lancaster Central Market
Lancaster Central Market
Lancaster Central Market
Lancaster Central Market
Even Lancaster Central Market have a shady maple!
Even Lancaster Central Market have a shady maple!
Lancaster Central Market.
Lancaster Central Market.
Nice roof.
Nice roof.

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The parking meter was still ticking away, so we decided to stroll around and try to hit some poke stops. The quick rundown – Lancaster county court is of the classic Roman revival style in peach color which served as Capitol of United States for a day; there is a statue at Penn Square which pays its tribute to local soldiers served and killed in wars; Lancaster county prison looks like a medieval castle, except this one is meant to keep people in rather than out.

Lancaster City Hall
Lancaster City Hall
Lancaster City Hall
Lancaster City Hall
St James Episcopal Church
St James Episcopal Church
Side view of Lancaster Court House
Side view of Lancaster Court House
Lancaster Court House
Lancaster Court House
Side of church.
Side of church.

Lanc Lanc is much classier American city that I thought. It even have the feel of a small European city, with outdoor cafes dotting the streets, trees provide shades for pedestrians to walk on the broad sidewalks. There are plenty of parking and lots of historical and cultural buildings. Lancaster might not be as famous as Pittsburgh or Philadelphia, but it was still the capital of United States (for a day)!

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Penn Square.
Penn Square.

Visited: June 16, 2016, Saturday afternoon.

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