5th Anniversary Post: Philly Style Mag’s White Party 2008

Oh boy’s 5th Anniversary is coming up on July 7 (07/07/07). I had been planning since the begining of the year to do a few special 5th Anniversary Posts, but the time has escaped me. So I give you one now, and throughout June I will pop a few more up. On twitter I will highlight a notable party or two, and the occasional random entry from my nearly 3,000. I haven’t missed a day in 4 years. Sorry I  may be rambling cause that’s what I do best, it’s a conversation, I don’t have an editor, I never took formal writing or even photography courses, but I’ve always been curious. That’s how these pages started, I’m curious and then I like to share the results with youse. Thank you for that.
For the first three and a half years of PCC I was a paralegal, and the blog was my hobby. Since January 2011 it’s been my full time job. Before 7/7/07 I didn’t know anyone I covered on these pages, sure I knew of some of the more notable people like
 Sharon Pinkenson, Mary Patel or Mayor Nutter, and by knowing them, I mean from reading about them in the newspaper, never met them. My anniversary is in a month, I had planned all year long to revisit some of my favorite parties every month but I ran out of time as I was keeping a busy schedule. Now here at 2AM on the eve of a holiday weekend I was thinking now is as good as time as ever, even though I do have at least a half dozen current events I need to get to.

Although I started in 2007, this party – The Philadelphia Style Magazine White Party – which was held in August 2008, was really the beginning of my foray into covering social Philly life, the previous entries were really chitchat about anything, especially the celebrities I covered on my trips to NYC. Plus I had covered the Phila Film Festival and followed Thom Cardwell around, but a lot of that I’ll save for my book called “Off The Record”, which I definitely won’t be writing for at least 20 years, I’d like to still eat lunch in this town again. (Does anyone remember that book?). Actually I’m only kidding, it was great having him as my mentor and chronicling his life. It’s how I got my first photo published in a Philly Newspaper, in Dan Gross’ column. It was at one of the film festival parties I met the biggest mentor of my career, Michael Klein, and then we subsequently worked together for 4 years.

guest, Thom Cardwell, Farley Granger and James Dugan at the PIGLTF 2008

On occasion I would cover charity events, but I really didn’t know how to get invited to them, or even what a PR person did or that they were the key to to accessibility.  Over the years the blog has been our teacher to the elements that go in throwing a party, (what does PR do, who created the environment?) events, or getting publicity for a client. Above Sarah Doheny and John Soden. Over the top and stylish, I named her the Style PR Diva after seeing her in this Bjork inspired outfit, and the name stuck as I believe she uses it in her moniker.

This was the time in my life where I hadn’t yet adopted my trademark of wearing black. In the first 2 years when I started PCC, once or twice a week after working 8 – 3PM (no lunch) at the law firm, I would hop a train to NYC and cover a red carpet or three, hop back on the train at 11PM or sometimes at 3AM. (Sometimes I would go straight into work w/o sleep.)

I remember for this party I had to buy white clothes. I don’t look good in white. In this picture we have Nathan Lerner (with black jacket on). He’s a writer and the king of movie ticket giveaways. i realized I made it in this Philadelphia Social World when I made it on his VIP movie list for tickets. I’ve never had the time to use any of his tickets. After years of harassment  I gave a pair of Mann Music tickets to Mike to take his mom. Nathan has been a tremendous mentor to me, especially in the beginning when I was completely clueless. On the right, David Wagaman, Capriccio Cafe Cret and and Dennis Fee, Co-owner of Tavern on Camac & Uncles.

Jill Rizen (3rd from left) – 5 years later she’s in love and planning a wedding to Andy Henning, Elaine Grabar (2nd from right) and Michelle Ranieri. This was the first time I photographed these girls.
Sheryl Raskin and Meredith Trotter – two PR peeps you don’t see on the social scene as much anymore, but still working in their fields and raising their families in the burbs. 

Carrie Nork, now Minelli and hubby Dino Minelli. Carrie at the time was VP for Cashman & Associates and is not the Marketing Director at Parx Casino. I’ll see her tonight when I photograph the Mob Diva’s at 7PM, stop by. Dino represents Devotion Vodka.

Nicole Cashman, President and founder of Cashman & Associates Public Relations Firm.  In 2008, Cashman was the Queen of PR. She set a standard that PR peeps today still look to for promoting clients, whether it’s creating a buzz or throwing fabulous parties that will have people talking about them for days, months or even today. Once I heard she sent invitations to a party for a client and it came in a block of ice.  Now that’s memorable.

Michelle Miller. I didn’t know her back then. When I was reviewing my shots I saw her in them. I remember shooting this photo thinking a delicious tall glass of something beautiful.
Matt Vlahos, he had only been in town about 8 months by the time of the White Party, and really hit the ground running making his mark. A former reporter he is meticulous, organized and has a creative mind, all of which makes for a good PR. Once he included a cantaloupe in everyone’s gift bag at the James restaurant opening.

Susan Helfrich and Rich Wolff, They were heavily on the social scene, but have now taken a back seat to their thriving film studio. Right now they’re at the Cannes International Film Festival selling their products.

I think this is the party I where I met Donna Coghlan. Sweet, engaged now.

Man of Mystery: The guy on the left was always at all the right parties, but I don’t know what he did or what his name is but he is always with the beautiful ladies.

Mary Patel, was a political writer for the City Paper, plus appeared weekly on the news show hosted by Monica Malpass. She was probably the “biggest” name that I photographed in that first year.  She had a brilliant command of the political social scene, and no one has ever replaced her. She lives in LA now with her fiance. 
Carly Walko, John Colabelli and Lauren O’Dorisio. This was the first photo of them together taken. They had gone out on about one date and a lot of people didn’t know they were dating. There was no Sabrina Tamburino on the scene yet, that was to come as I met her in the fall of 2008. Have a safe and wonderful Memorial Day Weekend. I’ll have a special entry on Monday, and coverage of Beyonce next week. I think these two look exactly the same since August 2008.