Monthly Archives

May 2011



The Devon Horse Show and Country Fair officially opened on Thursday. One of the nation’s premiere horse shows, Devon runs until June 5. Horses, riders, trainers and breeders come from all across the U.S. and Canada to compete. Eleven days of competitions will include jumping, carriages, dog show, fashion show, and more. A full schedule is available at the Horse Show’s official website. There are amusements, vendors of all sorts, food and drink, many interesting people, and, of course, horses in a variety. The stands were packed with folks in boxes that have been handed down through family lines for a hundred years. Mike and I were invited to sit in “The Hat Lady” Michelle Leonard’s box. Thanks.
Debbie Martin, HAD and Sandy Shinners. Debbie and Sandy are co-chairs of the Devon Horse Show this year.
But you don’t have to dress fancy to attend. The general public is invited to fill the bleachers, and enjoy the fair. Tickets are $8 and can be purchased here

There’s a Country Fair that features boutique shopping for all ages and tastes, as well as a great variety of foods and midway games and rides.a lot of people were walking around with stuffed snakes
fun for the kidsThere’s a wine and cheese garden for the folks
On Saturday there was a doggie show. Here the competition stares each other down.
The first category was dogs that looked like their owner
This girl was 2nd. The Uncle Sam dog came in first, and the curly dog with the two girls came in 3rd.
Then there was the “fashionable dogs”. On the far right Cynthia Sansone and her two terriers, classy as they may be the lady on the left placed in the competition as most fashionable doggies.
Elizabeth Bareis’ Jack Russell Terrier won in the best dressed category of the doggie contestadorable
This dog was just walking around the grounds and looked like me.

One of the highlights of Memorial Day weekend is the Devon Pleasure Carriage Drive from St. David’s Church through the tree-lined neighborhoods along the 4-½ mile route to the Dixon Oval. The images of majestic animals pulling magnificently maintained coaches draw crowds of spectators and tailgaters alike, both at St. David’s and along the Pleasure Carriage Drive route to the Devon Horse Show and Country Fair. (source)

The judging begins at St. David’s and along the Pleasure Carriage Drive route. The judges look to make the carriage has the proper appointments,if the right horses are hooked up to the right vehicle, and if people are dressed reasonably,
but not necessarily in period outfits (although most seemed to be.) Saturday it was 95F out, I felt sorry for the folks dressed to the nines on these carriages, but it’s a tradition that goes back 47 years that has to be maintained.

The winner: Tucker Johnson, Homestead, Fl. This was Johnson’s first return to Devon in 30 years. Above Society Photographer Susan Scovill poses with an award winning team as husband Dr Curtis Scovill gets a shot. She was a sponsor of this portion of the contest.
There are several carriage divisions. There are formal carriages, sporting carriages, and country carriages and they all have their own sets of appointments. There are two judges, one for the horses and one for the ponies and each of those is broken into Single, Pair and Four-In-Hand.

The boutiques offer the latest in fashion, sporting clothes, silver and gold jewelry and beautiful hats as well as classical pieces ranging from paintings, prints and sculptures to hand-painted furniture with horses and dogs, leather goods, antiques and more. The Art Gallery features paintings and prints by many local talented artists, and the Souvenir Shop offers Devon Horse Show apparel, collectibles and the cookbook, Appetizers at Devon.
Later in the day jockeys from around the world competing in the Horse Jumping competition.
more fashion as the fair
more horse jumping.
The horsey crowd, which I am not part of, but do appreciate the history and tradition.
Face painting.
Beautiful and clean.


SPARK ENERGY Swim-Party – Plus Power for Heroes Plan

Last week I covered the Spark Energy day at Safari Sam’s Indoor Water Park in West Berlin NJ. Fun, fun, fun and wet. Above A’lieya Willaims and Diamandi Devereaux. Spark Energy offers power and CHOICE to the nationally-recognized alternative electricity provider to PSE&G and PECO Experts: PECO Customers Should Switch to Alternative Electric Suppliers to save money for the same energy.
One of my favorite water park attractions was this boogie board one. Some people even stood up on their boards and surfed. Very cool. LIKE Spark Energy New Jersey

I ran into a few folks that took advantage of the Spark Energy Free Swim Coupons like The Portelli family.
Brian Killian and Monica McGovern
In honor of Memorial Day, Spark Energy is launching Power for Heroes, a new electricity plan that gives you the opportunity to lock in a special low rate while making a difference in the lives of wounded U.S. military veterans. To offer the Power for Heroes plan, Spark Energy has partnered with Helping a Hero, a nonprofit, non-partisan organization that supports military personnel severely injured in the war on terror. When you sign up for the Power for Heroes plan, Spark Energy will donate a portion of your electric bill to Helping a Hero. Plus, you’ll get to enjoy a special low rate while helping fund critical services for wounded veterans. (Above: Matthew Ray, and Cass Orly, Spark Energy.)


HughE Around Town: Actor Evan Jonigkeit, Rittenhouse Sq While U R at Work, Puppies & Kittens, Welcome To Philly

Since I took PhillyChitChat as a full time job this year, I was waiting for the warm weather so I could get out and shoot Philly folks around town. I think I will call these posts HughE Around Town. Today I was excited to go cover the Philadelphia Independence Visitor Center’s “Welcoming of the 20 Millionth Visitor.” I love Philly, and I love these fun little milestones.
I met these nice ladies from Hatboro as we were waiting for the Mayor to arrive Mae Steere and Kathie Watkins. Every so often they come to Philly to see the new exhibits or visit historical sites. I told them about the Spies and Traitors exhibit at the Constitution Center and that’s where they were going to head next then.
A group of school kids from the Colgate Elementary School, Mrs. Wagner’s class, Baltimore, MD were the 20 millionth visitors. They received nice gift bags for their endeavor.
Jim Cuorato, president and CEO of the Independence Visitor Center welcomes the kids as INHP Superintendent Cynthia MacLeod looks on. To his left is Mr Philadelphia, Al Lee in the blue shirt with the camera.
Mayor Nutter was running late but got there in time to wish the students well and tell them about their free lunch with Steaks on South, for being the 20 millionth guests.
Have you ever seen the Mayor’s schedule? It’s insane, and yesterday it was jammed packed. No wonder he was a little late. After lunch I headed to Rittenhouse Square, but first caught a shot of Ellen Shepp bidding her mom Joan Shepp goodbye for the day. I heard Bradley Cooper stopped in with his mom when they were in town a few weeks back. Talk about “Store of the Stars”.
Rittenhouse Square: When I was employed as a paralegal, I would sometimes try and eat in the park during lunch. What a pain trying to get a seat. I often wondered what it was like during the off hours when I was back at my desk. Now I get to experience that. This will no doubt be a continuing subject on
I’ll continue my fashion shots. Occasionally I shoot them from the front, when I feel they aren’t looking, but my buddy Reuben “Big Rube” Harley, never worries about street shooting and does an excellent job at chronically the fashion/style set of Philly on his blog “Street Gazing“. I wrote earlier this year, he’s going to make a huge splash in the Phila Daily News & on in the next few weeks with his “Bill Cunningham” style shooting. You’re not gonna leave the house in the future without checking your style cause you’ll never know when Big Rube is gonna shoot you. We hung out a bit today and he tried to show me the ropes. It’s amazing people respond fairly well to the kinda photography he does. I am what you would call a shoot from the hip photographer, capturing moments where you are unaware. He shoots eye level, and often gets the unguarded moments, but isn’t bothered if you see him shoot you either.
WOW on that skateboard. This guy in the blue cap was so high, and was asking passer by’s for a dollar to save the beaver. Sure enough some nice guy stopped and gave him a buck.
Suddenly I saw a bunch of girls run over to this guy and pose with him in pictures. I later walked over to them and asked them who he was. They said he was Romeo in the Arden Theater’s version of Romeo and Juliet last year. Evan Jonigkeit
Street Stylin’
How much is that doggie in the basket? I could shoot pets all day long.
About 4PM a bunch of folks rolled in to have a water gun fight.
A kid kissed a frog
A kitten found a home
Philly Style Magazine photographer & a wedding photographer too, Nell Hoving happened upon me chatting with Evan’s fans. They were also just given a kitten from a guy who went to the park looking for a new home for the sweetness. He even gave them money for cat food.
In the background you can see the mom of one of the girls calling the dad to see if it would be ok to bring the kitten home. The dad said he would put their dog in another room, until the kitten got acclimated in her new surroundings. Then they would bring the dog out and slowing get them used to each other. How adorable. And these are the stories & photos I am looking forward to bringing you.
While I was walking around yesterday I came across this restaurant on Sansom Street near 10th. It looks like they have a nice sign up, but someone did not use spell check?Thanks to this Months advertisers: CTO, The Corner (They’re serving al fresco now), Arrow Swim Club, (The Swim Club is Open, it’s 90F. What are you waiting for?) Spark Energy, Del Frisco’s (Maybe Shane Victorino is eating there tonight?), Oh My Godard Gallery, (Stop by for their Memorial Day Exhibit with J&K Keifer), The Sporting Club, Chris Gabello Studios, Parx Casino, Anne Nikolaus Stylist – Stella Dot Jewelery, and Cabaret Singer Karen Gross.
Happy Memorial Day. Thanks to all the soldiers that have made sacrifices for the USA. Willow Grove Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 3612, in recognition of the brave men and women in the community and around the world who answered our country’s call in its time of need, will pay tribute to these heroes with a special Memorial Day ceremony on May 30, 2011. The event will begin at 10 a.m. at Veterans Memorial Park, located at 220 Mineral Ave. in Willow Grove, Pa. In addition to the Memorial Day ceremony to honor those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for their country, Post 3612 will hold a New Veterans Memorial Flag-Raising Dedication at the site of the proposed Veterans Monument. The event will conclude with an open house for veterans and their families and friends at the VFW Post home, 305 W. Moreland Road, Willow Grove.


PA House budget passed; spending decisions now with the Senate! – Need Your Help!

Dear Hugh,
Tuesday night at 8:16 pm, when many of us day-timers were far away from our desks, the PA House of Representatives passed their version of the budget by a vote of 109-92. The current version of the budget includes a 70% cut to the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts (PCA). This cut will bring the PCA from $8.4 million to $2.5 million in grants to the arts. A PA budget of $2.5 million will mean a decrease in the number of funding programs offered by the PCA and vital arts programming in Southeastern PA will be lost. There will be no way around this grim level of impact if the final version of the PA budget is passed with this amount of PCA funding. It is imperative that you call your State Senator before June 6th to urge them “to restore funding to the PCA at $8.2 million in their version of the budget bill.” Yes, say these words on the telephone right now and no, this cannot wait! Only you can make sure this same thing doesn’t happen in the Senate. Call your PA Senator right now to be sure that your voice is heard before they decide on their version of the budget. [Find your Senator’s phone number here.] The time to influence this process is extremely short but it’s not too late. The House’s version of the budget now goes to the Senate. But, your Senator needs to hear from you and many other direct constituents before June 6th in order to include your opinion in their important state funding decisions. Our legislature is committed to passing the PA budget on time (by June 30th). Both houses, need to pass a version of the budget and then come together to agree on spending in a conference committee. So, please, call now. A legislator wants to hear from their constituents about how the proposed budget will impact their district. They want to hear what issues their voters care most about. Together, if we exercise our power, it will make a difference. Sincerely,


HBO World Title Fight Press Conference-Yusef Mack and Tribute to Bernard Hopkins-This Tuesday May 31 at Lounge 879

There Used to be a time when South Philly Bar & Grill handled all of the most interesting sports/reality show/Damon Feldmon Pressers. Now Brent Celek and Todd Herremans‘ bar in the 100 block of Chestnut seems to be doing the honors.

HBO World Title Fight Press Conference with #1 Contender Philadelphia’s own Yusef Mack as he seems to become the Next World Light Heavyweight Champion along side WBC Champ Bernard Hopkins. Mack,the current Noth American and USBA champion, is Dedicating this fight to the Legend hopkins even though they could end up in a match if mack gets by opponent and current IBF World Champion Travoris Cloud. Mack is a Big Fan of hopkins and having him support me through this championship shot is an incredible feeling says Mack! If Mack Wins he will be one of 3 current Boxing World Champions from Philadelphia. The Press Conference you will get a chance to see how much Mack is inspired by Bernard Hopkins! This will be Mack’s first match on HBO!

Where:Lounge 879
110 Chestnut St
Old City, Philadelphia

P.S. Don’t park on the 100 block of Chestnut Street on The Weekends after 10PM or your car will be towed. I’m not sure of the rules during the week, but read the signs carefully.


PhillyChitchat The Buzz: Obama Comes To Philly, again; Jen Groover’s ready for her Close-Up

PhillyChitChat Buzz:

Mark your calendar’s: President Obama is coming to Philly on June 30 for a fundraiser at the home of David L Cohen. Be forewarned of traffic problems on that day.


Philly’s Jen Groover told me last Saturd
ay that she is off to Hollywood to meet with Tori Spelling to discuss a project. Perhaps there’s a reality show involving Jen, who has been making her mark in women empowerment seminars lately. She’s learned a lot about women, marketing and business after she created the hugely successful Butler Bag. You might have seen her hawking the bag on QVC or promoting women empowerment tips on The Ten Show or The Today Show. She’s got something helpful to share.


The Devon Horse Show starts today. Highlights are the dog parade on Sunday and Ladies Day with a Hat Parade on Wednesday.


What happened to Philadelphia Rapper Freeway? He’s making news in the Saudi Gazette here


Tweets of Interest

Hamels Foundation


Opening Night of RUINED at ! Hear what people are saying about it!

So beautiful RT Photoset: theperfectworldofart:

RT during – here are list of Sam Adams events…

The tmobile store was just robbed on walnut street near 15th

RT Who wants a free meal at ? Check their sweepstakes & prepare 2 munch !

I guess they’re hard up for photographers in Tampa Bay? Don’t ID the women if she’s not really in the pix



Historic Philadelphia, Inc. hosted An Evening in Franklin Square presented by Parx Casino. (Above the crew from Parx Casino. Carrie Nork Minelli, Director of PR, Gary Luderitz, COO Bob Green, Chairman Darlene Monzo, VP of Marketing. Andy Green, VP of HR, John Martinelli, Director of Player Services and sitting is John Kirk, VP of Player Development )The third annual fundraiser event benefited a regional treasure and will build upon the success that Franklin Square has experienced since opening to the public in July 2006.
The event was held on what was now the very muddy grounds of the park after 5 days of rain. The organizers did a great job at adapting to the in-climate weather by moving the cocktail party inside a tent and creating a great ambiance using lighting from the Lights of Liberty, as well as fancy footwear, coat racks, umbrella stands and providing umbrellas for the brave souls who wanted to venture around the park to see the sights.
Historic Philadelphia, Inc. President and CEO Amy Needle with Gov Ed Rendell. Who I chatted with at the Radnor Hunt and mentioned the first rate job Amy always does in everything.
Michael Williams, Hill International, Scott Stevenson, American Revolution Museum, ZeeAnn Mason Senior Vice President for Marketing and Development for the American Revolution Museum, Kim Carty, Tom Sperring, President Hill International, Peggy Duckett, Boardd Member of the American Revolution, Mike Lusiani, HillWinner of the Governors’ Cup which was played on the miniature golf course between rain drops,
Jaclyn Bharucha (holding trophy), with Brian Monahan, Susan Panagos and Mike Chapman.
James McManaman & David White. Co-owners/Absolute Abstract and Joan Rivera. Absolute Abstract is downsizing. They currently have 3 store fronts on 13th Street and are shrinking to two. Stop by as some of their art work is 50% off in order to make room.
Bill and Jan Eisenberg with Wayne Spilove, Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission (PHMC) – Chairman
Carol Tamburino with newly elected 1st district in Philadelphia City Council Mark Squilla and wife Bridget Squilla . Greg and Nicole Hallquist
Center City District President Paul Levy and film maven Carrie Rickey.
PR for Mural Arts, Historic Philadelphia and Gay Bingo Cari Feiler Bender. Doing an excellent job as usual.
Mike Sheridan and Jim Werner. Congratulations to Mike who has left his long time job at GPTMC, where he met Jim, and is now hanging his hat at the Sofitel.
James Zeleniak and Laura Burkhardt. James’ client Franklin Mortgage & Co was recently praised by Esquire Magazine.
Maryann Gettis and Jocelyn Brown are standing on bricks that have been purchased in honor of loved ones and engraved. Build a legacy in the community by donating a Franklin for the Fountain engraved brick, “naming” a bench, or contributing a picnic table or other element to the historic park. Click here Donate to Franklin Square.
Caryn Kunkle, Jordan Griska and Samantha Marzullo. You may not be familiar with Jordan Griska currently, but come next year you will be very aware of this talented artist as works.

Amy Needles and her team really had to think quick on their toes to deal with the muddy ground and downpours throughout the evening.
One of the nicest touches was the flip flops that were bought for the women to wear instead of their heels that would sink into the “rug” covering the wet ground.
Mayor Nutter waves hi to the crowd.
Chris Mullins and Bill Gehrman right before they left the country for Russia.
This lady takes advantage of the flip flops purchased at the last minutes to make it easier for the ladies with the heals to navigate the under the rug and dance floor muddy ground.
AJ Williams, GM Omni Hotel and Jami Gordon, PR
Alan Greenberger, Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development and Commerce Director and Greta Greenberger, City Hall Tour Director. My tour training is coming along well and I should be on my own by the end of this month, er June. I think I will be giving the Wednesday City Hall Tour at 12:30PM.
Did you know that Historic Philadelphia is responsible for the ONCE UPON A NATION STORYTELLING BENCHES that are located throughout the Historic District? The Holiday Inn GM JoAnn Bongart and Bill Gehrman get down tonight.
11 a.m. – 4 p.m. daily: Hear fascinating tales from our nation’s past at these charming benches scattered throughout the Historic District.
Mickey Rowley and Mark Beyerle
Kristen Murray and Brendon Shank Kristen and Brendon had a successful run earlier this month when they participated in the Broad Street Run.
Anna Schneider GM from Square 1682 in the Hotel Palomar, rides the beast which will be named by the crew from Hotel Monaco who won the naming rights in the live auction at the affair last week. Also spotted Bonnie Grant, Palomar Hotel & Hotel Monoco’s GM Nick Gregory, Kelly Coulom, Jorge Gonzalez, Deb and Dan Bosin, and many other charitable folks that help keep Historic Philadelphia running smoothly. Thanks!Tuesday I taped my NBC Philadelphia Non-Stop Show, The Scene, at Franklin Square with Justin Pizzi. Watch it tonight at 9:30PM on Ch 248. Above Justin does a live shot with Amy Needle for the Ten Show, which aired that day. I finally had a Square Burger and it was delicious.



Last week I tweeted (Follow me @iPhillyChitChat) that The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society was populating the Ben Franklin Parkway with the carousel animals that starred in the 2011 Philadelphia International Flower Show.
Drew Becher, PHS President, Michael DiBerardinis, Deputy Mayor for Environmental and Community Resources, Jada Gibson, Seventh Grade Student, St. Francis Xavier School, Gary Steuer, Chief Cultural Officer, City of Philadelphia and Louis Giorla, Commissioner, Philadelphia Prison System (hmm not sure why the guy from the Phila Prison is there? Photo provided by PHS) The creatures were redecorated by Valley Forge Flowers for display through the summer around the Swann Memorial Fountain on Logan Square. My favorite one is the ostrich, but you’ll have to go look at it yourself.
Now the PHS is creating a Pop-Up Horticultural Exhibit in one of the lots I have tweeted and written about the most, the long neglected, trash strewn empty lot at 20th & Market Streets.
Well in recent weeks the lot has been purchased by a developer and something will be built there in the near future I hope; but before that happens this summer the lot will contain the Pennsylvania Horticultural’s Pop Up Garden.
A garden is being planted, benches will be installed and there will be workshops on Wednesday and Thursdays. The workshops will range from tree caring, to container garden’s and all things that help us with our green thumbs. Now this is something to get excited about. The Grand Opening is June 13.