Taqueria Amor Gift card promotion – for every $100 spent in gift cards, guests receive $20; Taqueria Amor transforms itself into Señor Grinch for the fourth year in a row – with thousands of lights and decorations outside, and a head-to-toe make-over inside that will warm the heart of the Grinch-iest Grinches in all of Philadelphia.

Last week I attended the Manayunk Development Corporation kick off to the Holidays in Manayunk featuring five weeks of festivities that will have you thinking you stepped right into a Hallmark Movie. Manayunk Gets LIT lights up Main Street as 40 businesses compete to see who has the most bling on the block. Get LIT Weekends start November 30th will feature all the twinkling lights, food and drink deals, shopping specials, festive live entertainment, visits from Santa, and the return of the Jolly Trolley.

The Jolly Trolley expands this year to include more dates and times than ever before! While visiting, shop small and shop local and support dozens of small businesses throughout the charming Philadelphia neighborhood that are offering deals, events and features for Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday.

The festively decorated Jolly Trolley will run up and down Main Street making several stops at your favorite businesses including Tubby Robot Ice Cream Factory, Lucky’s Last Chance, and Taqueria Amor! Plus, it’s the best way to take in all the twinkling lights. Secret Santa will give away swag bags and prizes during select weekends – keep an eye out for prizes and surprises. Hey Santa!!

Manayunk is simply the best place in Philadelphia to see holiday magic in action,” said Manayunk Development Corporation Executive Director Gwen McCauley. “The season kicks off with Manayunk Gets LIT and the lighting of the holiday tree – and continues through New Year’s Eve. Our holiday programs have grown organically over the years as our local community continues to support the district, particularly in a post Covid/ Hurricane Ida world.

Our pedestrian scale Main Street is festooned with hundreds of thousands of lights that, altogether, create an exciting and free holiday activity for people of all ages to enjoy. Our holiday programs bring together the best of the urban experience and the small town charm that distinguishes Manayunk from other districts and neighborhoods in the city of Philadelphia.”

So many fun events happening: On Saturday, December 9th, come dressed in your holiday finest for the 9th Annual Rudolph Run starting at Manayunk Canal starting at 9:00am to support North Light Community Center.

Giving Back: In partnership with North Light Community Center, the Manayunk Development Corporation is helping local families in need this holiday season. Stop by 4312 Main Street to pick a gift item off of the holiday tree to donate to a North Light family all season long.

Santa Paws is back on Saturday, December 2nd with pet photos with the man in red. More Info on everything happening. Seriously one of my favorite events since I don’t have a pet.

I loved how the town came out to celebrate, they were so festive.

Don’t tell the other neighborhoods, but I think it was one of the best holiday kick offs. They even had “snow” falling on us, which made for fun photos.

Mayor McCheese and The Mayor were there.

Small Business Saturday is this weekend. Shop small and shop local at over 50 small businesses to find something for everyone on your list as the neighborhood kicks off the holiday season with Small Business Saturday on November 25! This day is dedicated to supporting local, independently owned shops in the district. Check out more info HERE

Get LIT Weekends
November 30 through December 23
Thursdays & Fridays: 5:00pm to 9:00pm
Saturdays: 1:00pm to 9:00pm
Manayunk Celebrates Hanukkah with ‘Eight Crazy Nights” of Instagram giveaways from December 7 to December 15. During the Festival of Lights, on December 7, 8, 9 and 14, riders on the Jolly Trolley during the Festival of Lights can get Hanukkah Gelt and goodie bags.


Peter Miller Story Opening Night Party

Debbie Morton of Morton Contemporary Gallery and Paul Gratz of Gratz Gallery

The extraordinary exhibition “The Peter Miller Story” has opened at Morton Contemporary Gallery, where they held a opening night reception last week! (Through January 14, 2024)

Prominent Gallerist Paul Gratz of Gratz Gallery and Conservation Studio in Doylestown has rediscovered the works of painter Peter Miller, an American Modernist. Miller was a wealthy heiress (born Henrietta Myers) and a spiritualist who painted for the love of art rather than ambition. Even so she had notable success, her colorful works having showed at the prestigious Julien Levy Gallery in New York.

Mike Greenidge, Strategic Content Manager Fox29 Philly (middle) checks out the Peter Miller collection.

Miller’s work was mostly forgotten until Gratz had the opportunity to buy the paintings remaining in her estate. The work needed extensive conservation, some of it having been stored in a barn. Gratz is a professional conservator. He was able to do the work during the pandemic.

Renata Fox-Rapp and Erin Touey maintain the guest list for openings at Morton’s. It’s easy to get invited to events like these if you join their mailing list. https://mortoncontemporary.com/
Michael Flores and Jessica Stage
Zev Sunleaf and Jay Davidson
David Christiansen and Michael Toub Philly Vegan Club Members
Marial Blasetti, Neurocritical Care Educator – IRRAS AB and Jonathan Burton, Independence Historical Trust
Fergus “Fergie” Carey, legendary bar master (we share the same exact birthday, I just learned on the ‘net. 7/23/23!!), Debbie Morton, curator/operator of Morton Contemporary Gallery and Breland Moore, Sports Anchor/cohost of “The 215” on Fox 29
Inga Saffron, legendary Inquirer Architecture columnist and Paul Gratz, curator of Peter Miller Collection. His formal training began at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, where Peter Miller studied. The exhibition is beautiful and several pieces sold last Saturday night.

Book one of Morton Contemporary’s two chic gallery locations in the heart of Center City’s Midtown Village for your next office party or private event. An approximate 1000 square feet of usable party space is available in both locations. Private parties, office gatherings, fundraisers, proposals, and more! https://mortoncontemporary.com


Info: Pete Davidson, Cage Wars, Brian McKnight at Rivers Casino Philadelphia

Like A Good Neighbor: Neighborhoods surrounding Rivers Casino in Fishtown just got a million times better; local civics and other nonprofits now have more funding for capital improvements and expanded programming, thanks to the casino’s annual $1 million contribution to the Penn Treaty Special Services District (SSD).

Through grants the SSD makes to community organizations, the casino funds are used to benefit residents of Fishtown, Northern Liberties, Olde Richmond and South Kensington. Recipient organizations sponsor neighborhood festivals and community gatherings; make physical improvements to parks, playgrounds, gardens and other infrastructure; and operate arts, sports, education and recreation programs.

This year’s $1 million check brings Rivers’ total contributions to the Penn Treaty SSD to $11.4 million since 2009, just before the casino opened.

There are still tickets left for PETE DAVIDSON LIVE 11/25 at 10PM (The 7pm show is sold out)

Brian McKnight — Friday, Nov. 24, at 8 p.m.

Grammy-nominated singer Brian McKnight will captivate the audience with his soulful melodies and remarkable vocal prowess. Tickets for The Event Center show start at $59.

Cage Wars 63 — Saturday, Dec. 2, at 7 p.m.

Cage Wars 63, a high-energy evening of mixed martial arts, is coming to Rivers Casino Philadelphia. The fights will take place in The Event Center; tickets starting at just under $68 are on sale now at CageWarsMMA.com/tickets.

Stop by Rivers Casino Philadelphia for fun, food and live entertainment. Thanks to them for being an advertiser for the past year. I do love to play there, and get my Dunkin.


Junior League of Philadelphia Fall Fête

The Junior League of Philadelphia (JLP) hosted their Fall Fête Fundraising Masquerade cocktail party on Friday, October 27, 2023. The Junior League of Philadelphia, Inc. (JLP) is an organization of women committed to promoting voluntarism, developing the potential of women, and improving communities through the effective action and leadership of trained volunteers. Its purpose is exclusively educational and charitable.

Maria Perry and April Francia
Barbara Manning, Colleen Mita, Stephanie Lippincott, Jillian Kukucka, LaCoya Pace, Erin Nanovic, and Dalia Omran

“Our Fall Fête was a huge success! The Junior League of Philadelphia brings like-minded women looking to make a positive impact on the community together and that is exactly what this event did,” said Stephanie Lippincott, President of the Junior League Philadelphia. “The money raised at Fall Fête will go towards fighting food insecurity and improving the Greater Philadelphia community. Food insecurity is more than hunger, it is an all-encompassing condition that affects all areas of a person’s life — including overall health, education, and housing. The JLP’s goal is to help alleviate not just hunger, but the connected disparities.”

Lauren Clemence, Erika Rodriguez, Rachel Silver, and Ashley White
Tammy O’Hara, Nyree Ellison, and Kateryna Endrizzi
Maliha Khan, and Gregory Benton
Victoria Buckley, Betsy Nelson, and Rejena Buckley
Brenda Hillegas, and Rebecca Harney
Kathryn Young Galla, Rebecca May, Jacqui Rathera, Lacey Mielcarek ,Jennifer May, and Angela Velez – Photos by Andre Flewellen – PhillyChitChat team member of a decade.

The Junior League of Philadelphia is committed to promoting voluntarism, developing the potential of women, and improving communities through the effective action and leadership of trained volunteers. For more information, please visit their website. Stay up to date with the organization’s events and news by following their Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.

For media inquiries and/or interview requests, please contact Lina@PhillyPRGirl.com

Around Town With HughE

8th Annual Philadelphia Fund Alliance

The Philadelphia Fund Alliance (PFA), a group of Philadelphia-based asset management industry professionals, celebrated their annual fundraising gala on November 2 at Rittenhouse Hotel, benefiting PhillySafe seeks to make place-based investments with proven crime deterrent solutions (street cleaning, greening, lighting and resident-owned home security systems) in dis-invested neighborhoods.

Since its inception in 2016, PFA has raised over $700,000 for Greater Philadelphia area charities.

Susan Buckley, and Bruce G. Leto Co-Chair, Investment Management Stradley Ronon

The annual fundraiser not only supports a great cause,

but also highlights Philadelphia’s deep roots and influence in national financial markets and services, including traditional mutual funds and alternative asset vehicles.

Through our annual event, we will raise money for a local charity and, as an ancillary benefit, we will raise awareness about our collective accomplishments and milestones in the asset management industry.

Jim Mahoney, Tait, Weller & Baker, Mary Ellen Mahoney, with Donna and Jim Shaw
Roger Pereira, Carly Winter, Caitlin Cohen, and Thomas Matousch, AWM Trust Solutions at PwC

Matt Ramano, Justin Dutka, Josh Sohmer, Chuck Nevin, Brian Cassidy, and Reese Blair
Kate Williams, and John Falco
Morgan Klinzing, Sunny Patel, and Meghan McGettigan
John Alshefski, Senior Vice President – Investment Manager Services at SEI Investments, Tom McCarthy, and Bruce Leto, Co-Chair, Investment Management at Stradley Ronon
Maria Palmer, Nancy Cloran, Maggie Malloy BackRow- Tara Reilly, Kim Togno, Lori Wayne
Lauren Engel, Kyle Whiteman, Dan Conroy, and Brian London

For more information on the Philadelphia Fund Alliance

Around Town With HughE

Lights, Cameras, Action GroundFloor Studios

A few weeks ago I attended the grand opening of GroundFloor Studios, a state-of-the art multipurpose, 2,000-square-foot creative production studio located in the heart of Center City Philadelphia at 1315 Walnut St. The studio is set to become a go-to destination for creatives, makers, agencies, and producers seeking a versatile and accessible space to bring their creative visions to life. 

GroundFloor Studios is a unique social enterprise partnership that combines the community-based youth media work of Big Picture Alliance and the industry expertise of ChatterBlast Media. In addition to a rentable space, this partnership will allow both organizations to create workforce pathways in multimedia, production and offer programs, workshops and events that empower young creatives of all ages and amplify community voices. (Photo Courtesy ChatterBlast Media)

Teri Yago-Ryan, Board Chair of Big Picture Alliance and Sharon Pinkenson, , Executive Director of the Greater Philadelphia Film Office

“GroundFloor Studios is the result of what happens when collaborative, invested, caring partners work together to address issues of inequity and provide transformative workforce opportunities for all Philadelphians,” said Teri Yago-Ryan, Board Chair of Big Picture Alliance.

Mayor Jim Kenney at the grand opening event

“I see GroundFloor Studios as a place about fostering a community of creativity, providing a platform for our artists to shine, and supporting the growth of our creative industries,” said Mayor Jim Kenney. “And with Big Picture Alliance and the youth who will one day be leading this city – It’s about opportunity, regardless of background or experience.”

Behind the Scenes at GroundFloor Studios: from an afternoon pizza party with Homo Hut Gear clothing is inspired by the Philadelphia Gayborhood’s favorite pizza. & PJ Santos. (Photo IG )
From promotional videos to puppet shows, plan your next production at GroundFloor Studios (Photo IG )

The space is available to rent for photography, videography, screenings, meetings, interviews, podcasts and commercial shoots.

Zeek Burse & @ Lloyd Alexander stopped in for a live session at GroundFloor Studio. The vibes were simply immaculate. (Photo IG )

“Together we can do some amazing work change the direction that the arts industry is going,” said Evan Urbania, CEO of ChatterBlast Media (with clapper). “I look forward to seeing a more just, more equitable, and more inclusive approach to the way we’re doing marketing and communications, not just for ChatterBlast, but for all of us.” For inquiries about GroundFloor Studios, rental availability, please visit GroundFloorPhilly.com

Around Town With HughE

Ray Philly Housewarming Party

The Ray Philly Team

Ray, a brand rooted in hospitality and making art and design a part of everyday life, opened its first residential building, Ray Philly within the North American Street creative corridor last month. Pictured about the Ray Philly Team proudly stands in front of the building at 1525 N American St,

Six Acre Capital is a real estate developer, owner and operator founded by Mark Lansman (l) and Jake Borden (r) with Rennee McIntyre Vice President of Marketing · Scully Company

The 103,000 square foot building features six artist studios on the ground floor, 110 residential units – including 25 studios, 67 one-bedrooms, 18 two-bedrooms – free communal art studio (called the makerspace) for residents, and a commercial space, was built from the ground up, but purposely built as if were a factory of yesteryear.

Jazman Means, Rod Robinson and Samantha Webster
Sherri Apter Wexler, Wexler Gallery which opened nearby a few days after Ray Philly; adding to the vibrancy of the neighborhood, Cynthia Porter, Lewis Wexler, David Glesson and Rachel Zimmerman, In Liquid Gallery, located in the Crane Arts Building and really ignighted the improvement of the neighborhood from abandon warehouses to a vibrant communighty.
Jessica Scully, president of the Scully Company , Suzanne Demisch, artist at Ray with Dasha Zhukova art patron and founder of Ray, with new development projects in three cities.

“Ray Philly is a home and gathering space where people can express their unique voices and perspectives, whether as residents of the building or participants in Ray’s free public programming,” said Suzanne Demisch, Creative Director at Ray. “We’re excited to be part of the City of Brotherly Love and look forward to delivering an experience that brings art and design into people’s daily lives.”

Ray Philly rooftop with a view of the Philadelphia skyline.

Ray exists to perpetuate art and culture in the built environment. Founder Dasha Zhukova was inspired to apply her work within cultural institutions and public art spaces into a new category of the built environment. Dasha established the Garage Museum of Contemporary Art in 2008, seeking to create a space devoted to the discovery and exploration of global art and culture. Her experience at the museum, particularly observing how people interacted with both the art and architecture, was the catalyst for launching Ray.

Anaïs Cooper-Hackman, Programming and Partnerships Director · Ray Philly, with Heather, Vincent, and Jeff
Siblings Lindsey Scannapieco and Michael Scannapieco came out to see Ray Philly, and meet up with old friends.

Ray Philly appears to be more than just a residential building; it seems to be a dynamic and integrated space that promotes a fusion of art, design, and community. Donations were suggested for entry and 100% of proceeds generated from the event were donated to South Kensington Community Partners (SKCP), a place-based non-profit located in Old/South Kensington with programs serving OSK and the surrounding neighborhoods of Eastern North Philadelphia.

Around Town With HughE

Rair Philly Celebrates 10 Years of Trash Art

On November 8, RAIR (Recycled Artist In Residency) celebrated the 10th anniversary of its signature annual event – Trash Bash, last night at the beautiful Atelier FAS in North Philly. RAIR a unique, non-profit arts organization uniquely situated within a construction and demolition recycling center in Northeast Philadelphia.
Ginger Rudolph, Sara McCorriston and Billy DuFala, co-founder of the Recycled Artist in Residency (RAIR) program in Philadelphia, which aims to raise awareness of sustainability through the creative reuse of materials. Dufala describes his work as an investigation of human beings and their relationships with themselves and others.
Sarah M, Judy Wicks, author/activist , Christopher Plant, KISMET COWORK, RADIOKISMET, and Jermaine Jenkins, Director of Development & Strategic Partnerships at AIA Philadelphia, board member of PMA’s Collab Philly. Their annual event is happening Novermber 18, this year’s Design Excellence Award honoring American designer Stephen Burks
Samantha Wichen and Fern Gookin, Director of Sustainability, Revolution Recovery, and co-founder of Rair Philly, who’s mission is to continue challenging the perception of waste culture.

The whole concept of this creative organization is very unique and the work created is definitely one of a kind. An eclectic crowd gathered at this annual event, from business executives – Michael Newmius and Kevin Lessard, creatives Sarah H Gamble , philanthropists, politicians including Sen Shariff Street, entrepreneurs Lindsey Scannapieco,

Alexis Tuttleman and Max Tuttleman, Husband, Father, Philadelphian, Entrepreneur, Philanthropist.
Rachel Zimmerman, Founding Artistic and Executive Director of InLiquid, Co-Chair Philadelphia chapter of ArtTable, Board Member of GPCA (Save the date March 9 for InLiquid’s annual fundraiser- InLiquid’s Art for the Cash Poor) and John Wind, founder and chief designer of Maximal Art, wearing a Andy Warhol inspired Campbell soup sweater from Joan Shepp. You can find his jewelry at the iconic fashion store on Chestnut Street as well.
Blair M was happy to support Rair as well as to connect with old friends. Tony Diaz loves the unconventional items which are given a new purpose.
Salt Design Studio = Angela Fleagle, Rian Herilla, Sara Pevaroff Schuler, Le Xu, Olivia Boon and Katrina Rogus
Jason Kim, Ellen Houle, Leanne Weiner, Emilly Rollet, Kiet Tran, and Jon Wybar is the co-founder and owner of Revolution Recovery (the incredible company who created the material that built the temporary bridge on 95 which collapsed earlier this year, it makes sense he’s connected with a recyling art organization)
Reny Beloff, Kristin Katz, Yameen Allworld and Liza Tedeschi, board member RAIR (Recycled Artist In Residency) is a non-profit arts organization uniquely situated within a construction and demolition recycling center in Northeast Philadelphia.
The RAIR workspace includes a large project space, wood shop equipment, metalworking facilities, access to the waste stream for materials, and a material storage area. Artists-in-residence receive attentive support from RAIR’s staff who act as liaisons between the artist and the recycling facility. In addition to providing artists on-site access to recovered materials, construction equipment, and a fully-equipped studio space, RAIR’s residency program offers artists the opportunity to use the entire 3.5-acre facility as an expansive project space for the development and presentation of ambitious experimental work.
Around Town With HughE

Photos: Wexler Gallery Opening Party

Lewis Wexler, and Sherri Apter Wexler owners of Wexler Gallery Celebrated The Opening Of Their New Philadelphia Location at 1811 Frankford avenue last month. It was formerly in the historic district of Old City where they opened in 2000.

Pei-ru Keh editor of Wallpaper Magazine, with gallery owners Lewis Wexler, and Sherri Apter Wexler and furniture designer Jomo Tariku, Jomo Design Furniture. The four of them participated in a panel discussion about current trends in design and art.

Wexler Gallery, opened a flagship showroom at 1811 Frankford Avenue in the heart of Philadelphia’s bustling Fishtown neighborhood, definitely Philly’s new vibrant art and cultural center.

The new gallery space will serve as Wexler’s flagship location and feature a roster of established and emerging artists, as well as the main offices for the Wexler staff complete with meeting space for clients and customers.

Lana Masor, Gallery Manager at Wexler Gallery NYC and Samantha Goldberg

They have another gallery in Manhattan 200 Lexington Ave.

Lauren Rufrano, Jomo Tariku, Justin Wesley, and Mark Allen
Nick Missel, contemporary Sculpture, patent attorney, artist Ben Gillespie, lighting designer and owner of Ovuud and Jessica Uphoff, URBN

Thanks to my photographer Talya Hailey who shot this for PCC as I had two other events. It was definitely a party I missed. So many fun and talented people attended. Being a creative brings such personal joy of accomplishment.

Marsha Moss, Public Art Curator & Consultant, Jill Sablosky, Sculptor and Crystal Cuevas
Crystal Cuevas, Claudia Volpe, and Micah Monroe

Occupying a former pretzel factory built in 1910, the 11,000-square-foot gallery features a dramatic, 35-foot-high central atrium topped by large skylights cut out of the timber ceiling.

Franz Rabauer, Brian Daggett, X, and Kelly
Jerome Maury, Sherri Wexler, gallery owner, Stephanie Giesecke, and Nina Halper

The Wexlers aspire for the gallery to serve as a cornerstone, drawing in other artistic hubs like Corridor, and numerous others within the Crane Arts building vicinity (I always thank the Zimmerman sisters for really helping this area after they opened InLiquid nearly a decade ago in the Crane Arts Building), along with the Clay Studio and the recently inaugurated Ray Philly, a residential complex featuring artists’ studios on the ground floor, supported by collector Dasha Zhukova. It’s becoming a very exciting area, great for weekend strolls.


HughE Around Town: Emily Lucking Exhibition

John Colabelli, Publisher of Philly Style Magazine, Brian Emmons, development manager for Southern Land, artist Emily Lucking, Esq., Life Coach and Allan Domb, Condo King

Congratulations to Emily Lucking, not only is she a successful Life Coach where she helps others attain their goals, but she goes after them herself. Last month The Laurel on Rittenhouse Square began displaying ten of her paintings in the lobby the luxurious building. I stopped by for the celebration reception.

The Lucking family.

Stop by the Laurel to check out Emily’s art, which is for sale, and one of the Laurel’s luxury apartments as well.