Monthly Archives

November 2011


OCCUPY PHILLY ENDS IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT, I Tweeted it Live and Got More Than a T Shirt

I was Philly’s trending leader in play by play tweets at 4AM, beating 6ABC, my buddy Chris May at CBS3, #OccupyPhilly and Panties. How about them cookies!!

Also I would appreciate if you guys could go over to Philebrity and vote for moi in the category of
“Which Philadelphian most represents our town as a living, breathing monument to all that is “fabulous?” I really am so honored to even be mentioned, and now mortified I will be last. I know someone has to, but I’d rather it not be me – LOL.
Thanks Then check out the Occupy Philly Eviction shots over at Philly Weekly Photographer/reporter Matthew Petrillo did an outstanding job for the duration of the occupation.


The Claddagh Fund Celebrity Rock-n-Bowl Tournament – Flyers, Fans and Fun

First off I would appreciate if you guys could go over to Philebrity and vote for moi in the category of
“Which Philadelphian most represents our town as a living, breathing monument to all that is “fabulous?” I really am so honored to even be mentioned, and now mortified I will be last. I know someone has to, but I’d rather it not be me – LOL.


Monday night the Claddagh Fund held it’s inaugural Celebrity Rock-n-Bowl tournament at North Bowl in Northern Liberties
created by Ken Casey, of the Dropkick Murphys, to raise money for the most underfunded non-profit organizations that support vulnerable populations in our communities.

Initially started in Boston, Ma, Casey is branching out to other cities, the first being Philadelphia. Monies raised here, will stay in the local community and support great charities like Stand Up For Kids and the Limen House.

The event was well attended, with sponsorships of the lanes selling for $1,000 allowing 5 players to play, joining a celebrity. And there were actual celebrities here like Hell’s Kitchen contestant Jason Santos, and Kevin Chapman, star of CBS’s Person of Interest, one of the greatest boxers Micky Hart
and Philebrities like Flyers players Ian Laperriere, Zac Rinaldo, Matt Read and Harry Zolnierczyk, Comcast Sports Michael Barkann, Big Daddy Graham, WIP, Marshall Harris, Comcast Sportsnet, and
Miss Pennsylvania, Amber-Joi Watkins, who gives up her crown December 3. She wore it well.
Ian Scott, Ken Casey, of the Dropkick Murphys, Barry Hanrahan, Assistant General Manager of the Flyers.
Micky Ward, retired American junior welterweight professional boxer, Samantha Trasatti, Mixologist at Rouge, and a former WBU champion, Ken Casey, of the Dropkick Murphys. Folks not bowling only had to pay $5 to get into the place, and if the timing was right you could get a photo with one of the celebs. The low price was really about getting awareness to the organization, and it worked as about 50 people turned out to watch the action.
John Gonzalez, CSN Philly, and fiance, Colleen Wolfe, Update Anchor at Sports Radio 94WIP
Arthur Kade, Kate Beaver, Courtney Grant, Billy Riddle, of Ela and no dummy – Nicole Segal who is a Research Assistant Center for Electric Power Engineering Laboratory at Drexel University
Where’s Shelton Mercer been lately? When he’s not reconnecting with childhood friends, he’s being his entrepreneur self, or doing charitable good deeds. Look for the blow up of TwitChange. Shelton is now the Chief Business Development Officer at TwitChange. He’s with the lovely Timyka “Tiki” Artist, a reporter working at Pittsburgh’s NBC affiliate WPXI. Timyka grew up in Philly, and is a graduate of Temple University. 6ABC’s Kenneth Moton, Kevin Brown, Nicole Segal and Melony Shonfield,
Kendra Kirk, Bd Member of Claddagh Fund (CF), Christine McMahon, ED CF, Boston, Kate Diehl ED CF Philly
Eric Fox (2nd from right) was a sponsor of a lane. On his team was Ryan McDevitt, guest, Taylor Morganti, and Al Moganti, National Hockey League Analyst,
Celebrity Boston chef from Hell’s Kitchen Jason Santos with his signature blue hair and Samantha Trasatti.
Arthur Kade, who’s been out and about interviewing some of the biggies in the celebrity world of late (Check out his Kevin Hart from last weekend.) What’s fun about watching these interviews in Kade is coming from a complete fan angle, he’s a fan of these folks and his admiration comes through. He’s asking questions that you or I would ask, not a seasoned pro. I wish him luck, it’s certainly a new day for him. In the center is Hacina Saadi, and restauranteur JD.


RJ Cacciutti – A Great Man, Gone Too Soon.

One of the best things about being PhillyChitChat is meeting so many wonderful people, some of them have become friends, which is hard to do because I have so little time to cultivate friendships. When I met RJ Cacciutti we talked for over an hour at the Law Abiding Citizen screening party at Del Frisco’s April 2009. (And for many of you, you know how rare that is as I am usually in my working mode, but that’s just the way RJ is, very engaging, and Erin was sweet too. We had a lot of laughs.) He told me about his family, his life and the business that he ran with his brother, Chuck, the West Philadelphia Bronze Corp. He told me how he cared for his workers, knew them by name, and their families. He sent them holiday cards, and personalized them. That was impressive. A dying art, the handwritten note. Something my mom still does today. Shortly after that we became email & FB friends (til he left FB), catching up on life, comparing schedules to see when we would run into each other again and meeting at Del Frisco’s, or Public House when he was around. He was living a charmed life. Working hard, doing charitable work, connecting people all over the world, and had a close relationship with his family and friends. He always had time for me, gave me great advice, we discussed politics, I would introduce him to my friends as my favorite Republican, but don’t hold it against him. I’d played match maker and fix him up with girls I thought would be a good match as he said he was getting to that age, and it was time to settle down. He went on a few dates with some of my choices. Doc Parghi, Kate Slattery and RJ Cacciutti at PIFA April 2011
RJ was eager to introduce me to his parents at the Radnor Hunt this past year: Dolly and Ralph Cacciutti. May 2011. That was really endearing. He told his mom and dad all about what I do, and I sat down with them for a bit as RJ attended to his other guests at The Freedom Council of Valley Forge tent. Then took a few photos of people with the Ronald Reagan cut out. (I’ll tell you a secret, the NBC10 tent was next to his tent and I was supposed to introduce him to one of my friends that day. Unfortunately, she had a last minute engagement and didn’t come to the Radnor Hunt. I later learned she didn’t like blind dates, bummer she missed out on someone special.)
Last month I ran into him at the Good Dog/Bad Dog Gala October 2011. William Firth, RJ CacciuttiDoc Parghi, and Kate Slattery. He said what he usually says, is Mike here? (My partner of a decade). Usually I say no, but this time…I was finally able to introduce him to Mike. They immediately hit it off, like I knew they would. They chatted for about 20 minutes or so. When I joined them, RJ said to me. HughE I want you to have this honorary membership coin from The Freedom Council of Valley Forge in recognition of all the charity work you do. Carry the coin proudly as it signifies honor and the good works of all men. – RJ it was an honor to have known you, and I will miss you. I never made enough time to see you. I never made it to the beach. I never called when I said I would, I never slowed down. I think you’ll be happy to know I’m going to work on those things, cause you never know when time has run out. So long my friend.


Stradley Ronon Hosts “Women Helping Women” Event at Ten Arts

Check back tomorrow for photos on the Claddagh Fundraiser bowling tournament with the Flyers and other celebrities. In the meantime see one here on PhillyMag.


On a warm fall evening last week, Stradley Ronon Stevens & Young, LLP hosted a women’s event at the Ritz-Carlton on the Avenue of the Arts. The evening was to celebrate women in the work force, while benefiting Philly’s food bank Philabundance with a menu that featured hors d’oeuvres and desserts prepared by renowned pastry chef Monica Glass, former chef from one of the top restaurants in New York, Le Bernardin. Above: Kim Jessum and Maria Wing – Stradley Ronon, with Phillipa Ashby – Bank of America.
Jennifer Lin – District Attorney’s Office, Deborah Hong – Stradley Ronon, Barbara Doyne – MetLife.
Alexandra Beljin – TD Bank, Gabriela Arce de Smith- Stradley Ronon, Nancy Mirarchi – Mirarchi Chiropractic.
Tracy Davidson – NBC 10, Erinn Carey – Citrin Cooperman, Beth Bradley – Stradley Ronon, Colleen Orsino – Main Line Chamber of Commerce, Kelly Sakmar – Main Line Chamber of Commerce.
Elizabeth Reynolds – Thrive Pilates, Barbara Nugent – Stradley Ronon, Hally Schreiber – Thrive Pilates.
Leslie Miller Greenspan, Barbara Nugent – Stradley Ronon, Tina Rothfuss – Philabundance, Candace Matthews – Philabundance Community Kitchen, Linda Galante and Nancy Margolis – Stradley Ronon
Linda Chisolm – Preferred Search, Lisa Berger Baskin – Berger Baskin Commercial Real Estate, Gretchen Santamour – Stradley Ronon, Ellen Dodel – First Federal of Bucks County
Erinn Carey – Citrin Cooperman, Beth Bradley – Stradley Ronon, Colleen Orsino – Main Line Chamber of Commerce
100 percent of the proceeds from the evening’s silent auction was donated to the Philabundance Community Kitchen (PCK) – a 14-week career-training program, with an 85 percent job placement rate in the food service industry. In 2010, PCK generated more than 355,000 meals that were distributed to area emergency kitchens including women’s shelters, and other locations. Click here to read some of the recent success stories. Thanks to Stradley Ronon Stevens & Young, LLP who raised $6,000 for Philabundance.


KeVen Parker introduces a Refreshed Ms. Tootsie’s Soul Food Cafe – Better Than Ever!!

Since 1996, the best place in Philadelphia to get Chicken and Waffles in Philadelphia has been Ms. Tootsie’s Soul Food Cafe 1310 South Street, founded by KeVen Parker and his late mother, Ms. Joyce Parker. Over the years the restaurant has become a very popular eating place, winning culinary awards, as well as becoming a favorite restaurant of many notable people including my girl, the legendary singer Miss Patti LaBelle. Fast forward to 14 years later, KeVen decided that Ms. Tootsie’s Restaurant Bar Lounge needed a little sprucing, as well as addressing the need for additional dining space as it had become impossible to seat all those who wanted to eat at the restaurant, especially on weekends. After 6 months of renovations, KeVen Parker (above) unveiled a newly renovated Ms Tootsie, as well as a new business next door called KDP Lifestyle, a home furnishings and gifts store stocked on the first floor of the building next door, and a boutique hotel on the upper floors. with three well appointed luxurious rooms. Each room comes with a full size kitchen, an eating area, bathroom, flat screen TV and a bedroom area. On the fourth floor you’ll find plush leather couches, flat screen televisions, and walls lined in steel grey velvet for the guests of the boutique hotel called the Luxe Lounge. This floor will also allow the guests staying at the hotel, access to the restaurant without leaving the building.
The jewel of the new space and found on the first floor of the boutique hotel, is the KDP Lifestyle store. The store features an eclectic variety of home wares, vases, sculptures, greeting cards, pillows, couches, chairs, bedding supplies, and lamps. (These pillows were only $40)
There were also affordable and poignant wall hangings
and gifts, including these sweet teddy bears. Everything was high quality and priced to move.
As for the celebrated Ms Tootsie restaurant, you’ll still find many of the mainstays that made Ms Tootsie so popular, but they’ve also added a few things you’ll like too:

  • Pulled Pork Sliders
  • Lobster Macaroni and Cheese
  • Herb Crusted Grilled Lamb Chops with Fried Apples
  • Bourbon Braised Short Ribs with Sweet Home Fries
  • Signature Soul Rolls – Crunchy Spring Rolls Wrapped with Chicken, Yams and Cabbage
  • Ms. Tootsie Pop’s – Deep Fried Chicken Drummettes in the Shape of a lollipop served with a Tangy Dipping Sauce

and added more space for diners.
KeVen tells me that parties of two wait the longest to be seated in a restaurant, I checked with my friends and they told me it was true, well the wait is over as KeVen has a dining room especially for you: The Love Lounge only has two tops for that romantic date where you don’t have to wait to get your game on.
The R&B room is sleek and has walls decorated by pictures of singers and resounding hues of red and black. It’s a great room for dinner, but I can see a late night crowd here too, hanging out, enjoying a lite menu and chillaxing.
Earlier this month, KeVen Parker relaunched Ms. Tootsie’s Restaurant Bar Lounge with a new look and a new menu, and introduced KDP Lifestyle & Luxury Suites, a home store and boutique hotel located adjacent to the restaurant to his friends and family with a little soiree. Beth Johnson and Leah Fletcher, The Philadelphia Sunday Sun, long time friends were happy to stop by and support their friend.
Philadelphia’s R&B singer Carol Riddick
Erica Atwood and Gordon Robertson. Happy belated birthday, Erica!!
Steven Redel, Danielle Grodanz, Barbara and Jeff Redel, Rebecca Feigenbaum and Michael Redel. They are regulars at Ms Tootsie and can’t wait to try everything on the new menu.
Ian Balwin and Christina JacksonGlen Aulson, Ralph Lauren at the Bellevue and KeVen Parker
The young chic next generation: Ernest Robinson, Make-up artist, Arumz Nashipae, Zola Emon, Kevin Parker (the other one), and Sylvia Ndeto
The upstairs bar is sleek, modern and could be a little lonelier than before now that the revamped, restyled, Ms Tootsie has plenty of room to seat you, but I do recommend you stop up after your dinner to mingle and mix for a few. And although Ms Tootsie is more accommodating now, I would still highly recommend you make reservations just in case: Ms. Tootsie’s Soul Food Cafe.



So excited I was invited this year to this hard to get invite. All the right people in the hospitality field were there.Many of the City’s movers, shakers and business owners were present including the powerful Greek contingent: Sofia from Waterworks, Vasiliki Tsiouris from Opa Restaurant, Eliana Papadakis and Nick DeBenedictis, PCVB’s board of directors
Jim Werner, GPTMC and Mike Sheridian, Sofitel
Check out today’s column in Philly Mag to see who this is…


In a Short Time There Will Be A Sign where Lucky 7 Once Hung

Although Foobooz thinks the new eatery at 25th and Aspen operated by the peeps from Franklin & Mortgage Company should be called “Welsh & Prensky’s Chicken ‘n Whiskey” (after one of the owners of FM&C Mike Welsh and Mitch Prensky of Supper, who supplies the food for FM&C) It’s actually going to be called Lemon Hill. When told, I had to ask my friend twice since the other Lemon Hill (Historic House) is right down the street (& it was loud at the event I was attending too), no doubt they are honoring the famed residence. When friends say meet me at Lemon Hill, you might have to have them differentiate which one, but I’m sure it’ll be acceptable to show up to either place with a blanket. When I walked by on Saturday, I ran into people peering in the windows. The neighborhood is excited for the new restaurant to open, which should be in about 2 weeks said my friend who has a hand in the operation.
(Check out the holiday savings at The Shops of Liberty Place this week.)


THE HOLIDAY PARTY SEASON KICKS OFF AT THE CRYSTAL TEA ROOM – Party Pixs from Thanksgiving Eve ( an VIP service that lets you skip the line and reserve bottle ) in conjunction with Perl Media (& others I’m sure) threw a shindig of a wow Thanksgiving Eve Party Wednesday night at the Crystal Tea Room in the Wanamaker Building (Which btw celebrates it’s 100th anniversary this week.)
There were old friends, and new friends catching up.
dancing (There was confetti too)
huggingThe Crystal Tea Room had never seen anything like this before, but the folks I talked to said this layout was better than ever. Reminded them of a real NYC nightclub. Is that still a bad thing to say? (This weekend The tea room hosts the Linda Creed Foundation Luncheon.)
more hugging
and mugging

and dancing
playing drums
and rocking it with more people than The Crystal Tea Room could probably recall in years on it’s dance floor.
eye candy
familiar faces
I like that she wore a long dress. You don’t see that too much anymore.
put your hands in the air, put your hands in the air. I think large white belts are coming back. No more pants on the ground please.
I wear my sunglasses at night. Actually I had a sweet conversation with these two. Now if I could only locate that pad. Although I really didn’t take too many names because it was so loud for me to convey what I was doing, and what I needed them to do.
Things were getting hot and heavy, so I knew it was time for me to go. (Little black skirts will always be in vogue.)
With these 5 nice young ladies into the warm November air. (I guess that’s why they didn’t have jackets.)And with that “Let The Holiday Parties Begin.” But drink responsibly!!
Today starts the practice of moi thanking my advertisers in blog entries since 8% of my readers read PCC via a phone and don’t always see the ads. Today’s sponsor: CTO Entertainment check them out for your next party, event or wedding. Click on the link to listen to what they have to offer. TY


Photos Thanks to those who trekked into Jersey for The Judy Wilkins’ the 2nd Annual Gilda’s Club of SJ Benefit

Happy Birthday my beautiful sister Judy Dillon Wilkins. Today would have been Judy’s 51st birthday, but her life was cut short by cancer, Ovarian Cancer to be specific. The whispering disease as many women don’t realize they have it until to late, and neither did Judy. But today I celebrate her life, and I thank my friends and family for supporting the 2nd Annual Judy Wilkins Gilda Club of SJ event we had at Fleming’s Steakhouse in Marlton NJ on Monday. (Judy above with my youngest sister Crista. Judy knitted this afghan for family friend Colleen Walsh Spangler for her wedding.)
Walt Wilkins and Margie Spurlock, ABC’s Bachelor Season 2010 Craig Robinson and Susie Celek. I love that Margie wore teal, which is the color for Ovarian Cancer. Last year I had two events in Judy’s honor and we raised a total of $10,000 at those two events.
My buddy/co-worker at Fox 29’s Good Day Philadelphia Mike Jerrick came out to support the event. He’s with my sisters Tracy Boneventure and Crista Bateman in front row, Margaret Goleash, Janine DeFeo and Ray LaGreca in the back row. Also spotted Lisa and Diane Libertella, Maryanne Massi, The Shusters, and so many others as the night was a big wonderful blur of happiness.
My Gilda’s Club team mates, Gloss PR Cori Moskow and Ilana Waber with representatives from Gilda’s of SJ, Gilda’s Club South Jersey’s Development Director Lauren Crenshaw and CEO Sarah Griffith. Thank you so much for all your work. Missing from this shot is Billy Sullivan, Operating Manager of Fleming’s Steak House, Marlton NJ

Thanks to all the sponsors who donated items, Lago’s Jewelers, Justin Wineburgh, Zarwin Baum, Sampan, Rouge, Carol Drumsta, Secrets Limo, Deanna Durante, Bob Gaudio (Original member of The Four Seasons and writer of such classics as “Walk Like a Man” and “Sherri Baby”, Eagles coach Andy Reid, Skin Palette, Philadelphia Eagles Jon Dorenbos, DeSean Jackson, Jeremy Maclin, Michael Vick and, Brent Celek, and a dozen more Eagles, Phillies Jimmy Rollins and Johari Rollins, Cole and Heidi Hamels Anonymous, Cashman and Assocs. Walnut Street Theater, Pennsylvania Horticultural Society, Estia Restaurant, Hair of the Dog, Holiday Inn, Palomar Hotel, Sofitel Hotel, Preston & Steve, Marisa Magnatta,
Mom (Virginia Dillon on right) and her high school and traveling bud Shirl
Billy Sullivan greets the crowd as Sarah Griffith, CEO of Gilda’s Club of SJ looks on.

Evan and Lynsie Solomon
Thanks to City of Hope for adding to the great rafffle. I had equally great stuff on both tables raffles and silent auction, so that everyone could have a chance at winning something fun. We had signed Flyers hockey pucks (Thanks to my brother Ray LaGreca), and a Tommy Lasorda signed ball in both auctions (Thanks for the donation from NBC10’s Deanna Durante).
Mom her friend Fred, Jon Dorenbos and my sisters Tracy (l) and Crista (r). Crista just had her third child in less than 4 years, doesn’t she look great? She wanted to have them all before she was 35, she had a plan.
Paula Lisenbee and fiance Philadelphia Eagles, and a darn good singer (go youtube him) Julian Vandervelde.
My good friends Julie and Jon Dorenbos with Rose and Tom Cunningham, Rose is with the David Akers Foundation. She won the Andy Reid signed football. I wonder what is to become of that?
My buds: Arthur Etchells Foobooz and Michelle Cassidy (Yelp)
My niece (and Judy’s daughter) Lauren Wilkins and her beau George Berner
Daniel L. Cevallos, Cevallos & Wong, LLP, Lauren Richmond, Owner at Lauren Richmond Photography, not pictured but somewhere close by Brynne Ashton, Survior season one Gervase Peterson, opening Burnz, a cigar lounge in Lawnside, NJ
Neil Diamond, Connie Rykiel Beach and Tim Beach. Connie and Neil and I were friends growing up in Cherry Hill. (See youse Christmas Eve)
Julie is in the Preston and Steve calendar this year. She signs a copy for the auction. Looking on is my workout partner, GN Kang, who came with her new assistant Kristen Celins and Nicole Herring from the Hamels Foundation Council. (GN takes her workouts much seriously than I do.)
Pastry Princess: Monica Glass was in the house, with Top Cheftestant Jen Carroll. Here she’s with Ilana Waber
Colleen Walsh Spangler, Mrs Ginger Walsh, and Karen Walsh Murphy (Colleen is my sisters childhood friend, and then we all owned condos in the same building in Philadelphia. Now that was fun!!)
Gervase, Lisa Gaudio and Jimmy Kazanjian. Thanks for coming and your family’s generous donation. See you on opening night for Jersey Boys 12/9/11
The DeFeo’s
Vasiliki Tsiouris, KYW 1060’s Hadas Kuznits, Dan Reinherz and George Tsiouris
I support Gilda’s Club because of the free services they provide to people, men or women suffering from cancer. The services include support and networking groups, lectures and workshops, social activities including the knitting club which I am raising money to rename in honor of Judy. We only have $5,000 left to reach our goal of $25,000
The effort will not stop there, as Flemings is committed to hold an event at their Marlton restaurant for as long as we are willing to have it. I am so touch by the generosity of everyone. And the support of my friends who came out, especially in that crazy traffic of South Jersey. I don’t know how anyone commutes. Above: Carmena Ayo-Davies, 3B Markting, GN Kang, Kristen Celins and Nicole Herring.
Laura Burkhardt (The Lab) and my beau of 17 years, Mike Toub
Jon Dorenbos showing my family his magic tricks. In the back row are long time friends from Audubon, NJ Jodie Shaw and Kenny.
Bruce and Michelle Shannon, thanks for stopping by. Check out Philly Mag online to see what their tradition is for Thanksgiving Day.
My niece Colleen Wilkins and her friends, Kara Castillo and Stacie Viggiano. The Clean Up Crew.

Thanks to Mike Jerrick for setting up this shot of the room. Check out my segment on Fox 29 Wednesday morning at 9:15AM, and also my column in Philly Mag today to see another pix & story, ok it’s similar to this one. Thanks to everyone who made this a success: Over 125 people came out to support the event. Thank you all very much. We will be doing it again next year. In the meantime if you would like to make a gift to Gilda’s Club in honor of my sister, Judy Wilkins Click HERE. Happy Thanksgiving, and thanks.