Lancaster PA May Be The Next New Brooklyn Neighborhood

Hey, you can still wear all black and a hat there. Keep the beard too.

By Jeff Vasishta September 22, 2016
Photo courtesy of

[otw_shortcode_dropcap label=”E” font=”Bowlby One SC” color_class=”otw-black-text” background_color_class=”otw-no-background” size=”large” border_color_class=”otw-no-border-color”][/otw_shortcode_dropcap]ver wonder who the original hipsters were? Maybe it was the Amish. Seriously. They wear all black, with funky hats and shoes with buckles. The live all together, eschewing modernity in preference of retro-style living. Come on, what other two subcultures do you know who both make their own pickles?  Well, it doesn’t get any more vintage and hip than the three B’s—the beard, buggy and bonnet. Now it seems that cool folks in Brooklyn are catching on to the potential of branching out from the more traditional lands of Brooklyn. Lancaster County, PA, home of the Amish, is starting to get namechecked from the NY borough that took their ethos and ran—or rather fixed-gear bicycled—with it.

Related: Is Elmhurst Queens The New Frontier For Affordable Rents, Home Buying And Peruvian Food? 

OK, so it’s not actually the part of Lancaster County where the Amish are based (that would be the salaciously named town of Intercourse) but nearby downtown Lancaster where the hip factor hits overdrive.  Lancaster is fast gaining a reputation for being a mini-Brooklyn, replete with art galleries, indie boutiques and restaurants—without the price tag and pretensions of New York.

Photo courtesy of Flickr / Bixentro

This week, the New York Post quoted 33-year old Andrea DePablo from Astoria, Queens, who confessed, “I’m obsessed,” when she started visiting the Pennsylvania town a few years ago. “There are so many cute vintage shops and cool boutiques. My friends are trying to convince me to move there, but I’m afraid I’m not cool enough!”

That may be news to people who actually live there. But it’s not hard to see why the Brooklyn/Lancaster County connection exists. It’s got vintage clothing stores, coffee shops (The Rabbit and the Dragonfly, Square One and Prince St. Cafe) , craft beers (Spring House Brewing Company, Wacker Brewing Company, Lancaster Brewing Company) vinyl record stores (Boho Zone, Mr. Suit, Angry, Young and Poor) as well as a co-working space (Candy Factory), numerous restaurants and farmers markets, and an art house movie theater. But it also has parking, affordable housing and clean air—all big points for Brooklynites forced to live in rabbit hutch like accommodation. Rentals in downtown Lancaster close to buzzing restaurants such as Citronelle and Luca from anywhere from $900 for a 1 bedroom to $1400 for a 3 bedroom. Lancaster might just be your next cool neighborhood.


Jeff Vasishta



Jeff is a writer, husband and father but not necessarily in that order. As a music journalist he counts Prince, Beyonce and Quincy Jones amongst those he’s interviewed. He's also owned and flipped homes in Brooklyn, NJ, CT and PA.

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