North Star’s description of Lansdale is nice. Hallmark card nice. And like Hallmark cards that bear messages of well wishes and sweet thoughts, they’re fairly innocuous.
North Star did an excellent job in their research of Lansdale and their presentation in April on their findings. At that meeting — which felt like a family intervention — I and others anxiously awaited the unveiling of resident and non-resident opinions of Lansdale: “Up and coming,” “Tired,” “Past its prime,” “Get in on the ground floor,” “Untapped potential,” and my favorite, “Lansdale: Where nothing much happens.” Brutally honest and true, but like many simple quips or sound bites, there is always more to the story. I will offer a more candid view of how I view Lansdale.
Welcome to Lansdale! We’re underachievers but we’ve got a big heart. To quote Bill Murray from the movie, "Stripes," “We’re not Spartans … we’re the underdog … we’re mutts, but there’s no dog more lovable than the mutt.” We rally around our underprivileged with events such as the Beerfest, and we embrace them with the likes of Manna on Main Street, Community Housing Services and the North Penn Valley Boys' and Girls' Club.
We’ve bulldozed just about every attractive building in town, but we’ve realized how wrong this was and we’re learning from our mistakes with a tremendously-active historical society. We don’t have the infrastructure of Doylestown, Ambler or Phoenixville, but we are trying. (Our real estate prices are a heck of a lot cheaper!) And like true artists who don’t have two dimes to rub together, that is when our creative spirit soars. Nothing artificial or contrived or pretentious here.
And where else can you find on a single block the following two neighbors: one neighbor that drives a beat-up, 1993 pickup truck with bumper stickers that read “Haulin’ ass and suckin’ gas” and ”Redneck” and another neighbor that remodeled his basement to resemble the oldest bar in Paris?
Rebellion and Refinement. There’s something for everyone in Lansdale.