Monthly Archives

October 2013

Philadelphia

The Very Hot Granary – Opening Night Party

Last week I photographed the grand opening of Philadelphia’s new, and most architecturally interesting building of late, The Granary.

  

Located in the very hot community of Logan Circle/Fairmount area, The Granary is named after the 12 story building next door, where it’s shaft held grain sometime last century. This Granary is a brand new, poured concrete constructed building, where a lot of thought was applied in accommodating its residents.
David Schultz of DAS Architects of Philadelphia designed The Granary, and his wife, Susan Davidson, 3rd from left) who co-owns DAS, did the interior design. Jim Pearlstein, Pearl Properties, Fab Dubrunfaut, who did the magnificent woodworking at the Granary, and Bill Curran who did all the metal work, and the grand staircase

Most of the work done by  DAS Architects
has been in the hospitality field, including restaurants and hotels,
but they have also done several residential properties and now The
Granary. Susan told me that Pearl Properties was looking for a great
place to live, with an emphasis on the living area of the building, lots
of potential for socializing. 
Artist/metal worker, Philadelphian Bill Curran created this floating staircase, which is the centerpiece of the lobby. It leads to the 2nd floor where many of the social living spaces are located...

  Coming home feels much like
checking into a fine hotel, starting with the large lobby and extending
to social spaces


including a music room with a baby grand piano, a
bi-level library,

 Shown here is the Club Room with a billards table and a magnificent 8 sided fireplace. These rooms also have free wi-fi.

There’s also a gorgeous gourmet kitchen for party rentals and resident cooking.

You’ll also find a nice size exercise room located on this floor.
Throughout the common spaces and the
residences, modern-day fashion is married with a rustic, industrial
feel, from handmade materials to custom work from local artisans.  “It’s
all about lifestyle and this is designed to be a social space,” said
David Schultz, AIA, and co-owner, with Susan Davidson, of DAS
Architects.  

Irvin Molina was the first tenant to move in a few months ago
Barry Gutin,‎Principal, Co-Founder GuestCounts Hospitality and Annette Walsh, DAS Architects. The food for the evening was provided by GuestsCounts’ Brûlée Catering.

Cory Gosik, Keegan Gosik, ‎Sales and Marketing Director at Sensational
Host, Choice Foods Inc., Karen Gosik, ‎HR Manager at Sensational Host
Caterers Inc., Henry Gosik, Sensational Host.Inc. President, and David
Schultz,
DAS Architects & Designers. Karen was BFF’s with my sister Judy, while growing up. It was nice to see her.
Part of the architect team that worked on the project included: Morris Clark, Eric Baugher, Architect II at DAS Architects and Billy Campbell, DAS Architects
Tom Bond, Morgan Murray, Joe McMamus, and Alex Bond

The Granary contains 227 luxury apartments,
over 20,000 square feet of prime retail space and underground parking.

The apartments feature exceptional finishes including granite
countertops, stainless steel kitchen appliances, hardwood floors and
in-unit washer/dryers. Select units also feature balconies and high
ceilings.

Beth Etra and Jon Adler check out the kitchen in the one bedroom den.
Another social space is the rooftop lounge with grills, sofa’s, grass

and spectacular view of the Philadelphia Art Museum and The Barnes Museum, there on the left hand side. Did I mention you’re right next door to the Whole Foods. No more navigating that parking lot.
Sam Simpson Dor and Lauren Keibelwere live there. They love the social rooms, and the convenience to Whole Foods. She watched The Granary being built, as she shopped every couple days, and said I want to live there. Now she does.

Wendy Marks and Kerri Fetterolf- Kerri lives there, loves the apartments, the convenience to Center City and Fairmount Park.


Earlier this month I ran into Johanna Kilbride and her boyfriend,
Alex Volpi. They tell me they are moving into the Granary next month from a brownstone in the Fairmount area.


This week The Granary made news as
Lowe Enterprises Investors of Los Angeles bought the building, which
includes 229 apartments and 20,463 square feet of street-level retail
space that will have a dog shop, a restaurant called Pizzaria Vetri by Marc Vetri, Whirled Peace Yogurt and other stores. It also has parking.
Pearl Properties of Philadelphia constructed the $66 million project which totals nine stories and 310,000 square feet. (Phl Biz Journal) Nothing as far as leasing, and pricing have changed. It’s still one of the most awesome buildings to live in, with amenities that far outshine a lot of the places built in the past 5 years.

Philadelphia

Yogorino Closes and Robinson Luggage is going out of Business

 Yesterday I wrote about Kembrel closing, but the good news is Blue Claw is moving in.

Tonight I noticed two business’ closing, with no word on what’s going in. Yorgorino at 12th and Walnut Streets closed. I guess it just didn’t catch on because of all the competition from surrounding yogurt and fake yo stores. They still have an outlet at 20th and Locusts, and will be opening at 32nd and Chestnut soon.

 UPDATE: 11/7/13 – I HEAR THE IGLOO DESSERT IS MOVING IN. They have a spot in Greys Ferry too; Update Update: owner Zac Parker tells me that “It will be very similar to the first location with a few additions and
upgrades.  There will be more seating than the Yogorino space and there
will be outdoor seating too.  We hope to have a soft opening in late
January with a grand opening on March 1st.”

WOW this is a shocker. Robinson Luggage going out of business. They’ve really been a staple in Center City for decades. Kinda sad they’ve been defeated by the big box stores.  Check out the Robert Moran story in the Inquirer for the rest of the story.
BTW The Mandarin Chinese restaurant closed it’s doors at 19th and Chestnut about a month ago.
Philadelphia

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire – Victory Tour Comes to Cherry Hill 11/3/13 – Wristband Info

Meet Castmembers, win prizes and make memories!!

To celebrate 6 Weeks until The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, Lionsgate is
proud to announce that the cast will embark on a National ‘Victory
Tour’ November 3rd—6th, 2013.  The tour will
include stops in Philadelphia, Miami, Minneapolis and Houston. Members of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
cast will participate in special Q&As with fans, signings, and more
in support of the worldwide release of the film in theatres on November
22nd. They’re in our area November 3, 2013 at the Cherry Hill Mall. This
event is free, but everyone must have a wristband to attend.  We will
be doing 2 wristband raids in the city/Cherry Hill prior to Sunday’s
event. 
Friday, November 1 from 6:30PM to 8:30PM at the AMC Loews Cherry Hill Movie Theater and
Saturday, November 2 from 11am to 2pm at the Franklin Institute.

 
 The Hunger Games Victory Tour, where 5 cast members (Sam Claflin, Jena
Malone, Bruno Gunn, Meta
Golding and Jeffrey Wright) will be visiting the Cherry Hill mall for a
fan event.  There will  be a Q&A hosted by Buster from Wired 96.5
and Wired, Kindle and CoverGirl will be giving out a limited number of
spots for a signing/meet & greet after the Q&A.
This
event is free, but everyone must have a wristband to attend.  We will
be doing 2 wristband raids in the city/Cherry Hill prior to Sunday’s
event. 
Friday, November 1 from 6:30PM to 8:30PM at the AMC Loews Cherry Hill Movie Theater and
Saturday, November 2 from 11am to 2pm.  Fans can come to
the AMC and Franklin Institute, right to the big Ben statue and pick up
their general admission wristband from there.   The lucky fans that will
meet the cast can win by listening to Wired
96.5 this and via social media from Kindle and CoverGirl.  
Philadelphia

So long Kembrel. Thanks for the chic. Blue Claw Sets Up A Brick & Mortar in it’s place – Buy American

Yesterday, I got word of Kembrel on Rittenhouse Square, at 1822 Chestnut was closing 

 after noticing a co-worker of mine with some fancy duds.

He told me that Kembrel’s was going out of business and was having a sale $75 for all the clothing you could stuff into a bag. He made out very well.

 I did a search on Twitter and no one had mentioned was chatting about the sale, including them. So I ran over there to see for myself. I was surprised, they always seemed to be having functions.
 I tweeted out the sale and several people took advantage of it, which makes me so happy.
 7 pairs of pants, wow, that’s a deal!! (I was in a hurry to cover something and couldn’t take advantage of the sale. So bummed.)

 Today the store will be spruced up and prepared for the new owners, Blue Claw, who bought out Kembrel (lock, stock & barrel) and will be opening for business on November 1, 2013
 
Adam Blitzer (pictured here with girlfriend Jessica Billups) and co-founder Alex Realmuto founded Blue Claw in 2010.  
 Blue Claw Co manufactures handmade Luxury Bags that have the
bright bold look that the mid 20′s to mid 30′s business professional
craves and the durability to handle all the travel people can throw at
them.  As many of our readers know we spend significant periods of time
on the road
Adam tells me that in addition to carrying all the Blue Claw products, they plan to carry American made clothing and products, shoes, socks, Stormy Kromer, Knot Clothing, Mizzen+Main is the go-to American performance professional apparel maker and haberdasher.
Great location for Blue Claw, being positioned right next to Boyds. No need to buy accessories at the very high end store, just come on over to Blue Claw for that. Plus those cool bags. Now if only we could get rid of that Valiant sign and replace it with Blue Claw?

So long Kembrel. Thanks for the chic.
Philadelphia

Red Owl Tavern hosted “Kick the Keg in Heels” Breast Cancer Benefit last Thursday, October 24th.

For a $5 donation at the door guests enjoyed an hour of free pink drinks and some of the Red Own Tavern’s (433 Chestnut St Philadelphia, PA) tasty treats from the kitchen. From 8pm on the party was in high gear until the keg was kicked, the pink drinks were now $5 and proceeds went to the University
of Pennsylvania’s Rena Rowan Breast Center
..

There was a nice turnout for the event. Diana and Abby. 
 Dominic Capece (The Free Will brewing company) and Jessica Fulgham
The keg is a specialty Breast Cancer Awareness brew crafted locally by Free Will Brewing with input from Marnie Old and other notable women of Philadelphia’s culinary scene. 
 
Natalie Pineda General Manager of Red Owl Tavern greeting the guests. 
 Elyse Crawford, Jennifer Heinz, and Patrice Crawford
 Erik Travers, Restaurant Operations Director Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants/ Red Owl Tavern and Stratus Roof Deck Lounge, Natalie Pineda, General Manager of Red Owl Tavern and James Zeleniak, ceo Punch Media PR (representing Red Owl Tavern)
 Jonathan Campos, Chan Voong, Linda Voong, Ann Voong, and Sary Rinn.
 Natalie Hagerty, Andrew Ross, and Mischa Greenberg.
 Ray and Lisa Dissinger recently moved to our area from Tucson AZ.
 Sean Evans and Kelly Morrison.
 Sean, Mansi, and Abby.
 Thom Cardwell and James Zeleniak.
Aaron, Bridgin, and Natalie

 Jonathan Campos, Process Engineer at AGC Chemicals Americas Inc, Chan Voong, Linda Voong, Ann Voong, and Sary
Rinn.
Sary’s been busy planning her wedding, which is taking place next July.
 Debbie Budnik and Christa Asman support the cause in Memory of
their dear friend Bonnie Girl. 
*****************
Thanks to PhillyChitChat’s Mike Hirata for shooting this client event.

Philadelphia

EXPANDING BUSINESS IN PHILLY – What Two Buildings Did to Increase the Foot Print of their Buildings

The Radisson Warwick Hotel
Is undergoing a major facelift to become the third Radisson Blu Hotel in the US. A sorta aloft type of hotel
A few weeks ago I noticed that the building at 16th and Market, which houses the Radian, and Republic Bank, underwent a unique renovation themselves.
You’ll recall they filmed scenes from Bradley Cooper’s movie Limitless at this location.
Earlier this month I wrote how Limitless is now becoming a TV show produced by Bradley Cooper. No word on if he’s going to film it here in Philadelphia. Anyway…

 Earlier this month I noticed they started to enclose part of their apron on the first floor, and the equivalent space on the 2nd floor.
2 weeks ago left side of building
Last Friday left side of building
Putting up the wall
 Last Friday, on the left side of the building they installed the glass wall. It looks great.


What a great idea, looks great. Another popular building did it last year.

Triple AAA had an extensive apron surrounding their building. At one point there were bushes planted in the front. In later years the “garden boxes” were filled in by stones.
Ironically Limiteless also filmed here.

While it underwent a renovation from office building to apartments, not only did they add several additional floors, but they enclosed “the apron area” to increase it’s retail space. Now there’s an expansive liquor/wine store on the first floor as well as a bank at the 2040 location.

Philadelphia

2ND Video Surfaces to Possibly Clear Guy who Drove Down The Philadelphia Art Museum Steps.

 Check out Murtaza Gurcanli
video (below and read his first hand account after my video of what happened.) 
UPDATE: OK definitely looks like it was an accident. Student Emin
Faki, 20,
was warming up his engine because it was cold out, but had
the convertible top down, anyway, the emergency brake failed as the car idled in NEUTRAL, and well
the rest is history. I tend to believe the
Emin Faki, 20 story now that I’ve seen the 2nd video (of course sounds like his car shouldn’t be on the road, but hey I was 20 once and rarely had my car inspected at that time myself.) To me it looked like a man very pleased with himself driving
driving down the Philadelphia Art Museum Steps. (I guess he was pleased,
he lived) Kinda crazy he didn’t call the police after the “accident”,
someone honestly could have gotten hurt, especially since it was an open
air car. 
Seriously dude, I hope you’re in Church on Sunday cause you need to thank someone for being alive.

My video of guy driving down Art Museum Steps.
 Murtaza Gurcanli says:
“There is a lot of attention right
now about the car driving down the Art Museum steps. Not saying it was
right or wrong, but it was not intentional. I do not know the person who
owns the vehicle, I was just there enjoying the scenery of Philadelphia
when this freak accident happened.

I was with a couple people on
the top steps, when all the sudden we look up and see this persons car
start rolling off the steps. We all yelled as it was happening. The
owner of the car jumped in front of his car, then proceeded to jump INTO
his car all while roaring down the steps to stop it.

After he was able to stop the car, he was already down two flights of steps, and had no choice but to continue on this path.

He did not do this to be reckless or funny, he drove down the steps because he had to.

I
have video from my phone right after it happened. We were all stunned
that a car with no one in it started to drive down the steps; I
immediately turned my phone on and got my camera ready.

I do
enjoy the view from the Art Museum especially at that spot, I hope it
doesn’t get closed, but maybe the Art Museum could reduce their risk
exposure by putting up stop blocks like they have directly behind the
stairs…Seems like they are in the wrong position if you ask me.

Honestly,
I hope this person doesn’t get into too much trouble because it was all
just a freak accident. I am actually pretty amazed that he jumped in
front of his car, managed to get in it and stop it before entering onto
Kelly drive/the circle. Now that would have been bad.

Please excuse the obscenities throughout the video, it was just a pretty wild moment.

It
was pretty crazy, my friends and I were all talking about how they
should have stop blocks since cars can just park up there. We were all
joking about who was going to do it, when the car decided to take
matters into its own hands.”

Philadelphia

JULIE DORENBOS AND SUSIE CELEK GET CAUGHT IN SWAROVSKI

JULIE DORENBOS AND SUSIE CELEK GET CAUGHT IN SWAROVSKI
 
“See Who Got Caught in Swarovski” is a series of posts sponsored by Swarovski. Find out more about Swarovski at getcaughtphilly.com.
 

 

I was invited by Swarovski to check out their fabulous Walnut Street boutique. I caught Julie Dorenbos and Susie Celek, 
 
co-owners of Skin Palette, dialing up their sparkle as they took turns modeling several beautiful pieces.  It was girls night out playing dress up.
While they were trying on jewelry, Julie’s husband, Philadelphia Eagle Jon Dorenbos, popped in and surprised Julie by buying her a few new pieces of Swarovski bling.
 
 
Later
that night, I ran into the ladies at a party hosted by reality
personality Brody Jenner. As you can see from the photo, they went from
every day fabulous to evening glamorous, still wearing their
Swarovski. Looks pretty swanky. Thoughts?

“See Who Got Caught in Swarovski” is a series of posts sponsored by Swarovski. Find out more about Swarovski at getcaughtphilly.com.
Philadelphia

CAR DRIVES DOWN THE ART MUSEUM STEPS – Photo and Video

I was driving down the BF Parkway home. Since I live across from the steps I know what looks normal there, two headlights didn’t fit that bill. I got stuck at traffic light w/cars in front of me, so video starts as he’s closer to the bottom.

 I’ve seen bikers go down the steps, sledders, people in boxes
 People on rollerblades, even a motorcycle once
Emin Faki, 20 (so I was 10 years off from my guestimate)

 but never a car

A 2nd video has surfaced, showing that the car did indeed roll down the stairs after the guy started his car to warm it up, but didn’t put it in park.

NSFW language

 Murtaza Gurcanli who filmed the above says:
“There is a lot of attention right
now about the car driving down the Art Museum steps. Not saying it was
right or wrong, but it was not intentional. I do not know the person who
owns the vehicle, I was just there enjoying the scenery of Philadelphia
when this freak accident happened.

I was with a couple people on
the top steps, when all the sudden we look up and see this persons car
start rolling off the steps. We all yelled as it was happening. The
owner of the car jumped in front of his car, then proceeded to jump INTO
his car all while roaring down the steps to stop it.

After he was able to stop the car, he was already down two flights of steps, and had no choice but to continue on this path.

He did not do this to be reckless or funny, he drove down the steps because he had to.

I
have video from my phone right after it happened. We were all stunned
that a car with no one in it started to drive down the steps; I
immediately turned my phone on and got my camera ready.

I do
enjoy the view from the Art Museum especially at that spot, I hope it
doesn’t get closed, but maybe the Art Museum could reduce their risk
exposure by putting up stop blocks like they have directly behind the
stairs…Seems like they are in the wrong position if you ask me.

Honestly,
I hope this person doesn’t get into too much trouble because it was all
just a freak accident. I am actually pretty amazed that he jumped in
front of his car, managed to get in it and stop it before entering onto
Kelly drive/the circle. Now that would have been bad.

Please excuse the obscenities throughout the video, it was just a pretty wild moment.

It
was pretty crazy, my friends and I were all talking about how they
should have stop blocks since cars can just park up there. We were all
joking about who was going to do it, when the car decided to take
matters into its own hands.”