Monthly Archives

December 2015

Philadelphia

Philly Gossip: Nicki Minaj & Meek Mill at River Rink and Eats Big Ass Slices, Spotted Bill Murray (again) and Jennette Mccurdy

Nicki Minaj is the #1 celebrity moment of Philadelphia. She’s giving me paparazzi life as we close the book on 2015, which left us a little celebrity starved except for that time Bill Murray attended his son’s wedding, a story I broke. Nicki fell
in love with a home town rapper Meek Mill. He tweeted 5 years ago that his goal
was to date Nicki and have knock her up, I think he’s well on the way as in less than a year they are engaged.

To kick off 2015 Meek Mill instagramed this photo from the 1925 Lounge last January of one of their first dates after attending a Wale concert at TLA.

 She popped up
during his set at Made In America, then again when he did WDAS
Powerhouse, and now she’s standing by him during his court hearings, and
Philadelphia confinement. Meek’s not allowed to leave the Philly area until after his February 3 hearing, at which time he might be sentenced for violating his probation. She’s been staying at a Center City hotel. She’s been spotted at living her life at lots of spots.

Twice they’ve gone bowling together at
South Bowl in South Philly. Plus they were spotted eating at Capital Grille as I reported last week. I heard she had asked all the servers their names, and she addressed them by them during the course of the 2 hour steak, potatoes and cheesecake dinner.

She was also spotted shopping at Nieman
Marcus KOP on Christmas eve eve and instagramed several pics of her new buys, including an interesting interaction with a couple of guys.

 Tuesday I got a tip at 11PM that they went to a family members child’s birthday party at
Blue Cross Ice Skating Rink.

The party she attended at the Blue Cross River Rink was in the kids tent where they have games like air hockey, pinball and basketball throw

My tipster indicated he thought they’d be leaving soon so I hung by her car.

Then I heard fans screaming her name so I ran over to the Chestnut Street bridge area to try and get a shot. This is the shot she took when she was rink side.

This group and I think that’s Nicki in the blue jeans, started to walk out the door to leave, but fans had gathered and they went back in and out the side door,

unfortunately I hadn’t started my New Year’s diet and couldn’t hustle over to the side quick enough to get a photo like these fans did. They were screaming I Love You Nicki!!

I did follow her car for a little bit, and she ended up sending her driver into “Big Ass Slices” in Old City for a few slices to take back to her and Meek’s hotel. Nicki is scheduled to perform in Las
Vegas tonight and left her hotel yesterday to fly there, but Meek has to stay behind and do community service today.

As Nicki was leaving on the jet plane, Wed afternoon, her boo Meek Mill and Quincy Harris, Fox29 were on hand as Mayor Nutter honored members of the Northwest Raiders football team for winning the Pop Warner National Super Bowl Championship for the “Midget” Division.

Looks like Bill Murray is back in town. Last night he stopped by the Black Powder Tavern last night! He had the veal burger ;).

She posted this last night. Not sure why she’s in town, do you know why?

ICarly’s Jennette Mccurdy was Spotted on Walnut St. She posed with a few fans and then headed into Urban Outfitters.

Philadelphia

The Best 2015 Moments in Philly Engagements, Rainbow Crosswalks, Drake, Emmy Awards, The Pope and more

The best moments in Philadelphia

 Ian Larson and Jamie Reibenbach got engaged. It was Easter and I was on my way to dinner at my sister’s so I couldn’t angle for a better shot, and celebrate later. But I did see this wondrous moment and capture this.
 The Rainbow Crosswalks. Frannie Price, and Chuck Volz who have been instrumental leaders in the LGBTQ community for decades, with then candidate for Mayor, Jim Kenney
 Original Reminder, John James pointing at his photo when he protested for LGBT civil rights in front of Independence Hall in 1965
 Lawrence Brownlee (Charlie Parker) greets Philadelphia Opera supporters at the After Party of the Charlie Parker’s YARDBIRD at the Academy of Music in June. In April, the opera opens at the Apollo Theater New York , NY
 Every single walk that happens is a moment to touch someone’s life, whether it’s funding raised, or a participant in the Walk. This is the Delaware Valley Stroke Council walk. This group are the survivors of a stroke. Most are able to do the 5 k walk. It’s inspirational just to be in their presence.
 I am so blessed to be on Fox 29 for nearly 5 years now. Here’s the Halloween Show with Quincy Harris as Drake, surrounded by a few zombie friends from Eastern State Penitentiary
 Zany Henri David with Mayor Michael Nutter at the Philly Pride Parade.
 My Mike learning to paddle board at The Reeds Hotel in Stone Harbor
  Guests frolicking in the fountains at Dilworth Park during the Philly Mag Best of Party.
 Tyra Banks promoting her show FAB Life, taking a selfie with Philly Daily News Gossip Girl, Jenny DeHuff, after grooming her. Both have moved on to new gigs since this photo was taken. Congrats to Jenny who is now at the Metro newspaper, where just this year I finally got several photos publish. It took years to break into that paper. You’ll also see me in the every other month column picking my 5 favorite events to do that month, and I have an online column. So the Metro did it up big for me.
 John J. “Johnny Doc” Dougherty, Business Manager of Local 98; Chris Bartlett, Executive Director of William Way; and David L. Cohen, Senior Executive Vice President of Comcast Corporation at the Mark Segal Book Signing “And Then I Danced: Traveling the Road to LGBT Equality”. At the time this photo was taken there was a bitter protest of NBC10 cameramen against Comcast, the mothership. Doc and David were often across the table from each other in negotiations.
 Finally something solid comes her way, as business leaders break ground for the future of the Divine Lorraine Hotel’s new life as an apartment building.

 Being nominated by journalist at the Pen & Pencil Club was one of the highlights of my year. I am truly honored by this nomination, especially being recognized in breaking news on my Social Media as I really honed my SM to bring the news and helpful tips to the reader in a timely, concise – 140 characters (lol) way.

 The Vatican Splendor exhibit at the Franklin Institute. Here a guests puts her hand in the handprint of Saint Pope John Paul. It’s an amazing feeling.
NBC 10 photojournalist Brad Berner picked
up an Local Emmy for Education/Schools: News Single Story or Series for
“Playing For Funding”.” Brad got up, thanked the academy and then
thanked the band, asking them to play “Bennie and the Jets,” which they
did and he danced his way off stage at the Hilton on City Avenue
 The Pope at Sts. Peter & Paul Cathedral – In Philly
 The Pope Mobile on the Parkway
 Finally got an IPhone and did face time
 Martha Graham Cracker getting exposed to the masses. Go see her.

 

 Amazing Connor Barwin and his philanthropy, making Philly a better place. Here he is at the Ralph Brooks Park dedication ceremony with Steve Cook who did the murals at the Ralph Brooks Park
 Stephen Starr and the original work staff at the Continental Old City. The restaurant that really put chic, fun modern dining on the map in Philly. 
When the American Suicide Awareness honored me with the Humanitarian
Award this year. The event over sold out, my family
came and lots of friends like Sheila Hess, our new Philadelphia City
Rep, of course at this moment I had no idea that in a week they would
announce it. Thanks to you for your support.
Philadelphia

New Year’s Eve Dinner with Chef Matt Zagorski

Chef Matt Zagorski
Cooks Up His First New Year’s Eve in Philadelphia in Years:
4 Courses $75

Formerly of LaCroix, Rouge, Opened 500 degrees, and Hickory Lane Zagorski is now cooking up his signature dishes at Penn 6 – 114 S 12th St, Philadelphia, PA 19107

The New Year’s Eve Menu $75 per person – 2 seatings
Philadelphia

Philly Best Events of the Year 2015 – And the TOP 5 Picks – With Info on Producers

So many great events happened in 2015, it was hard to choose, but I did. Let’s check them out. Criteria was definitely about execution, and participation of guests. I do try and find out who does what, but sometimes the event coordinators and or PR don’t know. Everyone who does these events should be recognized, some of them are just spectacular.

Founded by the local start up Chatterblast, the  Annual Flip Cup Championship at Field House brings together friends and family in the name of charity and serious competition to raise money for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. Yep everyone seems to be participating and dressing the part.

Decor: Chatterblast Food: Field House

Each year the Young Friends of National Museum of American Jewish History hosts two big events, the “Midsummer’s Eve” Dance where guests wear white, and the Maquerade Ball: Celebrating Purim, where guests wear costumes. It’s a great organization to get young people involved in supporting the museum, and nearly everyone participates in dressing for the theme.

One of the best events this year was at the Eakins Oval, as “Future Sensations.” The exhibit, which celebrated the 350th anniversary of Parisian building materials company Saint-Gobain, featured five distinct light-up “pavilions” that weigh between 20 and 50 tons, and were between 13 and 32 feet tall. It wasn’t an earth shattering experience (more of an advertisement about what the company does for billionaire corporations), but because it brought Philadelphian’s together to experience it, as well as wait in lines for hours to chit-chat, it earns a place on the Best Philly Event’s list. Also Philly was the only spot in the USA it stopped on it’s tour, and we got lots of great press.


Diner en Blanc will always be on the list. Because seriously who would have thought 4500 would carry their own tables, food, and chairs; wear white to picnic with strangers in the rain at an undisclosed location. Again this is an experience, whether you do it once or all 4 times it’s happened in Philly. What I don’t understand is why people mock it or outright hate it. OK you don’t like it, why do you think it’s ok to be so mean about it and judge others? It’s not ok bully.
Above: Theresa Grady and Narberth Mayor Tom Grady make their way through the Navy Yeard to attend Diner en Blanc for the fourth time.

Event Coordinators of Diner en Blanc
Natanya DiBona and Kayli Moran 
PR : Aversa PR
Philly Style Magazine – their Best of PSM is always the hottest party of the summer. Alice in Wonderland is 150 years old this year, and PSM went with the theme and did a great job at it’s execution. Lots of different restaurants catered the event. Cashman & Assocs. did the PR
The Tall Ships were pretty spectacular despite the over hyped duck being lame
The Young Friends of the Academy Ball Monster Ball at the Ritz. It’s a standalone event, or you can purchase a year long membership which includes this event, a day at Radnor Hunt, a cocktail party and a stint on the Young Friends of the Academy Ball committee and ticket to the Ball every January. This year Martin Short will be joining the Philadelphia Orchestra on January 23, 2016. The monies raised at the event go to the restoration of the grand old lady of Locust Street.
TICKETS STILL Available for Concert and Gala
This year’s young gala chairs are Katie Gagnon and Cory Siegfried. Lexie Norcross, Philly Voice was the media sponsor for the party. This pix could easily been in the Philly Best Dressed column tomorrow too. 

  Jazz Age on the Delaware
Amazingly successful. Happy it was a reasonably cool August day.
Event Coordinators of Diner en Blanc
Natanya DiBona and PR : Aversa PR
With musical selections by Mole Street Productions
  aspireLIFE’s JAM 2015 for the American Cancer Society co-founded by George Azar, a 15 year survivor of cancer. It’s always a great time and turnout of his friends and family.
Held at Hotel Palomar 
Harry Connick Jr performs at Penn Medical 150th Anniversary. The set up was amazing. The tent had to be flown in from Germany, and was the largest one in existence in the world. The tent covered the entire top of the Art Museum Steps, including the fountain, which made for a glorious centerpiece. There was a gigantic LED screen behind the stage that showed a live view of the Parkway.
This is one of my favorite photos of the year. It was taken at the Philadelphia Museum of Art’s “Discovering the Impressionists” Opening Gala. It was a crazy hot day. I had covered the Molestice earlier in the day, and it was a client event. I didn’t have time to go home and change, even though home was across the street from the Art Museum. To me this was a must cover event, and it had to be covered during the cocktail party. I like to choose the people I photograph, if you don’t arrive during the cocktail hour, but during the dinner hour, you don’t get the pixs you really want, just the shots people are willing to interrupt their dinner for to pose for you. Anyway, we’re so lucky to have such amazing institutes in our City. To have these galas where supporters pay $1,000 of dollars to attend these events, and the proceeds go to acquire more exhibits as well as fund art education at the museum. Below is what you would call the money shot. I always want to shoot Gerry Lenfest, he’s very philanthropic and an important person on the cultural scene. The museum’s PR built this shot for me as I told them who I wanted in it. I stood by the paintings I thought would be a good background, and the photo happened.
Jennifer Thompson, Curator, Philadelphia Museum of Art; Hannah Henderson, Trustee Emeritus, Board of Trustees, Philadelphia Museum of Art; Sally Sharkey; H. F. “Gerry” Lenfest, Chair Trustee of the Philadelphia Museum of Art; and Gail Harrity, appointed President and COO of the Philadelphia Museum of Art

The Franklin Institutes Vatican Splendors – Just amazing. Go see it, it’s there until
Food: Frog Commissary  
Music Production: Mole Street

The POPE IN PHILLY. 
Thank you Archdiocese of Philadelphia Office for Communications, Brian Tierney, Donna Crilley Farrell, Meg Kane, and City of Philadelphia for making this happen, and happen for me.
Many people had their hands in the production of this event, but none more than
ESM Productions


These are the Top 5 Best Events of 2015

The Friends of Rittenhouse Square hosted the 32nd annual Ball on The Square. Over 400 well-dressed
guests attended, dining on Starr Events Catering and danced to the
Eddie Bruce Orchestra
while surrounded by the beautiful decor of Evantine Design, all to raise funds for the popular park. – This year they are re-doing all the flower beds.
Audio/Visual/Lighting: Eventions
Food: Starr Catering

  The Best Decorated events this year were:
 The 25th Anniversary of Manna at the 23rd Street Armory. It’s a cavernous, cold space that houses military vehicles. Next door is Manna, the organization that provides delicious, healthy meals for people with chronically ill who said let’s turn that space into something special for our event. The space was transformed into a magical, lovely cocktail party with many lounges, plenty of seating areas including community tables, amazing lighting and flowers by Beautiful Blooms. The event production companies who pulled it all together were two new on the scene two companies Event Strategy Group and Mole Street Productions co-produced the 25th Anniversary Party.

On Saturday, October 31, 2015, Devereux, a leading national nonprofit
behavioral healthcare organization, hosted its annual Hope Gala at the
Crystal Tea Room in Philadelphia with the theme “Into the Woods” making a mystical Halloween evening.
This year the gala was held on Halloween and the theme was a masquerade
black tie ball. Proceeds from the Hope Gala
benefits Devereux’s programs which serve more than 3,500 children and
adults
with intellectual and developmental disabilities and behavioral health
challenges in southeastern Pennsylvania. The black-tie event included a
cocktail reception and a sit-down, buffet dinner by the Finley
Catering.  The gala’s
decorations were amazing, with trees, weeping willows and the most
magnificent table decorations by
Devereux in house Planning Committee
Hoffman Design Group, Inc.
Food: Finley Catering
The Philadelphia Zoo’s 6th Annual Global Conservation Gala. The proceeds from this gala will support the expansion of the world-leading Zoo360 network of animal exploration trails (see the trails in the ballroom). The Zoo Gala is always one of the most gloriously designed events, and this year they didn’t disappoint. Held for the second time at the Bellevue at the Hyatt, the Grand Ball Room was transformed as if you were eating dinner in the middle of the jungle with the animals roaming around you in the Zoo360. Event production was by the Zoo’s in house event planning team headed by Mary Love, who had a vision and she tapped Penncora to execute it.
Event Production: The Philly Zoo team headed by Mary Love
Decor: Penncora
Audio/Visual/Lighting: Eventions
Food: The Bellevue
My #1 pick for the best event of the year, with the criteria being decor, participation and execution ta da:
The Free Library of Philadelphia’s year-end gala, Through the Looking Glass: A Wonderland Ball, which took place on December 5, 2015. The theme of this black-tie affair celebrated the 150th publication anniversary of Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.
Event Producers: Fred and Neil Stein of The Creative Group, Inc
Decor: Penncora
Lighting: Pro Vision
Food by:  Brûlée Catering
Philadelphia

How Did Philly Notables Celebrate Christmas: Announcements, Puppies, Presents

I hope you had a marvelous Christmas. As some of you may have heard my beloved mother in law, Eleanor Toub, passed away on Christmas Eve after a short illness. She lived a few floors above us at The Philadelphian, so I got to spend many cherished moments with her. Soon I will write my memorial to her so you too can see how remarkable she was. Today let’s focus on celebrations of love, and joy this holiday season.

Congratulations to Molly Sullivan French (sideline reporter for the Philadelphia 76ers on Comcast SportsNet.) and her hubby Tommy French and baby makes 3 in May. Maybe on their anniversary as Molly and Tommy were married in May in Honolulu.

Former CSN reporter Maria Papadakis popped up on Christmas day with her squeeze Chris Konopka at his parents house in Toms River. Maria and Chris then jetted to Naples to spend the rest of the holiday at her mom’s house.Usual the pair live in Toronto where Chris is goalie for their professional soccer team.

HELLO I need walking privileges
OMG now I’m going to have to get Mike one of these

Notes are the best

My friend Gwen Bailey hosted a few celebs who gave back on Christmas
Charlie Mac, Bernard Hopkins, Meek Mill and Yazz the Greatest with Gwen Bailey and Quincy Harris on mic
Patti LaBelle at her house in Wynnwood

Ron Jaworski’s grandsons are so fed up with the Eagles, they’ve become Pittsburgh Steelers fans
 The Papale family headed for an Eagles disappointment on Saturday
 The Vetri family ate at Pizzeria Vetri in Spring Garden on Saturday
 6 months ago Fierce Pierce was looking for love on the Art Museum Steps, now it looks like he found it somewhere else
Former Ela Sous Chef Billy Riddle popped the question to TopCheftestant, celebrity chef Jen Carroll and she said YES!
The duo moved to DC over the summer and plan to work in Mike Isabella’s new restaurant Washington, D.C.,
area,

Congrats to Adam Joseph, partner Karl K and Jacob as they welcome a new addition to their family

Merry Merry, Happy Happy. Tomorrow I will start posting my Best of 2015 columns. Monday we return to posting events and Philly Gossip. I still have Philly events I haven’t written about, instead of saying last week, or last month I’ll be saying last year.

Philadelphia

WMMR’s Preston & Steve’s Christmas Miracle at Parx Casino Party

Last week WMMR’s Preston & Steve Show took it on the road and

 broadcast their annual Christmas show at Parx Casino’s 360’s lounge in
front of an audience of listeners who called in to the show to win
tickets to attend the private, year end party.

 Guests were treated to a breakfast buffet, and generous gift
bag filled of goodies for everyone, and everyone had a chance to be
chose for the quiz show part of the day to win great prizes like a years
worth of beer (Beer for a year from Yuengling – 24 cases from them!), a $500 Dunkin Donut’s Gift Card, computers and more.

 Casey Boy with his ugly sweater and even uglier nails, thoughts?
 Great crowd turnout for an event that started at 6AM and ended at 10AM. The crowd was full of longtime listeners, and often attended Preston & Steve’s other events like Painfully Single, and the recent Camp Out For Hunger, where 93.3 WMMR Preston and Steve Show and their listeners have helped “can” hunger for the last 19 years.

On Friday the Preston & Steve Show entertained with their regular sense of humor, keeping the crowd in stitches, and held several contests where they gave out really amazing prize packages. PS next year I think I want to be in the audience instead. Prizes included: Parx Casino VIP Night Out, including $200 to any Parx food &
beverage outlet including Parxgrill and Bambu, $200 free slot play,
free valet parking and complementary entrance to 360, plus $200 in parx
‘chips’.

  • Dinner for two at 11 Stephen Starr Restaurants in Philadelphia.
     Some folks won beer for a year, a tankful of gas, $500 gift certificate to Dunkin Donuts.

 The show is always funny, but they were holiday hysterical Friday
 New Year’s Eve Party at Parx Casino
Tickets only $25
 Adam H won a mac after correctly answering a trivia question at the WMMR Preston and Steve Show at Parx Casino.
Adam excited with his new Mac
The Preston & Steve show set up

 Marisa Magnatta, Preston Elliot, Elizabeth Trubey, Carrie Minelli, Steve Morrison , Kathy Romano, Nick McIlwain  and Casey Boy
 Steven “Santa” Singer and Gary “Elf on the Shelf” Lauer
There was a Q&A session
 Steve Morrison poses for a fan

 How crazy is this outfit Preston Elliot is wearing. People on social media LOVED IT!

  Kathy Romano who says: 
All audience members got $5 off tickets for Philadelphia Magazine’s Philly Cooks event on February 16th at the Philadelphia Marriott Downtown.
 Contestants up for a challenge. There were more than a few fun Marisa Magnatta questions like:
What is the strange annual dinner that Marisa goes to every year where you have to bring your own table?
Miley Cyrus shirt, pretty cool
 Listener Lisa’s called up to be a contestant
  She got it right and won diamond earrings from Steven Singer!
 Later in the show listener Sharon guessed that the Secret Santa
 was Steven Singer and won $900 pair of earrings.
 Listener Joe has come every year since the broadcast started, and he has the luck of the Irish. 3 years he’s won something

Including Barb’s Harley. 2 years ago he won an orange one. He told me he sold it and paid off his car. Now that he’s won a second one (2015 Harley Davidson XL883 Superlow from Barb’s Harley DavidsonNo one walks at Barbs!) he’s keeping it. God is telling me something, he wants me to drive a motorcycle.
Here he is with Barb Borowiec, owner of Barb’s Harley Davidson
The gang is on vacation til Jan 4, but keep up with them on their FB HERE
Philadelphia

Holiday Parties: Medical Guardian Hosts their Annual Soiree at Union Trust – I asked peeps What is your Fav Holiday Song

Medical Guardian (1818 Market Street 
Suite 1200,
Philadelphia,
PA
19103
) held their annual holiday party on Saturday night at Union Trust in Center City.

The evening began with a cocktail party in the mezzanine over looking the dining area

 Employees, managers, spouses and friends enjoyed a lite buffet and cocktails while chatting holiday shopping, traditions and favorite holiday songs.

 Bianca, Vince and Felicia
 Victoria, Evie and Mark all like that Mariah Carey song, which has reigned for 20 years as the most popular Christmas song.
More than two decades after its original release, Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas Is You” continues to hit new heights. The 1994 carol rises 22-18 on the Billboard Hot 100  (dated Jan. 2, 2016), scoring its best rank ever on the chart. The song had previously peaked at No. 21 peak on the Hot 100 dated Jan. 5, 2013.

Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas Is You” is also Geoff Gross‘ favorite song no doubt with wife Val Gross at the top of the list (newlyweds after getting married September 26, 2015)
David Meyre loves Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer while Alexa Lower groves to Jingle Bell Rock. I’d call these two stylish and modern.
 Zack, Emily, Ronnie and Lauren
 Megan Warner and Jen Pirrone

are fans of my fav song, Feliz Navidad

A video posted by Philly ChitChat (@phillychitchat) on Nov 13, 2015 at 10:09am PST

you’ll recall my sister did a dance to it recently

Russell, Visal and Fredo
George Kilcrest, Sharon Kilcrest, Nanette and Chris Jones
Lois Todd with Bill and Lisa Corson
Geoff Gross, Medical Guardian, President and CEO, Mickey Goldberg, Karis Gross, Marc Simon, Simon & Simon, PC and Jason Mandel

Harry, Tracy, Tracy and Harry 
Harry loves the holiday song by The Waitresses’
We never hear enough of Run Run Rudolph
These lovely ladies, Sabriyyah, Carman and Simone, love “Silent Night”, it tells the story so beautifully

This past year everyone’s favorite mother, Florence Henderson filmed a few commercials for
Medical Guardian, LLC
Philadelphia

Philly Gossip: Nicki Minaj & Meek Mill dine in, Eagles Out and About, Kenny Rogers and Bradley Cooper’s Joy

Every Tuesday and Friday PhillyChitChat brings you PhillyGossip:
Jingle Bell, Jingle Bell Rock, only 3 more days til Christmas. My plans as you know have been thwarted this year, but I am spending a great amount of time with Mike and him mom, who is in hospice at home. The awesome part she’s lived in our condo building for the past decade, so we get to be there for her night and day and we are having such a good time reminiscing. Anyway as Liza says, the world goes round and round and Philly Gossip is all about. Last night my phone started blowing up with Nicki Minaj and Meek Mill sightings in the 9 O’Clock hour.

Meek Mill is restricted to the Philly area for the next 2 months til his sentencing for a probation violation, in February. Tuesday afternoon he and fiance Nicki Minaj stopped by a Philly group home for girls (see pix). Last night Nicki Minaj and Meek Mill had dinner at Capital Grille with 8 friends. Nicki looked beautiful, in tight blue jeans, a light blue shirt and a dark blue blazer. She was super nice to the staff, even addressing them by name. Meek wore jeans, tshirt and a blue hoodie. The duo smiled through out their steak dinners. (PS Nicki blurred Meek’s shoes cause he wasn’t wearing the ones he has a “contract” for to endorse.)

Earlier in the day Nicki was kinda pissed off tweeting that a staff member of the hotel she’s staying at walked into her room even though the Do Not Disturb sign was on the door. She notioned online she wanted the staff person fired. Hmm that’s not very Christmas spirit like.

Anyway I allowed the duo their space last night, but did tweet greetings to them during their dinner.

HughE Dillon
PhillyChitChat
930PM

Enjoy dinner @NICKIMINAJ and @MeekMill. It’s the holidays and I’ll leave you in peace. Hope to shoot u soon. Philly’s Gentleman Paparazzo

In January it will be a year since they were first seen coupled up, taking an instagram photo at the club 1925 at 17th and Chestnut Streets after attending a Wale concert at TLA on South Street.

Labor Day Weekend they appeared together at Made in America on stage during his set. Now they’re engaged. It’s the real thing. Meek Mills bodyguard was found not guilty of murder in a Philly court yesterday, but he wasn’t at dinner. He gets out of jail today.

Last night Philadelphia 76ers players Jahlil Okafor and Isaiah Canaan surprised 20 children from the YMCA of Greater Brandywine with a holiday shopping spree at Dick’s Sporting Goods, supported by the Believe & Achieve Foundation at King of Prussia Mall.  Okafor and Canaan posed for photos and escorted the children through the store on their special “Shop with a Pro” experience. Check out the full article here.

SIXERS HOLIDAY HOOPS CAMPS PRESENTED BY ROTHMAN INSTITUTE OFFERS THREE DAY BASKETBALL CLINICS DECEMBER 28-30 in towns near you. For more information about Sixers Holiday Hoops Camps or Sixers Camps
contact the Director of Corporate Communications, Lara Toscani, at
LaraToscani@Sixers.com

Rumor has it: Chancellor Hotel Associates have delayed the “Little
Pete’s” hotel project, which had the parking lot at 17th & Chancellor being torn down and building a luxury Hyatt on the location. Little Pete was to vacate by February, but believes he’ll be there through the summer.

 Tracy Bucholtz is becoming BFF’s with man about town, Philadelphia Eagles most philanthropic player, Connor Barwin. Here the duo were gathering toys at Child Advocate at 19th and Arch Streets Saturday. Someone shot their selfie
 Which looked like this. You’ll recall in the summer they also shared a selfie at another philanthropic event. This past weekend Tracy headed to Longwood Gardens and posted a few beautiful pixs of the local destination. Must put it on the list of holiday places to visit.
 Happy happy birthday Renee Reese, with her hubba hubby Phila Eagles announcer, and former player Ike Reese.
 More Eagles out and about, Jordan Matthews stopped by Del Frisco’s (15th & Chestnut Streets) for a holiday party and to get measured for a new suit by custom clothing by Daniel Morroni Sr., who’s a super guy. Speaking of Del Frisco’s their Sommelier, Jeffrey Mayfield, has created a selection of rare reserve wines by the glass that has recently been added to the restaurant’s extensive wine list.  Del Frisco’s Philadelphia is using a wine preservation tool called a “Coravin,”
which allows servers to pour a glass of wine from a $500 bottle without
even uncorking it. A needle goes through the cork and pumps the wine
into a glass. Once the needle is withdrawn, the cork naturally reforms a
perfectly airtight seal. The wine is then preserved and can be enjoyed
for up to two years.

Speaking of wine – Mayor Michael A. Nutter toasted the owners and new staff of the
Parkway’s historic and picturesque new addition – The Logan Hotel. Joe
Santore
, General Manager The Logan Hotel greeted the mayor and then gave
him a tour around the property. The mayor told the gathered employees
that the building had a special place in his heart as he and his wife
Lisa, had brunch in the Swann Fountain 24 years ago the day after they
were marriage. The mayor marveled at all the art that decorated the
newly renovated hotel, which was curated from local artists. Nicole Cashman & Michelle Conron of Cashman & Associates gave me a personal tour last week. I’ll have photos up soon. Cool place. Can’t wait for the rooftop bar to open next year.

Eagles Sam Bradford has good taste. He stopped by Sweet T’s Cake Shop in Haddonfield and picked up a cake.

Have you seen their cakes, pretty fancy as well as delicious.

 My sister Janine DeFeo who lives in Charlotte works for PhillyChitChat. She and her BFF delivered toys to kids in the hospital in Charlotte yesterday. She’s very philanthropic. When she’s not delivering presents to kids, she’s working on the Ovarian Cancer Teal Project organization she founded.

 Forgot to mention last week my two buds, Ben Haney and Jamie McFadden got engaged in LA last weekend. (Justin Pizzi photo credit) I missed their engagement party on Friday night as I was photographing Kenny Rogers at Valley Forge Casino Resort.Mazel Tov!

Valley Forge Music Fair Presented Kenny Rogers for his Once Again It’s Christmas Tour, featuring Linda Davis (mother of Hillary Scott who is the other half of Lady Antebellum) Friday night at Valley Forge Music Fair at Valley Forge Casino.  Joining Rogers and Davis’ on stage was “Main Line School of Rock and Vocal Fusion” choir. The  choir made up of local students, were chosen to perform in the Kenny Rogers Christmas show. Musical director is Marie Anderson, from Main Line School of Rock, said it was an honor to perform with the country legend. 
Linda Davis, country singer, Jennifer Galle, chief marketing officer, Marie Anderson, Musical Director of Main Line School of Rock and Kenny Rogers, front row with
“Main Line School of Rock and Vocal Fusion” choir
The concert was great and I even got to chat with Kenny Rogers for a brief second backstage. Really a brief second, he said I don’t think that ladder’s gonna hold you, and then probably thought to himself, hope he’s going on a new year’s diet.

 

6ABC’s Walter Perez and son stopped by the MSB Building’s holiday party last week. Mayor Nutter also stopped by to thank his planning staff for a job well done.
Check out yesterday’s column for the best celebrity photos I shot in Philly in
2015
http://www.phillychitchat.com/2015/12/favorite-celebrity-shots-ive-taken-in.html
Jennifer Lawrence, Bradley Cooper and Robert DeNiro were last seen together in Silver Linings Playbook which filmed here in Philly a few years back. They’ve re-teamed in Joy, which opens on Christmas Day. 
JOY is the wild story of a family across four generations centered on
the girl who becomes the woman who founds a business dynasty and becomes
a matriarch in her own right. Betrayal, treachery, the loss of
innocence and the scars of love, pave the road in this intense emotional
and human comedy about
Philadelphia

Philly: Best Celebrity Shots & Stories Behind Them 2015

I’ve been lucky over the years to be in the right place at the right time, to have generous tipsters, as well as being invited or hired to shoot celebrities at events in Philly. Most of these pixs I try and place in media outlets, print, magazines online, then on my blog if all else fails. Here are a few of my favorite celebrity shots this year.
Breaking ground for SLS International Hotel & REsidences, the organizers brought together an interesting array of people like Gamble and Huff, who owned the land where the new luxury hotel will be built. Also on hand the famed designer Phillippe Starck, who will be doing the interiors of the new hotel.

Comcast Cares was a client shoot. Eagles player Brandon Graham stopped by with Swoop to help out the kids of Greenfield School do a little spring cleaning. I was impressed they really cleaned up the place, repainted rooms, installed shelves and planted greenery around the playground. Brandon actually chipped in to help, it wasn’t just a photo op.

The Today Show’s Tamron Hall made at least two visits to Philly this past year. Once to appear at the Lutheran Settlement House 2015 Women of Courage Breakfast where she was honored. At the breakfast she talked about domestic violence, and how her sister was killed at the hands of her husband. A few months later at a luncheon with Philly Style ladies to celebrate her cover shot on the magazine. She was much warmer and personable than she appears on TV

Penn Alumni – 250th Celebration Gala was held on the steps of the Art Museum. The largest tent every erected held a party with nearly 2,000. Entertainer Harry Connick, Jr entertained the guests. I was one of the few press people invited to shoot the event as Harry had rules. That background is a live version of the Parkway, the only thing, it’s an LED screen which was projected what a camera was recording on the outside of the tent facing the parkway. It was quite clever to do.

50th anniversary of LGBT rights protest commemorated on July 4th Weekend. There was a private cocktail party for VIPs, officials and sponsors at Stratus Lounge. Wanda Sykes and LGBT activist Edie Windsor, named plaintiff in the marriage equality case heard in federal court, were on hand at the event. I saw the duo sitting next to each other and I knew this was the most important shot to get. Wanda is always skittish about getting her photo taken, so I knew I’d have to be delicate. I stood there for a few minutes, trying to get shots without a flash and Wanda shot me a “i;m gonna slay you” look. So I stooped. Finally after ten minutes Edie stopped looked at me and I asked to get a photo. One, two shots then they turned to talk to each other. Thankfully I had what I could work with.
Phillies fans love them some Shane Victorino as he was welcomed back to CBP with an impressive standing ovation prior to April 6th’s opening day game. Shane and I were friendly, so I knew whenever he came to town he would stop by his favorite eatery Del Frisco’s. So I headed there that night and sure enough he and wife Melissa were there for dinner.
Scott Williams FOX 29 Chief Meterologist, Alex Holley, Good Day Philly and Bobby Rydell at the National Kidney Foundation Gala.
The ending of Creed, is different than the ending that was filmed for Creed. Michael B Jordan stands by the Rocky statue and cries, is not in the film. This photo appeared in AD Amorsio’s Metro Philly column with no in depth explanation. I pitched it to my producer at Fox 29, and although he loved the exclusivity of it, he didn’t want to spoil what we thought was the end of the movie.
Alysia Reiner’s local PR Paige Wolf: Philadelphia’s Favorite Green Public Relations connected me with Alysia Reiner who connected me with Sarah Megan Thomas. I explained that i’d love to get a photo of them either on the set or at an arrange spot. They chose the latter as we could never get dates that worked out. This was much better for me too, it was a great way to spend my birthday. This ran in Philly Mag. One the last day of filming
SPOTTED: Orange Is the New Black‘s Alysia Reiner Dining at Talula’s Garden 

L-R: Sarah Megan Thomas, Alysia Reiner, David Alan Basche, Samuel Roukin and Roe Hartrampf  The cast of Equity arrived in Philly last week to begin filming a movie about women on Wall Street.  Equity is the brainchild of Sarah Megan Thomas and Haverford native and Orange Is the New Black prison maven Alysia Reiner, and is the first film produced through their production company Broad Street Pictures.

Fox 29’s Quincy Harris and M Night Shyamalan at the Prince Theater.  After photographing the cast of Equity, I headed over to Philadelphia Film Society’s Prince Theater, which hosted a screening of the season finale of M. Night Shyamalan’s hit Fox miniseries Wayward Pines

I randomly ran into Knock Knock Live filming in Francisville as Adrienne Bailon and Tyler Posey were knocking on doors and handing out money prizes. Truth be told, they weren’t random houses. Someone had nominated  Rashaun Williams’ for his charitable works and he was received $25,000. They then went to their neighbors to see who would be around to “win” lower amounts and do it live on TV.
Mayor Nutter gives Fran Dresher the Liberty Bell and Philly Pride Award
Danielle Cohn takes a selfie with Kate Gosselin and Vivica Fox. Thanks to John Deming (r) and Danielle for inviting me to the special screening of Celebrity Apprentice at Comcast with the stars.

 
Fox 29 celebrated in style this year at Halloween bringing Tom Brady, Nikki Minaj, Kris “Momanger” Jenner, Arianna Grande, Taylor Swift, Rihanna, Justin Bieber, and Drake flank producer Jessica Klein of Good Day.

Dr J Gala at the Rittenhouse Hotel with George Lopez, Alan Thicke, Cedric the Entertainer, Reggie Jackson and Vivica Fox

Mayor Nutter holds a poster of a fighting mural installed earlier in the Front Street Boxing Center where Creed was filmed, presented by Michael B. Jordan (Fruitvale Station) and Tessa Thompson (SelmaDear White People), writer/director Ryan Coogler (Fruitvale Station),  longtime Rocky producer Irwin Winkler and Sylvester Stallone.

Vince Papale, Janet Papale, Mark Walhberg and Alexandra Papale. It was crazy how some media outlets identified her as Mark’s wife. She doesn’t look anything like his wife.

Jon Dorenbos, Mark Sanchez and Annalise Dale at Zarwin Baum’s Fashion Touchdown

Celebrity Photo of the year is Amber Rose. “I was a stripper since I was 15 years old,” Amber Rose, a former Ford model, told FOX411 in 2011 “I was a South Philly hood rat my whole life. Amber Rose went from Delilah’s Strip Club to Kanya to superstar.

In October she returned to Philly sporting the popular jumpsuit fashion, while bringing back the corduroy fashion

Philadelphia

A little bit of gossip to start your day and And The Winner of the Pen & Pencil’s Best Use of Social Media in Journalism

A little bit of gossip to start your day.

Not often seen of late, Socialite Kelly Boyd with William A. Carter IV, Esq. Chief Operating Officer from Darrell Clarke office at the Duane Morris (Kelly’s client) party at the Pennsylvania Society weekend in Manhattan last week.

Congrats to Mikey and Allie on the birth of their daughter Cora on Dec 7. These two are a great representation of millennials, finding their way through the world. It’s great to see their lives progress from their first date, to courtship, through their first real jobs, to marriage to today.

Congratulations to Diane Johnson DiCicco and Christian DiCicco on the arrival of Charlie John DiCicco. So adorable.

Happy Birthday Alissa Frick. Friends gathered earlier this month to celebrate. Pearl stole the spotlight.
Kristin Detterline, Marisa Magnatta, Alissa, Sheena Parveen, Vasiliki Tsiouris, Christie Honigman and Erin Como.

Baby Dillon is about to be a big brother. Congrats to the Widell’s

Today is the last day for filming the M Night movie #Split starring Betty Buckley. So bummed I never had a chance to photograph her, but she did provide plenty of photos herself and the locations of the movie every day. Even filming across the street in Fairmount Park, but I was too busy to go and photograph the action. Here they are at Sun Center Studios in Chester, Pa, where they filmed for the past 4 weeks.

Congrats Alex Eckman-lawn and Kate Glasheen who can be found on SEPTA buses in this advert for River Rink.

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