15.  The convention center and all the new people it brings into town.

14.  The Candy Factory.  What a wonderful, brilliant and inclusive concept, shared space, shared ideas and shared knowledge.

13.  Shopping. It is unique, it is in harmony with the city, and it offers tremendous diversity.  Building Character, City Folk, Details, Green Scene, From here to Timbuktoo, The Irish Gypsy, Festoon are just a few of the many interesting, exciting and different stores around town.

12.  Restaurants. Where else in the country do you have so many great restaurants within walking distance of the city center? John J. Jeffries, Penn Square Grill, Pour, Annie Baileys Irish Pub (my favourite but of course I am biased on this one), The Pressroom, Cork and Cap, Carrs, Sukothai and this is to just name a few.

11.  Community. People sincerely and genuinely care about other people, about their town and about their country.  These same people have an opinion, are open to other people’s opinions and although these opinions sometimes clash, they all come from a want to see Lancaster thrive.

10.   Multi-national community.  I was in the store for a Saturday and a Sunday and in that time we had people in from Italy, Spain, Ireland, England, Wales, Philippines, Diego Garcia and Brooklyn.  The folks from Brooklyn were hard to understand but otherwise we did fine.  And before I get in trouble that was a joke about Brooklyn, I’m kind of partial to New Yorkers.

9.   People in the city that live in the city that care about the city.  A civic responsibility amongst everyone who lives in the city, a pride in Lancaster and a tolerant belief that we can be better.  Mayor Gray lives in town, Suzy lives in town, Shirley lives in town, Jim lives in town, Marshall lives in town, Deb lives in town, Annie is coming back to the city, real people live in Town.

8.   Colleges, colleges, colleges!!! Franklin Marshall, Pennsylvania College of Arts, Millersville and Thaddeus Stevens are all located in or have a presence in town.  It means we have a community of young, open minded dreamers filling our streets every day.  Our country needs more dreamers and young people of integrity to help us become better.

7.   Art, everywhere and brilliant. From the Pennsylvania College of Art and Design, The Demuth Museum, to galleries all over town, we have art everywhere and it fits all tastes.  I love Liz Hess, red umbrellas, beautiful mysterious women and her Ireland collection but there is so much and it is all so good that it is impossible to know where to start.  And I love Annie Schwartz of course.

6.  The Lancaster Arts Hotel, The Marriott at Penn’s Square and the Cork and Cap Hotel.  Three fantastic hotels right in the heart of the city, welcoming interesting visitors to town.

5.  Music.  Alive, organic, happening and on the edge.  How else can you describe the music scene?  Young people, young energy, experimental, exciting, getting better every year, every month, every day.

4.   Theatre.  PRiMA, The Fulton Opera House, The Rumschpringe short film festival…a vibrant and alive performing arts community whose productions and facilities are improving every year and whose performances move me every time.

3.   Coffee shops and bakeries.  In my humble opinion any town or city cannot truly be considered happening unless it has a place for the great minds, and in my case the not so great minds, to converge, drink coffee that makes their hair stand up like Einstein and eat glorious calorie injected food.  My favorite is La Dolce Vita for a number of reasons…the food is incredible, the coffee good but mostly for the Italian family conversations that are so brilliantly entertaining.  But La Dolce Vita is very closely followed by Bonbonniere and the Prince Street Café. 

2. The market, apples from the market, coffee from the market, bagels from the market, smoothies from the market, meat from the market, conversations from the market, community from the market.

2a.  Mayor Gray because it is so nice to have a politician and a leader who sincerely cares and his bow ties rock.

1. And the number one reason I love Lancaster is when I sit in the front window of Tellus360 and wave at people, they all smile and wave back.

A bit about me:  I, Joe Devoy, am a blow in from Ireland originally and Annapolis most recently.  I have been coming to Lancaster for the last five or six years, ever since my friends opened Annie Baileys.  “If you build it they will come” became “if they pour it I will come”.  So over the years I have started to love Lancaster more and more.  I now own a store in Lancaster, Tellus360, and also have an apartment in town and I find myself spending more and more time here, meeting more and more people here and falling deeper and deeper in love with the heartbeat of the city.  I find it remarkable how well the city has done during

Beautiful night in the beautiful city

the last few years despite the country being buried in recession.  It gives me great hope that we the people can make our world a better place.  Also being new to Lancaster there is so much I have not got to explore yet and cannot wait to.  So if I have not mentioned you here it is not because I don’t like you it is because I just haven’t found you yet but I will, I promise.  Lastly Mathematics was never my strong point and I just couldn’t stop at ten.  Thanks to all in Lancaster for making me feel so welcome.