I had an amazing day in Lancaster last Friday and thought I’d share my experience to illustrate why I’m so grateful to live here.
- In The Candy Factory conference room I recorded a podcast interview with Mychal Cohen, a brilliant musician from Seattle and leader of the indie rock band Campfire Ok. Mychal was performing at the Chameleon Club that evening with Anberlin. The Candy Factory is a co-working space for freelancers, entrepreneurs, and remote workers.
- After the interview I met my wife for coffee in the beautifully renovated Prince Street Cafe. We were greeted by their awesome and friendly baristas, including our buddy, Ben Rothermel, a local independent singer-songwriter.
- We headed up to Celebrate Lancaster at Penn Square where we caught Jordan Rast and his band play a lively set of original tunes, blues, and old school rock ‘n roll. All walks of life were dancing together in the streets at 5pm on a Friday. And that was only the beginning of a full night of music on two outdoor stages, along with food, drink, and fireworks in the heart of the city. Kudos to all of the event organizers!
- A rain shower led us to the Lancaster Dispensing Company for a sandwich and THE BEST POTATO SALAD IN THE WORLD.
- After dinner we walked over to the Chameleon Club, the legendary nightclub that is nationally known as a great place to see live music. We caught Mychal Cohen’s set in the packed room.
- After bidding farewell to Mychal, we headed to Quips Pub, an authentic English pub on the east side of town where we spent the rest of the night with good friends watching the incredible Stray Birds play a couple sets of country and honky tonk with special guest drummer Dom Billett from the Philly-based Toy Soldiers. Both bands, who frequently tour other parts of the country, are on the cusp of breaking out nationally.
That was a jam packed day full of great music, great people, great food, etc. But it’s only the tip of the huge iceberg that makes Lancaster the top city in the country for well being according to the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being index in 2011.
One thing that really struck me that day was a comment from Mychal Cohen as we walked together from The Candy Factory to the Chameleon Club. At one point along the path he said “This place is really hip. I mean that.” I couldn’t agree more.