Philadelphia

HAPPY NEW YEAR AND THANKS: A REVIEW in Pictures

Happy New Year!! “We will open the book. Its pages are blank. We are going to put words on them ourselves. The book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is New Year’s Day.” – Jennifer Sherlock
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Thank you for making my year, PhillyChitChat year’s best year yet. I began thinking about what I was going to write on this last day of 2010 early in December, even jotted down a few notes. I was so excited of what I achieved, personally by bringing to you, the readers, interesting stories that weren’t being told, or from a different perspective, curious oddities, and although it’s called PhillyChitChat I could have easily called it HughE’s Curiosity, cause that’s pretty much how it started before I honed in on certain subjects.(lately it’s been a whole hodge podge of HughE’s curiosity.) Most of all THANK YOU MY READERS WHO TAKE TIME OUT OF YOUR DAY TO READ ME, AND OF COURSE HUGE CYBER HUGS TO EVERYONE THAT ALLOWS ME TO PHOTOGRAPH THEM AND WRITE ABOUT THEIR LIVES. The following are a few of my FAVORITE EVENTS to cover.
Most photographers would accept high paying jobs to work on this night, but for me I will be spending it with a handful of close friends, especially since all year long they have to suffer with me canceling plans so that I can shoot the exciting events that grace these pages.
Tomorrow will be like all my New Year Day’s when I welcome the new year with it’s new possibilities, new challenges, new friends, watching the Mummers Parade where I will hopefully run into a lot of old friends, make some new ones and maybe this year go to Two Street.

Random sister shot – Crista and her Mike (far left) celebrating the good news. People often ask me how I do it all, well there are cracks and one of them is very visible. This year I am really going to get healthier, eat better and go to the gym. Oh and get some sleep, at least 6 – 8 hrs up from my 4.
I love shooting ordinary folks, wearing extraordinary outfits and in this case all in the name of love for one Justin Bieber. (I never told you how that IHop picture got on TMZ. A reader tipped me off to the sighting, I didn’t have my phone on, I checked Twitter, only 2 people noted it, I taped my exclusive interview for my NBC10 Non-Stop Segment (Ch 248. or 10.2 if you don’t have digital, or on Fios Ch 68) the next morning with Justin Pizzi. I should have told them to post it immediately on the website, but I didn’t as I wanted to get a picture of the IHop & table they sat at. I called IHop for details, they didn’t realize that it was a big story and that it was going to go public. They said no comment, which triggered some lucky person into selling the picture and story to TMZ. A picture does says a thousand words.
Congratulations to Brian and Steffi Freedman who welcomed daughter Sophie Gabriella Freedman to the world in December 2010.
I send my pixs to a NY agency and get published in glossies and blogs. People always ask me how much I make when I sell these photos, or stories to the national magazines (they never ask me what I make as a paralegal) But I will tell you, a picture in a mag pays up to $150 and it doesn’t happen often that you actually get in a mag as it’s very political and they often choose pixs from LA, NYC, Las Vegas and it has to be an A-Lister or someone not wearing underwear. A pix on a blog gets between $5 – $25, which is where most of my shots go. But I love getting pixs and stories nationwide because it’s great PR for the City, fun and I like the challenge of getting the story.
Megan Smith – Brownstone PR lands in Black Enterprise Magazine. I don’t write about Megan enough, she runs a tight, top rate public relations company and does well by her clients by getting placements in national news, as well as locally. She’s one to watch in 2011

R2L opened last winter. It’s consistently one of the restaurants with a crowd and view. I can’t say anything about the food because I’ve never eaten there, but a lot of my friends have and that’s why I have gotten placements about the eatery in national magazines, namely breaking the Kendra & Hank Baskett story that they were moving into Liberty 2 Residences and that they enjoyed the food at R2l. More recently I’ve had placements in the national press when Barbara Streisand and Jamie Foxx ate at tables 94 & 95. So send me the tips: I always reward my tipsters with invites to exclusive parties, gift bags, gift cards and free photos of themselves that I take at events.
Also at R2L, Paige Wolf and Mike Bederka: Paige has an amazing letter on her FB page regarding the Business Privilege Tax in Philadelphia. (I got one a couple years back.) Friend her and read it.

Sometime this year I will be starting my greeting card business again. I missed doing it, and now I will have time to it.

Thanks to Parx’s Casino for hiring me several times last year to shoot their events. Congratulations to Carrie Nork Minelli and Dino Minelli on the news that they are having a little boy.

The same day I ran up to Allentown like a crazy nut, to photograph this crazy nut. Then I was tipped off to Bebe’s a the local mall where she was picking up an outfit for a red carpet event that night in NYC. I got a great shot of her there that ran on a few blogs.
The Red Ball is in March at the Please Touch Museum. Philly suburb kids Kristin and Eddie Alderson from One Life To Live attended. This year look for the Rock, Vin Diesel and Kevin Navayne to host this year 3/5/11. (& PLEASE WEAR RED, so many folks don’t. We need more styling in this City.)
I love the Philadelphia Flower Show put on by the Horticultural Society 3/6/11 – 3/16/11; I also love the Macy’s Flower Show which is held in the Spring
I started writing for PhillyMag.com in April. It was a dream come true, but later I was overwhelmed having taken too many things and working a full time day job, and left in November.
I love shooting celebrities too and telling you tidbits. Like do you see the orange fire-hydrant is painted black on the side which will be in the movie. I wonder if they painted it back.
Looking forward to spending Easter at my sister’s in Charlotte again this year.

Another exciting list coming up for Philly’s Dancing with the Stars to benefit the Sickle Cell Anemia organization this April 10.
The Dream Team: Chris Gabello, Rob Waserman (Rouge), Laura Burkhardt (Where Magazine), Michael Schulson (Sampan) and Alp Aktan (Delilah’s). Look for a couple of these people to do a project together really soon.
The dreamers team: Ashley Vanett, Maria Papadakis, Carol Tamburino, Sabrina Tamburino-Thorne, Avra S. Gross, Michelle Miller, and Lesley Kozloff at the Radnor Hunt

Friends I don’t get to see nearly enough of: Matt Vlahos, Diane Johnson (Christian DiCicco), Nina Tinari, Jimmy Contreras, Mia Tinari, (Phyllis Halpern, Jonathan Venderick, Jamyra Perry, Tim1 & 2, Deming & Norbert, Lisa, Lee Ann, Rick, Alyson, all my old friends before I was PCC and many more not listed)
Mia Tinari’s wedding was epic, as was Christopher and Tiffany Nork. Thanks for letting me cover them as “socially” for my readers, and Philly Magazine.
Other socially covered parties included: Doug and Holly Kammerer’s going away party as well as Doug’s birthday party at Roosevelt Pub.

The Beer Fest. Who’s getting married, having a bday party or something special and want me to come by and shoot it for PhillyChitChat socially, or if you want to keep the pictures too – hire me. Email me for rates.

The Cooking Class: Monica Glass, Top Chef’s Jennifer Carroll and Kevin Sbranga, flanking Iron Chef Jose Garces. I love exclusives like this. I was so lucky as I had to work late (paralegal job) and then run to the Navy Yard to shoot this highly desired Great Chefs event for Alex’s Lemonade. I was only there for the last 30 minutes, which is probably why I could get these 4 to leave their posts.
A huge honor to photograph her. It was 90F out and she wore gloves, classy!!

Jason Lewis, Dan Gross and Holly Maher. Good news to come? Dan Gross and Michael Klein have been really good friends to me and have been helpful as I hone my writing skills & gossip reporting.
New Friends this year: Erin Como, Justin Pizzi and Buffy Morgan
Caitlin Joyce and Christie Honigman celebrate their roommate ness this year
Delilah’s it’s performance art. No doubt people were talking when I got a few of the more PG13 Rated pixs in my PhillyMag.com column
I love covering celebs, but I really love covering the people who love the celebs and people in general doing ordinary things.
Happy new home to Michelle Cassidy (An Empty Fridge) and Arthur Etchells
First time Bar AIDS happened. Great PR by Vlahos PR got a lot of restaurants and bars to participate. Here we are at Tutti Frutti for a yogurt night cap. Earlier in the night we were at XIX where a party that wasn’t associated to Bar AIDS had a very public fight, where a notable guy screamed at a bold named girl resulting in one party getting kicked out. It was better than watching any Gossip Girl episode.
Thanks to Flemings Steak House for hosting the charity event I held in honor of my sister to benefit Gilda’s Club of South Jersey (And Cori Moskow & Ilana Waber of Gloss PR). And to Tweed in (& Michelle Miller, Carin Nouveau Image and GN Kang) Philly for hosting the PhillyChitChat 3rd anniversary party for Gilda’s; I am already working on the 4th Anniversary Party. And for the following companies and organizations that donated items to the event. Thank you to all who came and made donations. Thank u thank u

Lago’s Jewelry Brian Freedman Food & Wine Writer Freeman InteriorsR2L Sampan Loews Hotel Valanni Phila Trolley Works Crown Plaza Vietnam Café Max Brenner Chocolate Pennsylvania Horticultural Society
Teuscher Chocolate, located in the Shops at the BellevueOmega Opticals Maximal Art Palomar Hotel Garces Mercato Rouge Starr Restaurants Fish
Eastern State Pen XIX Walnut Street Theater Lisa Gaudio James Zeleniak Waterfront Square Condos Mia Tinari and to anyone else I forgot, thank you thank you thank you.
Speaking of Lisa Gaudio here with her newly engaged daughter Brianna D’Amico at the Philadelphia Style Magazine’s Jersey Boys Welcoming Reception at the Palm
First openly lesbian elected official: Ann Butchart, Judge at First Judicial District of PA., with openly gay activist (he once chained himself to Walter Cronkite’s news desk, and wrecked havoc all over Philly in the name of gay rights) Mark Segal, publisher of the Philadelphia Gay Newspaper. Mark recently danced with his boyfriend, Jason, at the White House’s Holiday Party.
Susan Helfrich and daughter Miss Philadelphia Andrea Helfrich. WOW this year is going fast.

The Cole Hamels Foundation event at Union Trust. I broke the story that GN Kang was going to be their new Director of Operations for The Hamels Foundation
New eventures
My family
I covered some great charity events including PAWS here with Stewart Bradley
Caught a few celebs filming in town. Bradley Cooper & Abbie Cornish making out in Rittenhouse Square
Bonded with special people who make my life much more complete

Ate some great meals: I took this shot at my favorite steak place Little Pete’s with Little Pete.

Stacey Kracher, Anne Nikolaus, Monique Andes, Allison Smith and Aida

Sam Shoap, Ilana Waber and Jason Cichonski
By November I was writing a column 3 times a week for PhillyMag.com, my blog every single day, taping segments for NBC10’s Non-Stop Channel with Justin Pizzi, providing the Inquirer pixs for Michael Klein’s column, sending notable celeb pixs to my agency in NYC, attending events nightly, working out with a trainer, and then my paralegal job heated up and I was working 10 hr days.I just couldn’t do it, but now were something to come along, I wouldn’t have the same obstacles of learning.
I get excited when I shoot something that is fun like Danny Devito filming a press conference that Greater Philadelphia Film Office Executive Director Sharon Pinkinson is having.***************

Mayor Nutter doing the Rappers Delight at Mitchell & Ness

Love getting together with my long time friends, here Greta Greenberger and I are at Tweed. I always dreamed of being the next Philadelphia City Hall Tour Director, which is held by my BFF Greta. I’ll be volunteering twice a month at City Hall starting in January.

Last week I “chased” Kate Gosselin and the kids all over town til I finally got this great shot of her and the kids running up the iconic “Rocky Steps”. Thanks to a half dozen of my readers who tipped me off to their whereabouts. (I kinda knew after getting these shots that I would soon follow my dream find a new career in blogging/photography for a living.)
Tips Appreciated and rewarded with gift bags, Gift Certificates, Free Photos and hard to get party invites: email HughE Dillon email Buzz@ PhillyChitChat (dot) com thanks
Triumphs: The Carroll Women: Jen, Sunny, Joan and Jessica
Happy 10th Anniversary Cashman & Assocs. December was one of the most notable in my life. Philly Style Magazine & Mediaite.com did an analysis of local blogs, including ones own by corporations and media giants and found that I was the 5th most influential/linked blog in the City. That is huge. Then Philly Magazine’s article on the Philly Phamous came out and called me “THE NEW LUMINARIES in Philly’s somewhat finite stratosphere got there mostly thanks to an unlikely star-maker: photographer and society blogger Hugh E. Dillon. Dillon — who spells his name “HughE” and pronounces it “Hughie” — is a sweetly eccentric, portly paralegal who spends his off-hours snapping photos at parties, the lone paparazzo [I forgot Kirstin Henri named me last year] in a town where news anchors, PR reps and politicos serve as celebs. He has access to just about everyone.”
Plus it was a hugely flattering article showcasing my work with charities. When you brush away the glitter and fun, for the most part I want people to support the charities via donations, promotion or attending the events. I like the glitter and fun part too, but it’s just the window dressing.
Kohn, Swift & Graf: This was taken on the 2nd to my last day as a paralegal in the 2nd to last day of 2010 (I’ll miss those guys, I started there when I was in college).

2011 brings a new beginning where I will take on the HughE Dillon/PhillyChitChat brand full time, finally accepting advertisements, promoting events, and taking on jobs as an event photographer. Stay tuned for details. After 3 years of non-stop work, blogging, events & a little bit of sleep, I have to get a few things in order before I roll it out, but it will be soon.

When I first heard this song last year, I used to tweet about it and say it was my theme song; I know I wear my heart on my sleeve. I’m excited to have found something I really enjoy doing, that’s fun, and even helpful to some I hope. So come with me as I go on an adventure won’t you?