Monthly Archives

August 2015


Thousands Show Up For #HustleWithHart Run at the Art Museum Today – Naked Bike Race Info & Invisible River 201

And I overslept. I’m beyond bummed out, especially since it’s right across the street from where I live. I grabbed a few pixs from Twitter and it looks like it was a huge success. It’s inspirational too how Kevin Hart took charge of his health and is inspire others to do the same thing.


At the end the runners were greeted by cheering crowds as they made their way up the Art Museum Steps.

Today there’s still a lot to capture.
2PM  Invisible River 2015 Celebrates Philadelphia’s Schuylkill River With Aerial Dance, Boating, Arts Installations And More, Saturday, August 29. Info and More Info

I Nearly Ate My Way Through Bud & Marilyn’s Menu – Pixs & Thoughts & Menu

Over the past two days I had dinner at the new Marcie Turney and Val Safran restaurant Bud & Marilyn’s in Midtown. The restaurant is named after Marcie’s grandparents Bud and Marilyn Briese, who had an eatery in Wisconsin and it is fabulous.

One of my friends said Bud & Marilyn’s captures the era much better than other restaurants that have tried to replicate this era because

Marcie and Val painstakingly picked out every item in the new eatery, including tracking down the of the material used in Marcie’s grandparents restaurant.

Opening night I attended with 7 of my friends who loved the cocktails. We all had the Pork and Pickles shareable. It was delicious. It’s a great dish to have while at the bar too. $16

The Crispy Cheese Curds were also delicious. $8

Warm Skillet Bread with caramelized onion, corn, cheddar, crispy potato skin with labneh butter. This dish can be made vegetarian. $7 We had it both nights, it was delicious.

Marilyn’s fried Chicken, with warm biscuits, zucchini pickles, salted honey butter, house made sauce, (1/2 bird) $18 . Everyone loved it, I think I need to try it again. I’m spoiled with City Tap House’s Fried Chicken. Unfortunately they only serve it at brunch on the weekend.
Fontina & Chard Stuff Meatloaf, with mashed potatoes, royal trumpet mushroom gravy, peas & carrots $22 – Delicious
A delicious dish: Justin Pizzi is holding Seared Sea Scallops, with corn & zucchini succotash, shelling beans, castle valley corn cakes with smoked orange dressing $26. By the time I posted this photo this dish was consumed by my friends. Sad face.
Pastry chef Kristen Moorer with some of her tasty treats. I LOVED the Carrot Cake, I didn’t have the Malt Ball cake, but it looks great. I love the name Funfetti, it’s so fun. It was good, not overwhelming sweet my friends said.

CHEESE & CRACKERS ………………………….. ………………………….. …….. $14 rogue smoky blue + hazelnut honey  (cow ’s milk) landaff cheddar + huckleberry jam  (raw cow’s milk) savah schaff pecorino + bourbon apple butter  (raw sheep  milk) –  

NASHVILLE HOT BUN S hot fried chicken,  little  pickles, ranch, pickle brine slaw $10


CHOP SUEY pork belly,  country ham fried rice, summer veggies,  fried farm egg, funky kohlrabi & cabbage ** ……………………… $12
B&M KIELBASA horseradish – potato pierogie’s,  caper  brown  butter, cabbage – kohlrabi slaw, Bud’s Best beer mustard $16 – OMG DELICIOUS!!
I had the
SHORTRIB STROGANOFF wild mushrooms, olorosso, hand cut egg noodles,  english peas, horseradish crème fraiche $18. I loved the shortrib.

The Fat Elvis – OMG Elvis Lives
Last night they added a brownie to the dish, for you chocolate lovers you’re going to love it.
super clever, and so pretty
The slices are big
When I was there the 2nd night I met at least 6 people that told me they had come in after seeing my social media photos from the night before, including this nice guy Noah Webster, who loved the place. T


Executive Chef Marcie Turney and Chef Quincy Logan

Can’t wait for the late night menu to start

 Click to make larger, plus go check them out on FooBooz

#MadeInAmerica Ticket Give Away Contest – THE CLYDESDALES ARE COMING! #Philly #LiveUnitedMIA

Made In America is SOLD OUT. I have  four two-day passes 

For the fourth consecutive year, United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey will benefit from the Budweiser Made in America
Festival, taking place along the Benjamin Franklin Parkway over Labor
Day Weekend. A primary goal of this event is to highlight the City of
Philadelphia and once again, the concert will benefit United Way,
specifically contributing to education and talent development
initiatives to enhance cradle-to-career education and equip
individuals with job skills and training.
United Way encourages
you to connect with them on social media at @PhillySJUnited and
#LiveUnitedMIA and learn how you make a difference in addressing critical issues in our region related to Education, Financial
Stability, Health and Basic Needs. Visit United Way in
the Cause Village on September 5-6 to hear first-hand about our
mission, the Impact of our work, and join the fight against hunger.

United Way of Greater
Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey is your local partner to drive
measurable, lasting Impact that none of us can achieve alone. Please
visit for more information.

The Instructions: Go to one of the clydesdales appearances below and take a photo of yourself
with the horses behind you, they must be at least 25 feet behind you,
and make sure you listen to what their handlers say so you are safe.

Tweet a photo like the ones below using these tags:

#Budweiser #Clydesdales @PhillySJUnited and #LiveUnitedMIA  @iPhillyChitChat 

I’ll use all the photos on my blog, and will randomly pick two winners – Friday Morning.


They’ll be in our area starting Tonight

Budweiser’s Clydesdale horses at the new Fraternal Order of Police headquarters in the Northeast 5PM – 7PM

August 28 – 6PM to 8PM 9th and Wharton
at the PHS Beer Garden

August 29 – 6 – 8PM in Manayunk

September 2, 6 – 8PM – The Irish Mile
Walnut Street 10th to 21st Street

September 3, 6 – 8PM – Fairmount  

21st to 24th
There will be a Pop Up Beer Garden on Fairmount Ave in front of Eastern State
(between Corinthian Ave. & 22nd St.) from 5-9pm,
bands will be performing outside
and you will get a close-up look at the world famous Budweiser Clydesdales! 

I’ll notify you on Sept 4 and you can pick up your tickets at my condo which is across the street from the Art Museum.

(Please be aware of street closures on Fairmount Ave. for this event.)


A Thousand Horses at Philadelphia Zoo

Tuesday A Thousand Horses stopped by the zoo, no not real horses, the country music rock band – A Thousand Horses.

According to Wikepedia – A Thousand Horses is an American country music group formed in 2010 in Nashville, Tennessee.
The band is composed of Michael Hobby (lead vocals), Bill Satcher (lead
guitar), Zach Brown (guitar and vocals), and Graham Deloach (bass and
vocals). Their first EP, A Thousand Horses, was released under Interscope Records in 2010. In 2014, the band signed with Republic Nashville of Big Machine Label Group and released its first single “Smoke“, which set a record for the highest debut by a new act when it opened at number 28 on the Country Aircheck radio chart

WXTU and The Philadelphia Zoo hosted their annual country western concert and a whole lotta fans came out to support the rising country stars including Junior and Yumee Yi

Mark and Lisa Ward
Mary Pat, Morgan and Doreen
William, Danielle and Heather
Vanessa Cotto and Aurora Martinez
Danielle and Chris
Nicole Campbell and Sarah Nutter (No relation to Michael she tells me.)
Brittany Kalitz and Bill Thrasher
Bill and Caryn (Who told me she last saw me outside the Four Season’s looking for Justin Bieber. Must have been that time he stood me and his 4 cartons of pop rocks up too, remember that story.)
Lindsey and Ryan

Before the concert, A Thousand Horses took a behind the scenes tour of the zoo. Michael Holby, Zach Brown, Graham Deloach and Bill Satcher 

We saw a lot of animals including these cuddly, but loud screaming ones running through the Zoo360 Animal Exploration Trails.
Zoo360 currently consists of four trails: Gorilla TreewayTreetop Trail, Great Ape Trail and Big Cat Crossing
(with more on the way!). The trails link existing animal habitats, so
animals with similar habitat requirements can use one another’s spaces
in a time-sharing system and take advantage of more room to roam.

Leo Sewell created this rhinoceros out of dinner plates, and it’s part of an art exhibit at the Philadelphia Zoo called “Second Nature.” an array of artist installations, some larger than life, each one telling stories of endangered animals through the use of recycled, reduced, reused, repurposed and renewed materials. It’s there til October 31, go check it out. I know I have to go back cause I didn’t see all the exhibits as those animals were distracting me.  
Check out these other great events happening at the ZOO


“The Mac Fund” with Clare and Steve Morrison

On Thursday, August 20th fans and friends gathered in support of Clare
of Steve Morrison’s 501(c) charity “The Mac Fund” (at the Cat Shack) at
Kildare’s Pub in Manayunk. You may have heard Steve Morrison mention
on-air that he and his wife rescue and foster cats and have done so for
nearly 20-years. Their cat  “Mac” was their very first rescue and after
losing him 2-years ago, they wanted to do something special in his
memory. They currently have a house full of their own rescues (8) along
with a Mom and kittens they are fostering.

 When Clare Morrison met the folks at the Cat Shack she felt very
strongly about supporting their Trap/Neuter/Replace program was the
right fit for the Mac Fund. This will ultimately help with reduction of
feral cat colonies in our area and help reduce the cat-overpopulation
problem. Clare was particularly impressed with the fact that The Cat
Shack wanted to match her original seed money ($10,000) and fully
realized their commitment. Their philosophies were very much in-sync and
she was certain together they could take the TNR program to the next

 “Steve and I would like to thank everyone who helped make the official
Kick-Off of the Mac Fund such a huge success – a nearly sold-out crowd
and raised nearly $6,500 – our expectations were exceeded beyond belief.
The generosity of our friends and the community is humbling. Hopefully
this is the first of many fundraisers that will help bring much needed
funds and awareness to a very underserved part of the animal rescue
world…thanks to everyone and Steve and I hope to see you next year!!”

Clare Morrison

 Matt Cord, Mike Fox, Clare and Steve Morrison
Dr. Mike, Marilyn Russell, Matt Cord, Steve Morrison, guest and Casey
Photos by: Alison Dunlap
Lovely Copy by Marilyn Russell

Divas Simply Singing in Stunning Fashion for Charity

Saturday night, the original Dream Girl – Sheryl Lee Ralph brought her long running HIV/AIDS Charity concert to the Dell Music Center in Fairmount Park. The concert was a huge success raising awareness, and money for services in and around Philadelphia as well as to her on charitable organization100% of the proceeds from DIVAS Simply Singing! supports The DIVA Foundation’s awareness and prevention programs.

There’s no mistake about it Miss Sheryl Lee Ralph (Mrs. Sheryl Lee Ralph-Hughes) brought it the moment she hit the stage.
It was a beautiful night, and the Dell Music Center was full of people who wanted to here the DIVA’s Sing. In my Philly Mag column I bring you to the concert, the link is at the bottom of page. The all-star line-up features Faith Evans , Angela Winbush, Meli’sa
Morgan , Monifah , Candace Benson, runner-up on season 7 of BET Sunday
Best, Philly’s own Carol Riddick, Matthew Schuler , contestant on season 5 of The Voice  and Urban Guerilla Orchestra.
On Philly Chit Chat we’re just going to be mesmerized by the flawlessness of Miss Sheryl Lee Ralph

Who I fell in love with in 1993 when my friend David Powell, Dan Hrabosky and Alex Miller headed to Washington DC for the “March On Washington.” Diva’s Simply Singing was celebrating their third year raising awareness for HIV/AIDS and we went to the concert, although I vaguely recall Dan heading out for a date.
I remember that the late, great Teena Marie was also on the bill that evening as well as many other amazing talents. It left a lasting impression on me.
When the 25th Anniversary Diva’s Simply Singing announced they were coming to the Dell East I knew I had to get the word out, as well as cover it.
Sheryl Lee Ralph and her glam squad
The billing , cause and turn out didn’t disappoint. Check out the legendary Faith Evans posing for the photographers.

But the highlight of the evening had to be when Sheryl Lee Ralph surprised her husband, Senator Vincent Hughes with Pastor Campbell on stage so that they could renew their vows after 10 years of blissful marriage. To the right is his step-children, and her children – Ivy-Victoria Maurice and Etienne Maurice. Congratulations to the new newlyweds!!


Olivia Munn, Luke Evans, Josh Brolin, and Maggie Gyllenhaal Will Not Be Coming To PhillyWood #3Seconds

Two months ago I happily broke the news that Philly was going to have two films this summer. Three Seconds, and Equity,

 the latter which wrapped two weeks ago and I will write about soon as I spent the last day of their filming on the set.

 Otto Bathurst was scheduled to direct the indie movie, “Three Seconds” which stars Luke Evans and David Oyelowo Oscar nominees Josh Brolin and Maggie Gyllenhaal and “The Newsroom’s” Olivia Munn were to join Luke Evans and David Oyelowo in the star-studded indie movie “Three Seconds.” This was a full budget
SAG-AFTRA contract, Union and Non union. Shooting in Philadelphia and
must be local hire for Philadelphia.
Over the past month “Three Seconds” opened their production offices, scouted locations, moved into their apartments, held casting calls and scheduled shoots.

Luke Evans arrived in Philly mid July to prep for the film.

Then when I was in Pittsburgh a few weeks ago I saw this headline:
Hundreds of extras sought for filming of ‘Three Seconds’ in Greensburg August 10, 2015. The filming was to take place between September 7 and September 19, 2015 – this being one of the many places in Pennsylvania for a Three Seconds shoot, including Sun Center Studios is Pennsylvania’s premier film and television production facility. 

The first shoot in Philadelphia was scheduled for Sunday, it didn’t happened. Then I noticed yesterday Olivia Munn didn’t come to town yet, in fact she and her boyfriend made several very public videos that blitz the news cycle today. I was wondering why.

 Monday night I ran into someone that worked with the Three Seconds production, who told me the movie was not going to happen, in Philly or anywhere in Pennsylvania, but was unable to say for sure about ever. He was fairly angry when he told me, I told him I was a photographer who photographed celebrities and I was disappointed. The production has been closed down and everyone had left town.

I contacted Sharon Pinkenson for a comment. She told me:

We did everything we could. But the ultimate effect of the lack of a PA
budget agreement for those of us working in the film industry was the
loss of 1200 jobs, counting crew, actors & extras from the THREE
SECONDS production. That’s a lot of people losing
their jobs. 

It was just 3 years ago when we lost another big budget film with a heart throb because of the stalemate with the budget, which does cost jobs and affects peoples lives.


Philadelphia Diner en Blanc – The Rest of The Photos

 As one of the photographers that shot Diner en Blanc for the past four years, I am in awe of the producers of the show, two women and a small army of volunteers. Philadelphia Diner en Blanc organizers Natanya DiBona (left) and Kayli Moran attended the Montreal Diner en Blanc, 5 years ago and thought what a great idea, let’s see if we can bring it to Philly. They did, and it’s become one of the most successful of the diner’s held around the country. 4,500 people signed up to participate in the event this year, and yes there was 30,000 on the wait list. That is amazing, especially since folks have to bring all their own stuff to the dinner, and carry back home too. But as the ‘rents always told us, hard work results in great rewards. Great memories are made during Diner en Blanc, as well as great friendships, even relationships and a handful of engagements.

It’s one of the best events the City has ever held, and I really wish everyone who wanted to go could get in. Hopefully someday you will. If you don’t see you’re photo here or in my other online columns, there’s still hope. I will be doing a column for Philly Mag that will go directly in the magazine.

From its French tradition, Diner en Blanc
has been celebrating it’s pop up dinner for four years now, with each passing year it grows.

 This year 4500 people dressed in white met
throughout the city of Philadelphia; they were then transported to a
“secret location”, the Navy Yard via public transportation (which is
paid by the hosts) or were bussed to the Diner en Blanc
location among the Navy Ships.

 A parade of white crosses Broad Street after exiting the subway

  Guests were in a jovial mood despite the mile long walk, and drizzle

 Christal Watson leads the parade of people
 Jason and Rachel Cevera set up their table. The tables have to be a specific size, as everything is laid out beforehand as to fit 4500 as comfortably as possible.
 Sharon Sample
Cookie Augstandt-Simpson
White outfits included tuxedos and gowns and groups of friends who wore white masks, flapper dresses, wedding gowns and  even bunny
ears.Many people wore hats which was apropo for the rain.

 The waving of the napkins signifies the start of dinner

Guests either brought their own meals or ordered from one of the caterers Luke Palladino,

 Founder François Pasquier, 69, started the first diner en blanc of which he held in 1988
with friends who dressed in white so that they could spot each other at
the Bois de Boulogne park in Paris.
Jamie Gordon

 Sparklers were lit to signify the end of dinner beginning of dancing


 The judges confer on best dressed – Jennifer Burks and Kurt Souder of Weft, Justin Jeffers of The Fine Young Gentleman and Sabir Peele, GQ Style Ambassador and founder of Men’s Style Pro

Eat your heart out P Diddy, who used to hold the White Party in the Hampton s every August

Thanks to Philadelphia Diner en Blanc organizers Natanya DiBona (left) and Kayli Moran for bringing diner en blanc to Philly so we could enjoy the Ultimate Summer White Party.

Some of the links to where my photos went, different photos than above.


#PopeInPhilly Papal Visit Playbook Info

As the City of Philadelphia prepares to host the 2015 World Meeting of Families and Pope Francis in September, the
World Meeting of Families – Philadelphia 2015
(WMOF), with
the City of Philadelphia and Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, today
announced that the Papal Visit Playbook, a comprehensive online guide
for residents across the region
to assist in planning for the weekend of September 26-27, will be
available to the public on Monday, August 24 at 12 p.m. EST.  It will be
available at

special resource provides residents with a wide-ranging overview of
information related to the World Meeting of Families Congress (September
22 – 25
) and Papal Visit (September 26-27).  This
information includes a complete outline of the event itself,
recommendations on how residents can participate, transportation
options, special events available to residents in advance of Pope
arrival, emergency notification information, pet care considerations,
city service information and additional resources to support residents. 
are proud to develop and deliver this important resource to residents,
not just in Center City Philadelphia but across the five county region
as well as South Jersey and Delaware,” said Donna Crilley Farrell,
Executive Director for the World Meeting of Families – Philadelphia
2015. “There is so much information – both requested and needed – to
help residents to plan for this special global event.  With the City of
Philadelphia and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania,
we sought to offer a central access point for the distribution of
vetted and correct information related to the World Meeting of Families
and the visit of Pope Francis.  This living document not only focuses on
how to navigate the City during this one weekend,
but also highlights all of the ways in which residents can be part of
this once-in-a-lifetime experience beyond attendance at the Papal events
on Saturday and Sunday.   This event is for everyone and we sincerely
hope that the Papal Visit Playbook serves as
both a guide and a thought starter for residents’ planning in the
coming five weeks.”   
as an online guide, the Papal Visit Playbook will continue to be
updated to reflect key updates, including the addition of recommended
walking maps, special events and important transportation/travel
Residents can sign-up to receive notification of its publication and
continued updates
here.  To ensure wide distribution of the Papal Visit Playbook, and to provide those with limited
access to the Internet an opportunity to engage this resource, The Philadelphia Inquirer and
The Philadelphia Daily News will print and distribute a copy of the Papal Visit Playbook 10-14 days in advance of Pope Francis’ arrival.
by the Holy See’s Pontifical Council for the Family and the Archdiocese
of Philadelphia, the World Meeting of Families is a triennial global
event that seeks to strengthen the sacred bonds of family across
the globe and highlight its intrinsic value to the good of society. This international gathering will welcome Pope Francis to the United States for the first time in his Papacy.
Being held in the United States for the first time ever, the official theme for the 2015 World Meeting of Families is
“Love is Our
Mission: The Family Fully Alive.”
For more
regarding the
World Meeting
of Families
in Philadelphia,
For more information regarding The Holy See’s Pontifical Council for
the Family, which co-sponsors the World Meeting of Families, visit You can
also engage the World Meeting of Families – Philadelphia on Facebook (World Meeting of Families
2015) (Encuentro Mundial de las Familias – Filadelfia 2015),
Twitter (@WMF2015) (@WMF2015ES) and Instagram (WMF2015).
About World Meetings of Families
with 1994, The Year of the Family, the Pontifical Council for the
Family has been responsible for organizing the World Meetings of
Families in Rome (1994); Rio de Janeiro (1997); Rome (2000); Manila
Valencia (2006); Mexico City (2009); Milan (2012); and now,
Philadelphia (2015).  Since its inception by Saint John Paul II, the
World Meeting of Families has sought to strengthen the sacred bonds of
family across the globe.