Are you contemplating a move to York? Maybe you are returning to your childhood home; or maybe you have never heard of this town but you have an interview for your dream job. Read what this month’s Guest Blogger, Martin Fedorko has to tell you about his first year living and working in York, PA:
As I write, it is one year to the day since I moved to York and took a job with some of the most inspiring and creative people you could find. I couldn’t be happier with the move. As I’ll explain, York is a fascinating, charming and historic place to call home.
I Began with Apprehension
At the start, I had no idea what to expect. Spin it however you want, but it was a roll of the dice to leave Pittsburgh and a career in investment management. I had opted to take a job at a start-up healthcare innovation consultancy in York, Pa. What was I getting myself into?
I watched Pittsburgh completely transform in the 13 years I called it home. Downtown is now a place where people go out, have dinner or drinks after work, and even choose to live! Previously abandoned areas are now the most desirable the city has to offer. Developers found opportunity in old buildings, in abandoned warehouses, in defunct factories. Their work and the work of many others changed perceptions about a formerly smoky city to one that was actively investing in its future. Sound familiar?
I Got Involved
So I found myself in York, Pa. The home of York Peppermint Patties and that spinning weightlifter off Interstate 83. At least that’s all I knew of it from the outside. As a newly minted York resident, I decided to get out there and find out for myself what this town was all about. I set out to attend the many events in the city and meet as many people as possible. I checked the YCEA events calendar Downtown, Inc calendar and Facebook page frequently. I became involved with York Young Professionals. I networked as much as I could. I just wanted to be involved.
I wanted to hear from people that have lived here their whole lives, and transplants like myself. I wanted to entrench myself in everything the city had to offer. I’m glad I did, because this is my city now. When you live and work in a certain place, you own a piece of its destiny. You should do everything you can to bring what you can to the table to support the community with your unique talents. A year later, that feeling isn’t just validated; it’s strengthened. I have become a part of the progress.
I Realized #ILoveYorkCity
One day last spring, I was taking a walk downtown. Exactly where it was, I don’t remember. I could have been walking past PeoplesBank Park, a Beaver Street event, crossing the Philadelphia Street bridge, or any of the pleasant scenery we have here. That’s when it first truly hit me: York is a city going through its own renaissance. The same renaissance that I witnessed in the western part of our state not long ago. We all see the new restaurants and businesses, but what is remarkable is the investment in turning some of York’s historic buildings into stunning residential spaces. I’m not an expert in urban planning, but I saw the same things happening in different parts of Pittsburgh. If you build and cater to the next generation, they will come. Trust me. The growth of the city and the culture that follows will be exponential.
I Celebrated the Wave
What is great for everyone here , is that York is really only at the precipice of this growth. If you live or work downtown, you will know what I’m talking about. You will know it because you can feel it. Attend a festive First Friday in the spring and try not to feel the enthusiasm and energy permeating through downtown. The difference, as the months and years go on here, is that I observed more and more people who live outside of downtown, coming around to experience this cultural revival. First Friday’s are great year-round, but I can’t wait to see downtown on First Fridays when it’s warm outside. Scratch that.. I can’t wait to see downtown every Friday this summer. It’s the best time of year to truly take in all that downtown has to offer, and the best time to show others how far York has come.
I Discovered the Ongoing Transformation
The investment, both personal and monetary, that has been put into York is evident with every corner you turn. In a few short years, the Yorktowne Hotel will rise as the proud focal point of the downtown landscape, the Northwest Triangle will be buzzing and the impending wave of culture and transformation will be spectacular. While I can only speak for Benjamin & Bond, we certainly see the interest in York from nearby hubs like Baltimore, Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. This “new” York isn’t just a facade. It’s being noticed all around the region. The momentum is underway for York to become a city that exemplifies innovation.
I Haven’t Looked Back
Friends and family often ask me if I regret leaving Pittsburgh. My answer? I couldn’t have joined this revival of York at a more perfect time, and I couldn’t have found a company that reflects the ingenuity we want to see in the city more than Benjamin & Bond. It’s real. It’s happening, and I can’t wait until more and more people around the country see for themselves.
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