Monthly Archives

November 2007



Even though we are a bit beyond “Peak”, the Square looked beautiful this late November day. It’s great as I was so busy this fall I didn’t even take the time to go to my favorite places to shoot the season. Thanks to Global Warming I can capture it now. Even the flowers are still in bloom
The tree is up and lit.
Hot chicks still hanging out in the Square
I actually spotted a “Philadelphia” celebrity, or should I say someone infamous – restaurateur Neil Stein



On Tuesday morning I read in the Metro that the Tree Lighting at City Hall was going to be Thursday at 7:30PM. I was a little taken back as I had read a sign at Macy’s that the tree lighting at City Hall would be on Wednesday 11/28/07, and then Macy’s was inviting folks over afterwards to enjoy hot cider and to watch the newly revamped light show narrarated by Julie Andrews (I had a sneak preview which I will write about tomorrow night)

I got to work and checked the City Hall Web Page and sure enough it was listed WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 28 CITY HALL TREE LIGHTING CEREMONY 5:00 p.m. City Hall, Apron Area Contact: Office of the City Representative, (215) 683-2060; Was the Metro wrong?
Then it was over to the Center City District site with the same info, except it gave Wednesdays date as the Nov 29, the 28th like it should have been:

CITY HALL TREE LIGHTING CEREMONY Wednesday, November 29 City Hall, Dilworth Plaza 215.683.2060 Mayor John F. Street will officially launch Philadelphia’s holiday season when he turns on the holiday lights on the beautiful City Hall tree. There will be special guests, holiday songs and festivities and much more. (The Metro got the wrong story)But then tonight after chatting with my City Hall “source”, she mentioned that sure enough at the last minute the date was changed to Thursday, with no explanation, and the time was 4PM Face Painting, 5PM Tree Lighting, not 7:30PM as the Metro reported. I then checked the Center City District site and it was updated to say: Thursday, November 29, 5pm City Hall, Dilworth Plaza , but the City Hall site still states the lighting was today. (hopefully someone will drop a dime and tell Macy’s of the changes.) So if you want to see a magnificent tree lighting tonight, you’re plum out of luck if you thought it would be at Philadelphia City Hall, no now you’re gonna have to tune into NBC and the 10th annual “Christmas in Rockefeller Center” telecast Tree Lighting Ceremony. Hosted by Al Roker (“Today”), the star-studded 75th annual tree lighting extravaganza will feature Celine Dion, Josh Groban, Barry Manilow, Taylor Swift, Ashley Tisdale and Carrie Underwood performing current hits and holiday classics from Rockefeller Center in New York City.

(daytime Tree photo by Lawyer_215)


Philadelphia Gay Tourism Caucus holds 5 Year Party

As I left work to attend the Philly Gay Tourism Caucus 5 Year Party, I exited my building to the WOW factor of the Ritz Carlton in all it’s glory with basking in “The Night Lights of Broad Street” sponsored by the Center City District an organization you know I LOVE, support and admire. In fact they are planning to light 9 additional buildings along Broad Street, for a total of 12, and want your opinions: When I see projects like this, I know our City is moving in the right direction attracting tourists and making Philadelphia a destination.Which is why I was so excited to attend the Philly Gay Tourism 5th Year Anniversary Party. Talk about a grass roots organization that has really made some progress in the City. The Philadelphia Gay Tourism Caucus (PGTC) — working with GPTMC, the Philadelphia Convention & Visitor’s Bureau, and regional CVB’s — has developed the Philadelphia Freedom hotel package for hotels who actively work to be gay-friendly properties. In addition to tourism, you can thank the caucus for the 36 new street signs that are permanently affixed with the rainbow flag to designate the “Gayborhood”. If you look on my Yahoo page, next to the Sharon Pinkenson, you will see the other person I admire most in Philly is Meryl Levitz. She is a pioneer in Philadelphia Tourism. I was too intimidated to go up and introduce myself, I should have because I have tourist attracting ideas.
Tami Sortman and Irene, from Frank DiCiccio’s office, reading a proclamationSome of my favorite people JD Coleates, owner of a huge supporter of Philadelphia, so please support them; Jeff who is still enjoying his studies at Temple; Bruce Yelk, a jack of all trades, one of which is his blog which I read a couple times a day, I love when people update twice a day, I wish I could, check him out at and a big, big hug to my friend Laura Burkhardt, who not so long ago we had a big discussion about life and I said I find its best to follow my dreams to reach my goal, its about passion, but girlfriend, I never meant move to friggin Baltimore and leave me behind. I miss the lunches we never got to have. James McManaman are co-owners of Absolute Abstract and a friend; another great business and supporter. Check out their store in Midtown Village along 13th Street or on the web at
OK now we’re talking. Three people who’s work I admire. Matthew Ray at HX Magazine, James Duggan at and the guy who stole my idea if I was smart enough to come up with it Steve McCann of Hanging out with them tonight was like being a fly on the wall at a P.T. Barnum, Henry Ford and Benjamin “Bugsy” Siegel coffee clatch. It was great fun. If only I could actually focus on one thing to have that “A-Ha” moment too!!

Then it was out on the street to face those snow flakes. Why is it that the Center City District can pull off a feat like lighting 5 buildings for the holidays, with plans to do 9 more. A small organization like the Philadelphia Gay Tourism Caucus can accomplish various goals like attracting gay tourists to Philly and selling the equivalent of 1,000 nights of hotel rooms to visitors of our City and the “STREET ADMINISTRATION’S STREETS DEPT” can’t even make sure that all the bulbs in the snowflakes are LIVE?
Does anyone have a countdown clock til the end of the Street Administration?



On the eve of Thanksgiving as I walked home from work I passed Love Park. The water’s been shut off now, the platform installed and waiting for it’s Christmas Tree to be installed sometime in the next few days. Further down the Parkway, I took one last look at Swann Fountain’s waning stream of water knowing that tomorrow it will be shut off for the season until 2008. I also enjoyed the summer flowers that refuse to let go of the bloom and instead took advantage of the long Indian Summer our region enjoyed this year. I believe Wednesdays high was 68F

That evening Mike and I watch the Thanksgiving Day rehearsals that occur in front of the Art Museum. (I would have more shots here, but for some reason in the dark I switched the camera to RAW mode. Any recommendations for a good program to look at RAW shots?)

The next day Mike, his mom and I travelled to DC for our annual visit to Mike’s Aunt Bernie and Uncle Bob’s. Here’s Aunt Bernie checking those Turkey Cooking Instructions? She said it was the largest bird she ever cooked.
I look forward to her Sweet Potato’s served in Orange Peels every year, but I continue to forget to ask her what happens to the orange insides?
1/2 of the Thanksgiving table. Uncle Bob always gives a nice Thanksgiving thank you prayer, and this year David read an article of Thanksgiving that Aunt Bryna wrote that was published in the Washington Post. Emy listed the things we should all be thankful for, thankfully most of the items weren’t Republican related as she is a die hard Bush Administration supporter, her dog is named Rummy. After dinner and dessert it was on to the Karaoke
Elizabeth on the right, is Bernie’s oldest friend. They met during the Vietnam war even before she met Bob. Elizabeth lives in Spain now.
The next day, Mike and I drove on to Charlotte to visit some of my family.

My brother-in-law Tom and nephew TJwho is a huge Flyers fan, even though he was born and raised in Charlotte, I guess it’s nurture not nature in some cases. (not pictured my sister Janine and niece Nicole) Mom and my niece Colleen

Then further up the road My sister Crista and her husband Michael and my look a like nephew, Michael or Wubby (poor kid, hopefully he will lose that nickname when he is 2) Then on Sunday it was back home with a 10 hr drive, joining the masses on 95 and enjoying the full moon rise over Baltimore


World Children’s Day starring Hayden Panettiere and Ne-Yo

There is no doubt about it, more celebrities fly through our sleepy town of Philly than I ever thought. Last week it was the blond bombshell – Paris Hilton, this week its the beauty with brains – Hayden PanettiereFrom Dan Gross’ column today:
Hayden, Ne-Yo hit McDonald’s
“Heroes” hottie Hayden Panettiere and R&B sensation Ne-Yo will be at the McDonald’s at 941 S. Broad from 3:30 to 5:30 this afternoon.

The pair are here for World Children’s Day and will sign paper hands that customers can purchase for $1. The money benefits the Ronald McDonald House and other children’s charities. Out and about
When Ne-Yo first arrived at McD’s I asked my friends where the white guy with the violin was. They laughed and said that I was confusing the rapper with Yo Ma. I was sadly disappointed as I was expected Yo Ma and although I thought it an odd choice, always wanted to see the legend.

At the finale, Hayden leaves McD’s with a bag of fries

Check out to see Hayden circa 2005!

By the way did you see Dan Gross’ column yesterday: Postscript on Paris
Paris Hilton bunked at the Four Seasons while in town Wednesday at Macy’s (1300 Market) signing pictures for people who bought $55 bottles of her CanCan perfume. The party princess, we’re told, stayed late chatting with fans at Macy’s, where Ten Pennies (1921 S. Broad) had arranged her floral displays of pink princess roses, red roses and pink plumes. Hilton’s people initially said she could pose with Pennsylvania’s groundhog mascot, then refused, citing the mascot’s helmet as a security risk, according to HughE Dillon of (Very exciting stuff that 15 minutes of fame – LOL)


Just know that the Monday before Thanksgiving is always a rainy day, as the Fairmount Fling has been held on that date for the past 5 years, and I recall that it has rained for each event. The Fling was a night of toe-tapping jazz, delectable culinary delights from Fairmount restaurants, and exciting live and silent auctions to benefit the Fairmount Community Development Corporation. This is a great opportunity to swap stories with your neighbors, learn more about Fairmount restaurants and businesses, and support Fairmount neighborhood improvement projects and for me see a lot of old friends that I’ve neglected while pursuing vapid celebrities in NYC. Here are few now Barbara and John
Chet and Marjika Drew Philipe
Mimi Neil (missing from picture is Allyson)Former Director of the FCDC, Lori Salganicoff who I volunteered for the first 2 years of the FCDC before I moved to SF then NYC. I remember the long discussions with the other volunteers on what date would be best. I thought November would be good, but wasn’t keen on the week of Thanksgiving, but it turned out to be a great choice.Where the heck is the Belgium Waffle place?

What a super turnout. Another thing that was so great was the diversity of the crowd, young, old, owners, renters, black, white, straight and gay or otherwise known as the FAIRMOUNT COMMUNITY

Lot’s of decisions to make
THREE 3 Three rooms with over 200 auction items

The live auction was livly. This auction sold a weeks stay in Ocean City NJ for $1800, and we have a winner. If you know the women in the front, then you know someone that won a weeks stay in OC

Sometimes there were bidding wars, like this one regarding a Bahamian vacation, Congratulatiosn Julie Welker who was the winner!!Tim Clair, Executive Director of FCDC
Jeff and Mark

The Martins

I was good, I bought a dozen raffle tickets, and nothing else. I am well on my way to decluttering my house for 2008



Beating back the title of least attractive people in the US that readers of a Travel & Leisure magazine bestowed on our City, NSquared Productions and the Park Hyatt rolled out the red carpet for Gorgeous, a spectacular showcase of art and fashion paired with a high-energy dance party. There were beautiful people on the runway, in the audience and working the crowd Friday night in the beautiful city of Philly.
Acting as host for the evening’s festivities was the fabulous Jay McCarroll, winner of Project Runway’s first season and Bump’s Fabulous Cyoni
The Gorgeous runway show will featured fresh fashion, hair and makeup from the hottest local boutiques, designers, salons and makeup artists, including Eleganza presenting Versace and Roberto Cavalli, Dennis Basso, Nicole Miller, Joan Shepp, Matthew Izzo, Ettore, Pierre & Carlo, and many others. One of my favorite places to hang out was the hallway leading to the runway, it was here the models would wait for their cue to sashy down the runway

sometimes there were obstacles on the way to the runway as waiters used this hallway tooThe runway, Jay Carrolls back, the man in the red would time the girls and then send them down the runway

eye candy

another favorite spot was the dressing room; I was very careful not to shoot the boobs and bods of unsuspecting models

sometimes I screwed up
There was entertainment, like this Latino dance troupe
Noel Zayas of NSquared Productionsthe male lineup
struts their stuffI guess the underwear showing is still inFierce soft and sensual

meat on display and The Philadelphia Film Society’s Tim Ferretti
OK it’s my favorite model and I can’t recall her name. She looks fabulous here,
and here


Paris Hilton is such a Marmot Tease

Today Paris Hilton was in Philadelphia to promote her new perfume “Can Can” and sign 200 autographs for the adoring fans, one of which was Pennsylvania’s mascot the Groundhog.

When I got a tip today that the “Groundhog” would be posing with Paris Hilton at her signing at Macy’s, I just couldn’t pass it up. I spoke to the Groundhogs people and they said that the State’s mascot did not get any special treatment and had to buy a $55 bottle of “Can Can” like everyone else, then stand in line (for 3 hours), before Paris would pose for a photo.
I was advised by Macy’s hired guns that I could only shoot from a position about 30 feet away because technically the “Press” portion of the evening was over and I should have leftAfter waiting what must have seemed like an eternity in the Groundhog suit, the rodent was finally upon Ms HiltonWhen suddenly a voice from across the room shouted at the Groundhogand told him that he could not put on his head piece as it was a security risk and Ms Hilton would not pose with a Groundhog
with that she grabbed his head and gave it to the Groundhog keeper
and Mr Groundhog could only ponder
on what could have been

I don’t know what is scarier, this shot or these videos promoting the Groundhog (For additional shots of the Paris gig check out )



No matter where I shoot, the true fans have a great kinship for their idols. The women in the foreground in red is in a wheelchair and found out that the only way she could meet the Boyz was to buy a CD. She didn’t have the money, and after a few moments the guy in the blue bought her the CD. It was really an amazing gesture, but at the same time I was surprised that the chick in the wheelchair didn’t have $14 bucks.
Boyz II Men preformed a few hits before they commenced signing their new CD “Motown Hitsville USA” Here Wanya Morris greets the women who’s basement he practiced singing and dancing in while growing up in Southwest Philly
Nathan sports some bling
It was funny when this guy walked up with this big poster and a handful of CD’s to get signed. I heard the Boyz II Men handlers say here comes potential trouble. They surrounded him and stood on the side of him in case of trouble. Then when he requested a photo with them, they complied and the manager took the photo. It was the only time the signing process was interrupted for such an event.

I always resort to those street shots, I am a paparazzi at heart, and for those who read my blog, you know those are the money shots, but these probably won’t bring in any money. Now Paris tomorrow night, that is the money shot! OK Here’s Shawn Stockman making his way to the van that will take the Boyz to NYC
Nathan Morris styles out to the van and
finally Wanya Morris strolls to the waiting van
Waiting outside for the Boyz, well waiting on the corner with a cup, was this enthusiastic (ie liquored up) fan who wanted an autograph for the guys

After much pleading and imploring the manager took the piece of paperand signed it. Then she asked for a quarter.

I didn’t have any change.