Monthly Archives

January 2011


Jamie Reibenbach and Jessica Scott Bring Back HAPPY HOUR at the NEW Kokopelli Tequila Bar and Restaurant on 2/3

Jamie Reibenbach and Jessica Scott
with friends Amy Shantz and Alexis Small invite you to join us at the NEW Kokopelli Tequila Bar and Restaurant on THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 3 for a Happy Hour event that truly defines and brings back the phrase “HAPPY HOUR”! THIS EVENT KICKS OFF AT 4PM, HAPPY HOUR ENDS AT 7PM, BUT DANCE, DRINK AND PARTY TILL WHENEVER!!

See why Kokopelli is going to be one of the city’s hottest new locations for your after-work play time! Get your sneak peek… as this place is still a secret for this! DANCE with us to the sounds of DJ Jason Weiss and check out these AWESOME drink and food specials:
Coors Light and Lager – $3
House Red and White Wine – $4
House Margaritas – $6
Long Island Blue Points on the ½ Shell -7
Yuca & Plantain Chips – 5
Ahi Tuna Crudo on Crisp Tortilla – 10
Bison Sliders, Manchego Cheese – 8
Chili Grilled Salmon, Southwestern Succotash, Crispy Bric Leaf – 3
Green Chili Stewed Chicken, Corn Bread Muffin – 3
Braised Beef Short Ribs, Cipolini Onions, Orange Pico de Gallo – 3

So, RAISE YOUR GLASS Ladies+Gents! Tell your co-workers, bring your friends and come on over with an appetite and a thirst cause after we quench all of those, it’s time to DANCE!!! 1904 Chestnut St Philadelphia, PA 19103 (215) 557-7510
Here’s what Yelp thinks of the place:



PHILLY AUTO SHOW BLACK TIE TAIL GATE PARTY Photos & Tales. I thought I would ask a few of the subjects “If they were a car, what car would they be?

The 2011 Philadelphia Auto Show Black Tie Tailgate benefiting the Center for Autism Research at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia through the Auto Dealers CARing for Kids Foundation has named the Center for Autism Research (CAR) at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia as the event’s beneficiary. CAR is one of the largest and most comprehensive autism research centers in the world. Its goals are to identify the causes of autism spectrum disorders and develop effective treatments.FRIDAY NIGHT the Philadelphia Convention Center was filled with sleek bodies both with wheels and kicks.Check out the kicks on Karen Sajda wearing Calvin Klein, here with Adam Spivak (r), and my guy Mike Toub, this is one of those events that Mike loves to attend with me. Last year our visit to the car show helped us pick out our new car this year, but Mike doesn’t mind shopping for his next car in advance.

On the first floor we found the bikes, classic cars, and DUB Live, although I wasn’t completely sure what that was but there was a lot of interactive exhibits here, a rockin’ DJ, and Auto Accessory ally. The auto enthusiastic will find just about everything he needs to satisfy his kit car needs.

Jayme Gravenstine tells me that their favorite cars were the Mini-Coopers, but Ben Cook had to explain what the compact cars were.
Jacqulyn Zimmerk, Sean McDannell and Lena Corice.
Old School Rolls w/driver, no problem Jazqulyn, Sean’s friends said he is a Mustang Shelly, hmm I hope I got that right as I never heard of that car before and finally Lena’s friends think she’s an Aston Martin, red of course. I correctly guessed she was a Leo. I’m one and I have LeoDar. I forgot to ask her how she hurt her foot, some adventurous rendezvous no doubt.
The Black Tie Tailgate party kicks-off the Philadelphia Auto Show each year. Guests enjoyed cocktails, snacks and live entertainment (by Jellyroll) while getting the first glimpse of the hot production, exotic and antique cars on display at the show.
Kyle Westrum and his dad John stand in front of his dream car the candy apple red Audi S4
It was in nearly this same spot that I photographed the Ahluwalia family last year. I have a photo book of a guy that shot his family every year in the same setting for 30 years. It is fascinating. Anyway Jolly, Gurmeet, Simran and Shabani were a sight for sore eyes and it was fun catching up with them again this year.
Ron and Lynette Phillips. Ron has his eye on the BMW 7 Series – black, and thinks Lynette is a sharp Mercedes SL 500
Remember those stories of your mom or grandmom when she and her friends would try and see how many of them could fit in a phone booth, oh you don’t know what that is, never mind. Here are a few friends that want to see if this cars would be perfect for their nights out, up in the front are Ted Derickson, Chris Amber with Sabina Nicola, Amber Tosenberg and Heidi Adams. talking about grandmom, Amber’s mom has 4 smart cars, one for each of her favorite colors, and then drives them when the mood strikes here. It’s better than a mood ring, oh you don’t know what that is, nevermind.

Jillian Gonzales and Kelly Murry both wearing Nicole Miller
Pool anyone?
Cuisine by Starr Catering – The Starr Team: Morgan Bedore, Jennifer Kelly, Jennifer Keck, Emily Burster, Leila Miller, Alison Vitolo, Lindsay Shustermann, and Scott Barnes
This is what Mike looks like when he’s in the passenger seat of our car
No matter how many cameras and camera phones in the world, the photo booth is always worth waiting for.
Lisa Gaudio and Jimmy Kazanjian call it an early night as there needed their rest before the Academy Ball the following night. Now it can be told that Lisa was kind enough to be in the Academy Ball Program on my page that Maria Papadakis sponsored in honor of my sister Judy Dillon Wilkins and Philadelphia Institution Linda Creed, and organization that I volunteer for. Tomorrow I will be publishing the Academy Ball photos I took from my first visit to the the steeped in tradition event. (The Academy Ball Committee is very secretive about who’s in the book til it’s released.)
Anthony Sembello and Lauren Beloff. Definitely one of the most stylish couples I ran into Friday night, sleek bodies and that dress haute.
Dave Abrams, Natalie McGann, Rochelle and Michael Steinberg, and Brett Perloff
just a gratuitous leg shot
Philadelphia Eagles Player Juqua Parker and and his sizzler wife Beth with friends Ed and Shele Schell.
Ron Hansen, Cianel Palmer, Lisa Fresard, Rachel Davidson and Tony Piazza

Karen Bryd and Kelly Kavetiki who decided the convertible Audi was a good place to eat dessert in. Karen would never talk on the phone if she were really in the driver’s seat.
Nancy Alperin-Regini, Dr. Jerry Regni and Morella Blatt – sweet dress. I’m gonna have to give her the golden apple award for her beautiful and unique white dress.
Mandy Lam is a sexy, sleek, sporty & fast Audi boyfriend Jeff Skversky (6ABC Sports) says, 6ABC’s Health and Medical reporter Ali Gorman is a BMW convertible and Jeff is drooling over and is a Masaratti
6ABC’s sports anchor Jamie Spody and Paul Coleman are almost done their wedding preparations for their July wedding they tell me. I wrote about how they met in my column a few months back.
Beautiful dress and couple, Latrice Bryant and Barry Everett



Well yes him and also
On Wednesday, February 2, President Obama will travel to the Penn State Campus at University Park in State College, Pennsylvania. As part of the Administration’s strategy to win the future through new investments in research and development, the Department of Energy has launched Energy Innovation Hubs across the nation. Penn State will provide overall leadership for the Greater Philadelphia Innovation Cluster for energy-efficient buildings that will be located at the Navy Yard in Philadelphia.
While at Penn State, the President will tour labs focused on energy-efficient building solutions and deliver remarks on the importance of investing in innovation and clean energy to put people back to work, grow the economy, and win the future.



9TH ANNUAL S. PELLEGRINO ALMOST FAMOUS CHEF COMPETITION Was held at the Restaurant School last week. (4207 Walnut Street)The world’s brightest culinary students will soon be competing for the opportunity of a lifetime. Find out how today’s aspiring young chefs will perform under pressure as they are judged and mentored by celebrity chefs and media personalities in fiery competition—with up to $20,000 and a dream job at stake. (source)
The chef competitors were:

Thanks to my buddy Laura Burkhardt for getting me involved in this competition to be a judge. It was a fun experience, especially being in the thick of things watching the judges observe and ask questions of the chefs. Chef Matt Levin, Adsum and Laura Burkhardt, Where Magazine. (PS Matt made the hat he tells me.) We were all given extensive documents on the chefs background as well as what they were about to cook.

Restaurant School’s Chef Bottone and Chef Edwin Scholly. Scholly is one of a 100 Master Chefs in the US.

Chef Mike Stollenwerk , Fish Restaurant, me, Chef Daniel Giusti, 1789 Restaurant, Chef Peter McAndrews, Modo Mio and Chef Michael Solomonov, ZahavDrexel University’s Chef Edward Bottone and student (& PhillyChitChat reader) Devon Montgomery-Bender, Special Events Manager at Phoenixville Country Club. The judges were dead on scrutinizing the dishes as they were presented and tasted. It was interesting and uncomfortable for me as the judges were honest with the chefs, which of course is helpful in the end in preparing the chef for their careers. For me I am so emotionally involved I just see students working so hard to get the best plate, or who really believe in their dish.
This was my 2nd favorite dish. Danielle Ogunkoya. It was lamb chops “Tangier” with spiced sausage, Moroccan tomato sauce, raita and mango. The judges thought it was all over the place, but I thought it tasty. Plus I was impressed she could pull it together as she had a mishap in the kitchen cutting her finger, then going to take care of it before returning to complete her dish under the time limit. Danielle tells me she would love to be on the show “Chopped”, so Ted Allen if you’re listening give this Restaurant School student a call!As the judging occurred above, friends and family were tasting the competition dishes below in one of the dining rooms of the school. Did you know you could dine at the school daily to taste some of the culinary delights of the students. Check out the info here. The judging criteria was based on composure under pressure, confidence, inspirational dish, responds well to judges questions, and flavor texture and degree of doneness. You see they were under a deadline so some dishes did not come out completely cooked, and a few came out over cooked. These student judges were under a lot of pressure and for the most part performed well. A One that was called out did admit that time was elusive and his dish reflected that.
The student chefs were all given a questionnaire on topics ranging from their favorite chef, food, and color. Danielle’s favorite color was purple and her measuring cups reflected that. Benjamin Rosen likes green, but says it doesn’t play a role in his meal preparation. Krzysztof Babik says red is very warming and an exciting color, but again it does not affect they way he cooks.
Emma Louth from Drexel University with her winning signature dish – Smoke/Ocean/Prairie. As soon as her plate hit the judging table the judges were smitten with the simplicity of the plate, the traditional presentation and the delicious bison that even Ted Turner would be drooling over.
Ten regional winners will be flown to the finals event taking place March 11 – 14, 2011, at The Culinary Institute of America at Greystone in Napa Valley, Calif. They will compete in three categories: the Mystery Basket, Signature Dish and People’s Choice. The three days of competition are fierce, with the esteemed panel of judges evaluating competitors on every detail from the taste, texture and aroma of the dish, to their presentation, kitchen skills and the ability to perform under pressure. Emma K Louth will be among the competitors, food luck Emma!


The Space Shuttle Challenger disaster occurred on Tuesday, January 28, 1986 – New Footage

Video of the 1986 disaster was locked in Florida man’s basement for almost 25 years. “The chilling amateur footage was recorded by retired optometrist Jack Moss on his new home video camera on the morning of 28 January 1986.” (Source) Mr Moss even says it must be a historical tape he just filmed, yet it sat in his basement for 2 decades with his other home movies. It is both fascinating, and still tremendously sad to view the tape. I remember this Shuttle mission was taking Christa McAuliffe, the first member of the Teacher in Space Project.**********************************

The Space Shuttle Challenger disaster occurred on Tuesday, January 28, 1986, when Space Shuttle Challenger broke apart 73 seconds into its flight, leading to the deaths of its seven crew members. The spacecraft disintegrated over the Atlantic Ocean, off the coast of central Florida, United States, at 11:38 a.m. EST (16:38 UTC).(This was the only footage known for 20+ years)
Disintegration of the entire vehicle began after an O-ring seal in its right solid rocket booster (SRB) failed at liftoff. The O-ring failure caused a breach in the SRB joint it sealed, allowing pressurized hot gas from within the solid rocket motor to reach the outside and impinge upon the adjacent SRB attachment hardware and external fuel tank. This led to the separation of the right-hand SRB’s aft attachment and the structural failure of the external tank. Aerodynamic forces promptly broke up the orbiter.

The crew compartment and many other vehicle fragments were eventually recovered from the ocean floor after a lengthy search and recovery operation. Although the exact timing of the death of the crew is unknown, several crew members are known to have survived the initial breakup of the spacecraft. However, the shuttle had no escape system and the astronauts did not survive the impact of the crew compartment with the ocean surface. The disaster resulted in a 32-month hiatus in the shuttle program and the formation of the Rogers Commission, a special commission appointed by United States President Ronald Reagan to investigate the accident. The Rogers Commission found that NASA‘s organizational culture and decision-making processes had been a key contributing factor to the accident[1]. NASA managers had known that contractor Morton Thiokol‘s design of the SRBs contained a potentially catastrophic flaw in the O-rings since 1977, but they failed to address it properly. They also disregarded warnings from engineers about the dangers of launching posed by the low temperatures of that morning and had failed to adequately report these technical concerns to their superiors. The Rogers Commission offered NASA nine recommendations that were to be implemented before shuttle flights resumed. Many viewed the launch live due to the presence on the crew of Christa McAuliffe, the first member of the Teacher in Space Project. Media coverage of the accident was extensive: one study reported that 85 percent of Americans surveyed had heard the news within an hour of the accident. The Challenger disaster has been used as a case study in many discussions of engineering safety and workplace ethics. RIP: STS-51-L crew: (front row) Michael J. Smith, Dick Scobee, Ronald McNair; (back row) Ellison Onizuka, Christa McAuliffe, Gregory Jarvis, Judith Resnik.



A little ChitChatter first:

Big Brother” winner and Cherry Hill native Adam Jasinski has been sentenced to 4 years in federal prison for masterminding a prescription drug ring … which he funded with the prize money from the show.

According to TMZ former Sixers star Charles Barkley — who famously announced his intention to run for Governor of Alabama in 2014 — says he’s officially abandoned his plans to run because politics are a “bad business right now.” As you may know, Barkley told CNN’s Campbell Brown that he was “serious” about his plans to run for public office … but last night in NY, the Round Mound of Rebound explained, “politics are not a lot of fun right now.”OPENING WEEKEND FOR BIZARRE BEASTS PAST AND PRESENT EXHIBIT FEATURES FUN ACTIVITIES FOR FAMILIES – This Saturday and Sunday, January 29 and 30 at The Academy of Natural Sciences, 1900 Benjamin Franklin Pkwy. Crafts, face painting fun for the family.
The Sporting Club at the Bellevue has New Yoga Instructor – Please welcome Shelia Pasupathy to our yoga team. Shelia will be teaching a 75min Ashtanga Yoga on Sunday evenings at 4pm. They’re also a sponsor of PhillyChitChat thanks.Welcome to CTO who’s a new sponsor. I can honestly say I love their bands, and I’ve written that before; They play every year at the Red Ball as well as several big events in the City, and I heard them first when they played Sabrina Tamburino-Thorne’s wedding.Feb. 1: Reading Terminal Market kicks off Black History Month with a 6 p.m. reading and talk by Dan Biddle and Murray Dubin co-authors of “Tasting Freedom” at Philadelphia’s famous Reading Terminal Market on 12th Street just north of Market. Plans are still being made, but City Councilman James Kenney and NAACP head Jerome Mondesire have said they’ll be there. And there’s talk of some other notable folks attending. Yes, books will be available for purchase and signing.

Rittenhouse Square Thursday January 27, 2011

Red balloons stuck in tree in Rittenhouse Squareadorable
Jenine Neff walking the dogs. Four Philadelphia-based Companies Take Charge to Help the Jewish National Fund!
Last month, a series of devastating fires ran rampant through Israel’ s Carmel Mountain Range which has cost the loss of more than 40 lives and displaced thousands of families . As a result, David Dinenberg, COO of Grasso Holdings, organized an initiative in which Actor Elliot Gould will lend his voice and his heart. Center City Film and Video has provided all production elements, Neff Associates wrote and directed the spots and Mark Rayfield, Sr. VP. Phila Market Manager at CBS Radio has generously donated the air time for this public service campaign.
Elliot Gould is asking Americans to support the Jewish National Fund and launched Operation Carmel Renewal: From Black to Green, an effort to restore the Carmel region and provide the brave firefighters with protective gear and rescue equipment. To date, $4 million has been raised in support of this effort.

Welcome to Center City home of snow covered streets
and curb side lakes. Wear boots!
mommy and me going sledding
Market Street Thursday 4PM
About now I was thinking of running over to the Rum Bar for a Hot Buttered Rum, complete with Ron Zacapa Centenario, Canne Banane, and House-made Butter Batter [$13], or a Hot Navy Grog with Chairman’s Reserve, Bacardi Superior, Allspice Dram, Lemon Juice, Grapefruit Juice and Honey will warm the soul on even the coldest of days. 2005 Walnut St. (I went to Tweed instead for dinner, completing my restaurant week and wondering when am I going on that diet I keep threatening myself with.)

Sarah Cooper Bobersky styling it
Snowmen commune
the lone flute player
texting while dog walking, watch out for the fountain

King of the Hill
Laura Burkhardt, Where Magazine Publisher, Michael Schulson owner of Sampan, Kristina Jenkins Editor Where Magazine; Robert Plant, the former Led Zeppelin frontman currently on tour with his new band The Band of Joy, had dinner yesterday early evening before he played at the Tower Theater last night. Dan Gross has a picture on his blog Philly Gossip.
Former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton received the Philadelphia Freedom Center’s Patrick Henry Award and gave the keynote address at The Union League last night.


SNOW DAY: A PHOTO ESSAY of the 1/27/11 Storm – Mostly Art Museum Part 1

SNOW DAY: A PHOTO ESSAY of the 1/27/11 Storm – Mostly Art Museum Part 1
The Waterworks. I never get tired of shooting this scene.
I love how the Flag looks in any setting
Line them up
It was a little unusual that the park peeps would plow the area at the bottom of the steps, especially since this is the landing area. Someone said it was because of the drains, but you will recall about 30 feet from the bottom of the steps are really large drains.

On their way to the Red Bull Butter Cup, which is a contest series that showcases creativity in technical flatland trickery held at Penn State University in the great state of Pennsylvania. This snowboarding contest series is all about going back to the basics of what made us all fall in love with shredding in the first place: FUN! The Red Bull folks thought they would try out the world famous Art Museum steps. They met with a bunch of snowboarders and the steps became a little competition fun. They also set up the speakers so we could all enjoy a few tunes.

sorry about the dirt on the lens, I have to blow some air in there and clean it upwhy oh why does someone have to lay underneath the ramp?

anything works on a good snow day

Fairmount Park Fail. This guy tells the Red Bull guy that there is no soliciting or movable billboards allowed in the park and he has to go.note the people on the purple inter-tube

sure enough this girl landed on her FACE at the bottom of steps
a short time later I saw the ambulance come.Hope she’s ok. I was chatting with the Red Bull folks and missed the next few shots, but they said the ambulance took the girl away.
But for the most part people had a great time. Just watch it at the bottom of the steps, and next time maybe the guys who plow the apron at the Art Museum will be a little more kind and plow a path at least 20 feet from the bottom of the steps. jeez


COMCAST BROADCASTING FROM LOBBY TODAY: Hopefully This Is A Window into the Future PS Move The Today Show To Philly Please!!

“The joint venture for NBCUniversal has received regulatory clearance. We are now one step closer to delivering on our vision to create the best entertainment, sports, news and information company in the world.”

We’ll celebrate this historic milestone this Thursday, January 27, which will include a special broadcast message for all Comcast Cable employees. Here are the details:
What: Brian Roberts, Chairman and CEO of Comcast, and Neil Smit, President of Comcast Cable, will talk about their excitement for the future of our new company in a brief employee message.

When: Thursday, January 27 beginning at 11 a.m. (ET).
**Also I hear that Comcast Employee’s will all be getting a free lunch today at Ralph’s on the 43rd floor., of course that is if they can make it into work. (Imagine the beautiful view from Ralph’s)


Smart CEO Magazine’s Future 50 – Greater Philadelphia’s Fastest-Growing Companies

SmartCEO Magazine is a regional “growing company” publication.
They are not news, but a a resource full of smart ideas to help educate and inspire decision-makers. SmartCEO is read by 50,000 business owners in Baltimore, Philadelphia and Washington, DC. Last week they held an event honoring 50 “ones to watch” people mentioned in the magazine.
Freddie Pettit, Carol Fee and Bernie Clarke from Offit Kurman, one of the sponsors of the night, hired me to do something special with the 50 VIP’s. Mum’s the word
I remember hearing about the magazine’s successful launch at the Franklin Institute about 6 months ago thinking can this City handle another business journal? Then I came across the publication at work and checked it out. It’s not about the news per se of Philly, but about idea’s, advice and discussion of business directions from some of the top business people in the City. A guide of sorts to bring the business community together in moving business a long in a successful direction. Above The Hamels Foundation’s G-N Kang and Michelle Miller, PR Nouveau Image.

Former Philadelphia Eagles Harold Carmichael and Fay Steiger, SmartCeo; SmartCEO aims to educate, motivate and inspire CEOs and business leaders, so business is not exclusive to the print magazine.
Michelle Bradsher, Director of Marketing and Communications at Melmark and Ellen Donohoe, Vice President for Advancement – MelmarkCathy Cahill, CEO Mann Music Center (Oh I wish it was opening night at the Mann today) and Nancy Newman, Mann Music Center.
The crew from Recovery NetworksMike Pallozzi, Executive Vice President at HFM Investment Advisors, Inc., Steve Perna, Owner, PernaFrederick – Commercial Real Estate and Kevon Glickman, Esquire, Offit Kurman.
I was really impressed by how many people were at this event, and how many recognizable companies and individuals came out to the Crystal Tea Room to enjoy cocktails, dinner and inspirational speeches on the future of business in Philadelphia. Then each of the notable 50 were singled out and given special recognition. It was a nice evening.
The Sponsors get acknowledged on stage. Don’t you love their referee outfits. The lighting was done by Advanced Staging Productions. Donna Coghlan”We did all of the lighting, audio and video for SmartCEO Magazine event.”



A shot from my balcony this afternoon
a shot on 15th Street looking towards Sansom Street tonight

The Art Museum Steps are open for business

Whiskey Bar
Yes this cab just went through the red light at 20th & JFK
Bus and cars stuck on 22nd Street above Parkway
Gov Rendell (far right) no longer concerned about snow storms or blizzards, as he carries his doggy bag out of Butcher & Singer

on the Parkway
Like I always tell you, people will take pictures of Rocky all hours of the night
cab stuck

Laura & Adam at XIX on the balcony.
Rouge snowball fight (note girl lying on ground)

Making a snowman in the middle of Broad Street

16th & Spruce
18th & Spruce
Snackbar doing a nice business in the snow
Thank you Mike for driving me around
These two were looking for a place to eat around 10PM during the blizzard
guy biking against traffic on Walnut Street

Next year’s Christmas card