Monthly Archives

February 2013


Kacie McDonnell , Marisa Magnatta, Laura Burkhardt, Brian Sims and Maria Papadakis: Cheer for Prohibition

In the “spirit” of the National Constitution Center’s world-premiere exhibition,
American Spirits: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition, Philadelphia’s top
bartenders will compete to create the “Best ’20s-inspired cocktail” using Blue Coat Gin,
hand crafted by Philadelphia Distilling, as their primary ingredient.

Their creations were judged by popular Philadelphia personalities including
Laura Burkhardt, WHERE Magazine Publisher; Marisa Magnatta, Associate Producer of WMMR’s Preston and Steve Morning Show;
Brian Sims, Pennsylvania State Representative. Maria Papadakis, Emmy award-winning media personality
and host of “Out and About” on; and   FOX 29 traffic reporter
Kacie McDonnell serves as emcee. 

 Maria Farricielli, Fox 29’s Business Development Account Manager. and Margaret Cronan, Chief Communications Officer at National Constitution Center
About American Spirits: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition – Now
through April 28, 2013, the era of flappers and suffragists,
bootleggers and temperance lobbyists, and real-life legends like Al
Capone and Carry Nation vividly
come to life in the National Constitution Center’s world-premiere exhibition
American Spirits: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition
(I saw it, it was fascinating.)
Mixologist Nate Churchill, XIX restaurant and bar, tells me he created his prohibition drink in about a minute.
He’s a big fan of Bluecoat and knew which ingredients would work well with the gin, lemon juice, fresh OJ, dashes bitters, and honey. He then poured it in a mason jar, as this was the prohibition era and that was what people might drink cocktails in back them.

 Then there was Stephen Diaz’s “The Red Fizz Charleston”, made with 2oz Bluecoat, 1oz Germain, his own reciepe of fresh raspberry syrup topped off with a dry Brut champagnes and a twist of lemon and fresh raspberries on a skewer.

 A recent addition to Palomar Hotel’s Square 1682, Chaucey Scates’ created the popular “Powder Room Punch” with gin, cointreau, jasmine tea, lemon grenadine, peychaunds bitters and angostura bitters.

 Finally house bartender, Bess Gulliver created “The Jazz Baby”, gin, Carpano Antica Formula Vermouth with Pierre Reeand and Dry Orange Curacao, Averna Amaro garnished with a flamed orange peel.

 South Philly Fashionista blogger Michelle Boyles, Julie Shannon, Editorial Events Coordinator for Metro US, Delsea football beat writer, foodie, fitness guru and Philly sports and Anna Aagenes, Greater Philadelphia Area – District Office Director, Office of Representative Brian Sims

Lisa Bass, Bourse Building (Who tells me she loves the Blue Coat as it’s not real ginny) and Lisa Breen

 It was good to catch up with Karen Gross, a former Where Magazine editor that works at the Constitution Center, but is also pursuing a cabaret singing career divides her time between Philly and Manhattan in pursuit of that goal, with Laura Burkhart, Where Magazine publisher.

 Rudy Fleisher, Here’s My Chance (PS I didn’t notice his flawless finger nails til late, I would have asked him if he were a typist?)

Michelle Boyles and Brett Copol both of Metro Philly Newspaper

Alison Young, Vice President of External Affairs at the National Constitution Center and Brian Sims, Pennsylvania State Representative.

Laurel Fairworth,  President at Cachet Communications and Kathy Zapp, Of Montgomery Media

 Kacie McDonnell, Fox 29 Traffic and Maria Papadakis, plus has become a regular contributor to Fox 29 Good Day Philly. Prizes were awarded in two categories—Judge Favorite and Guest Favorite.  

The Guest Favorite will win an annual membership to the National Constitution
Center. And the winner is The Ritz Carlton Fizz!!

 Happy February Birthday to Matt Vlahos, Vlahos PR (2/28), Sarah Cooper Bobersky (2/8) and Big Rube Harley (2/23)

 Adam Judeh, GM XIX restaurant, winning bartender Nate Churchill thanking the organizers, Maria Papadakis, Marisa Magnatt and Brian Sims. Adam Judeh tells me that Orange Blossom will now be served at the XIX bar. (The Judge’s Favorite will receive
an annual membership to the National Constitution Center; a one night’s stay at the Hotel Monaco; a
With Love gift bag, courtesy of and the Greater
Philadelphia Marketing and Tourism Corporation; and a feature on the
National Constitution Center’s website.)

Sunset from the Stratus Lounge. Can’t wait until summer, this place is going to be kickin it

 Then Laura and I headed to Red Owl Tavern for a bite to eat. OMG the Chicken Pot Pie keeps getting better and better. I highly recommend it, as I do the

The curry mussels.

Fashion Friday Night Out – Kembrel’s Replica is Brillant and US U.S. Parties PLUS A RAW Deal

It seemed like it was Fashion Friday Night Out last week as the FBH Philadelphia Fashion Week hosted their 2nd night of runway delectable’s in Northern Liberties and I found myself  running to a few spots in town.

I knew it would be a fun night of fashion as I ran into Sabir Peele as I exited the bus. Sabir is the founder and creative director of the popular Men’s Style Pro blog, where
he models the latest in men’s fashion and doles out advice. It’s a family affair as his wife takes all the photos for the site. Recently he came out with his own shoe line, which he tells me is doing well.

Mike and I hit Kembrel first for their one year anniversary.

Kembrel has two stores in the City, the other is near 12th and Locust. They sell men’s and women’s clothes and accessories. I saw a lot of great shirts, for Mike, cause you know I only wear black.

Chad Boonswang and Ron Hansen

Katie English and Christie Honigman arrive to go party hopping with us.  These two gals could have their own blog with the styles they wear every day.

Fashion Forward
The gift bag is coming back. During the height of the recession, gift bags seemed to have disappeared, now they’re back. That’s a good sign.

Then we headed over to Replica Creative for the PHS Flower Show with  PHS President, Drew Becher, Keith Leaphart, brand manager at Replica Creative and The Philadelphia Flower Show 2013 chair Steven Bessellieu  with an
hourly light and sound show.

PHS officials, Sam Lemheney, Lisa Stefano and guest

The largest indoor flower show in the nation, the PHS Philadelphia Flower Show is going to be “Brilliant!” in its 184th year.
Capturing the majestic beauty and creative inspiration of Great
Britain, displays at this year’s Flower Show will pay tribute to
centuries of inspiring, influential design sense of London.
Visitors will be greeted by the scent of thousands of English roses
at the Royal palace gates, which open to the show’s grand centerpiece: a
sculptural, digitally enhanced rendition of Big Ben, complete

Then we headed over to the US*U.S One Year Anniversary Party.
Jeffrey Bussmann and designer Lobo Mau Designer Nicole Haddad 
Donna Mitchell wearing designer Lele Tran

@ Us U. S. ONE YEAR Anniversary party in old city w/@chonigman @kerryE @kristynmarie22  and KatieEnglish and designer Lele Tran showing the girls all the different ways you can wear her custom mad scarf. There’s at least 4 ways. Here’s a fun article on about Lele and her unique showroom.

Ian Michael Crumm, Mr John and Donna Cristino
Christie Honigman, Katie English, Kristyn Aldrich and Kerry English
Ross Ericsson, Laura Galindo, and Brent Ericsson

Frederick Calalang is the City Director for RAW: natural born artists Philadelphia and designer Mariel Rojo. THE RUMORS ARE TRUE! BOYD TINSLEY OF DAVE
MATTHEWS BAND is playing a show at RAW, and they are screening his
new film Faces In The Mirror.
As usual RAW is pullin’ out all the stops for our live show; with 4 bands, fashion designers showcasing
on the runway, body painters, visual artists, painters, photographers,
and more. So come see Philly’s version of America’s Got Talent tomorrow
at LIT

 Then we headed over to Ela for dinner. Kristyn, Kerry, Christie, Kory, Teresa, Katie and Mike


Kendra Wilkinson Baskett (& maybe Julie Dorenbos) Swaps Lives With Kate Gosselin Tonight

Tonight is Kendra Wilkinson Baskett ‘s Celebrity Wife Swap with Kate Gosselin on ABC at 8pm. Julie Dorenbos, who has appeared on the E! Kendra show, traveled to Kate Gosselin’s home to visit Kendra while she was playing mommy to Kate’s kids.


It was exhausting, but Julie said the kids were adorable and loved Kendra. I can’t wait to see how easily Kate slides into Kendra’s Hollywood life, a life that Kate seems to desire a great deal. 

Word on the street is there is an epic blow up that would make Krystal and Alexis blush. “Celebrity Wife Swap” starts its second season Tuesday, 2/26 at 8 PM on ABC.


Ticket Giveaway: The Met: Live in HD at the Movies Saturday 3/2/13 NOON

Ticket Giveaway:
PhillyChtitChat invites you and a guest to experience the magic of The Met. For one night only,
Parsifal LIVE comes to life on the silver screen. Jonas Kaufmann
stars in the title role of the innocent who finds wisdom in François
Girard’s new vision for Wagner’s final masterpiece. His fellow Wagnerian
luminaries include Katarina Dalayman as the
mysterious Kundry, Peter Mattei as the ailing Amfortas, Evgeny Nikitin
as the wicked Klingsor, and René Pape as the noble knight Gurnemanz.
Daniele Gatti conducts.
Experience the seventh season of the Metropolitan Opera’s Peabody and Emmy Award-winning series
The Met: Live in HD in movie theaters nationwide. The broadcast of Wagner’s
Parsifal will be presented live for only one day on Saturday, March 2, 2013 at 12:00 PM ET in select movie theaters.
enter for a chance to win a pair of tickets to see this original
cinematic event, email your full name, address and phone number to
subject line “PHILLY CHIT CHAT – Parsifal Live” all entries must be
placed by Thursday, February 31 to ensure winners can be notified by the
event date.
any members interested in purchasing tickets to this one-time event can
view information on Parsifal LIVE and purchase their tickets at:
Winners will be notified by Friday, March 1.
Theaters near Philadelphia (metro area) where The Met: LIVE in HD will be taking place at are listed below:
Burlington 20
Hamilton Commons 14
Warrington Crossing 22
Plymouth Meeting 12
Neshaminy 24
Town Center Plaza
Brandywine Town Center 16

Reading Movies 11

(Sponsored Post)


The Ritz Carlton Oscar Night and Valentine To the Reading Terminal Gala

This weekend, in fact every night since Thursday has been packed with a few amazing events. The spring social season has begun. Monday is always insane for me as I have three columns due in addition to my entry.  
Over one I covered the Valentine to the Market. Which is an annual event that the Reading Terminal puts on to raise funds near and dear to it’s heart. It’s a lot of fun, especially with the smorgosboard of food stands that participate in the night, the Philebrities participating in the pretzel twisting contest and the fashionable folks that turn out to support the good cause.
So go over to PhillyMag and read all about it HERE (PS remember to like the page if you LIKE The Pixs. Thanks!)
Then Sunday night I headed over to the Ritz Carlton and their 2nd Annual Oscar Night Celebration
 Co-hosted by Jimmy Contreras,, and Philadelphia Style magazine’s editor-in-chief Kristin Detterline and sponsored by the George Clooney & Rande Gerber (Mr Cindy Crawford) new line of liquor Casamigos Tequila and Tito’s Handmade Vodka


2013 Fur Ball “All You Need Is Love” in Photos

Philadelphia’s Morris Animal Refuge held its 16th annual evening of fun, fundraising, and love for animals—the Fur Ball at the University of the Arts Hamilton Hall last week.

The theme of the 2013 Fur Ball was “All You Need Is Love,” and guests “celebrated the
era when flower power reigned and tie-dye was the trend.” This year’s event theme is especially
important, as it rings true in pet ownership—all you need is love to change an animal’s life. 

Jim DePaul who 
has been with the Morris Animal Refuge since 1991.  Started as a
volunteer, and then worked his way up from Kennel Attendant to the
position of General Manager, welcomes the guests and recognizes this years honorees.

 Including presenting the prestigious Elizabeth Morris Award to honored guest Anne Irwin, the Executive Director of the Bucks County SPCA. The Elizabeth Morris Award is presented annually to a person or organization that has made a significant impact upon animal welfare over the last calendar year. Irwin recently oversaw the development of a new facility for the Bucks County SPCA which doubled their capabilities to rescue animals. Irwin said that saving animals has come a long since she took the position. These days there are felony animal laws, provisions from judges that remove animals from abusive homes, respect from the community, it’s easier to save the lives of animals now.

 I love, love, love surprise awards. This young lady thought she was going to give an award to Jim DePaul but he turned the tables on her and said he was there to honor her. Catherine Scafidi, accompanied by her husband Ernest with Annemarie O’Donnell, Member and Chair, Volunteer Committee and Philadelphia’s Fox 29 weather anchor Sue Serio who was the evening’s emcee. Catherine Scafidi has volunteered at the Morris Animal Refuge for 28 years. Well deserved!!

 The Morris Animal Refuge Board of Directors recently announced an ambitious five year plan. The
purpose of this strategic plan is to dramatically increase adoptions, enhance the Refuge’s Center
City facilities, expand programs and refocus the direction of the Refuge’s mission and goals.

Donielle Powell and Wayne Humphrey. Wayne tells me he bought this shirt for his brothers bachelor party two years ago. The theme was Boogie Nights. He hasn’t worn it since. The duo love supporter the Morris Animal Refuge, and were excited to celebrate their love of beagles, I mean the Beatles.
 Ara Aurigian and Donna Ingling
 Cindy Deluca gets her fun face on

Laura DiFrancesco, Billy Vargus, Philadelphia’s Fox 29 weather anchor Sue Serio served as the evening’s emcee and Miss Pennsylvania USA Jessica Billings.

Did you know you can adopt a pet virtually. No animal brought to our door is ever turned away. Unfortunately not all
animals find new homes. It takes hard work, sometimes a little luck,
and always the generosity of our friends to feed, care for and find
homes for our abused, neglected and abandoned friends. Please help us in our mission and save a life today!

 Grace Labouchere and her son George Clothier
 Dr Jessica Owkun and Dr Ralph Guarneri
Christine Goetschius MS, OTR/L, Director of Rehabilitation Services at Drexel and James Miller
 Bruce Braverman and Ellen Seidman wearing original outfits from their days in the ’60s. Bruce was in the service, and Ellen wore her outfit to Woodstock. The duo met in the 70’s, finally were engaged in the 80’s. It didn’t work out and they married other people. Fast forward to the new century and they re-connected on Facebook and have taken up where they left off. Ellen tells me that these days they’re happier then ever, they’re enjoying ever moment of their lives and it’s smooth sailing.

 Jana and Dave Challenger
 Diane O’Mara, Jana Challenger and Maria Quattrone

 Amit Gabai, photographer extraordinaire as well as Massage Therapy for your home & workplace at RelaxPhilly
Sey Gillespie, Nyraie Ellison and Edith Arrington

To learn more about the Morris Animal Refuge, visit their website at


DoGooder Awards – My Philly Mag Link – And A Few Thoughts

Thanks to the Do Gooder committee and everyone I’ve ever photographer and has allowed me to tell their story on my blog. I am so honored to be recognized in this manner, and thrilled someone could surprise me in such a touching way. It was great receiving the award from the Mayor and I was touched by all the nice things he said as well as how funny the delivery was, as always by him.

Thanks to Kevin Colahan and David Gloss from Here’s My Chance, 
two great people with a magnificent idea, after my own heart. Because for me it’s all about doing good by other where is concerned. I may write about people, but the underlying focus for me is the charities I cover. I remember the first year I covered charities, I didn’t get a lot of readers, it’s when I focused on the people who went, their stories, lives and the gossip/tidbits they shared, is when I really started getting the readership, and was able to get the message out about all the great charities that touch peoples lives.

Thanks to Skai Blue Media, and to all the people I might not know who were involved with this award. To my friends, many of who were there last night, which I thought was odd, even though they are all Good Doers.

Finally, thank you to my life partner Mike Toub, who encourages me, supports me, challenges me, and loves me through all my moods. 

Here’s my column at Philly Mag and I have to say it could have been better as I’m still on cloud 9 and my concentration is shot. Thanks again everyone.

Plus I have more photos on, of the evening. It’s great to have these two powerful outlets to get the message out on all the good things that Philly has to offer, and what people are doing.

Have a great weekend. Follow me on Instagram: PhillyChitChat or on twitter @iphillychitchat for my whereabouts this weekend. Tonight I’m hitting up Kembrel, Replica Creative and U.S.US 1 year anniversary party. Then heading to Ela with friends to celebrate.Saturday is the Valentine to the Market, then Sunday is the Oscar party at the Ritz-Carlton at 6PM. Have a safe weekend. HughE


Joan Shepp a Women of Substance and Style

There are clothing shops in Center City, then there’s Joan Shepp’s, it’s an institution, she’s an innovator and very philanthropic and last week she had her 13th Annual Women of Substance and Style recognition party at her store 1616 Walnut Street in honor of Black History Month

Joan and Ellen Shepp greet their guests
 Andrea Muhammad, Faatimah Abdul-Haqq (Mrs Kenny Gamble) and Tuesday Gordon,

David K Simms from Eatible Delights Catering, (r)

Desiree Peterkin-Bell, Communications and Strategy at Office of the Mayor, Michael A. Nutter, Joan Shepp, and Melanie Johnson, special events director for the City of Philadelphia (Happy Birthday Melanie)

Joan Shepp has a men’s department. It’s there you can find Ricky Cantando to assist you in all your fashionable needs.

Jade Barnes, Skai Blue Media, Kharisma McIlwaine, TV Host for The CW/CBS3 Singer Musician Actress and Rakia Reynolds, Owner/Skai Blue Media looking hot in her Joan Shepp’ Issey Miyake dress.

Ora Moore, Jennie Bennett and Tuesday Gordon

Rakia Reynolds looking good, who’s helping to style her? It’s her new summer intern Ian Michael Crumm.
Ruth Butler

Nadirah DeLuca invites her son up to help her accept her award. She was diagnosed with Juvenile Diabetes a few years ago, normally a shy women who does wonderful acts of kindness behind the scenes, her sons encouraged her to be more public and outspoken in matters, to find a cure, to make a difference. It was really a moving speech. A portion of the proceeds of the event went to benefit the Foundation for Type I Diabetes.

Berlinda Garnett, for being an Emmy nominated Producer for Good Day at Fox 29  (She’s one of my producers when I appear on Good Day)

Tashyra Ayers and brother Tyrone Ayers, Personal Shopper/Wardrobe Stylist

Philly Fashion Bloggers: Blair, Karima Renee, and Mecca Nori,
Sara Kelly, Sara Kelly PR, Garrett Olthuis, Stylist and Gina Gannon, Television Traffic Reporter/ Host/ Spokesmodel /Blogger
The following night the two fashionista’s were at the charitable Mondo Valentine’s Day event at Hotel Palomar. Sara Kelly, Sara Kelly PR, Garrett Olthuis, Stylist 
Lisa Garnett, Bruce F Burton, Berlinda Garnett and Derek H Haufeias, Sr

The King of East Passyunk Avenue & Nice Things Handmade

Earlier this month I headed over to East Passyunk Avenue to meet Kory Aversa for dinner. Kory is the king of East Passyunk Ave. He is a passionate supporter of all things Passyunk. You just can’t meet him for dinner, as he just naturally wants to talk about his favorite neighborhood, give you the lowdown and all the great things coming up. You’re stomach may be growling for grub, but he’s so persuasive and how a tour of all the going ons and what the East Passyunk Business Improvement District and what Queen Renee Gilinger are up to.

The night I visited, 2nd Saturday was winding down. 2nd Saturday is East Passyunk’s answer to Old City’s First Friday. The stores are open later in the evening. There’s wine cheese and special exhibits, art openings etc. I arrived as Kory was making his rounds, taking photos for facebook and chronicling the night. He said you have to come check out this cool store called “Nice Things Handmade”  at 1731 E Passyunk Ave
Elissa K Kara, Owner/Artist of Nice Things Handmade and Jennifer Nonas, a therapist/artist who is surviving cancer.

 Kara decided to host a fundraiser to raise funds to assist Jennifer in her medical bills/living expenses. Since Valentine’s Day was coming up she solicited artist friends to create these cute ornamental hearts. I bought a couple, they were so cute.

 Jesse Sweet, Amber Zaraza, Soozie Savage and Kim Mason

 Chris Guerrer, Rogue Theory, Amy Buller – B Goods and Paul Buller, who created Hipster Bingo

Hipster Bingo. You take it to a coffee store and every time you spot a hipster you check off one of the squares. It’s a good time killer, especially during writers block.

I found this item to be interesting. It’s an octopus mobile created by an artist of leftover crochet material her mother left unfinished when she passed away from cancer. I remember Judy (my sister) had a lot of left over projects when she died, I’m not sure what happened to it, but this is a good idea to do. We had dinner at BIRRA. It was delicious and a good time.

What else is coming up on East Passyunk Avenue  
East Passyunk Restaurant Week
When: Sunday, February 24-Saturday, March 2
Where: Participating East Passyunk restaurants
Cost: $15-$35
More info:


Valentine’s Nay! an anti-Valentine’s Day Party at Architeqt Salon & Gallery

This past fall, well-loved Philly hair stylist Alexey Kats opened Architeqt Salon and Gallery,
on Valentine’s Day they hosted a different kind of party to celebrate the day, a sorta pick me up beauty day with Philadelphia’s About Face Skin Care  Valentine’s Nay! an
anti-Valentine’s Day party, took place from 6 to 9 p.m. on Thursday,
February 14th at Architeqt Salon & Gallery, and included blowouts, Botox treatments, champagne and cherry bourbon cocktails along with a host of other treats.

Architeqt employee Jacklyn Bruning and Salon Owner
Alexey Kats
Katya Rodionova and Brittiany Cunningham, Hair Stylist at Architeqt Salon & Gallery
 Caitlyn Cuttitta, Alice Bailey, and Emily Bartlett
show off their new hairstyles
 Lauren Weiss and Randi Docktor

Alexey Kats and Anya Bado,  About Face SkinCare (Registered Nurse) and studied at Roxborough Memorial Hospital School of Nursing
blow out
Tastemakers Julie DiLeo and Kristen Motta

“The salon, which specializes in dry cuts, Balayage hair coloring and
luxe Keratin treatments, also offers a range of bridal services, from
on-location hair and makeup (one of the salon’s stylists and bridal specialists is Jen Luszczak, about whom Philly Mag wrote this
when awarding her Best of Philly in 2010) to the ability to rent out
the entire space for up to 12 people, where you and your girls can get
beautified for the Big Day.” (PhillyMagBride)

 Stuart Feldman and Sue Stauffer
Liz Einhorn and Jennifer Luszczak. Check out their Facebook page featuring lots of different haircuts as well as news on extensions. (FB)

(Thanks to Photographer Mike Hirata for shooting this event for PCC. Sponsored Post)