Here is my top 5 list of amazing things in York, Pennsylvania. I used to make fun of York, PA for being a barren wasteland, and a handful of fellow Yorkians did the same. Why?? Because York county, Pennsylvania previously had the highest retention rate (in early 2000’s) for people remaining within the county after graduating high school…. in the ENTIRE COUNTRY. There are many theories as to why this is, but what I’ve finally come to realize is that York’s got swag, and once you get a taste of that swag it’s hard to let it go! Here’s my top 5 list:
1. The Christmas Steam Whistle: Every Christmas Eve, there is a mystical and eerie whistle that plays about 10 songs in the city and surrounding areas starting at exactly 12 o’clock at night. The Guinness Book of World Records rated the whistle as the loudest acoustical instrument in the world at 134.1 decibels. Strangely enough, my old trumpet teacher is actually the guy who plays the whistle (not even jokin!!). His son on the left is pulling the handle to release the steam, and while he holds the handle down, Mr. Ryan moves the long ruler stick back and forth to play different notes. You can hear the eery sound for miles and miles outside of the old wire factory that he plays it in.
2. Maple Donuts. This was a guilty pleasure back in high school, and recently my Maple D’Nuts consumption has been kicked up even further! For $8 I can get myself 12 donuts plus another that’s free, making it a delicious baker’s dozen! Great for a meal or just a pick-me up if I’m feelin’ it (Tiger Blood). I love Maple Donuts so much that I decided to make a video advertisement!! It’s also a parody of a typical rap video with donuts substituted for busty women. Yea, MAKE IT NASTY. Enjoy!
3. The Coin Counting machine at Wells Fargo. This isn’t specific to York but, it’s such a treat that it’s hard to ignore it. Throw in some coins and the thing lights up like Vegas while the puppy icon on the screen goes bonkers. It’s Chuck E Cheese for adults, and supremely respect it for that.
4. The Shoe House: There is a house in York that is shaped like a shoe. We used to gaze upon it from a distance during recess in my Elementary school and tell folktales about the old, lonely, curmudgeonly, and hunchbacked woman that we assumed lived there. There was a growing debate about whether she was humpbacked, or hunchbacked….I always thought it must have been a little bit of both.
While I was Googling “Shoe House” I found this comic! Obviously someone else felt inspired by it, although I still don’t understand what the hell the punchline is (Prize Patrol?!).
5. The York Fair: I haven”t gotten a chance to go to the York Fair for a long time, but rest assured it’s the best afternoon of pig racing, bingo playing, and trans fat eating fun that you’re ever gonna have. My school would always give us one half day in September so that we could spend the rest of the day at the York Fair, and the collection of saw-dust filled stuffed animals in my closet is evidence of many wonderful times playing fair games. I once saw a Bowling For Soup concert there and it was an awesome 36 minutes!
….But in all seriousness York ain’t a bad place to be. I had an adventurous childhood there, so a part of me will always have a piece of York. Maybe it was running from one house to another in a spongy T-Bone Steak costume for Halloween (props to my mom and sister on that one), or maybe it was one of the ample times that my brother threw me outside when I was completely naked and locked the house doors (Dave, you’re a rat bastard!!). Maybe it was listening to the chirps of birds, and the hum of insects during late summer nights while I was jumping on a buddy’s trampoline. It’s hard to put my finger on exactly what it is, but good ole York’s got some charm!