Thursday, November 26, 2015

Archive: May, 2012

POSTED: Tuesday, May 29, 2012, 4:50 PM

Whenever I conclude a conversation with a military vet, I try to remember to say, “Thank you for your service.”

Today, when I expressed that sentiment at the end of a phone call with a former U.S. Marine reservist, I was startled when he pooh-poohed my gratitude.

“You seem like a nice person, but really, it annoys me when people say that," he said. "They don’t mean it.”

POSTED: Friday, May 25, 2012, 8:53 AM

Denizens of New York's East Village have been in a tizzy  - titsy? - the last week or so over the cute young woman who's been spotted walking the streets topless. On her way back from yoga, breezing past Whole Foods, hanging out in Union Square Park - there she is: carrying a shoulder bag, wearing sunglasses, checking her phone, just like like anyone else heading out to Starbucks. Except that she's preceded by her bouncing little friends.

Who is she? What's she up to? And where the hell is her shirt?

She's Moira Johnston, a 29-year-old former Philly girl who's baring her boobs to promote awareness that New York has a state law, on the books since 1992, that allows women to swing free and easy anywhere that men are allowed to.

POSTED: Friday, May 25, 2012, 5:05 AM

If you want to see someone having fun with goat’s milk and fruit chews, check out Philly native Lasheeda Perry on the Food Network’s “Sweet Genius.”

The weekly show’s host, Master Pastry Chef Ron Ben-Israel, gives absurd culinary assignments to three competitors, all of them professional pastry people. The one who creates with the most yummy concoction with the bizarre ingredients wins the title of “Sweet Genius” and – better still – $10,000 cash.

Lasheeda, 26, blew away the competition. Which is no surprise, since her expertise with sweets has been obvious since her days as a stand-out student in Frankford High School’s Culinary Arts Program.

POSTED: Thursday, May 24, 2012, 3:29 PM

A couple readers e-mailed to say I got it wrong after reading my column Thursday about Ralph's Italian Restaurant, on S. 9th St. I wrote that Ralph's, founded in 1900, can now claim to be the oldest Italian restaurant in the country, because Fior d'Italia of San Francisco, which once held that honor, went belly-up this week.

Not so fast, protests a reader named Nathan.

"Another old Philadelphia Italian Restaurant" - Dante & Luigi's, on S. 10th St - "claims to have been founded in 1899, AND to being the oldest Italian Restaurant in Philadelphia."

POSTED: Wednesday, May 23, 2012, 2:54 PM

Just received this photo from a peeved downtown worker, who took a snapshot of these two PPA towing trucks parked at 8th and Race Streets (in the foreground is the hood of one of the trucks). Both were parked in clearly marked No Stopping zones, the kind that would net anyone else at least $51 in fines - and, on a bad day, a very expensive towing fee courtesy of the Philadelphia Parking Authority.

"They were there for at least two hours," says the disgruntled citizen, who asked not to be ID'd in this blog for fear of retribution.

I have two words to say about this: No fair.

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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