Sunday, February 7, 2016

Over the Top Border Protection

Reader Brendan Flannery read my colleague Stu Bykofsky's column this week about a die-hard Eagles fan who has been ordered not to peer through a fence to watch the the Birds practice at the Novacare Center on Pattison Ave. And he has his own tale of viewer frustration to share.

Over the Top Border Protection

Bicycle cops guard the free view from harm
Bicycle cops guard the free view from harm

Reader Brendan Flannery read my colleague Stu Bykofsky’s column this week about a die-hard Eagles fan who has been ordered not to peer through a fence to watch the the Birds practice at the Novacare Center on Pattison Ave. 

And he has his own tale of viewer frustration to share.

He says he was denied the chance to be a peeping Brendan at last weekend’s Budweiser Made in America Festival.  His frustration went down near the ramp that leads east from the Spring Garden St. bridge. He was standing near theclosed-off  entrance to the Vine St. Expressway – located to the right of the Philadelphia Museum of Art and flanked by the Park Town Place complex. Attached here is the fuzzy photo which, presumably, no one prevented Brendan from snapping.

Says Brendan:

 ” I was standing [there] around 7:30 p.m.,  next to a police officer, enjoying looking in on the concert.  I spoke with him briefly and he informed me that Jay Z would be performing around 9:30. After hearing [that] my girlfriend and I decided to get something to eat.  We returned around 9:00 pm and there was now a dozen or so bike police officers standing by the area [where] I had previously been.  We walked over to the spot and were told we were not allowed to stand there.  We were at least 15 feet from the fence and this area was not blocked off for any official purpose.  Why were we able to stand there at 7:30 but not 9:30?”

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

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