Monthly Archives

June 2013


July 4th Street Closures in Philadelphia 2013

Wawa Welcome America July 4th Independence Day Parade Street Closures

Old City Area

Welcome America July 4th Independence Day Parade
July 4th, 2013

Start Time: 11:00AM (5th & Chestnut Streets) End Time: 1:30PM (Front & Chestnut Streets)

Route: WB on Chestnut Street to 9th Street; NB on 9th Street to Market
Street; EB on Market Street to Front Street; SB on Front Street to
Chestnut Street; End & Disperse
“No Parking” Areas
Parking will not be permitted on July 4th from 6AM to 2:30PM on the following streets:
– Chestnut Street from 5th Street to Front Street (Both Sides)
– 5th Street from Market Street to Walnut Street (Both Sides)
– 4th Street from Market Street to Chestnut Street (West Side Only)
– Front Street from Market Street to Dock Street (Both Sides)
– Chestnut Street Viaduct
Parking will not be permitted on July 4th from 9AM to 2PM on the following streets:
– Chestnut Street from 6th Street to 9th Street (Both Sides)
– 9th Street from Market Street to Chestnut Street (Both Sides)
– Market Street from 9th Street to Front Street (Both Sides)
Street Closures
Beginning @ 6AM
– 5th Street from Walnut Street to Market Street
– Ranstead Street from 4th Street to 5th Street
– Ludlow Street from 4th Street to 5th Street
Beginning @ 7AM
– Chestnut Street from Front Street to 2nd Street
– Chestnut Street from 2nd Street to 3rd Street
– Chestnut Street from 3rd Street to 4th Street
– Chestnut Street from 4th Street to 5th Street
– Chestnut Street from 5th Street to 6th Street

Beginning @ 10:45AM
– Chestnut Street from 9th Street to 6th Street
– Ranstead Street from 9th Street to 6th Street
– 9th Street from Chestnut to Market Street
– Market Street from 9th Street to Front Street
– 8th Street from Arch Street to Walnut Street
– 7th Street from Arch Street to Walnut Street
– 6th Street from Arch Street to Chestnut Street
– 5th Street from Arch Street to Market Street
– Front Street from Arch Street to Dock Street
– 4th Street from Arch Street to Walnut Street
– 3rd Street from Arch Street to Walnut Street
– 2nd Street from Arch Street to Walnut Street
– Strawberry Street from Market Street to Chestnut Street
– Bank Street from Market Street to Chestnut Street

Please note that, in addition to the closures listed, Chestnut Street
will be closed between 5th Street & 6th Street at times on July 2nd
and July 3rd for the Pops on Independence Concert. See times below:
07/02: – 9:30am-3pm and – 7pm-11:59pm
07/03: – 9:30am-11:59pm
07/04 – 12am-5pm

The Art Museum Area

There will be no parking enforced from 7:00 PM July 3, 2012, to 7:00 AM on July 5, 2012 at the following locations:
2200-2900 Blocks of Pennsylvania Avenue-South Side Only
2300-2400 Blocks of Fairmount Avenue
20th Street from Callowhill South to Spring Garden
21st Street from Pennsylvania North to Spring Garden
2100-1900 Block of Hamilton Street
23rd Spring Garden to Broad Streets
1600-2000 Block of Arch Street
1500-1700 Block of J.F.K.
Pennsylvania Avenue south side must remain clear to prevent potential gridlock during the concert and fireworks.

The following street closures will be in effect at 4:00 PM on July 4, 2012:
Fairmount closes to westbound traffic at Corinthian, and will be diverted Northbound onto Corinthian.
15th, 17th, 19th, and 21st Streets will be closed to Southbound
traffic at Spring Garden and diverted Eastbound onto Spring Garden
toward Broad Street. (If you live in this area, you have to produce ID to prove it. If you’re going to a party, I believe they make you park outside the zone.)
Spring Garden Street will be closed to Westbound traffic at Broad
Street.  Callowhill Street will be closed to Westbound traffic at Broad
Hamilton Street will be closed to westbound traffic at 17th Street.
29th Southbound will be shut down at Poplar Street and will be diverted onto Poplar Street, East Bound or Westbound.
 SEPTA Public Transportation Information

July 4

subway will run until 12:30 A.M. on July 5.

will run on its usual schedule of 24 hours/day at 15 minute intervals.

Regional Rain will run to all 12 destinations.

will depart from Suburban Station between 11:30 A.M. and midnight.

departing times will be advertised in Suburban Station.  

buses will be staged on 20th and 21st streets.



(I finally found the Sansom St location the other day and took a photo. It kinda blends in with the old school dated 60s facade of the parking lot that it’s below.)
PHILADELPHIA, PA – On Saturday, July 6, Federal Donuts the trend-setting donuts-and-fried-chicken shop, will celebrate National Fried Chicken Day at its two locations in Center City at 1632 Sansom Street and in South Philadelphia at 1219 South 2nd Street by giving away 10 Golden Tickets
Distributed among chicken orders at both locations, the tickets will
entitle bearers to a variety of prizes, from t-shirts and complimentary
coffee beans and for one lucky person there will be a prize of Free Fried Chicken for Life
Willy Wonka once said, ‘A little nonsense now and then is relished by
the wisest men’ – and in his honor, we’ve created these 10 Golden
Tickets to celebrate one of our favorite things: fried chicken,” says
co-owner Chef Michael Solomonov.  “Federal Donuts has been, from
the very outset, a slightly off-the-wall project, and that’s the spirit
of this National Fried Chicken Day ‘Contest’.”
at 11 a.m. on July 6, when Federal Donuts starts its chicken service,
every order of succulent, Korean-style fried chicken may contain one of
the ten Tickets.  Each will be redeemable for a specific prize,
including the grand prize of fried chicken for life.  That lucky diner
will win one complimentary order of fried chicken weekly for the
remainder of their days – and the envy of food lovers across the
country, who regularly travel to Philadelphia for Federal Donuts’
delectable birds and ‘nuts.
Restaurateurs Steven Cook and Solomonov, along with BODHi Coffee owners Tom Henneman and Bob Logue, and local food-and-drink expert Felicia D’Ambrosio opened
the first location Federal Donuts location in October 2011, and it
quickly became one of Philadelphia’s hottest meals.  The eatery has been
featured in The New York Times, where restaurant critic Pete
Wells wrote that, “At the moment…Philadelphia’s most dedicated eaters
covet no prize more than a red ticket [for chicken] at Federal Donuts,
with the possible exception of the morning’s last glazed donut.” 
Solomonov and his chicken and donuts have received national attention
appearing on VH1’s “Morning Buzz” and ABC’s “The Chew,” and have been
featured in Bon AppetitDetails, Afar, Everyday with Rachael Ray which included the spicy PB&J donut as one of “America’s Best Donuts” and Saveur which selected Federal Donuts as one of the “Top 50 Donuts in America.”

Federal Donuts storefronts focus on take-out business.  They serve
seven days a week from 7 a.m. until they run out of food, usually in the
early afternoon.  Chicken is available beginning at 11 a.m. daily.  For
more information, follow them on Twitter and Instagram @federaldonuts, on Facebook or visit


PLEASE CALL TO UNCAP THE Pennsylvania Tax Film Credits -Call Leadership today to support uncapping the PA Film Tax credit.

It’s budget negotiation time again and we need your support to save the PA Film Production Tax Credit program!
year we are facing a particularly difficult budget negotiation with a
new administration and a very large state wide deficit.
Corbett needs to hear your message and understand the beneficial
economic impact the Film Tax Credit has on businesses in southwestern
Pennsylvania and the Commonwealth.
Please call the Governor and your local State Representative and State Senator. Tell them how the program has impacted YOU!
To make this process easy for you here are some helpful links:
Click HERE to find PA Senators and House of Representatives in your district.
Click HERE to find out how to reach Governor Tom Corbett.
You may use our SAMPLE LETTER to get you started.
film industry in our region needs the Film Tax Credit program for
continued growth. Please join us in saving this valuable program.


Over the past month I’ve visited my favorite hotel/casino/resort in Atlantic City, Revel, three times, overall about a dozen times. This year I haven’t had the time to really write about my experiences, but I do usually tweet, instagram and vine about it, but I’ve added more than just 140 characters here.

 The food, I love the restaurants. Don’t get me wrong I love a good casino buffet too, but I love that Revel has so many great places to eat, and it doesn’t hurt that many of the chefs are “celebrity chefs” like Jose Garces and Marc Forgione with celebrity chef Kati Lee. Revel invited me to come to their Food & Wine Weekend.
 Lisa Johnson, Lisa Johnson Communications, Tammy Ferger, Daniela Hewitt and Prajakta Harshe-Patharkar (She co-owns C19, 267 S 19th St, a great Italian Restaurant in Rittenhouse, besides the famous meatballs, my fav dish is
Tri-Colored Beet Carpaccio with Marinated Micro Salad, Local Goat Cheese, and Toasted Walnuts)
 The Chefs of Revel: Marcello Guevara, Fabien Luchaig and Roberto Gutierrez, so when you eat at the Alcove,

 Sky Cafe, Room Service or poolside, these are the guys creating those meals. I had room service the last weekend, a cobb salad was $17, which is reasonable, and it delicious. Revel invited me to their fireworks show, but I didn’t couldn’t stay overnight as I had something to do the next day. But it’s one of the easier casino’s to drive to, exit 2, towards Borgata, but then take the first exit on your right and it’s a straight shot to Revel.  Parking at revel is $5, unless you have the Revel Casino card. Then it’s free. (No brainer)

Revel is located at the North End of the Atlantic City Boardwalk. This is the view from my room, last weekend.

This is the view towards Brigantine. When you stay at the resort you have access to the foosboo  and air hockey games in the lobby near the bar. Plus did I mention the outdoor sky garden with lounges and conversation pits. Oh and there’s a casino there too. Last time I won $125, but really I’m down about $400 for the year.
 The entire casino/hotel is geared to face the ocean. Mike always goes to the Bask Spa when we go. He loves it. there’s a salt pool, massages a steam room and much more. I like to gamble, they allow smokers now, but it seems to be well ventilated, not like ugh Showboat and Resorts which is gross on the casino floor. Sorry, it is.
 with it’s lounge chairs, fire pits and free towel service for when you’re laying out in the sun.
 Did I mention the pool. Last week when I tweeted this photo from my hotel room, many of my readers didn’t realize that Revel had a pool for their hotel guests. That’s right this pool is for hotel guests, and it’s indoor outdoors with plenty of lounge chairs. I took this shot about noon.
(I stayed at Revel from Friday to Monday as I was attending my mom’s bday weekend in Longport, but we’d rather pay for a weekend at Revel then stay in a house with 8 kids under the age of 15)

 There’s a level below the main pool level for additional chairs. The best part, on both levels you can hear the ocean roar, and stay sandy free.
You can also rent Cabana’s. The prices vary and I don’t really know what it’s all about but you might be in the know, and you can check out their webpage for more info. 
“The Cabanas Exclusive pool-side sanctuary offering secluded indulgence,
elegance and just the perfect place for pampering, relaxing, lounging
and enjoying the stunning panoramic views of the city. The Cabana area
includes 3 private pools, 13 private cabanas along with lounge chairs
for rent. Each Cabana 36” TVs, welcome amenities, and your own private
cabana host.” (Revel)
 Last year Revel Beach wasn’t open, this year it is.
HQ Beach Club. I haven’t had a chance to experience it yet, but I’ve heard it’s just like the Las Vegas Party Pools, so that’s a good thing.
Join us for the grand opening weekend of HQ Beach Club at Revel. The
ultra-luxe, boardwalk-level pool lounge hugs the slick curvature of the
resort’s exterior, and features a central triangular pool, multiple
levels and two juxtaposing bars. Throbbing beats envelop every corner of
the venue via its integrated Turbosound system, installed throughout
each of the bars, cabanas, bungalows, and pools. 
(Photo: Revel)
The team is ready for the Game!! @revelnightlife @sirjustinjordan — with Jorge Vergara, Manny Romano, John Gardner, Christos Papagreeko, Aaron Magnifico, Zach Seidman and Justin Jordan at HQ Nightclub. (Facebook)
I love HQ, but I do love Mur.Mur and Dusk too. (Sometimes HQ is too crowded to dance.)
 I love the Royal Jelly Experience

Here’s Ivan Kane and some of his burlesque dancers
This year’s show was a cross between “Rock of Ages” and good old Bettie Page Burlesque
 Happy Fourth of July, and go to Revel. You won’t be sorry. Hands down the best hotel/casino/resort in Atlantic City. Plus in July they’re having a crazy promo, nobody loses. Even if you lose money in their slots, they’ll pay you back. You can’t lose with that deal.



Kick off Summer with Where Magazine, Mitchell and Ness and the Pennsylvania Horticultural Center

Last week Where Magazine Kicked off summer with Mitchell and Ness and The
Pennsylvania Horticultural Society at the flagship store of Mitchell and Ness in Center City.

Where is a series of magazines for tourists, distributed at hotels, convention centers, regional malls and other tourist areas. Before I was PhillyChitChat, I was a fan of Where Magazine as it features monthly what’s happenings in the City. It’s in every hotel you visit across the country. You can also pick it up at the Visitor Center. It’s mighty useful.

Laura Burkhardt, Publisher of Where Philly, has helmed the magazine for nearly 10 years. She knows the ins and outs, the best places to eat, what show to see, and she throws helpful, networking hospitality parties. When I started my biz out she was kind enough to invite me to them to cover. I made a lot of great friends from these events. She took a year off, and returned to the magazine late last year. So many new and exciting things have happened since. They’ve moved their offices to 1845 Walnut Street, and they have a new team. 
The Where Team: Bev Arum, Laura Burkhardt, Jessica Lopez and Austin Lichtman
Periodically Where Magazine and it’s partners have networking events, thank you events and cocktail parties with the hospitality community to introduce them to new sights, happenings and services in the City which they might want to pass along to the guests that visit our City. Tonight they were showcasing all the wonderful parks, larger, small and pocket parks, that our city has to offer; many having been spruced up by the Philadelphia Horticultural Society.

 Nancy Goldenberg, PHS shows off a map that can be given to tourist to help them find these parks.

 The Mitchell & Nest Team: William Warren, Jr, Customer Service Supervisor at Mitchell and Ness Nostalgia Co., Adam Herstig, Marketing and Advertising

Damon V Briggs, Sr, Manager, Finance & Operations at Mitchell & Ness and Jonathan Yusler

 Gwen Baskerville and Leonard Clark, Holiday Inn Midtown
 Glen Papas, Hyatt Regency, Fran Nachman, Sonest and Christina Padmessa, Palomar
 Alex Coll and Kim Cox both from Cashman & Assocs. They represent Mitchell & Ness
 Jill Scarlett, Shops of Liberty Place Brenda Mendte and Laura Burkhardt
 Jade Barnes, Shops of Liberty Place and Stephanie Policastro, Communications Specialist at The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society

 Potito’s Bakery is a South Philadelphia bakery that specializes in
serving the best cannolis, zeppolis, biscottis, and specialty cakes in
the tri-state area.

 Greta Greenberger, City Hall Tour Director, Christina Padmessa, Palomar, Al Lee, Independence Visitor Center

My Huyah and Jack Chen from Spice 28 catered the event, here flanking Karen Rodriquez, Where Magazine Charlotte

Matty Benigno from Potito’s Bakery (they’re going to create my bday cake for my ’80s prom in July. They’ve done great cakes for The Hamels Foundation and Jimmy Rollins – BaseBowl event) with Lisa Stafano, PHS


RUMOR MILL: JOAN SHEPP TO CHESTNUT STREET, maybe Dress Barn? Cigar Bar opens on Walnut St

I received a tip the other day that Joan Shepp is this close to signing a deal for her new space. You may recall last winter PhillyMag broke the story that Joan and company were vacating their Walnut Street store because of rising rents.


Since that time Joan has told me that she couldn’t bare leaving Walnut St, and would be finding a new home somewhere between Broad and 20th Streets. “It needs to have the same large windows,” like the fabulous ones she’s had for 15 years.

I’m thinking the old Puma Store at 1505 Walnut St. But a local realtor told me the rent would be comparable to her current location, which is at least $100sq foot
In the running maybe, vacant store next to Born Yesterday, across from the Rittenhouse Square at 1901 Walnut St. I’m not so sure as it would need a complete build out. 
Currently it’s the most expensive real estate that is used for bike storage in the City. 


  My money is on Dress Barn location. Sure it’s not on Walnut St, but it’s on the very hot 1700 block of Chestnut Street (Di Bruno Bros, South Moon Under, Knit Wit, Camper shoes) and it’s still considered “Rittenhouse Row”, so even though you’re not on Walnut St, you can say you’re on Rittenhouse Row.
Plus it’s next door to the future “rumored” Nordstrom Rack (of course I started that rumor, but I have at least 4 sources that tell me it’s a done deal, and it’ll be opened by next spring) and it’s across from the Shops of Liberty Place

I know, you’re thinking to yourself but Dress Barn is open, I just saw them film “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” last Thursday in front of the store. I know, but
my tipster told me it had closed and when I went by yesterday I saw it with my own eyes.
It’s perfect. Large windows, 2 floors, and with an escalator. I love it. And if this isn’t the place, Joan, go get it. I know it’s not Walnut Street, but you created Walnut Street, you were the trailblazer. If Knit Wit can move to the 1700 block of Chestnut Street, you can too, and you can make it that much better. Chestnut Street rents are nothing to sneeze at either, in this area they run from $45 sq ft to $65 sq ft on average.
 New on Walnut St
 Club Addeso Cigar Bar. There’s food, a DJ and nice lounge chairs.
 right across from Holt Cigar’s, where the Ashton Cigar Bar has been threatening to open for about a year now.

Philadelphia the “little sister to opens

The wrap is off the “little sister to located in the lobby of the AKA hotel at 18th and Walnut Streets. is a 35 seat, wine, cocktail and raw
foods eatery slash waiting room for those who want to eat a full meal at next door. (The fire hydrant on the right isn’t really in the restaurant, just a reflection off the glass – lol)
The interior was created by the same NYC architect Edward Asfour, who did next door. I hear plans are in place for a soft opening, and then a big party after the July 4th Holiday.
 I look forward to hanging out on this corner of Walnut Street very soon. Wish they had sidewalk tables.

Variety Club Philadelphia Annual Children’s Champion Gala – Alicia Vitarelli 6ABC & Hostess w/Mostess

Variety Club Philadelphia recently hosted the Annual Children’s Champion
Gala at Sheraton Society Hill.  The Variety Club has been helping disabled
and special needs children since 1935.
Program Director Nicole Simon and Variety Club President Fran
 Past President of the Variety Club Vince Mariniello with Rob DeMarco and
Rita DeMarco
 Young Variety Board Member Michelle Conron, Skai Blue Media and fashion blogger
Ian Michael Crumm
.  Michelle gave a moving tribute to her grandmother Betty
(Vince’s wife) who had been active in the Variety Club for decades
 Stacey Kracher and Matt West. 

 Stacey just returned from Newport RI after attending our friends Amber Goins and Pedro Gomes’ wedding over the weekend. (I was at my mother’s birthday party)
 Singers Frank Isabella and Alicia DeCastro both performed at the

 Independence Blue Cross, Blue Crew Volunteers: Amy McCauley, Marion
Wyce, and Chris Cashman
 Evan Padilla and Calli Varner
Next event coming up:

Car & Bike Show for Variety Club Camp & Developmental Center – Saturday, July 20, 2013, 12:00 PM – 5:00 PM

Attention car and motorcycle
enthusiasts! Variety will be hosting a car & bike show. Attendees
will enjoy food, beverages, giveaways and more all while seeing some of
the coolest cars and bikes around!  Live music will be provided by “The
Really Big Shoe.”
If you are interested in entering your car or bike
into the show, please complete the entry fee by clicking the link
below. The entry fee is $25 per car or bike and general admission tickets are $10.
 Fashion Blogger Ian Michael Crumm, Rakia Reynolds of Skai Blue
Media, and event host Alicia Vitarelli of Action News
 Award Winners: Young Variety President Michael Gray Jr., Sheila
(accepting for Independence Blue Cross) , and Mort Kolman of Firstrust
 Gina Iovanisci and Pillar Award Winner Michael Gray Jr.
 Russell Ohneck and event host Alicia Vitarelli of 6 ABC
 Christy and Fran Naselli, Joseph Mitsouras with children
Josefina, Ines, and Ulysses
.  Ines presented an award later in the
Thanks to photographer Mike Hirata for shooting this event for PhillyChitCht