Monthly Archives

August 2017


Pixs: 2nd Annual Eagles Taking Flight for Autism Fundraiser

Happy sadly, last day of “August”. The second annual Taking Flight for Autism event was held at Lincoln Financial Field last night and raised money for the autism support programs at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) and the research programs at CHOP’s Center for Autism Research.

Earlier in the day I was at the Linc shooting a behind the scenes piece with Carson Wentz and got this shot of the set up of Taking Flight. (I’ll fill you in in October) If you’re in Rittenhouse Square today at noon, NRG Energy and I will be giving away Carson Wentz fans, for the fans.

David Akers and Jeffrey Laurie (Custom)2017 Eagles Hall Of Fame Inductee K David Akers and Eagles ChairmanSince 2016, Jeffrey Laurie.

The event has now raised $1.6 million for CHOP, announced Philadelphia Eagles Chairman/CEO Jeffrey Lurie and the Eagles Charitable Foundation (ECF) today.
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At Taking Flight for Autism, more than 600 guests joined the entire Eagles organization – players, coaches and front office executives – for an intimate dining experience at Lincoln Financial Field. Attendees enjoyed a cocktail hour and dinner on the field, as well as a full program of football conversation and remarks from Lurie, head coach Doug Pederson and 2016 Eagles Hall of Fame inductee Merrill Reese. The evening’s guests purchased tables to support the cause.
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Torrey Smith with guests
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Carson Wentz with 2017 Hall of Fame Inductee Merrill Reese in foreground

“Autism Spectrum Disorder is a critical public health issue that is now being recognized as one of the fastest-growing developmental conditions in the United States,” said Jeffrey Lurie, Philadelphia Eagles Chairman and CEO. “Autism touches the lives of millions of people around the world, including within my family. Over the years, we have made great progress with advanced research and treatment options, but there is so much more we can learn.

“I commend the Center for Autism Research at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia for their progressive vision in this field and am confident that this financial support will contribute to their innovative work focused on autism research and programs.”

Autism is a bio-neurological developmental disability that is typically recognized by the age of three. Individuals who have been touched by autism often experience verbal and non-verbal communication challenges, along with difficulties in the areas of social interaction and cognitive function. Autism is now being identified at a rate of one in 68 births – one in every 42 boys – making it the largest developmental disorder in the world. While there is no genetic test or cure for autism, its numbers continue to grow at an alarming rate.

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Anthony Starego and Eagles …Caleb Sturgis (Custom)
Anthony Starego and Eagles Caleb Sturgis
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Christina Weiss Lurie
Dave Spado (Custom)Eagles Insider Dave Spado interviewing Eagles Coach Doug Peterson


In addition to 2017 Eagles Hall of Fame inductee David Akers, who attended the event and will be formally enshrined into the team’s Hall of Fame on October 23, a very special guest was also introduced – Anthony Starego. Starego is a Brick, NJ native who became the first varsity football player with autism in the United States to play in a high school state championship game and contribute points in the contest.

A placekicker like Akers, Starego is a 2015 graduate of Brick High School where he played football from 2009-13. Today, the 23-year-old Starego is the kicker for two minor league teams in the region, the Jersey Shore Hurricanes and the New Jersey Pitbulls. He was the leading kicker last year with the Pitbulls in extra points and set an NEAFL record seven extra points in one game.

ECF is a 501(c)(3) public charity that serves thousands of low income children in the Greater Philadelphia region every year with a focus on improving health outcomes. ECF uses its unique platform to provide children in the Philadelphia region greater access to vision care and autism research and services. For more information, please visit

Thanks to ECF for providing me with these photos. The event ended at 8PM and the boys were on buses up to NYC for tonight’s game with the Jets. Go Birds!!


#PCC10th A Decade of the Best Events in Philly

I’ve thought about this over the years, and people ask me all the time “What was the best party you ever covered?” It’s hard to narrow the best 10 over the past decade so I went with 15, here goes… PS if you were involved in any of these events by providing the decor, please write me at buzz At the time I sometimes know and like to include that info in the columns.

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These days the Fairmount Conservancy hosts a lovely gala at the Horticultural Center in Fairmount Park, but years ago they used to hold a garden party in the Azalea Garden on Kelly Drive (this shot is from 2011). I always loved it there as the gardens are so pretty and the guests dressed in garden attire. There were also carriage rides that would take guests on short rides through out the park, tea sandwiches and cocktails.


Relatively new and coming up again October 6 – The 23rd Street Armory Oktoberfest by Brauhaus Schmitz
A great idea, executed with nearly no problems as far I could see. A weekend of sessions joyous with German song, dance, food, brew and smiles all around. The decor and concept was done by the folks at Brauhaus like owner Doug Hager, GM Vanessa Beahn, and Executive Chef, Jeremy Nolen. Aversa PR did the publicity.

The Philles Phanatic with Julia Sala.

The Philles Phanatic with Julia Sala at Little Stars Gala, where kids fighting cancer at area hospitals, enjoy a night of glamour and fun. Notable MC’s over the years including Erin Elmore, Alex Holley, Mike Jerrick with Stacey Kracher helping with the media and production.

Weatherman Doug Kammerer at Public House Fashion Show 12 3 08 (Custom)Before there was a Philadelphia Fashion Week, there was local realtor Jamie Reibenbach’s fashion shows at Public House in the mid 00s. Jamie was always able to recruit fun Philly notables to walk the catwalk like Doug Kammerer, former CBS3 Philly weatherman. The fashion shows were a monthly event, along with other fun events she held for charity.

Philadelphia Phillies’ All-Star Second Baseman, Chase Utley and wife Jennifer Utley team up with the City of Philadelphia Mural Arts

Philadelphia Phillies’ All-Star Second Baseman, Chase Utley and wife Jennifer Utley team up with the City of Philadelphia Mural Arts to fund-raise. They were the first of the Phillies of the 00s establish a foundation and to host annual soirees for them The Annual Utley All Stars, saving domestic animals. Nicole Cashman, Cashman & Assocs produced, publicized and executed their events.

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The Shane Victorino Foundation Fashion Show was hosted at Union League and was always a good time. Here’s Hunter Pence on the catwalk as Jamie Moyer, Mitch Williams and Shane Victorino look on.

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One of the best events was conceived by Megan Smith, Brownstone PR, who created Philly’s Dancing With The Stars” to benefit Sickle Cell Anemia. The event had a strong, successful run for about 4 years and was able to attract many Philadelphia notables, including  socialite, philanthropist Dana Spain, Sabrina Tamburino, GN Kang, Michael Callahan, Michael Days, Erin Elmore and so many others.

These folks had to invest serious time to learn how to dance in order to compete for the “disco ball,” The judges were very serious about determining who would win and included legendary dancer Joan Myers Brown is the founder of The Philadelphia Dance Company (PHILADANCO), Sen Larry Farnese and Thom Cardwell, man about town.  DSC_0165 (Custom)
Elizabeth Wellington, Jenice Armstrong and Jimmy Contrearas with prizes
The Annual Ritz Carlton Oscar Viewing Party was always a smashing success; judging was also fierce for fashion of the evening, but no one went home a loser if they were able to grab a gift bag before they were all gone.
In later years they set up stations where people could grab a bag and fill their own gift bag with swag
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The Barnes Opening Gala was one to remember. The who’s who of Philadelphia Society – Anne Hamilton, John Middleton, and Leigh Middleton were on hand for the fundraiser which was Emceed by Brian Williams, as the crowd enjoyed dinner and entertainment by Norah Jones. Even legendary photographer Bill Cunningham stopped by to take photos for the NY Times .

Gerry Ellis, Global Conservation Prize recipient and Joan C. Hendricks, VMD, PhD, Philadelphia Zoo Board Vice Chair

Gerry Ellis, Global Conservation Prize recipient and Joan C. Hendricks, VMD, PhD, Philadelphia Zoo Board Vice Chair – The Zoo Gala is one of the most beautiful events and they give out the most exquisite award to their honorees.

The room is always decorated incorporating elements of the zoo, as well as decor from the jungle (created and inspired by Zoo employee Mary Love, Dana Lombardo and their team). DSC_5706 (Custom)
Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts (PIFAwas an ingenious idea, and we are so fortunate to have this event that happens every couple years in Philadelphia. Curated by the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts,  PIFA, reappears for its fourth edition in 2018 to build on its events in 2011, 2013 and 2016.  PIFA 2018 Gala’s is 5/31/18
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PAWS Dinner, where popular restaurants in Philadelphia recreate their eatery at a gala location and serve a three course meal for guests and sponsors. I came on the scene when the event was held at the Union League, but eventually it outgrew the building and was held at the Linc.  Philadelphia Animal Welfare Society or PAWS (raising money to make Pa a no kill state.) was founded by Dana Spain. The PAWS dinner skipped a few years, but on October 2 there will be another one. TICKETS HERE

Champagne anyone?

Champagne anyone? Hair of the Dog an extension of a New Year’s Eve party.

Started by two friends  – Dan Cronin and Robert Molinaro, Metro Communications, who wanted to celebrate the new year with their friends, especially the ones they didnt spend New Year’s Eve with. It’s been going on for over 20 years, and has been held all over town even on a Missisippi riverboat docked at Penns Landing.

Buffy E. Harakidas | Director of Marketing and her team at Metro Communications. PR by Jennifer Sherlock, Jenna Communications.

Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen, Children's Book Author reads her book "Tyrannosaurus Wrecks" at the Storybook Ball.

Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen, Children’s Book Author reads her book “Tyrannosaurus Wrecks” at THE STORYBOOK BALL, they used to have it at night, but switched it to the day time so the little ones can maintain their sleep schedule.  I highly recommend this event for families, uncles or aunts to take the kids. So fun. Adults dress up as well.

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Started by Renee and Don Freeman – Donors Are Heroes is a group of dedicated friends, committed to raising public awareness for the importance of becoming an organ and tissue donor, to dispel myths and provide a means for people to share their donation wishes with family and friends. Their party is always in April, and it’s always fun. It’s a dessert, dancing and getting down with your friends event. Don’t take your organs to heaven. Donate.

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The UNCF Mayor’s Masked Ball Philadelphia is fabulous. I always enjoy photographing it as guests wear the most fabulous masks, and it’s for a great cause. The event draws the most fabulous of notables. I once photographed Billy Paul there ie Me and Mrs Jones, who didn’t love that song growing up. On the red carpet is Mayor Michael Nutter and First Lady Lisa Nutter.

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Thanks to Mayor Michael Nutter for attracting so many great events to Philadelphia, including the Pope’s visit, the DNC, the amazing development and growth in the City we’re experiencing and one of my favorite events,
Made In America. That might come as a surprise to some people as I have complained of the driving/parking restrictions in my neighborhood, but Made in America was one of those defining events that made a difference in Philadelphia and put us on the map of being able to handle large scale events. I really enjoyed covering the event for the first 4 years, and although I could have covered it this year I realized it’s too much for me to spend the entire  day there. Up until the 5th year they allowed media to leave the festival grounds and take a break. I live across the street, it was a treat to go home and return after a few hours. I look forward to the coverage this year, and hearing if it’s going to come back again as this is the last year of the “contract.” I am giving away tickets to the weekend event if you follow directions on my instagram.


_DSC4142 (Custom)The Annual Charity Flip Cup Tournament to benefit MS and a rotating local charitable organization.
Created by Chatterblast and held at Field House every year.
It’s always a blast

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My 80s Prom Birthday and my luck 7th Annual Philly Chit Chat Anniversary Party in 2013 at Sky Garten, which raised funds for Gilda’s Club, in three years I raised $30ks in my sisters name who passed away of ovarian cancer.
Thanks to the Cabot Cheese for honoring me this year for my charitable contributions for my pro bono charity work.  American Foundation of Suicide Prevention for honoring me with the
Humanitarian Award in 2015 for my volunteer work, the Linda Creed Foundation for honoring me as Volunteer of the Year in 2014 (volunteered for nearly 10 years now) and for
Here’s Your Chance and Mayor Nutter for surprising and honoring me with the “Do Good” Award in 2012.
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The Philadelphia Library Gala – Wonderland which was produced by Fred Stein


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Both Virgin Airlines and Qatar Airlines had big fancy launch parties in Philadelphia. Virgin Airlines had their star studded party at the Palomar. Celebs including Amber Rose, Terrance Howard, Penn Badgely, Seth Green, DJ Jazzy Jeff, and Sir Richard Branson walked the red carpet, as well as Boyz II Men, who also appeared at the QATAR Airways launch party held a year later at the Ritz Carolton, where they performed in front of a crowd of who’s who society and hospitality in Philadelphia. Maria Papadakis was the hostess with the mostess, and was hired to launch Qatar in a half dozen other North American cities.


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The Number One Event of the Decade is any of the Diner en Blanc’s. Thank you Natanya DiBona and Kayli Moran, co-hosts of Diner en Blanc for bringing the fabulous pop up dinner to Philadelphia, and for enduring the grief that surprisingly came along with it.


Can’t wait until next year, where will you put 5400 people?


The Most Fashionable People I Photographed in the Last Decade

This was a difficult decision but here are my picks for best fashion of the decade 2007 – 2017, that I shot. Happy PhillyChitChat 10th Anniversary. I just have 2 more columns left – the Best Events of the Decade and Pivotol Points in my Career. (the later is just so I can remember when I write my book in a decade, lol)



Sara Kelly – 2012DSC_8562 (Custom)
Sara Kelly (l) and Kharisma McIlwaine (r)

Kharisma McIlwaine, Aloysius Mcilwaine (just got back from Paris where he was paiting one of his beautiful murals), Alex Holley and Mike Jerrick of Fox 29's Good Day Philly.

Kharisma McIlwaine, Aloysius Mcilwaine, Alex Holley and Mike Jerrick of Fox 29’s Good Day Philly. – 2015

zmike and alex (2) (Custom)Mike Jerrick and Alex Holley –  2016

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Alex Holley, Fox 29

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Kate Beaver – 2014

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Kate Beaver – the dress that launched a million clicks and a media blitz -2013

James Crosby, Crosby & Co and Francesca Ruscio, PHL17, who both headed off to the Guns & Roses concert at the Linc.

Francesca Ruscio, PHL17, now with NBC10 at Philly Style 2016

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Francesca Ruscio recently signed with an agent in NYC and is about to work on a film

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6ABC’s Cecily Tynan and Adam Joseph – 2015


 The best dressed weather duo on TV  – 2016


I love shooting Rick and Flo Celender on the social scene.


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Rick and Flo Celender – 2016

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Marisa Magnatta and comedian Joe Conklin co-host CureDuchenne

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Marisa Magnatta and Maria Konopka (Papadakis)
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Trendsetter Christie Mandia and Brandon Mandia – 2016

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Craig Spitzer and Erin Elmore – 2015

Sassy and always up for fun – Erin Elmore – 2009

_DSC5267 (Custom) Danielle Hankin – 2014

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At a Mural Arts Fundraiser

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That time after the Young Friends at the PMA where I really wanted to get a photo of someone sledding down the steps, of course Danielle was up for the challenge in her Versace outfit and boots.- 2015

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Danielle Hankin is more than a socialite, she’s a philanthropist. Earlier this month she co-chair the JNFuture fundraiser at Lucy’s in Margate; She’s a Board Member and Event Chair of Philadelphia Chapter, which her brother Alexander Hankin founded. – 2017


Kristin Detterline, Editor of Philadelphia Style Magazine


Drop dead gorgeous but more importantly an amazing person and kind to everyone.

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Stacey Kracher, Christie Mandia and Kristin Detterline
on Mama Toub’s balcony on July 4, 2014

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Amber Goins and Pedro Goins – 2012

Just back from their honeymoon, Anne Nikolaus Pereira and Paul Pereira were still glowing from their March 7th wedding, with Amber and Pedro Gomes who are coming up to thier 2nd wedding anniversary.

Amber Goins and Pedro Goins – 2015 –
The cutest couple that makes you smile broadly when you see them. Adorable dancers as well.

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Donald Carter, always a dapper dresser.
For many years Donald was a Republican, a gay republican, which
got him an appearance on the Bill Maher Show nearly 2 decades ago.

Phil and Rita Harper with Hadia Tolson.

 Rita Harper always looks fabulous and wears this hat

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Stunning Buffy Harakidas – Metro Communications and event planner of Hair of the Dog with Natalie Guercio from Mob Wives who sang her new songs at the event.

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John Soden and  Sarah Doheny –
Met her in 2007, nicknamed her PRStyle Diva
Always an amazing dressed diva

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Thom Cardwell – The man of a thousand sports jackets and scarves
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Stunning Famed Fashion Illustrator Denise Fike (hire her for your parties) (You might never see her face, but her attire is always perfectly tailored and eye catching) and Lane Fike, Director of Capital Programs at Schuylkill BanksADSC_9655 (58) (Custom)
Joe Weiss, Chairman Electronic Ink and Sharon Pinkenson, Executive Director of Greater Philadelphia Film Office
November 2007

Sharon Pinkenson (wearing vintage Norma Kamal), Joe Weiss, and Donna Livingston at the 12th Annual Jefferson Gala honoring Sidney Kimmel at the Marriott Downtown on November 17, 2014.

Sharon Pinkenson (wearing vintage Norma Kamal), Joe Weiss, at the 12th Annual Jefferson Gala honoring Sidney Kimmel at the Marriott Downtown on November 17, 2014. Ageless, memorable, professional and kind


Anne Callahan and Charles Croce, Executive Director & CEO Philadelphia Museum

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Anne Callahan and Charles Croce –
puts a lot of thought into her dress for the Academy Ball. There’s always a great story attached to it DSC_6646 (Custom)
Andy Henning and Jill Rizen
(Timeless beauty, legs for days)

Vivian Camille at Hair of the Dog.
I see her once a year, and every year she makes my best dressed list for that year

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Josh DeMarco, hair stylist at Jason Matthew Salon in Rittenhouse, and Michelle Miller, Director of Development, BBBS Independence Region, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Subtle power couple.

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Style, grace and fun Marisa Magnatta – definitely one of my favorite photos of one of my favorite nights in the decade
The Academy Ball 2012


Brandon Morrison and Stacey Kracher


Power couple, trendsetters, ones to watch in the next decade

Brandon M Morrison and Stacey Kracher

Stacey Kracher and Brandon Morrison – Style Icons of the Decade


Rep Jared Solomon gets hitched, Brooke Thomas Update, Local Honey Hannah Krupa

The last Sunday in August. WOW did the summer go by so fast, I think it did because we packed it with so many fun things to do, memories with friends, beer gardens, family fun and pretty good weather. I think the most shocking thing I recall this summer is Hurricane Schwartz correctly predicting that the weather in June would be hotter than the weather in August. You know I’m a weather geek and I follow all those predictions, although sometimes they can be more like a horoscope outcome. BTW If you’re looking for a Sunday drive today, head over to South New Jersey and pick up some delicious Jersey Tomatoes. I just had some for breakfast. So good, my Uncle Carmen tells me the uglier they are the tastier. Go visit Visalli Farms

Speaking of South Jersey, earlier this week New Jersey Senate President Steve Sweeney, Glassboro Mayor Leo McCabe, Rowan University President Ali Houshmand, and Gloucester County Freeholder Heather Simmons, Nexus Properties today celebrated the official ribbon cutting of the largest phase of Rowan Boulevard, known as A3.     The A3 development – part of Glassboro’s transformative multi-phase redevelopment called Rowan Boulevard – is composed a unique mix of luxury student and market-rate apartments, retail and office space, state-of-the-art classrooms and a multi-level parking garage. The opening represents perhaps the most significant milestone to date in the $400-million “public-public-private” development initiative, which has already established a magnetic, inter-generational town center serving to even more closely link the burgeoning Glassboro community and Rowan University, one of the fastest-growing institutions in the nation.

Councilman, John E. Wallace III, Heather Simmons Glassboro Mayor, Leo McCabe Rowan University President, Ali Houshmand Nexus Properties COO, Dante Germano Glassboro Administrator, Joe Brigandi New Jersey Senate President, Steve Sweeney
JaredJames J. Cuorato
President  &  CEO,Independence  Visitor  Center Corporation checks out the expanded Liberty View terrace, which has been constructed as part of the Independence Visitor Center to $15M Renovation project which is underway.
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Congrats to Rep. Jared Solomon and Tiffani McDonough on their wedding yesterday. Jared and I used to work at Kohn, Swift & Graf back in the day. Read about their wedding in the NY Times today.

Congrats to Brooke Thomas, formerly of CBS3Philly, who’s landed at Daily Mail TV, a new syndicated series hosted by ESPN & GMA Vet Jesse Palmer. The series will be executive produced by Carla Pennington, Jay McGraw, Martin Clarke, and Dr. Phil McGraw.

Congrats to new business Madison K make up artist to the stars in No Libs.Jared
Former Philly resident producer John Powers Middleton, attends Netflix’s Death Note premiere in NYC this past week with his girlfriend Model Joanna Prus and his mom Leigh Middleton Jared
Congrats to Hannah Krupa and her band Local Honey with the release of their new EP, and it’s terrific. Give it
a listen here

See you back here tomorrow for more PhillyChitChat… have a great day

PS all photos provided or screenshot from SM.


21 Fashion Standouts at Diner en Blanc Philadelphia 2017

Last Thursday the nations largest Diner en Blanc hosted their “pop up” dinner at Franklin Square. Earlier this week I listed all the places photos have been placed. I promised two more columns on the event, the best fashion and a comprehensive blog post on how the event unfolded with behind the scenes secrets and lovely table settings. That post will be next week. Here’s my picks for best fashion as I saw reviewing my photos and other photogs shooting for Diner en Blanc including: du soleil photographie, Georgi Anastasov, Kory Aversa and Kate Raines

In years gone by I never really noticed the nuance in fashion as Diner en Blanc attendees just seemed to be excited to have that one white outfit to wear to a white party.


This year they seemed to put a lot of thought into what they were wearing.


Old School radio around neck


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Breast use of a plunging neckline in white


Don’t get to close, but so fabulous!!



Where is the battery pack?


Into the Grove

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Silly rabbitFashion





Love this photo, and their fashions.



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I like that repeat Diner en Blanc attendees figured out you can cart your stuff in a beach wagon.


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Blue Hair, White Hair, Blond Hair, No Hair great to see the gays and allies at Diner en Blanc

Youse Win Diner en Blanc Most Fashionable


#PCCBuzz Shawn Mendes Parties in Philly, The Chainsmokers Spotted, MIA Road Closures

Good Thursday throwback. Let’s see what’s happening around town in #PCCBuzzShawn
I sure do miss those days when Phillies wives, Phillies players hosted fun charity fundraisers. Here’s Stephanie Kendrick (wife of Kyle) hosting a charity shoe auction along with MC GN Kang *now Butler. Both these ladies have moved on from Philly – GN is in San Diego with hubby Ian and son. Stephanie and Kyle live in Florida, when Kyle isn’t playing for the Boston Red Sox. They have two kids  Kyle Kendrick Jr., Sophia Marguerite Kendrick. 7 years ago I was covered Kyle’s surprise 25th birthday party.

ShawnShawn Mendes spent quite a bit of time in Philly this week leading up to his concert at the Wells Fargo Center on Tuesday night. He stayed at The Logan hotel on The Parkway, enjoyed dinner at Urban Farmer, checked out the Parkway view at rooftop bar The Assembly and worked out at LA Fitness 2425 S 24th St, Philadelphia, PA 19145 a few times. Seems Shawn has a membership there as he works out at LA Fitness across the country on many of his tour stops. Another stop he makes is the fan photo stop as he’s doing here with Ian Aubry, who you might recall brought Dance-rock band DNCE to his Social Media Marketing class at Temple last year.  Monday night Shawn Mendes , Charlie Puth and crew celebrate the end of their North American tour at Buffalo Billiards at 118 Chestnut St.


I was down the shore when this nugget came into my email, at first I was thinking can it keep til Tuesday, nah, I did the intro to the sender with Jennifer Logue at Philly Metro which resulted in this great article. Then I sent it along to Fox 29 and they ran it too. Here are additional photos and the story. Thank you EBE for thinking of me.

Philadelphia’s own EBE’s L.A Starz Plays with The Chainsmokers At A Wedding  

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Morgan and Harry met and fell in love…who knew one of Harry’s best friends was Andrew Taggart of the Chainsmokers!??! So close that Andrew had Harry add backup vocals to their hit song Paris! Needless to say, when Morgan and Harry contacted EBE to enlist the amazing LA Starz for their wedding, they did so knowing the band could effectively provide a concert like atmosphere….and boy did they! The 18pc band not only provided an incredible array of music and precision but added an exciting backdrop to the 3 song “concert” when Chainsmokers,
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along with bride and groom and members of the wedding party, took to the stage and performed Closer, Paris and Something Just Like This. The over 200 attendees were blown away as The Rittenhouse turned into the show of the year and the wedding of the century!!



Moustaki at 21st and Race streets is getting ready to open. It’s owned by Pete Ampatzis of Pete’s Famous Pizza, there’s one near me in Fairmount. Check out the story in the Phl Biz Journal to hear more about the new place.



Made In America Road Closures Begin Sunday

Road Closures: The Made in America Festival will take place on the Parkway on Saturday, September 2nd and Sunday, September 3rd between the Philadelphia Museum of Art and N. 21st St.

Street Closures will begin on Sunday, August 27th through Tuesday, September 5th. The following is the first set of closures:

Sunday, August 27th – Closure #1 • 7:00am – Closure of two traffic lanes directly in front of the Philadelphia Museum of Art stairs

Monday, August 28th – Continue closure #1 – Closure #2 • 7:00am – Spring Garden Street between Ben Franklin Pkwy and Pennsylvania Ave Work hours: 8:00am – 7:00pm

Tuesday, August 29th- 7:00am – Continue Closure #1– Closure # 2.(no closure # 3) Closure #4– North side curb lane on Park Towne Place between N. 22nd St and N. 24th St • 7:00am – South side curb lane on Pennsylvania Ave between N. 22nd St and N. 23rd St. Work Hours: 8am-7pm


DaddyO, Where the rooms are adorable and a Wine Bottle is on the Wall

Summertime, summertime you were the best. August was definitely the standout month, as you know if you follow me on Social Media. Last week I headed to Long Beach Island, a shore town I used to go to with the parents over Labor Day Weekend with the parents in the 70s. The town is still as quaint and comfortable as it was back then,


and no place captured it more than Daddy O Hotel Restaurant  which is part of Fearless Restaurants (White Dog Café, Moshulu, Autograph Brasserie in Wayne, Plantation and Tucker in LBI ) owned by Marty Grim, who hosted moi and my gal Laura Burkhardt.
The rooms are adorable, kinda like a cool beach bungalow

or a Maine cabin. But does it have a bottle of wine hanging from the wall like this. Only $35, and I hear it was delicious.
The hotel has an active bar on the roof, on a back deck. there’s also a restaurant where not only is it packed by the hotel guests, but by a lot of locals. That says a lot. They also have bikes you can borrow to ride around town as well. If it wasn’t raining Miss B Where and I would have definitely done that. The staff was AMAZING. So friendly.


Tuesday night Laura and I headed for Plantation. I had this salmon dish with ravioli, and it was so good. I loved the plating as well.

The next day Laura and I headed to Tucker’s Tavern. We had a few apps. I had a burger of course, and Laura had the New England Clam Chowder, which she told me it was so good she would bathe in it. I was ROFL. Wish I had had some.HD1_7027 (Custom)

The rooftop was closed because of weather, but I went up so I could see the Perseids Meteor shower, which is still visable til 8/24, which is tomorrow night. I saw 4 shooting stars and it was spectacular. DaddyO
Did I mention that DaddyO’s is only a block from the beach.DaddyO

The beach is still as beautiful as I remembered it as a kid, with great waves for surfing. Thanks to DaddyO’s for the hospitality, the delicious food and creating new memories for this kid at heart.


Happy Eclipse Day, Vesper Changing, aLoft Hotel News and MIA Street Closings

Good Monday morning. Lots of fun stories happening in town. Please remember to wear your special glasses today for watching the Eclipse. Or look on the ground where you can see a cool shadow of what’s happening in the sky. It’s about protecting your cornea, which can be burned by the sun if you look at it.

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Vesper restaurant on 223 S Sydenham St has changed it’s concept to a sports bar. Think Bounce in NYC Sports bar concept.
Owner Brendan Smith is now partnering with Monarch Swim Club owner Tim Lu to create this new concept. Some of the best VIP/entertainment personal are already on board for the launch, but they’re looking for a few more dynamic folks.

Are YOU Awesome? Do you have a passion for food, drink, service and hard work? Want to work at a one-of-kind venue in Philly?

Vesper Sporting Club is hiring for all positions including Model Marketing Bottle Server, Bartenders, Barbacks, Security and more.

Apply online at

The new aLoft hotel is about to open with Evan Evans who as General Manager at Aloft Philadelphia Hotel. Earlier this year he
left the lofty position as General Manager of One Liberty Observation Deck, and before that he was at Le Méridien hotel, where he opened that hotel and remained for many years. Good luck, I can’t wait to see it. I hear the grand opening is in late October.
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Friday I was trending on Twitter with this photo below. The @trendsphilly actually sends you an alert on twitter. That was fun.

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I took it from my balcony.

A reader wrote: I saw your amazing storm photo last night, and then this morning a relative announced that they had their baby last night during all of that and named her August Storm – She asked to buy the photo. I gave it to them as a gift.

Congrats Gov

Made In America is in two weeks. Here are the first street closures happening starting Sunday.

Street Closures  • Sunday, August 27th – Closure #1 • 7:00am – Closure of two traffic lanes directly in front of the Philadelphia Museum of Art stairs

Monday, August 28th – Continue closure #1 – Closure #2 • 7:00am – Spring Garden Street between Ben Franklin Pkwy and Pennsylvania Ave  •Work hours: 8:00am – 7:00pm


• 7:00am – North side curb lane on Park Towne Place between N. 22nd St and N. 24th St • 7:00am – South side curb lane on Pennsylvania Ave between N. 22nd St and N. 23rd St



Diner en Blanc, links to where the photos were picked up Plus MTV Eclipse Promo News

What an awesome Diner en Blanc, and a great space to have it at Franklin Square, one of my favorite parks.


I forgot I was going away until Tuesday, I don’t have time to do my Diner en Blanc wrap up until Wednesday but here are the links to where some of the photos have been placed so far….

Elizabeth Wellington’s Column at

Plus the Phila Inquirer

Metro Philly

Philly Style Magazine

Philadelphia Magazine – I’ll be using some of these, as well as additional ones for the October issue.

Phila Business Journal

Time Out Philadelphia

In three months after Philly Mag and Philly Style go to print, I will put most of the photos in an online album for you to grab your shot.

Taken from my balcony Friday night

It was great meeting all of you, thanks for letting me photograph you. Follow me on Twitter @HughE_Dillon and on instagram PhillyChitChat for the latest on what’s happening in Philly and the best places to hang out and eat.


I received the follow press release from MTV.

This year, MTV is leaning into the space theme this year, tapping Director Floria Sigismindi (known for her work on music videos for big stars such as Justin Timberlake and Rihanna) and world-renowned photographer David LaChapelle to create an out of this world space-inspired campaign (check out the promo clip here).

To further emphasize this campaign theme and to celebrate the start of “VMA” week and MTV’s newly re-named “Moon Person,” the network is executing a series of activations around the Solar Eclipse this coming Monday, August 21st.

  • On Monday the 21st, MTV will be airing a “VMA” x eclipse animated graphic on-air and across social and digital platforms to celebrate.
  • MTV is celebrating the eclipse in 7 cities across the country, partnering with Fooji to deliver custom “VMA” eclipse viewing glasses and astronaut ice cream to fans who tweet #TotalEclipseVMA + the female astronaut emoji.
  • The campaign will begin at 11:00am ET / 10:00am CT / 9:00am PT on Twitter.
  • All fans need to do is head to @VMAs on Twitter and tweet the specific combo.
    • Delivery areas include Charleston, Chicago, Kansas City, Los Angeles, Nashville, New York and St. Louis.
  • MTV is giving away eclipse viewing glasses live on air and to fans in Times Square.

The VMAs will air LIVE at 8:00pm ET / PT on Sunday August 27th on MTV.




Dogs To Put A Smile On Your Face – Yappy Hour at Aqimero

The 2nd Yappy Hour at Aqimero took place Tuesday at the latin inspired restaurant in the Ritz Carlton, and didn’t disapoint as many guests brought their dogs.


From 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., guests enjoyed Aqimero’s lush ambiance and happy hour cocktail menu (margaritas, mojitos, wines by the glass, draught beers and draught beers) as well as some adorable drinks made especially for the event like the “Berry Good Boy” (made with muddled strawberries and Manatawny Stillworks’ Three Bitches Vodka [At Manatawny Still Works we love our dogs. A portion of all proceeds from our Three Bitches Vodka sales go to No-kill animal shelters ]). Guests “Yappy Hour” include fresh oysters, guacamole and wild mushroom flatbread.

Marla McDermott, President of The Walnut Club brought her dogs as well as members of The Walnut Club to the Yappy Hour

Brenda Nguyen, and Dara Von Small, with Sorsha

Laura Baker, Erica Wexler and Tia Johnson


Parthenia Moore and Adrian Shackelford

Emily Terpak, Stephanie Smith, Sarah Brand, and Olivia Capone Myers


Amber Emory and Aiyana (dog)

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Chrissy Dress and adorable Lola Von Dress


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Flavia Colgan, Jill Marple McCabe, and Jennifer Romberger

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A portion of the proceeds from the event will benefit the nonprofit Hemlock Edge Rescue, which is dedicated to rescuing homeless, abandoned and abused animals. Representatives from the organization will be on site with a few adorable puppies that will be available for adoption.

Thanks to Talya Hailey for shooting this for Philly Chit Chat