One of the perks of my job is meeting so many people, really nice people, and one of them is definitely Alicia DiMichele. You may remember Alicia from her popular VH1 show Mob Wives, but I only really know her from afterwards as a business women, a single mom, a popular social media star, who later married her best friend Rob LaScala, a successful restaurateur.
I attended their wedding 2 years ago at City Hall officiated by former Gov Ed Rendell. It was so beautiful.
And now their new venture, definitely a collaborative effort as Alicia helped with the interior design (the dining floor is the same one they have in their very white walled house) of the newly reopened formerly known as LaScala, nowLaScala’s Fire 615 Chestnut St serving delicious, simple dishes created with recipes from Rob’s mom Rosemary LaScala, as well as Alicia, Rob told me.
Chicken wings, Salmon, and the Ricotta Board. Mike loved his Chicken Parm, it was so big he’s having it for lunch today.
Rob told me he wanted to serve good Italian food, at decent prices, where people could pop in and out on their way to someplace exciting. He recommends people reserve a table via Open Table during these times. There’s indoor and outdoor dining. They have heat lamps. I felt safe, there’s hand sanitizer through out the place, and the staff was wearing their masks properly.
The LaScala Restaurant Group has several eateries in our area, in South Jersey and a newly opened LaScala’s Fire in Villanova.
LaScala’s Fire was a great experience. I loved the new bright look, the big windows looking out on Chestnut Street, great scene watching. The food was so good, each dish made with a little love and it tastes it. Mike wants to go back already, you know happy husband makes me happy.
The homemade Tiramisu was the best Mike’s ever had and that is his go to dessert. ( I snuck a bite and I concur.) Best of all LaScala’s Fire is easy on your wallet with most dishes under $20. HEAD ON OVER TO CBSPHILLY to see who was there last night at the Friends & Family fete, including her mom who I immediately recognized from Alicia’s InstaStories (2nd to last photo). What a doll!!
Christmas is not cancelled in Philly with the announcement that the very popular Christmas Village is going to pop up again at Love Park for the holidays.
Christmas Village in Philadelphia, the authentic open-air German-style Christmas Market at LOVE Park and City Hall, is excited to announce its return from Thanksgiving Day, November 26 through Christmas Eve, December 24, 2020 with a considerably modified layout and extensive safety precautions in response to COVID-19. In its 13th season, the outdoor market will once again host a Preview Weekend on Saturday, November 21 and Sunday, November 22.
In accordance with all city and statewide guidelines, Christmas Village in Philadelphia will be set up in a socially distanced and safe way featuring only half the amount of vendors, guests will be required to wear masks. This year, visitors can still dine on and enjoy their favorite European dishes including Bratwurst, Raclette Cheese and Schnitzel in a fenced-off and crowd-controlled outdoor food court with spacing between tables.
This year’s outdoor shopping area will be set up with a one-way system around the outer limits of LOVE Park for a linear and spaced walking concept allowing proper social distancing. All vendors will be ten feet apart from each other at minimum. Vendors around the outer perimeter will also all face outward toward the street. Waiting areas for access to the food court and shopping will all be socially distanced. For more info about the new holiday season and all COVID-related changes and precautions, follow @philachristmas on FB, Twitter and Instagram or visit www.philachristmas.com.
Dates 2020: Preview Weekend: November 21 – 22, 2020 First Day: November 26, 2020 Last Day: December 24, 2020 Hours: Sunday – Thursday: 11:00 am – 7:00 pm Friday – Saturday: 11:00 am – 8:00 pm Thanksgiving Day: 11:00 am – 5:00 pm Christmas Eve: 11:00 am – 5:00 pm
Speaking of Christmas,
The other night Adam Sandler and Queen Latifah filmed a scene for Hustle at the Italian Market, which was decorated for the holidays. In this scene the duo play a married couple taking a stroll of the popular market on an early winter evening. We won’t see the production of Hustle for a few weeks now as they’ve headed to Pottstown to film. Then to Oaks and finally they’ll spend two weeks filming scenes at the Coatesville High School’s gym. The school they’re getting over $80s for the privilege as well as a new scoreboard.
Make sure you get out and enjoy the beautiful fall weather and colors we’re having in 2020. I’ll be back tomorrow with photos from my recent trip to NE Pennsylvania. Have a great day.
Guests were able to test-drive an EV and speak with dealers. At least five different vehicles –including Tesla Model 3 and Y, Kia Niro, Hyundai Kona and Audi eTron — were available for test drives! ChargePoint and Apex Solar will be on hand to explain your options and answer any questions you have about home charging.
NRG was on site sharing information on their sustainability efforts and carbon offsets, which allow people to offset the carbon they emit every day.
And then Mike Toub took a test drive, and said I think we should consider an electric car next time. As many of you know this past weekend we went out to Western Pa to leaf peep, and every couple hours Mike was praising the electric car, especially the pick up in the Tesla, who knows maybe in a few years we’ll be cruising the highway in a sustainable energy car.
A reader tipped me off to a basketball court being built on a parking lot on Market St, about 15 days ago and a sign that said Netflik. Every day I would drive by to try and figure out when it would be an active film set. If you were following my new social media name @hughe_dillon you would have seen me post clips of the bball court on various days. Sure enough someone in the know did and told me the filming days, which were then pushed forward because of Tropical Storm Delta. What I found observing them filming, is Covid Safety is the key. They’ve thought of everything to keep everyone safe from catching the virus, right down to quarantining actors, NBA players, crew, and extras for the duration of the filming.
Safety: Netflix is taking COVID19 very seriously. They have created a COVID19 Bubble. One of the things I noticed on set is it’s divided into at least two categories, Red and Yellow. In RED all the actors, extras, crew are limited in their bubble on set, as they are transported from holding to the set and most notable they are quarantined in a hotel for days leading up to the shoot of a scene, and everyone is rapid tested everyday before heading to the set. Temperatures are taken as well. Masks are worn at all times when a scene is being filmed. I hear they are being treated very well, are comfortable, feel very safe, and are enjoying this new level of treatment. It’s not easy to be an extra, it’s a lot of waiting around, being patient, but they are passionate and do it for the love of the process (as I do observing them and sharing it with you).
The Yellow area folks can’t go into red, but they might go into the public areas. Then there’s another level probably called don’t even think about going in the yellow or red area. Those would be some of the crowd control folks, the lighting equipment operators, drivers of the trucks, some security, production assistants. Those would be the people who interact with the public the most as they are working on the outside perimeter of the COVID19 Bubble. For example the past two days the extras were staying in a hotel. Note the people with the Yellow and Red Vests on. The transportation vans all have a plastic sheet protecting the extras/actors from the drivers.
In this shot you can see NBA player Juancho Hernangomez filming a scene on the left, the camera man has a mask on as does the sound guy. When Juancho is done he goes to the Covid Safety person, who in the right photo is carrying a blue container. In the container is a bunch of masks (The guy with the mask containers mom contacted me to say she hasn’t seen her son in a month as he’s been quarantined well before filming started). I noticed that those people are right there when the actor is done filming a scene, to give him a mask. There’s a different person who takes the discarded masks as well.
In this scene on Market Street in front of the Loews Hotel, Adam Sandler valets his car. The shot on the left is during rehearsal, everyone wears a mask during rehearsals. They’re not taking chances and minimizing risks. I didn’t see one person without a mask over the 12 hours I was on set observing. Only when they filmed the scene did the actors take off their masks.
Standing nearby was the Covid Safety Mask Provider, surrounded by extras. Everyone wears masks until the director shouts “Rolling,” and filming resumes.
The Covid Safety person is there to collect his mask as he enters the car to shoot the scene again, so he’ll be maskless for the big screen.
Wednesday night Sandler and crew filmed two scenes on Market Street, I’ll talk more about them at another time. It was so cool to watch, and Sandler was fun on the set. He’s so funny with his dancing, and pretending to shoot hoops. (Other sites with placements PhillyVoice,CBSPhilly online and on screen, WXTU , Philly Inquirer,my Instagram and Philly Chit Chat ) One more thing very Philly about this film, which is actually set in Philly.
PS Philly don’t even try to get on the set. So many people wanted to get photos with Adam, but just because it’s a friendly atmosphere, don’t confuse that with security not being on top of their game. Don’t break the Covid Safety Bubble, you will be taken away, off the set and maybe arrested I’ve been told. Please don’t yell during the filming either. Now that you know when that happens, ie no masks on actors. Thanks. Thanks to the Greater Philadelphia Film Office, and Heery-Loftus Casting for assisting in bringing these productions to Philly, and employing so many of our neighbors, as well as supporting our local economy. If you want to be an extra, the best way to do so is to contact Heery-Loftus. Don’t ask people on the set, they don’t cast, and they’re busy. This is the first major movie being filmed in the USA during the Covid Pandemic. Don’t F it up, LOL!!
And this great story by Alicia Vitarelli on 6ABC (How did all these stories get in the press, I was hustling this week. Thanks to my friends at these media outlets for getting out the word that Phillywood is back in business. Support the Greater Philadelphia Film Office.
Here’s a shot just released by Netflik. I shot if from across the street at a different angle. The filming now heads out to the burbs for a few weeks. Hope they make it back into Philly in mid November.
Join the Chestnut Hill Business District and several popular retailers (listed below) as they present the Second Chestnut Hill: Fashion’s Night In on Thursday, October 15. To ensure the safety of participating stores and models, retailers will stream from their stores and have the opportunity to showcase various outfits and discuss individual pieces while also answering questions from customers.Chestnut Hill Fashion’s Night In is meant to connect local businesses to the people that matter most — their loyal customers.
The 45-minute virtual fashion show will be hosted by Philadelphia fashion influencer Dani Maiale.
Chestnut Hill Fashion’s Night In is the perfect way to see a sneak peek of what you can purchase online or in person this fall and spend time virtually with friends. Before the start of the show, staff from Tavern on the Hill will provide a fall-themed specialty cocktail recipe on the Chestnut Hill Business District Event Page for all to enjoy!
Located at Rose Glen and Mill Creek Roads in Gladwyne, PA, the sculpture garden will have scheduled public hours for audiences to experience and celebrate the work.
InLiquid seeks to partner with businesses, organizations, and individuals to help us offer transformative art experiences for all ages outdoors during Sculpture in the Glen II. This outdoor art experience directly benefits local artists and audiences, and will feature: • Over a dozen large-scale outdoor sculptures • Proceeds from art sales support local artists and their creative practices • Free and open to the public with timed entrances to encourage proper social distancing
Visit the outdoor gallery, the experience will offer a perfect opportunity to get outside, practice safe, masked, social distancing, while enjoying some beautiful art in nature.
Scheduled time slots for the public will be invited to register and schedule time slots throughout the month of October. To schedule a private vernissage time slot, or a viewing throughout the month of October, please email email@example.com.
Craft Concepts Group and owner Teddy Sourias of Philadelphia’s Christmas Pop-up Bar Tinsel will open the Nightmare Before Tinsel (116 S 12th St, Philadelphia, PA 19107) for the 2nd year in a row TODAY. This year, during the global pandemic, the former spooky season pop-up bar returns as a socially distanced haunted house, along with a new eatery next door Sueño, featuring traditional and fusion Mexican cuisine by Executive Chef Caroline Hough by with food, drink and art.
New and notable, Nightmare Before Tinsel will take on an asylum theme this year. Tinsel will also be a haunted restaurant with food, drink and art installations. Guests will purchase a ticket in advance and will have a set amount of time inside.
A brand-new haunted parklette will open outside with socially-distanced dining tables. Next door, look for a brand new restaurant to pair with Nightmare with cocktails, beer, wine and food which will also be sold to go legally out of a take-out window – while following all state and city guidelines.
2. One complimentary beverage: Choice of “Nightmare Cocktail,” a premium craft draft, a glass of wine or non-alchoholic beverage(Valid identification required for all adult beverages)
3. One complimentary dessert
Additional info: *Masks are required and social distancing is enforced at this restaurant. Safety first! *To reduce line wait guests are welcome to arrive up to a maximum 15 min prior to their ticket time to line up in a standing cue.
***Note: If you would like a table for seated dining we recommend reserving your table through Opentable.com.
What an amazing pivot this year for Nightmare before Tinsel during Covid19. Creating a minute scary moment, followed by delicious cocktails and light bites. I really enjoyed walking through the Halloween time capsule, which incorporated a lot of last year’s decor, but now it goes bump in the night. At the end you or a nearby ghoul will take that desired selfie for you to share this experience with your friends.
The Voter Project and Jet Wine Bar (1525 South St, Phila) teamed up to present #PowerthePollsPA, a pop-up at Jet Wine Bar’s patio which will run through Election Day on Tuesday, Nov. 3.
This socially-distanced outdoor Wine Patio Pop-Up highlights the critical need for a new generation of poll workers in the upcoming election. Beginning this Thursday, October 1, and lasting through Election Day on November 3, guests are invited to Jet Wine Bar to view the exhibition of an interactive creation by Philadelphia artist Oluwafemi, and to enjoy a selection of American wines and patriotic cocktails.
Poll Worker Facts:
• Poll workers get paid for their time
• Poll workers generally work the entire day from 7 a.m. to when the polls close at 8 p.m.
• Counties throughout the commonwealth train poll workers on Election Day duties
• Being a poll worker is an additional way to participate in the election process
• A Nationwide goal is set to recruit 250,000 Americans who are interested in signing up to be Election Day workers or volunteers to keep all polling sites safe, readily open, and available for delay-free, in-person voting
#PowerthePollsPA is a collaboration among nonprofit organizations, businesses, and civic organizations such as Civic Alliance, Comedy Central, Fair Elections Center, MTV, Pizza for the Polls, and We Can Vote.
HughE Dillon, Hired Publicity Photographer for media placements – During Covid19 Pause I am showcasing Charities on blog Pro Bono
Animal protection organization in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Children’s Crisis Treatment Center
Children's Crisis Treatment Center (CCTC) passionately serves the emotional needs of children and families at risk beginning in early childhood.
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
Our Mission Statement: Kelly’s Kidz, Inc. is a nonprofit organization dedicated to empowering the community to fund the resources needed to provide children in pediatric hospital settings items for play.
Build Jake’s Place – Creating Inclusive Play Experiences
Jake’s Place is a nationally ranked, award-winning, all-inclusive playground located in Cherry Hill & Delran, NJ. Join our Miracle League @ccnjml Build Jakes Place
Variety-the Children’s Charity of the Delaware Valley would love to be considered for one the 20 spaces that you are donating. Variety works to enrich the lives of children and young adults with disabilities through social, educational, and vocational programs that nurture independence and self-confidence, and prepare them for life.
The National Disease Research Interchange (NDRI)
The National Disease Research Interchange (NDRI) is a Philadelphia based nonprofit organization with a 40-year mission to procure and distribute human biospecimens to support biomedical research worldwide.
Steppingstone Scholars Philadelphia
Steppingstone Scholars, working with families and school partners, provides rigorous educational programming and support for talented underserved students in the Philadelphia Region to achieve academic success, opportunity, and a college degree.
Career Wardrobe – Donate & shop
Using clothing to inspire change - donate & shop in Philly, DelCo & Bucks. Open to all
Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show – Nov 2020
The 44th annual Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show is organized and coordinated by Show Chair Robin Blumenfeld Switzenbaum and Show Manager Nancy O’Meara.