Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Arrow Swim Club: Here We Go Again

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Arrow Swim Club: Here We Go Again

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Today's Inquirer has a nice story about the Arrow Swim Club on Germantown Ave. in Northern Liberties, described on the club'swebsite as "Philadelphia's only over-21 private poolside oasis."

"You're paying for a more mature crowd," the Inky quotes an Arrow supporter, who lives at The Piazza at Schmidts, across the avenue.   "Kids aren't running around, screaming and cannonballing right in front of you."

Somehow, I think neighbors on little W. Allen St., directly across from the club's north wall, would prefer the sound of active children to the blare of club music they had to endure on Monday night, when the Arrow held a party that was so loud, windows on Allen St. were rattling.

I was there. Trust me, it was really, really loud. And it had been blaring, an elderly neighbor named John Gallagher told me, all evening.

Neighbor Marie Frisbie had called me as the ruckus endured, asking for help. I'd met Marie and other neighbors the previous week, when I wrote a column about how Tower Investments, which owns a vacant lot on W. Allen, was using the lot as a dump site while the Arrow was under construction. 

As I noted in my column, I am a fan of Bart Blatstein, head of Tower, because I think he's done an extraordinary job of transforming blighted urban dead zones into hot-spot destinations. But, please: Being a visionary developer and being a decent neighbor are not mutually exclusive states of being.

It's not necessary to be obnoxious while doing good.

Daily News Columnist
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When my phone rings here at the Daily News, nine times out of ten the caller begins the conversation with, “Yeah, so what happened was…”.

Because this is Philly, the caller doesn’t say, “My name is Bob” – or Mary – “and I wonder if I could have a moment of your time?” Philadelphians are too direct for that. They just say, “Yeah, so what happened was…”, and then tumble into a tale they think oughta be shared with a wider audience. I love getting these calls (even the ones where it becomes clear, after 30 seconds, where the caller sowed the seeds of his own misery), because they give me chance to connect with fellow citizens in a way that no other job allows. Well, okay, no other job for which I’m remotely qualified.

That’s why my blog is titled “So What Happened Was…”. To me, it’s the quintessentially Philly way of saying, “Once upon a time.” When I hear it, I know a good story is coming. And I can’t wait to see how it turns out.

Ronnie Polaneczky has been an award-winning columnist for The Philadelphia Daily News since 1999, offering a front-steps perspective on every aspect of city life, from the sublime to the stupid. In her past life, she was the editor-in-chief of Atlantic City Magazine, associate editor at Philadelphia Magazine and a fulltime freelancer published in Ladies Home Journal, Good Housekeeping, Redbook, Reader's Digest, Men's Health, MarieClaire and others. She lives with her husband, daughter and various pets in the city's Fairmount section, where she dreams of one day singing The National Anthem at an Eagles game. In addition to her column and blog, you can enjoy Ronnie's musings in podcast form here.


Read more from Ronnie Polaneczky at Earth to Philly, the Daily News blog on anything and everything "Green Reach Ronnie at polaner@phillynews.com.

Ronnie Polaneczky Daily News Columnist
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