This article is part of the The Great American Reach Around series.
East of Ohio is Pennsylvania, the state that serves as a buffer between the Northeast liberals in their ivory towers and the common peasants of the Midwest. Pennsylvania's location has made it one of the Northeast's few "transition states" where you can see the culture of the Northeast blending with the culture of another region. In the distant shadow of New York City it can be easy for outsiders to forget that Pennsylvania contains two of America's largest urban areas: Pittsburgh and Philadelphia.
Pennsylvania, and Pittsburgh particularly, have suffered from the loss of industry (especially steel) in the United States over the past twenty years, but the state's proximity to major ports and its diversified economy have helped preserve the state's character.
Pennsylvania was founded on the ideal of religious tolerance and this persists, from one degree to another, to this day. This tolerance has also allowed the state to be overrun by the Pennsylvania Dutch. The place is lousy with them in their goddamn buggies talking their half-German moon language. They're like time-traveling Mexicans.
With Pittsburg and Philadelphia both vying for my attention, I have opted to cover a lesser-known city in Pennsylvania.
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