Well, I hope you enjoyed the last week’s worth of posts from our visit to Lancaster, PA. We had two excellent dining experiences and two that were, well, not quite as excellent. But that seems to happen on every trip— you can’t win ’em all. And now time for a couple of cultural observations:
Lancaster County overall has always been very conservative. The countryside is dotted with Trump 2020 signs and there has always been a fervent religiosity. However, Lancaster City is a much different vibe. Almost every storefront has a “Black Lives Matter” sign (and others such as “No Hate Here”) and there were LGBT pride flags everywhere. Even the Green Dragon market out in Ephrata had a guy flying a pride flag (ironically next to a Trump flag). There is a greater diversity of people walking around than I ever remember seeing. The restaurant scene in the city (Chinese, Japanese, Nepalese, Indian, Middle Eastern, French, African, Thai, Spanish, Puerto Rican, and more) is a testament to that.
Is Lancaster changing? Maybe only slightly but its not what it once was. Other observation: people are wearing masks even outside in the city, but farther out the masks are fewer and far between. They seem arbitrary how they are worn and enforced (and so are laws regarding drinking at bars/restaurants, as you may have seen in one of my reviews the other day). Everything ranges from strict to nonchalant. There are some shops and markets where you would not think there’s a pandemic at all. If being in close proximity to other people at this time is not your thing, I strongly urge you to avoid the markets. But if you are masked up and feel safe, give it a go. It might make you feel a little bit normal.