Harry, Harry, Harry Philadelphia weeps today as you are gone. Bigger than life, full of joy, spreader of love, you my friend always made sure everyone was taken care of, had everything they needed, connected them to the people who could fulfill their needs, the most generous guy who lived life to the fullest. There will be no other like you Harry Giordano.
Harry with the judges from Let Them Eat Cake 4/13/09
I met Harry through Sarah Doheny and Thom Cardwell and they told me you have to meet Harry Giordano, you’re going to love him. And I did. Harry told me about his yearly event Let Them Eat Cake (which he co-founded with Mark Kingsdorf – red shirt)), and I loved that too. A charitable extravaganza featuring an abundant amount of colorful and delicious cake creations by local bakeries, which raised money for City of Hope. Then when Harry changed jobs and went to Variety, a mission to serve children in the Philadelphia area with disabilities he brought the event there and it was even more successful, and fun as kids then attended got to enjoy the delicious treats and be amazed by the very creative cakes.
Hey darlin, I am so happy to read you and Michael are doing better. I wanted to reach out to see if you could promote … These are strange days indeed, but this too shall pass. Stay safe and much love to Michael. Thank you my dear friend. Sent from my iPad – No Harry, Thank You, it was always my pleasure !! Heartbroken.
Cameo is an online service that lets people hire celebrities to create personalized videos. I love this service, it’s also a great pivot in these pandemic times. As a celebrity photographer I’ve been photographing notables at red carpet events, book signings, liquor promotions or various appearances, even before the pandemic these events were few and far between as Social Media has allowed them to stay in touch with their fans. This is just another extension of fan connection, and doing it efficiently, and safely while still connecting with their fans, even more personally. I reviewed a lot of them and they’re great. Most charge a reasonable fee, some even donate their fee to charity, but they’re all priceless if you connect with that celebrity who touched your life, or inspired someone in your life.
I appreciate these celebrities for participating in this service spreading joy and smiles to the faces of those who love them. Many of these folks are multi millionaires and do this just to connect with fans on another level. THANK YOU!!
The big story this week is the Banana Republic at 1401 Walnut Street is closing on June 9th, and the big going out of business sale. After I posted this on Social Media a few readers found out that the landlord decided not to renew the long time clothing store, could it have something to do with their parent company GAP not paying rent in 2020 at many of their Simon Mall locations around the country, which they settled with undisclosed details a few months later. But this location is not a mall, and it is not connected to Simon.
Thanks so much to Jay Farrell who left a message on my FB page with the updated info about the property. The Zoning Permit. Looks like a bank could take over half the space, and a clothing store takes the otherside.
The Good News: The Banana Republic Factory Store (discount) remains open 1911 Chestnut St. and since the retailer was pushed out of the space, I wouldn’t be surprised if Banana Republic doesn’t resurface somewhere on Walnut St.
Bummer Fairmounters Fine Wines is closing on Fairmount Avenue, and unfortunately you have to head about a 1/2 mile south to get your spirits at the new Fine Wines store at The Granary (1901 Callowhill St,) near the Target store. Neighbors on Next Door are hoping the post office next door will expand, or maybe they’ll take down the ugly building and build a more attractive one with retail. One could only hope.
Like spotting an unicorn, I saw a bride reveal her dress to her groom on Saturday at Fairmount Park. It was magical, people in the park were as excited as I was. PS Some of you folk who subscribe to PhillyChitChat and receive this post in your email will have to click on the Instagram link to see the video. The rest of you should be able to just hit play (BTW you later folks, could you subscribe to the blog in the upper left hand corner. Turns out the Feed burner subscription I used over a decade ago is about to be non existent. I could transfer the 15ks of your emails to the new subscription by hand, or you could just re subscribe which would be so much easier. Remember to verify your email after plugging it in to the subscription box. Thanks!!
The photographer (on left) Allie Wynands, tells me that yesterday was just a small service for an intimate group of guests, which took place at the Gazebo. Photos were taken, and a legal marriage took place. BUT the big wedding, with many more guests and celebration will be taking place next year in April, after the Covid19 pandemic is over, down the shore. Check out Allie’s Instagram page tomorrow for more photos from today’s ceremony.
To preview the auction lots and participate in the online, visit:
All proceeds benefit The Andalusia Foundation’s mission to preserve, maintain and interpret this National Historic Landmark for the public to enjoy today and for generations to come. They have beautiful gardens, and great bird watching.
Save The Date: The Philadelphia Film Society Presents
DAZED AND CONFUSED + VIRTUAL CAST REUNION RICHARD LINKLATER | USA | 1993 | 103 MIN | R April 20 | 8:15 PM | PFS Drive-In at the Navy Yard TICKETS
VIP Ticket with 6:30 PM VIP Reception | $200 (PFS Members $175) General Admission with 7:00 PM Entry | $60 (PFS Members $50) VIP Virtual Red-Carpet Party, Oscars Trivia Contest, & Gourmet Oscars Watch Box, 7:00 PM | $150 Donation GA Virtual Red-Carpet Party & Oscars Trivia Contest, 7:00 PM | $50 Donation All proceeds from this annual fundraiser support the Philadelphia Film Society’s mission of creating opportunities for diverse communities to experience film through initiatives that inspire, educate, challenge and entertain.
Speaking of films, the Kate Winslet HBO series filmed in our area last year debuts tonight Mare of Easttown. I was able to stay on top of the filming, but didn’t make it out to the set but about 2 times because of time constraints, as well as locations inside homes, and the studio. Where were the Mare of Easttown filming locations >> mostly in parts of Chester and Delaware counties, in towns including Coatesville, Marcus Hook and Downingtown. But they also filmed at Girard College in Fairmount, as well as Wissahickon Valley Park.
Remember if you receive an email where you have to click on a link to get to the blog, re subscribe at the top left with your email as the other service ends in July. Thanks HughE
OK let’s check out a few photos from my first 3 days in Florida, when I went to Naples. What a nice city. It’s really getting quite built up since I first went there a decade ago to visit Mike’s Aunt Bernie and Uncle Bob. Bob and Bernie met during the war in the 1960s. They’re great people, very intellectual and we always have wonderful chats with them. Bob is an incredible photographer, something he picked up after retiring from the military. Self taught, and so talented. He took me to my favorite nature preserve Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary near their home. I’ve been back to see it 2 additional times. Let’s go check it out.
Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary is about 30 miles north of downtown Naples, sorta like where Northeast Philly is for us from Center City. It costs $17 to visit, and the park mostly consists of a boardwalk which sits high above a swampy forest. It’s wheelchair and kid friendly. When you first walk in you can check this board to see what kind of wildlife had been spotted the previous month. I only saw a handful of these sightings. It was an off day. I normally visit Florida in Jan, Feb or March. April is a little warm for the wildlife, and it’s also mating season which they seem to do in private, somewhere deep in the swamp.
I was still happy with what I saw. Here’s one of the last shots I took with my Signma 150 – 600mm lens before the autofocus machinery decided to fail. It was the 2nd time in one year that this has happened, and I’ve only owned the lens less than 2 years. So annoyed. I have to send it back again for repairs. Great lens, no complaints online about this issue, I’m just lucky I guess. Anyway, I only obsessed over it for the next day or so.
Oh hi Black Racer snake. He was at least 5 feet below the boardwalk, and amazed everyone.
I believe this is a Great Egret or heron, we have them in our area as well.
The next day Mike and I headed to my 2nd favorite park, the Everglades. I’ve been there at least 2 dozen times, but only have driven there from Naples once before. This time I thought I would take a scenic road, County Road 94 Turner or Loop Road they call it. It’d be a shortcut road if it were paved, but it’s a 23 mile stony dirt road which you can only travel 15 miles max on and it takes about 2 to 3 hours to complete, especially since it’s chock full of wildlife – birds, gators, fury beasts and beautiful scenery. Well worth it. In fact you see so much wildlife that when you go halfway you wish the rest of the road was paved so you could get onto your next adventure.
Anihinga is a very common bird in South Florida. They usually sit like this airing out their wings.
Whereas we only saw 3 alligators in Corkscrew, we saw dozens along Loop Road.
At first I was shooting the Green Heron, if you can see it on the tree root, but then I kept seeing something to the left flailing around. It was an Anihinga and it was stuck in fishing line. It was heartbreaking as there was nothing to help it. Someone nearby did try and call the police or animal warden, but cell phone service was very bad in this area, and I’m not sure what they could have done anyway as the gators were circling. Although it would have been a great National Geographic moment on video, I just couldn’t watch and we left. If you are fishing and a bird gets caught in your line, do not cut the line. Reel in the bird and try and undo the bird, or cut the line as close to the body as possible, otherwise the bird will fly around with the fishing line and eventually get tangled up in a tree or something, maybe itself, and that is just cruel. We knew it was fishing line cause the red bobber was nearby and still attached.
OK actually a little birdie is telling you, I’ll be away until next week, heading to Florida to visit Mom. This will be my last blog post until 4/15/21. I have scheduled interesting tweets, and will be posting on Instagram (and my new Instagram where I will be posting a lot more photos which have nothing to do with Philly, give me a follow there >> and everything to do with things I’m interested in.) and FB of my fun in Florida. So excited to see my mom in person after 15 months. Thanks to the healthcare workers, and all the front line workers who cared for me, and everyone during the pandemic.
In the meantime enjoy a few birds I photographed over the Easter weekend. Hopefully this time next year I will have an idea of what kinds of birds they are. I am bringing a birding book with me to get a clue. These were all shot at Edwin B. Forsythe. It’s about 45 minutes from Philly, and 20 minutes from AC. It’s really a great thing to do on a rainy day at the shore as well. It’s an 8 mile gravel road to drive on, with scenic views and nature. Cost $4
Have a wonderful week, and we’ll return on April 15.
Last week I attended a great press conference to publicly launch the Ready Set Initiative which is a collaborative effort with the City of Philadelphia, the Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia, and coalition of businesses and organizations who will work together to provide information that will encourage, support, and promote safely bringing people back to Philadelphia – the heart of the region. I was bursting with joy as that is basically what I’ve been doing for a better part of the year.
How many of us dreamed of working from home for so many years, and now that we have for the past year, how many dream of returning to work. We miss the early morning walks to work. We miss our friends, office mates, copy machines, 30 second elevator chats, we miss happy hour, we miss our train mates, theater nights, live entertainment, Philly streets, people watching, so much about what is connected with working in an office we now realize it’s missing from our lives, and was a big part of us.
With positive news and reports from Broadway touring industry organizations, the Kimmel Cultural Campus is announcing the return of live Broadway programming to Philadelphia in the fall of 2021 after being closed for more than a year due to COVID-19. The Kimmel Cultural Campus kicks-off its season, presented in partnership with The Shubert Organization, with 13 magnificent shows that will finally bring audiences together again for the unparalleled live theater experience. In anticipation of reopening its doors safely and resuming mainstage performances, Campus management continues to work in consultation with health and safety experts and in accordance with City and Commonwealth guidelines in the development of its reopening plans. Additionally, the Kimmel Cultural Campus is working collaboratively with its esteemed Resident Companies to support their season plans which will be announced in the coming months.
The 2021/22 Broadway Philadelphia season premieres with the return of Hamilton and continues with an astounding lineup of Tony Award®-winning productions including fan favorites, an innovative reimagining, and beloved classics. The upcoming season boasts 42 Tony Awards and 37 Drama Desk Awards™, and several Philadelphia premieres.
Hadestown (February 9 – 20, 2022, Academy of Music) – Make me feel ALIVE Beautiful – The Carole King Musical (February 22 –27, 2022, Academy of Music) – You’ve got a friend in this musical. Go with your best friend. Rent: 25th Anniversary Farewell Tour (March 4 – 6, 2022, Merriam Theater) One of the best. I’ve seen it on Broadway at least 10 times, and in Philly 5 times. Only about 1,171,200 minutes away from seeing this again and singing “525,600 minutes in the year.” Oklahoma! (March 8 – 20, 2022, Forrest Theatre) – Mike’s Mom’s favorite show!! Waitress (March 29 – April 3, 2022, Academy of Music) – Adorable Hairspray (May 16 – 22, 2022, Merriam Theater) – You Can’t Stop The Beat >>> I’ve seen the movie 37 times. To Kill A Mockingbird (July 12 – 24, 2022, Academy of Music) – Classic, timely. Dear Evan Hansen (August 16 – 28, 2022, Forrest Theatre) – Oh dear, I never saw this either
Beginning in the 2021/22 season, Kimmel Cultural Campus is pleased to present a Safe & Clean Commitment + COVID-19 Subscriber Guarantee as outlined below:
We will always put the safety of our guests, artists, and staff first. We will not hold performances until City and Commonwealth guidelines allow, and we are working closely with our union partners, producers, artists, and other performing arts centers around the nation to develop the most comprehensive plan to safely reopen our doors. We are committing to a healthy and clean environment with increased disinfection, enhanced ventilation, and will enforce all recommended health authority guidelines. We want you to return when you are ready, we will stand behind any subscription tickets you purchase now for our future events with our COVID-19 Subscriber Guarantee. For more information on COVID-19 Subscriber Guaranteeand our Safe & Clean Commitment, please visit kimmelcenter.org.
11th Annual Shofuso Cherry Blossom 10k/5k April 10 through April 18 $45 race fee This year, the Annual Cherry Blossom 10K/5K will be virtual. Upon registration through RunSignUp. runners can complete their distances on their own schedule at the sanctioned course among the cherry trees near Shofuso, on their regular training courses, on a treadmill, or anywhere that feels right. Between Saturday, April 10 and Sunday, April 18, participants will complete the run/walk, submit their time, and tag Shofuso in selfies taken along the way or at the finish with the hashtag #CherryBlossom10K or #SpringStartsatShofuso.
There are an assortment of viewing locations throughout Philadelphia as featured on one side of the new map, including Washington Square, Columbus Boulevard, Delancey Street, and near Eastern State Penitentiary. Prime locations for cherry blossoms in Fairmount Park include:
Kelly Drive/East River Cherry trees from 1933 planting “ North of Boathouse Row past where Girard Ave. crosses Kelly Drive
Memorial Hall/Please Touch Museum On Lansdowne Drive, behind Memorial Hall
Belmont Plateau Along Belmont Mansion Drive overlooking the city skyline
The Paulownia trees surrounding Swann Fountain bloom in the first week of May. As luck would have it the tulips are in full bloom as well. (shot May 7, 2020). Enjoy as these blooms are quick especially if it rains, and is windy during the blooming season.
Positano Coast 212 Walnut St, 2nd Floor, Philadelphia 215.238.0499 Positanocoast.net Positano Coast has three options this year – Easter at home for take-out package For those celebrating at home, Positano Coast will offer a special Four Course Plus Winel Easter Package for Two. Package is $100 for two, plus tax and gratuity, for take-out only. Order by calling 215.238.0499. Menu includes shared Artichoke Lemon Soup (chicken, ricotta dumplings) and Casarecce (Bolognese ragù, pecorino Toscano; choice of Pork Ossobuco or Chicken Parmigiana (with marbled potatoes); shared Tiramisu; and a bottle of red or white wine. Or Dine In with Easter Brunch and Easter Dinner!
Hawthornes Easter Bunny Brunch Hawthornes Beer Cafe Pivot Coffee & Wine Shop (215) 627-3012 738 S 11th St, Philadelphia, PA 19147 Saturday, April 3, 2021 and Sunday, April 4, 2021 https://www.opentable.com/hawthornes
Hop on down and celebrate Easter Weekend in South Philly! Hawthornes and Pivot Coffee invites families to join the egg-citing fun at the first-ever Hawthornes Easter Bunny Brunch. Get out those bunny ears, bonnets and bow ties for brunch on Saturday, April 2nd and Sunday, April 3rd, from 9:00am to 3:00pm. Snap some family photos with the easter bunny himself! Specials include bunny pancakes, bunny scramble, and carrot cake pancakes w/ cream cheese maple syrup, plus fun spins on cocktails like Bunny Marys, and Carrot Juice Mimosas for the grown-ups. Outdoor seating available in the festive spring-decorated bubbles, on the sidewalk, and in the heated covered tent. Reservations required. $10 per person. To make a reservation please use open table https://www.opentable.com/hawthornes
HughE Dillon, Hired Publicity Photographer for media placements – During Covid19 Pause I am showcasing Charities on blog Pro Bono
Variety’s Black Hat Bash 6/15/21
Put on your best black hat and join us for Variety’s signature
Black Hat Bash event as we honor Council-Man-A-Large Allan Domb and Manager of External Affairs for Peco, Ed McBride.
Career Wardrobe – Donate & shop
Using clothing to inspire change - donate & shop in Philly, DelCo & Bucks. Open to all
Walk With Me Philadelphia 2021
Easter Seals Southeastern Pa
Cancer Support Community Philadelphia
Providing a professional, comprehensive program of social and emotional support to adults and children affected by cancer.
Teal Butterfly Ovarian Cancer Awareness
Teal Butterfly is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization whose mission is to raise awareness about the early signs and symptoms of ovarian cancer by educating the public through community events and social media campaigns
Business Development. Government Affairs. International Relations.