17603 is where it’s at

Lancaster’s 17603 zip code, which happens to be the zip code of this blog’s owners, has been identified as one of the nation’s hottest hipster communities. That’s right. Lancaster County, home of the Amish, is also pretty damn cool.

LNP reports, “The ZIP code 17603 is the 36th strongest such community in the U.S., according to Realtor.com and Yelp, which announced their findings on Thursday. Realtor.com, a website that lists homes for sale, examined the median number of days that homes for sale were on the market in each ZIP code. Yelp, a website that provides reviews of businesses by their customers, tallied the frequency of “hipster” mentions in reviews of businesses in each ZIP code.”

Sure, this doesn’t seem very scientific, but since we’re the recipients of such praise, we’ll take it. The city of Lancaster has been getting better and better, which is why the owners of this blog took great care to move here to the West side when we were looking for a home in 2005, and it’s why we run this blog. While prices fell in 2008, they’ve been climbing ever since, and it’s easy to see why. The city of Lancaster is charming. There are great homes in each section of the city. It’s under good leadership with many organizations like the Lancaster Community Foundation and Lancaster Alliance looking to make improvements as their mission. Work remains, and we’d like to see some more attention on some struggling quadrants, but we feel confident that the work continues.

More Dogs Everywhere

Baby Cow enjoying an ORCA fundraiser on the deck at Lancaster Brewing Company.

Last September, the co-owner of this blog, Jeffy Guy, and I attended an event at Lancaster Brewing Company to benefit ORCA. At the time, dogs were allowed on their specious deck on East Walnut Street. Unfortunately, dogs are no longer allowed on patios at Lancaster eateries. Someone complained about dogs at the General Sutter Inn in Lititz, and the PA Department of Health shut down the dog goodness at many local eateries. The squeaky wheel ruined outdoor dining for the dog moms and dads.

This was most disappointing to the dog lovers among us, so I was

A corgi relaxes on the seat in front of me on a Southwest flight from Chicago to Boise, Idaho, September 2017

overjoyed to board a few Southwest flights this September and see dogs on the plane. Dogs were on each of my flights to Boise. Since Southwest lets you choose a seat, I chose to sit next to each dog, the first of which was a Brussels Griffon and the second a buff-colored Corgi. I find dogs very relaxing to be around, so the dogs on a plane was a bonus I hadn’t expected. If dog-friendliness is unique to Southwest, then they just made a customer for life.






Vintage Frames Reborn in Elizabethtown

I bought these vintage glasses at Antique World Mall in Boise, Idaho. Both were repaired and the lenses were replaced by Bouquet Mulligan DeMaio Eye Professionals in Elizabethtown, PA.

I was recently visiting relatives in another state when I found an amazing pair of vintage glasses at a vintage store. I left the store the first time without them being unsure if the lenses could be replaced. After consulting Google, I went back and felt it was worth the $49 to buy them and give it a try. I stopped by Bouquet Mulligan DeMaio Eye Professionals, P.C in Elizabethtown for a consultation. For a company that sells new glasses, they were really enthusiastic about this old pair. They have a number of technicians on staff that collect glasses or have an interest in vintage glasses. They were able to tell me all about the pair including the company and the year of manufacture, 1974. They were made in Fairfield, NJ. The pair I bought was in excellent condition. Apparently, the black plastic can become white with time, so my pair was not worn very much and stored away from sunlight.

When I returned for the finished pair, they had buffed the plastic, so they literally looked like new. The technician also noticed a mis-sized screw in the temple and fixed that as well. The cost to replace the lenses was well below the cost of a new pair, and they did a fantastic job.

Apparently, you can replace lens in plastic frames, but there is a chance the plastic could break. This shop was willing to give it a try, and the results were fabulous.

The vintage store I bought the first pair in also had a pair of square “Buddy Holly” style glasses, so I sent my dad to pick them up for me and send them. When they arrived, Bouquet Mulligan DeMaio repaired them as well. This pair was rough looking and less expensive, but when I picked them up, they, too, had been buffed to perfection. Ever wonder why everyone looks like they are wearing the same glasses in old photos? They were. I worked with store owner James Mulligan on this pair, and he explained that labs used to buy the glasses in pieces with different sized bridges and arms and then assemble them in house.

There are plenty of vintage stores in Lancaster on North Queen Street and in Adamstown. If you find a pair that fits, head to Bouquet Mulligan DeMaio for a fix. They also have a line of reproduction eyewear that uses original vintage molds.

Happy shopping.

Bouquet Mulligan DeMaio also sells a line or reproduction vintage glasses that use original molds.

Building Character rules my world

I found this dog bed at Building Character, 342 N Queen St, Lancaster, PA 17603

A few years ago, I purchased a beautiful hand-made, wooden dog bed at Building Character, 342 N Queen St, Lancaster, PA 17603. The shop sells recycled, new, and vintage items from a variety of sellers. Since my original purchase, I’ve acquired another dog. I tried contacting the original seller, but he no longer makes furniture. Recently, Building Character posted some photos on their Facebook page of a new furniture seller who used recycled wood. The bed jumped out immediately. It was perfect. I believe the dogs agree.









Vinny’s Plants

Vinny’s Plants is on the corner of N. Prince and W. Walnut just east of Rachel’s.

I’ve been taking a class at the Pennsylvania College of Art and Design for the last several weeks. Class is Tuesday and Thursday from 6-9. One of the most wonderful things about Lancaster City is the ease of walking everywhere. My walk is 20 minutes, and every night I pass Vinny’s Plants. It appears to be a freelance plant selling business that operates in front of Vinny’s Attic Thrift Shop, 252 N. Prince Street. I have yet to see a sign for the latter, but with the warm summer weather, a small number of plants are displayed on the sidewalk along with a placard sign. I have four classes to go, so maybe someday soon, I’ll meet Vinny himself.

Ollie’s Bargain Outlet

This rug from Ollie’s Bargain Outlet cost $69. They have piles of rugs of nice quality for low prices.

When we bought our home in 2005, it needed quite a bit of work, so certain projects just fell off the radar immediately. One of those items was hardwood floor repair. Built in 1928, our home is on the newer side for the city of Lancaster having been built in one of the former suburbs on the north west side of the city. The floor is 1.5 in oak throughout. That’s right, every single floor is oak hardwood. Imagine finding that in a new home. You wouldn’t. Most of it is in passable shape for a house this old, but the dining room had numerous water spots and stains. My solution upon moving in was just to cover it with a rug. I found one for less than $100 at Ollie’s Bargain Outlet.

This rug lasted years until we acquired Baby Cow. Baby Cow arrived to us having lived her entire life outside. Potty training an adult dog is quite a process, and Baby Cow never stopped peeing on the Ollie’s rug. So despite looking just fine, the rug could never be thoroughly cleaned, and I hauled it in my Volvo to the transfer station a few months ago.

I just returned to Ollie’s hoping they had more rugs, and, indeed, they do. I chose one that is the thickness of regular carpet this time, but it’s no less lovely. I thought a thinner rug might be easier to thoroughly clean if Baby Cow has an urge to pee on this one too. As you can see, the dogs like it quite a lot.

Lancaster Craft Brew Fest 2017

Mark your calendars. The Lancaster Craft Brew Fest is coming back for another year. If you haven’t attended in the past, do yourself a favor and book your tickets now. It’s a lovely event featuring brewers of all sizes from across the Mid-Atlantic.

You can sample everything from Cox Brewing, which is run out of an industrial garage in Elizabethtown, to storied Penn Brewing in Pittsburgh. Last year, Penn brought some leftover seasonal beer, but I drank it anyway. I’ll try anything they make.

If you’re really into craft but not into crowds, book the VIP tickets. The event fills up fast, but you can make a quick round of all your favorites in the hour you have before general admission begins.

Food trucks will be present including the famed Fridge pizza pickup, so you won’t go hungry. If you can’t walk there like the Where’s Pom Team, bring a designated driver or use Uber. We want everyone to go home safely.




Dogs, like people, are not perfect

Where's Pom: In a Cone
In 2015, Pom suffered the indignity of the cone. Unlike our other dog, he never adjusted to the cone and sulked for the entire two weeks.

At Where’s Pom, we have two knuckleheads. One perfectly healthy one that is full of anxiety and one with numerous health problems but a stellar temperament. The former is Pom, for whom the blog is named.

Pom is a beautiful, healthy dog. At 9 years old, he can still catch a tennis ball out of the air. He’s a muscular and athletic English bulldog with none of the breathing problems that plague the breed. As you can probably tell from this blog, he’s an excellent loose leash walker. He’s an angel in the house. He never chews anything, gets in the trash, or sleeps on the couch. (Furniture is off limits to the dogs with the exception of the bed.)

He has one overriding issue, however. He’s anxious and afraid of new people. If someone is coming over, he has to be locked up. Walks require vigilance lest someone with a trigger cross our path. Backpacks, hats, a limp, men in general – they’re all suspect. Everything is suspect. If Pom were a human, he’d be carrying a gun. 

We’ve worked with trainers and read a shelf full of books. In the end, we understand and manage his anxiety, but the overall problem is a tough one to crack. In addition to anxiety, he is wicked smart. He’s the smartest dog either of us has ever owned. You can always see the wheels turning, and he picks up new tricks with ease. The trainer recommended that he be given a job and challenged regularly. We hide his dinner in a kong every night, and he finds it.

I was explaining Pom’s issues this week when I took our other dog, Baby Cow, to meet a friend. My friend remarked that we frequently require our pets to be perfect when most everyone you know isn’t perfect. We all have issues whether physical or mental that require management and understanding from those around us. We shouldn’t expect our dogs, who lived with humans so long they essentially domesticated themselves, from reading our emotions and having a few of their own.

For Training, the Where’s Pom team strongly recommends Kristina Ackerman at Oscar’s Pet Resort. She’s terrific.

The Lancaster of Maine

Portland, Maine
Portland, ME reminds us a lot of Lancaster

The authors of this blog recently returned from Portland, Maine, a lovely New England town that reminds us of Lancaster. Besides the obvious difference of the water, it has some similarities. Both cities were founded about 100 years apart, 1623 for Portland and 1729 for Lancaster. Their populations are currently similar – 66,194 for Portland and 59,322 for Lancaster. Portland is the largest city in Maine. Lancaster is the 8th largest in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The greater Portland Metro area is strikingly similar to Lancaster, 519,900 to 507,766.

The architecture and vibe of both cities is similar. Both towns have thriving art colleges and art scenes, and both benefit from tourism. Lancaster has Rachel’s Creperie, and Portland has Hot Suppa. Lancaster has Lancaster Brewing Company and Portland has Gritty McDuff’s. There are actually several more breweries in both places, but these felt the most comparable.

The ocean is the obvious difference, and you don’t see or hear seagulls in Lancaster. Both towns feel like they are on the upswing, places that businesses want to grow in and people want to live in. While dining at Hot Suppa, our server asked us where we arrived from. When we told her Lancaster, she said she was originally from Selingsgrove, PA. “I came here on vacation when I was a kid, and later, I decided I want to live here. I hope I never leave.”


New cushions for an old couch

New cushions give life to an old couchMy husband and I bought a blue leather couch in 2002, and the leather cushions recently ripped. After quickly shopping for a new one, we decided to repair this one and save a pile of money while keeping a piece of furniture we both enjoy. Enter Stump’s Upholstery. The variety of fabrics available was pretty overwhelming. I went two times before selecting a fabric. You can take books home with you to make your decision easier. Unfortunately, we couldn’t match this custom color. Instead, the team suggested making it very different and buying pillows to match the new cushions with the old couch. Once I was on the schedule, the job only took about a week to complete. The replacement cushions are a perfect fit, and are reversible. If the one side wears, I can always flip them over for more life. The entire job cost about $400. We were able to re-use the stuffing and save some money. Actual cost would, of course, depend on the fabric choice and size of your job. Highly recommended.