Atlantic City: Dîner en Blanc

On a perfect Summer night, June 25, 2022, the iconic Atlantic City Boardwalk was the surprise location for the first ever New Jersey Le Dîner en Blanc.  Tonight, organizers brought close to 2,600 guests to the oldest and longest boardwalk in the U.S. for an extraordinary evening in Atlantic City.

Algernong Allen and Anne-Marie Green, CBSNews wave their napkins to signal dinner time.

For the first time ever, Le Dîner en Blanc is being hosted in Atlantic City by the organizers of Le Dîner en Blanc Philadelphia, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary this August. As per true tradition, the event commenced with the all recognizable “napkin wave”. 

Guests donned all white outfits and made their way to the Atlantic City Boardwalk for a spectacular evening characterized by elegant dining and fabulous entertainment. Feast Your Eyes catered the night’s event for guests who chose to pre-order their meals. The menu was planned by utilizing local South Jersey farms.

Councilman Aaron “Sporty” Randolph and Councilman Kaleem Shabazz of Atlantic City
Rashida Ximines and Teaira Turner
Philly PR Girl
Jordan Price chatting with my sister Crista Bateman, (r) as her friend Jackie looks on.
Jackie (c) flew up from Charlotte, NC to attend.

A panel of local judges awarded prizes to guests in two categories: “Best Table” and “Most Elegant Attire”. The judges include Linda Arceo from Giggles, Gobbles and Gulps, who is an Ocean City resident and Co-Host of Joe’s Table for Two, Atlantic City’s go-to Reporter and Host Whitney Ullman, and Influencer and Podcast Host Iesha aka Lesh from LivingLesh! Guests came dressed to impress and amazed the judges with their elegant tablescapes.

Ashley Johnson, CBS3 and Scott Williams, Fox29
Linda and Tom Knox
Mia Spadoni and Alex Holly (sorry to youse next to her, one of your eyes were closed)
Sabrina Tamburino Thorne, Steve Thorne, Savino Thorne and Carol Tamburino
Terry and Amy Buckman

Le Dîner en Blanc is being brought to Atlantic City by the organizers of Le Dîner en Blanc – Philadelphia, which is celebrating its 10th Anniversary this summer. Philadelphia’s event will take place August 18, 2022, giving interested guests two chances to experience its grandeur this summer.

“We are delighted to bring Le Dîner en Blanc to Atlantic City’s iconic boardwalk tonight. The Atlantic City Boardwalk is bustling with amazing entertainment, exquisite dining, and one of a kind experiences, all of which are the cornerstones of Le Dîner en Blanc. There’s nothing more picturesque than enjoying a beautiful evening on the oceanfront” says Co-Host Natanya DiBona.  (r) with Kayli Moran (l) co host.


Rally Photos: 2026 FIFA World Cup

Earlier this month Andre Flewellen was on hand to capture “The Bid Is Won” celebrations at Love Park. Here are a few of the photos from the day!! So excited for our City.!!

Philadelphia has shown over and over again that it knows how to host big events — from political conventions (RNC, 2000 and DNC, 2016 ) to sporting events (NFL Draft, 2017) , Made in America every Labor Day Weekend, and a visit from the Pope in 2015!!

These events build Greater Philadelphia’s image in a significant way and have an enormous and long-lasting economic impact — incredibly important for us as we continue our pandemic recovery.

(Visit Philly)

2026 is going to be a big year for our City. It’s the nation’s 250th birthday celebration, the MLB All-Star Game and now the FIFA World Cup. I will have my camera ready…

The crowd came out to hear the announcement
The City is anticipated to host a handful of international soccer matches taking place between ​​June 1 and July 15 that year
The matches will take place at the 67,600-seat Lincoln Financial Field, home to the NFL’s Philadelphia Eagles.

“This is a huge victory for Philadelphia and the competition as you can see has been fierce,” said Dan Hilferty, chairman of Philadelphia Soccer 2026. Hilferty called the games “a singular opportunity for Philadelphia to showcase our city on the global stage.”

Read More Here and here

Around Town With HughE

Nbeauty Inc Hair, Skin & Body Spa Ardmore

Naeemah Johnson (owner of Nbeauty Inc)

Naeemah Johnson a licensed cosmetologist known for setting trends and styling tresses since the tender age of 17 celebrated her first year in business with a cocktail reception at her Ardmore Salon and Spa , Nbeauty INC Hair Skin Body. Naeemah also has a place in Philly at 3933 Ridge Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19132

Karen Cox and Jen Su

Guests enjoyed lite bites and cocktails as technicians demonstrated the NBeauty brand signature hair and skin care product line.

Afea Tucker and Michelle Conron
Guests at opening of Nbeauty Inc
Jada Kent; Alexis Campbell; Naaemah Johnson; and Anisa Johnson

Johnson’s work has been published in numerous trade and hair magazines. She’s been interviewed for expert advice for national networks like BET.

The full-service salon and spa have expert cosmetologists and estheticians on staff that specialize in advanced skin treatments, extensions, hair and lash extensions, and hair coloring and styling.

Traci Hilton and Anitra Small

Nbeauty INC Hair Skin Body. Stop by and pay us a visit at, 3933 Ridge Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19132. or 6 Greenfield Ave. Ardmore , PA 19003 Thanks Talya Hailey for shooting this event.


The Rodin Museum Beer Garden

The Rodin Museum Garden Bar (2151 Benjamin Franklin Pkwy.)  kicked off earlier this spring. The low key seasonal pop-up serves beer, wine, craft cocktails and tasty small plates in the scenic garden Friday 4PM to 8:30pm .

Admission to the Garden Bar is free; admission to Rodin Museum is Pay What You Wish.
Leashed four-legged friends are welcome in the garden.
Janelle Burrell and her mom

Small plates are available by Constellation Culinary Group, including Whipped Ricotta, Tofu Bahn Mi, Chilled Citrus Marinated Shrimp, a Mezze Platter, Plantain Chips, and Curry House Pickles.

Admission to Rodin Museum is Pay What You Wish.
Nigel Richards and Nicole Cashman, Cashman & Assoc. with her family members.
Luke and Molly
Dress is whatever you fell comfortable wearing

Rodin Garden Happy Hour was really a nice vibe, it was great to catch up with old friends, chat with new people, dine outside with the beautiful skyline as a backdrop. A must go, you’ll thank me later.


The Wistar Institute Launches Campaign

Wistar Institute Launches Bold Science // Global Impact Capital Campaign to Rechart the Future of Human Health Campaign supports a 5-year plan to accelerate rapid-response to global health crises through focused centers of scientific discovery and life science education.

“A once-in-a-century pandemic taught us the critical need to be nimble — to have the scientific freedom, capacity, and agility to rechart the course of human health,” said Dr. Dario Altieri, Wistar’s CEO. “That’s why we’re taking bold action now with an Institute-wide commitment to push forward and deliver purposeful, transformative impacts on health and life science.”

Friends, supports and staffed gathered at the Wistar Institute to hear the news about the campaign.

Katherine Padulo, Louis Padulo, and David Weiner

Anita Pepper, Amelia Escolano, Anne Schoemaker, and Vanessa Atkins

Ron Caplan, and Dario Altieri

Ronald Caplan, founder and president of PMC Property Group and a longtime member of Wistar’s board of trustees, is serving as the campaign chairman.

Specific plans for the “Bold Science/Global Impact” capital campaign include expanding the recently named Ellen and Ronald Caplan Cancer Center and the institute’s vaccine and immunotherapy center. In March, the Caplans made a $10 million gift to support the discovery and development of new cancer therapies. (Info from Press Release and PHL Biz Journal)

The Wistar Institute is an international leader in biomedical research with special expertise in cancer
research and vaccine development. Founded in 1892 as the first independent nonprofit biomedical
research institute in the United States, Wistar has held the prestigious Cancer Center designation from
the National Cancer Institute since 1972. The Institute works actively to ensure that research advances
move from the laboratory to the clinic as quickly as possible. wistar.org.

The Institute will also create the Hubert J.P. Schoemaker Education and Training Center, whose
mission is to broaden and enhance education and mentorship opportunities for current and aspiring
researchers. Distinct programs designed for high school, pre-apprenticeship, and apprenticeship
education as well as graduate and postdoctoral training will create career opportunities and foster a
diverse life science talent pipeline. Within the new Center, the Institute’s flagship training program
will be renamed the Fox Biomedical Research Technician Apprenticeship and undergo expansion of
students and partners across the state. (Thanks to Talya Hailey for shooting this event)


Wednesday SIPS: Balcony Bar at the Kimmel

Photos provided by Kimmel Cultural Campus

Last week the Kimmel Cultural Campus, Chef Jose Garces and Garces Events announced the return of Balcony Bar at The Kimmel. The Balcony Bar SIPS features a birds eye view of the Avenue of the Arts and City skyline, and happens every Wednesday, from 4:30pm to 7:00pm, for Center City SIPS. Guests will enjoy the city’s best views for free, plus beats from weekly rotating DJs, ticket giveaways, discounted drinks and happy hour bites. The Balcony Bar will offer up not just the vibes, but the best sips deals, with offerings priced between $4 and $6 each.

Dress is casual cool: Brenda Hillegas, Rowhome Magazine and Melanie Highbloom

Fashion of Philly Brittiny Stewart and Maddy B
Jamyra Perry, Arts & Entertainment Phila Tribune
Party on the Pier – Sunday, July 3
Get your groove on this summer with our riverfront 4th of July “Party on the Pier” Celebration on Sunday, July 3! The FREE family-friendly event will have food trucks, games, an Elton John tribute band, and ends with a dazzling fireworks finale at 9PM. DJ Gary O will kick off the party at 6PM!

Philly Food Ladies (Becca Neckwritz + Christina Mitchell)

Taylee Decastro and friend

Head to Center City District for more information on SIPS and shopping this year too!!


Philly Movie News: Jennifer Hudson, M Night and Ridley Scott

I photographed Jennifer Hudson at the opening of Revel Casino in 2012

Fresh from her EGOT achievement, Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, Tony winner Jennifer Hudson (Dreamgirls, Respect) is coming to Philly to film her next movie called Breathe – The story follows a mother named Maya (Hudson) and her daughter (Wallis) who are forced to live underground after Earth is made uninhabitable due to a lack of oxygen. It also stars Milla Jovovich (Resident Evil), Oscar nominee Quvenzhané Wallis (Beasts of the Southern Wild, Annie) and Oscar winner Common (Wanted, Suicide Squad) are set to star in the film, from Indie Spirit Award winner Stefon Bristol (See You Yesterday) and Sam Worthington (Avatar).

Jennifer Hudson singing to an audience member at Philly Fights Cancer in 2016

The film is in pre production , building sets at Sun Center Studios right now. The cast will arrive in July to begin filming in our area as well as in Aston, Pa.

As I wrote last week M Night’s Knock at the Cabin has wrapped. The wrap party was held Saturday at Harper’s Garden 6/4/22
(Ironically I was having dinner at my friends farm, who lives across the street from the Night home, which I’ve been to as well)

emimahmwaba I can’t believe it’s over! #thatsawrap on #knockatthecabin ! This was my first experience on set and I have made life long connections and learned so much! #setfamily
I was very inspired by all involved in making this movie from the director (@mnight ) to all the crew on set! This has just motivated me to keep fighting for my dream and I will accomplish it God willing! 🎉🎉🎉

Knock on the Cabin stars: Dave Bautista, alumni of Shyamalan’s films Rupert Grint (servant) and Nikki Amuka-Bird (Old), and gay actors playing a gay couple: Ben Aldridge and Jonathan Groff

Knock Knock ✊

Behind the scenes with @robertanderson789 and @davecirino

I’m glad that M Night has gotten more lenient about taking photos on set, as this was one film that got away from me as I was busy shooting so many parties for spring social season. As my “agreement” with him for all of his films, I won’t delve into the plot or characters to keep it a surprise for you. (he’s always very generous to me when I do show up and photograph his film sets, and I appreciate it. Over the years of doing this it has been rough on other film sets, occasionally, LOL. )

Most of these shots were posted on the IG account Knock on the Cabin

Sightings of actors in Philly : Jonathan Groff above was spotted at Wine Dive, Bike Stop and a.kitchen. Rupert Grint was spotted with his family at The Franklin Institute, Tuna Bar, Crumbl Cookies, and the Elmwood Zoo.

“I was 23. I came out of the closet and I was still feeling quite shameful for years. When I did Looking, I was playing a gay character on a set with a lot of gay people. I started to fall in love with who I was for the 1st time. Truth really did set me free” Happy pride month. – Jonathan Groff

Knock at the Cabin will be released 2/2023

M. Night Shyamalan and Rupert Grint return to Philly to finish the final 5 episodes for Servant Season 4. Filming is under way at Night’s Garnet Valley studio, which he built specially for the popular Apple TV series. But will return to the Fitler Square area by August.

Rumor has it that Ridley Scott is filming a new movie in our area in the fall. I heard about it to from someone in the industry. I wish I could find my notes….. but here’s the rumor on Reddit.


Drag Mafia Weekly Drag Brunch at Sofitel

Drag Mafia Queen Brittany Lynn with Gay Sinatra and Sue and Kory Aversa

Earlier this month Sofitel Philadelphia at Rittenhouse Square, part of AccorHotels hosted the official kick off for Philadelphia Gay Pride Month. The Sofitel Philadelphia rasied a giant inclusive version of the Gay Pride Flag which hangs proudly outside the hotel on 17th Street. Inside, neighbors, guests and visitors are invited to visit the Hall of LGBTQ Flags Exhibition featuring six individual LGBTQ flags flying high above the lobby to celebrate the diversity of the local and hotel LGBTQ community.

The raising of the flags coincides with a month-long benefit to support the William Way LGBT Community Center. Back and bigger than ever, Sofitel Philadelphia and Brittany Lynn’s Drag Mafia Present Sofitel’s Pride Drag Tea featuring the Sofitel famous tea-service with an entertaining and drag twist. This year look for performances EVERY single weekend, with tickets still left for the June 25, 2022 show. A portion of proceeds from the Drag Tea will go to support the capital campaign and operations at William Way LGBT Community Center.

Guests enjoying their Drag Brunch while showing their gratitude to Gay Sinatra

Sofitel is located at 120 S. 17th Street, Philadelphia in the heart of Rittenhouse Square. For information about events at Sofitel Philadelphia, visit Sofitel Philadelphia on Facebook. For booking a stay during Pride Month, call (215) 569-8300 or visit https://www.sofitel-philadelphia.com/.

Miss Lisa Lisa is a fixture on Philadelphia’s scene.  For years she has been at the helm of the legendary Thursday drag night at Bob and Barbara’s and has helped launch many a drag career, and is a true team player – a rare trait in the cutthroat drag world.
Who doesn’t love tea sandwiches.

Come ready to be entertained as you enjoy classics, like scones, tea sandwiches (smoked salmon, dill cream cheese, cucumber, pinwheel; truffled egg salad, quinoa cup; fig jam, boursin, red onion, sesame pretzel; turkey, cranberry, orange, pumpernickel), pastries (orange and grand marnier cake, matcha mousse, chocolate profiterole, macaroons), and Palais Des Thes (selection of nine different teas for you to choose) – plus your choice of a Champagne, Mimosa or Bellini.

Tickets are $75 per person for standard drag tea service, or $85 with bottomless Champagne, Mimosas and Bloody Marys.

. Five dollars from each purchase will be donated to the William Way LGBT Community Center.Tickets are available at:

Selfies and Photos are encouraged
Steven McDonald (c) tells me his drag song is Womanizer by Brittney Spears, where Pat Ryan tells me his drag name would be Anita Bru!!
Sofitel Philadelphia at Rittenhouse Square will donate a portion of its proceeds from the Drag Tea as well as from purchases of the Liberté cocktail and select banquet menu items to the William Way LGBT Community Center.

For More Info on Drag Brunch at Sofitel Philadelphia


Fireworks on The River; Father’s Day Dinner

THE Middle of June is happening already, time is at warp speed. My favorite time of the year is coming up – July 4th, so many activities to celebrate our country, and a gathering of family and friends. Rivers Casino has a full calendar of fun events, and delicious food choices. For Father’s Day they are having a special: Join us at Jack’s Bar + Grill this Father’s Day for the $25 Grilled NY Strip special! I had it a few months ago when I went to see Taylor Dayne and it was delicious. What a great day to eat on the river with Dad!

Jack’s menu features favorites like the Liberty Bell Pretzel served with beer cheese and spicy mustard, and the Pecan Crusted Salmon served with a maple bourbon glaze, mashed potatoes, and sautéed green beans. Jack’s is also the Philadelphia home of Flipt Burgers, a Rivers original. These fully customizable burgers never disappoint! Jack’s Bar + Grill is the perfect casual bar on the water to sip on a signature cocktail, glass of wine or cold beer.

DJ, producer, and West Philly native DJ Jazzy Jeff continues his residency at Rivers Casino, with another free performance coming up Saturday, July 2, at 8 p.m. at the Jack’s Bar + Grill stage. The last show was packed, so get there early to get your grove on. INFO

DJ Jazzy Jeff is part of the upcoming entertainment at Rivers Casino, which is scheduled as follows:

  • 6/3: Jeffrey Osborne
  • 6/17: The Stylistics
  • 6/25: Rodney Carrington
  • 7/2: DJ Jazzy Jeff
  • 7/30: Ed Bassmaster
  • 8/11: George Benson
  • 8/20: Jonathon Butler & Gerald Albright
  • 8/26: Gloria Gaynor
  • 9/17: DJ Jazzy Jeff

For tickets and more information, please visit RiversCasino.com/Philadelphia.

Fantastical Festive Celebrations for the Fourth

Party On The Pier At Rivers Casino Philadelphia July 4th Weekend

Rivers Casino Philadelphia is having a Party on the Pier to celebrate the Fourth of July on Sunday, July 3, starting at 6 p.m. The event will feature live outdoor music by Elton Rohn: North America’s Premier Elton John Tribute Show, along with food, fun and fireworks, which will end the night at 9 p.m.

This free, kid-friendly event will also include games, face painting, balloon artists and plenty of free parking.

“We’re thrilled to be hosting another Party on the Pier in celebration of Independence Day,” said Justin Moore, general manager at Rivers Casino Philadelphia. “This family-friendly party has everything from music to treats and spectacular fireworks to close out a terrific event.” MORE INFO HERE

Philly Scene

The Premier Party: BalletX at the Mann

The Strawberry Moon 6/13/22

I’m a little behind in publishing after a very hectic social season, as many of my outlets are still on pandemic pause, or became understaffed when the world return at breakneck speed and they were unable to keep up. Thanks so much to Metro Philly, CBSPhilly and Phila Tribune for hanging in there.

Some people might think these columns are about the people who go to events, but it’s really about the mission of each of these charitable organization, announcement of business and these days restarting life; although I do love writing about the folks who attend as well. So let’s check out today’s post.

PS You might have read that I have Covid again, and I do. Mike and I are on day 5 and are finally feeling better. It wasn’t a surprise that we got it again, it was a surprise that we got so sick. Was hoping I would be in the asymptomatic category like so many folks we knew. Oh well it wasn’t meant to be. I’m excited to get back out there, covering Philly and all it has to offer….

On May 16, BalletX honored two Philadelphians who have profoundly impacted the civic and cultural life of our city and nation: Carole Haas Gravagno, philanthropist and activist extraordinaire, and Mark Aronchick, renowned litigator and former Chancellor of the Philadelphia Bar Association were honored at the BalletX – The Premier Party at the Mann Music Center. (Thanks to PCC team photographer Talya Hailey for shooting this event for us, I was shooting CFEVA right down the street at the Waterworks.)

Christine Cox co-founded BalletX, and is the Artistic & Executive Director, greets under the Mann tent. Recently Christine was honored with the Third Annual Visionary Award by the Avenue of the Arts organization. Christine recently returned with the company from Dallas where the company performed co-founder Matthew Neenan’s Increasing, Caili Quan’s Fancy Me, Amy Seiwert’s It’s Not A Cry, and the newest addition to BalletX’s tour repertory, Jennifer Archibald’s Exalt. Check out their social media for all things touring!

Rick Pasquier, Nancy Pasquier, Erik Vananglen, and Trixanna Vananglen

Christine’s newsletter “We’re now full speed ahead towards Summer Series next month! Do you have your tickets yet? I’m so excited to be coming home to the Wilma July 13-17 with a show stopping lineup of choreographers. Don’t miss out on this limited run with world premieres by Tiler Peck, Gustavo Ramirez Sansano, and Jamar Roberts. Save your seats today.” Check out a bit of it here on their Social.

Mary Lee Haas, Leonard Haas, and Christine Cox

We’re participating in the Target Circle program! You can vote for us and help direct Target’s giving to benefit BalletX. For full program details and restrictions visit Target Circle.

Jim Averill, Janet Averill, Trupti Trivedi, and Joachim Rebholz
Despite the inclimate weather everyone enjoyed themselves under the big tent. The Mann Center has one of the best views of the City from their hill top event space.

Dance eXchange, our in-school outreach program, emphasizes dance as a means to promote self-confidence, acquire valuable life skills, and establish personal standards for excellence. Head here to apply for your school.