On the first wonderful Saturday of this pre-spring season, we were invited by friends to dinner. This wings, hoagie and steak & potatoes guy was at first hesitant, given the event was an all-organic, gluten free, vegan meal for a fixed price of $70 per couple. Luckily for me, I’m not that set in my ways to step out of the culinary box every now and then.
While enjoying our “Winter’s End Feast” at Roaring Brook Market & Cafe, a friend had asked me my opinion on why Lancaster City is thriving. The transformation really is quite obvious. After all, since I first moved into the city more than a decade ago, the population has grown by more than 10,000 and improvements have been made to many old buildings, streets, blocks, entire quadrants; not to mention the many added attractions and almost weekly events held somewhere in the city.
It took just a few seconds for me to ponder the question until I took my typical stance of the inner workings of county and city politics as to what has made the difference.
After thinking about it, I would like to change my answer.
Jen and I (both of us local business owners) started that same day on foot and first landed at a local city joint that served us a nice breakfast. Our second stop was to one of my apartment buildings where I would drop off paint so that I could pay a local city dweller who doubles as my primary sub-contractor so that he could make some extra bucks. We then walked to the 300 block of North Queen Street, where Jen ordered a small fabrication to a set of rings at a city jewelry store, walked next door and found two wonderfully re-furbished club chairs that would fit perfectly in our living room, and hopped over to Building Character where Jen picked up a shirt that fit her exact style. It’s what she wore to dinner that night.
Sure, we spent a few bucks that day, but we spent it in local businesses owned by people just like us without even a second thought. We found great items at great prices.
This, my friends is my new answer to my friend’s question; Community.
Our community is what has made our city thrive. Sure, the infusion of public funds helps our cause. But the people of the City of Lancaster that invest in it, take personal risk in it, locate their businesses in it, live in it, buy from it, attract people from outside in to it; this is what is helping our city propel itself on a positive path that just may be irreversible.
Special thanks to Erin, Joey, Alicia and Jen.
Sam Gorgone, Hometown Property Management Services, LLC