Monday, August 3, 2015

Archive: January, 2012

POSTED: Sunday, January 8, 2012, 5:46 PM

If I am ever abducted by aliens and return to Earth disoriented about what time of year it is on my home planet, I will make my way to the 5500 block of Baltimore Ave. in West Philly. And I will feel re-oriented.

There, a trio of homes - Numbers 5508, 5510 and 5512 - adorn their facades with holiday cheer (actually, it looks more like 5510 goes a little wild and its adjacent neighbors get the spillage). Every holiday receives equal, exuberant treatment - Christmas, Easter, July 4th, Halloween. I've never checked out the homes on Arbor Day, but I suspect there's a "trees-y" theme that lets the world know what day is upon us.

Here's the Valentine's Day streetscape, as seen today. I'm feeling the love already!

POSTED: Saturday, January 7, 2012, 4:36 PM

Condolences to Donna Saber, owner of Here Comes the Bride bridal salon, in Somers Point, NJ. Early this morning, a fire broke out at Saber's Margate home, killing a couple who rented the home's top two floors from her. Saber escaped the blaze.

Saber made waves last August when she refused to sell a wedding gown to a bride-to-be lesbian named Alix Genter, because, she said, Genter's upcoming union was "illegal." I had written Genter's story in my column, and it quickly went viral as Genter sympathizers called for a boycott of the store.

Coincidentally, I had spoken with Saber just two days ago. She called me, out of the blue, to say that her business hadn't suffered a bit from the negative press the story generated. In fact, she said, sales were better than ever. She remained bewildered, though, that Genter had referred to her as a "bigot," which she said was an unfair characterization. Saber said she merely had a "different opinion" about sexual orientation, and it didn't make her a bigot.  So she was still upset by Genter's dark take on what had happened, and with my own support of Genter. She then spoke at some length about her "romantic experimentation" with women back in her college days.

About this blog

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

Ronnie Polaneczky Daily News Columnist
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