Anthony Machcinski: Why I’m joining Our York Media

Our York Media’s newest team member talks about the optimism he sees in York and the need to spread the good news.

Written by: Anthony Machcinski
Anthony Machcinski (Our York Media)

Four years ago, I couldn’t tell you anything about York County.

I guess that’s not entirely true. I knew York College had a rugby team, and I knew it was in Pennsylvania somewhere in the middle of nowhere, but that was it.

When I got a job working at the York Daily Record and told my family where I was moving to, the conversations went a lot like this:

Family: That’s great, but where is York?

Me: About a half hour west of Lancaster.

Family: So… Amish country?

Me: Yeah, Amish country.

I look back now and cringe at those conversations because York County is far from the middle of nowhere Amish country.

I moved here from New Jersey planning to be in York a year or so before moving to the next step in my career. Four years later, I’m not sure if I’d ever leave.

York has always been a funny place for me. A lot of people who grew up here see York in a negative light.

You can see it in Facebook comments, tweets and other social media postings: “There’s nothing to do in York!” “The city is loaded with crime!” “There’s no parking anywhere,” and my personal favorite meme, “Come to York, stay because you got murdered.”

But to an outsider, like me, I see a different side of the city. There’s a business district that’s grown beyond a block of Beaver Street. Five craft breweries — and soon a sixth — have created a legitimate craft brewing hot spot downtown.

To an outsider, like me, I see a different side of the city.

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Anthony Machcinski

It’s not just the businesses, but the people, too.

It’s people like JJ Sheffer and Mary Yeaple volunteering and putting on dozens of events every year. It’s the people who do so much around the city, like Kate Harmon and Matthew Davis, that the only way you can describe their job is by saying they do “all the things.”

It’s the other people — too many to mention individually — that give a smiling face, a “Hey, how are ya” and genuinely care for the lives around them that have made York the place that it is.

This isn’t North Philadelphia. This isn’t Baltimore, Camden, Detroit or any of the other cities the Industrial Revolution left behind.

York, and the county as a whole, is on the rise, whether the naysayers believe it or not.

Is the county perfect? Absolutely not. Any shooting, anywhere, is one too many. Those abandoned buildings around the county could use some inhabitants that would bring them back to their glory. And Lord knows I’ll rejoice when Interstate 83 finally gets fixed.

But that doesn’t mean we have to focus on the negative. And that’s why I wanted to join the Our York Media team.

There’s a lot of good here in York, and we need to keep bringing that to the forefront. While we can’t turn a blind eye to the bad things going on in the county, we can hope to inspire others to do better by showing them that, when they do step up, they won’t be alone.

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Anthony J. Machcinski is a storyteller for Our York Media. Follow him on Facebook, @ChinskiTweets on Twitter or email him at anthony@ouryorkmedia.com.