September 17, 2003
What's Wrong With Pennsylvania?

I've driven through central Pennsylvania on U.S. 15 and I-83 at least a dozen times in the last year, mostly from Rochester to Baltimore and back, except for the last time, when I didn't go back. Much of the route (Williamsport to Harrisburg) follows the Susquehanna River, which is quite scenic, except for a couple of clumps of fast-food restaurants and one sparsely-populated stretch from roughly ten to roughly twenty miles north of Harrisburg. It contains no towns of any size, only a few dozen houses, one motel, two gas stations, and (when I first drove it) three porn stores. That seemed a bit excessive. On my second-to-last trip in May, I noticed that a fourth had opened along the same ten-mile stretch of highway. On my last trip a month ago, there was a fifth, and none of the others appeared to have closed up shop. To judge from Rand McNally, the area contains no towns of any size set back from the highway and the river. So what's going on? Are central Pennsylvanians the loneliest, horniest, most voyeuristic bastards in America, or what?

Posted by Dr. Weevil at September 17, 2003 11:25 PM

zoning regulations or lack thereof + lots of truckers passing by = economic opportunity ?

Posted by: andy on September 18, 2003 05:13 PM

I was driving along I-81 about 10 or 11 years ago in an ugly blizzard. I started getting close to 'E' so I was looking for a gas station that might be open. I saw an exit with a very well lit up place at the end of the ramp so I got off there. It was a porn shop. Open, at close to midnight in a blizzard. And it was an ugly blizzard. I think the NJ turnpike was closed and I know it was one ugly night to be driving and here they have a porn shop opened and there were cars in the parking lot!

I can see going out in a blizzard for a pack of cigs, but for porn? Thank goodness for the internet. Now people can stay in.

Posted by: Veeshir on September 29, 2003 01:37 PM