Monthly Archives

May 2018


An Evening in Franklin Square presented by Parx Casino

Historic Philadelphia Inc. hosted the 9th annual “An Evening in Franklin Square” presented by Parx Casino on a particular beautiful, but rain threatening night under the glow of the third annual Chinese Lantern Festival.  I arrived after 8 pm this year as I covered the Historic Society Pennsylvania Gala earlier in the evening.

Because of the threat of rain, the party committee created a series of tents and covered pathways to usher the guests between the venues.

The weather held out and the evening began with a cocktail party on the grounds of the park, surrounding the fountain and the beautiful lanterns, there was a silent auction and lots of mingling.  During the cocktail party The Square Derby presented by Parx Casino took place, with one carousel “horse” victorious where the winner received a large trophy.

Thanks to the hard work by volunteers the evening went smoothly

Beesley Reece did an amazing job on the live auctions, as he’s done every year since the inception of the event – AND he lives in Texas now!

Laura Burkhart, Visit Philly and Meryl Levitz, executive director of Visit Philly

Randy Chapman and Eric Etkins – co chair
David Murray and Bob Green, founder and chairman of Greenwood Racing and Parx Casino in Philadelphia
Former Gov Ed Rendell catching up with Chris Mullins, McGillin’s Tavern

 Chuck Zacney, Carol Zacney, Casey Zacney, and Alex Zacney
The gala benefited the family-friendly park.

Jessica Itzkowitz, and Job Itzkowitz, Old City District executive director

And to all a good night says board member Carol Tamburino, until next year.


On the Town With HughE Dillon- Randomness, Rehoboth & Joel Embid

On the Town With HughE Dillon- Randomness, Rehoboth & Joel Embid


Hope you had a great weekend. Mike (Happy 24th Anniversary) and I headed to Rehoboth Beach, Delaware with our friends Matt Malinowski and Chuck Lentz. The weather was beautiful Saturday and Sunday. Saturday night we had dinner at Salt Air, which was delicious, especially their rolls. Sunday night we finally got the rain that everyone else was getting around us, and we stayed in and played Philly-opoly (Monopoly based on vintage Philly, when Corestates was the name on the Flyers/Sixers arena) Prediction, look for the renaming of the arena before the year is out.
Sunday afternoon we took a drive, and grabbed a bite at Rusty Rudder. How random I ran into Geoff Pierce and Samantha Peirce, Mama Peirce and the MacCloskey’s in Dewey Beach; I hadn’t seen them since their wedding in January. Remember he was the #artmuseumhottie I photographed working out 3 years ago. Seems like an eternity.

Rehoboth Beach was hopping with Philly faces. 6ABC’s Matt Pellman was there, as was Marisa Magnatta, Preston & Steve Show, visiting with Jenny Hatton Baver & Scott Baver, who live nearby, but are originally from the Philadelphia area. When Jenny Hatton lived in Philly and was with Profile PR she helped start Philly Beer Week, which kicks off this Friday, June 1. Info Here

And new arrival to Philly, NBC10 reporter (Seriously do they have the best looking news personalities at that station?) Miguel Martinez-Valle took advantage of the beautiful weather to take a dip in the 66f Atlantic Ocean at Rehoboth Beach on Saturday afternoon. Last week he was at Robert Irvine’s Beats ‘n Eats

Although over at Fox 29 we have a few beauts our-selves. Jenn Frederick tells it like it is on air and off, and now she’s writing a blog about it. Get the inside scoop on how she balances her career, family life and friends. On Memorial Day she wrote a great piece on friends and the importance on surrounding yourself with nice/supportive peeps.


I want a nice, fun, smiling supportive group of buddies. Not a crew of high maintenance diva back stabbers.  (source) Join 84ks subscribers and get weekly “fly on the Wall” fun at Jenn’s blog.  (Subscribe here)
In the June issue of Philly Mag, another Fox 29 supastar getting some air time. (Alex Holly at Manna’s Gauc Off Thursday night, to her right is Robert Bennett, on the right, he’s opening Classic Cakes in Suburban Station. Says look for a September date.)
One of Us: Alex Holley

While I was away Joel Embiid twice played basketball at Starr Gardens at 9th and Pine,


to the delight of the local guys

Kathleen Turner poses after the show with Philadelphia Theatre Company’s new Producing Artistic Director Paige Price and Carol Saline, Board Member.

Tony Award nominee and two-time Golden Globe Award winner Kathleen Turner (Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, Romancing the Stone) will make her Carlyle debut May 22–June 2 with her new cabaret show Finding My Voice, which premiered at The Philadelphia Theatre Company back in September.

Congratulations to my neighbor, casting director Roz Fulton, co-founder of Direction and Exposure Access (DEA) (with her mom Jacqui Fulton) which specializes in casting hard-to-find actors, including seniors and children. DEA casts for an array of film and TV projects including “National Treasure”; “The Sixth Sense”; “Rocky I, II, III, and V”; and “Beloved” as well as “Hack” and “Jersey Girl.” She won the 2018 Female The Philadelphia Independent Film Awards (IFAP) Impact Award, which were handed out May 20, 2018 at International House. Here’s a link to additional honorees.

Thoughts are with WYFF station as the death of their long time employees: reporter Mike McCormick (on the hammock with his husband) and photojournalist Aaron Smeltzer, (who will be greatly missed by his soulmate Heather). The duo were covering the impact of the heavy rain in Tyson, NC, and died when a tree fell on their vehicle yesterday. They died instantly, with the car still running and in gear. It reminds me that our time could come at any minute. Be Kind To One Another, and live your best life.
Tribute from Heavy


Sail Philadelphia 2018 The Tall Ships Parade

Sail Philadelphia 2018 The Tall Ships Parade

Just in time for Memorial Day Weekend a dozen majestic ships sailed into Philadelphia for a five-
day celebration honoring the sailing community and Philadelphia’s maritime heritage
during Sail Philadelphia 2018 Presented by Bank of America.


Beginning with the Parade
of Sail on yesterday, the festival will offer waterfront fun, ship tours, and sailing

Thanks Spirit of Philadelphia for the fun afternoon

Philadelphia Tall Ships festival 2018: Everything you need to know about Sail Philadelphia

Have a great Memorial Day Weekend, I’m going to the beach and bird watching.
I’ll be back on Tuesday, but follow me on Instagram and Twitter to see what’s happening –


Best Fashions at Radnor Races & A Muddy Good Time

Best Fashions at Radnor Races & A Muddy Good Time

On May 19, 2018 Dr. Thanuja Hamilton and I headed to the  The Radnor Hunt Races as they celebrated its 88th Anniversary with a traditional steeplechase. I’ve been going to the races for the past 9 years, as I remember my sister Judy dressed me for the first one and it was shortly before she passed away. In the 9 years since I’ve attended they’ve never had an all day rainy day, so I was interested to see what that would be like, as well as to see what people would wear.


Of course the most important reason I was going as all proceeds from the event benefited the land and water preservation programs of the Brandywine Conservancy in Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania,

and if you head out to the Chadds Ford there you will see a lot of open space, beautiful rolling hills.

Definitely looking smart: Andrew Ross and Betsy Ross at the Groebel Tail Gate Party Laurie Wightman (editor of The Scout Mainline) and Robert Baldry

 Paul Marshall and Julie Marshall, James Beard Foundation
Paul is taking over the space where Sbraga was located at Broad & Lombard. The new eatery will be called Fraternité, a French American cuisine, with a full oyster bar. Look for Fraternité to open it’s doors in August.

Daddy and me
Mommy and Me

Family Time
Another use for those gathering plastic bags

aww the young lady on the left slipped in the mud (see her leg PS she doesn’t have brown pants on) while her girlfriends on the right were happy it wasn’t them

Who remembers Minnie Pearl?
Brandon Morrison, Stacey Kracher, Raffaellina Merlino and Anthony Merlino at the The Young Friends Committee – The Academy of Music (Join for lots of fun social events, & Academy Ball Tickets)

Happy Happy Birthday, yesterday, Stacey!!

Dr. Charles Lentz is the Best Dressed for a muddy good day at the Radnor Races heading to The Young Friends Committee – The Academy of Music sponsor tent
  And it’s not just because you and Matt Malinowski (vice chair of the Young Friends Committee – The Academy of Music) are hosting Mike and I at your crib in Rehoboth Beach this weekend.

Sharon Floyd and Kearni Warren in their floral best enjoyed a delicious spread by The Palm in the Bellevue Tent

Definitely the best dressed trio:
Rhys Williams, Lauren Swartz
and Trey Massengill in the Bellevue Tent
Best Dressed and accessorized Heather and Vern Burling

And before you knew it, we were slip sliding away. See you next year, there’s a 50 percent chance it won’t be a muddy good time next year…..tune in tomorrow to see photos as the Tall Ships float up the Delaware River for your enjoyment this weekend…


Mike Toub Checks Out Wizard World for Us

Thanks folks for tuning in, sorry I am so far behind in posting events. These allergies are doing a toll on me, I’m so tired and then I have all these events to keep up with as well. I promise in the coming weeks to do a better job. Thanks for your notes, as I do read them all. Last week I sent Mike Toub to cover Wizard World on Sunday when I realized I couldn’t make it this year. Let’s see what he captured….

Wizard World, Inc. ( produces comic, gaming and pop culture conventions across North America that celebrate the best in pop culture: movies, television, gaming, live entertainment, tech, comics, sci-fi, graphic novels, toys, original art, collectibles, contests and more.

A first-class lineup of topical programming and entertainment takes place at each event, with celebrity Q&A’s, comics-themed sessions, costume contests, movie screenings, evening parties and more. Wizard World has also teamed with Sony Pictures Entertainment to find the next generation of movies as well as to engage in a number of strategic initiatives. Additional initiatives may include an augmented touring schedule of Wizard World shows, fixed-site installations, curated e-commerce, and the production and distribution of content both in the U.S. and internationally. Fans can interact with Wizard World at and on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and other social media services.



The 18th Annual Centenarian Celebration

Mayor Kenney hosted Philadelphia’s 100-year-old residents at 18th Annual Centenarian Celebration at Sugarhouse last week before I headed off to Victor’s Cafe to catch the filming of Creed 2

I had always read about this fantastic event where the City celebrated our older citzens

The 18th Annual Mayor’s Centenarian Celebration honoring Philadelphians who are and will be 100 years old or older in 2018. This year’s celebration will feature

West Philadelphia’s Goldie Johnson, 106, the oldest woman (and oldest person overall) who will attend the event,

and Dr. Eli P. Zebooker, a 105-year-old Society Hill resident – the oldest man scheduled to participate.

The mayor posed with each of the Centenarians


Happy birthday Philadelphian Centenarians !!


Creed 2, Henry Winkler, Harrison Ford and PhillyWood

Hello Philly Chit Chat, here I am again apologizing for miss a few entries last week. Thanks for bearing with me, I still have this wicked cold and I like to sleep when I have moments so I’ve been doing a lot of that.


Radnor Hunt Races yesterday. I stopped for a cocktail with friends. Tomorrow I will publish shots of the best
dressed on a muddy, muddy day on ChitChat (Thanks Katie Adams Schaeffer  for this shot)
Also busy social season. I’ll have to figure out how to stay current while still covering all the fabulous parties and events, here on chitchat, ok let’s get to the Philly Gossip this week.

I’ve been waiting 6 weeks for the filming at Victor’s Cafe ie Adrian’s Cafe in the movie Creed 2. Despite the drenching rain they were able to get what they wanted for the movie as most of the scenes were inside the cafe,

unlike three years ago when many of the scenes were outside. I was so glad I could make it over there on the first day, Thursday, which I tried to coordinate with Jenn Frederick and I doing a hit for Fox 29, but the start time wasn’t until the middle of the day.  (It wasn’t going to work on Friday as Jenn had Jury Duty, and I was covering my client – The Please Touch Museum’s re-branding in the morning)

First I headed to the Centenarian Celebration at Sugarhouse, where the Mayor honored Philly citizens 100 years and older. It’s been on my bucket list for a few years to capture the event. I’ll have more photos later this week on chitchat and CBSPhilly. Then after making a donation of $40 in the Wheel of Fortune, or misfortune on this day, I headed to South Philly and my 2 hour parking spot.

I waited nearly an hour for the table I wanted at Green Eggs Cafe, where I would have a great angle for the coming and goings into Adrian’s, and for lunch cause their food is delicious.

extras in Creed 2, some of them really work at Victor’s Cafe

BTW Green Eggs only take cash, good thing I didn’t spend that last $20 at Sugarhouse.

BTW Cyndi Lauper had dinner at Capital Grille on Wednesday nightAnd has luck would have it, Sly Stallone arrived for the day right in front of where I was sitting.

I appreciate that Sylvester Stallone gave me a great series of shots with eye contact.

I was finishing up my lunch and then Dolph Lundgren rolled in. This was a lot of fun as he was someone I had hoped to see in person. I later found out that Florian was on the set too, but I had left already. I had the HSP Gala and Franklin Square Gala to shoot that evening and needed to get ready. Those photos will be popping up soon as well.

On Instagram I had a little fun with security saying they were mad that I got the photo, they wrote to say they weren’t. And the stories I hear about the security from fans is all good as well, they’ll tell you as much as they can about the filming.

If you’re looking for a certain actor they’ll tell you whether they’re there or not so you don’t have to wait around. Just listen to them, and also don’t try and approach an actor on the set or rush on the set for any reason. There is a no flash photography rule on the set, and they try and discourage photos, but if you take them before the director yells “rolling” you might be fine. Just respect them, and they’ll respect you.

As a seasoned paparazzi in this field some sets sets are very strict, like Silver Lining Playbook with Bradley Cooper & Robert DeNiro, not so much for Limitless with the same actors. Paranoia with Liam Hemsworth and Harrison Ford, sometimes could be tough, but for the most part films shot here in Philly are more laid back then NYC.

The rules are laid down by the big boss, and he was cool with getting photos on the set when I swung by. Watch as security takes a step back so I could get a better shot of Stallone, and thankfully the director Steven Caple Jr.

I was so happy Steven Caple Jr. looked up. I think this is one of my favorite photos at any film shoot. I left right after I got this shot, it doesn’t get any better than this.

OK this is one of my other favorite “paparazzi” shots on a movie set. Harrison Ford on Paranoia (2012). This was at 12th and Walnut, and I shot it through the Starbucks window.

Dolph Lungren (Ivan Drago) and Florian Munteanu (Vicktor Drago) stopped by Rumor nightclub with friends last week.

Henry Winkler, in town for Comic Con stopped by Davio’s for dinner Friday night. He enjoyed the Soft Shell crab feature as an appetizer and pasta. He told the server that he loved the Bolognese the Linguini and Clams. A fan snapped a gotcha photo of her daughter with the Fonz in the background.
BTW who knew there was a Fonzie statue in existence. It’s located in Milwaukee, where Happy Day’s was set in.

NOW GET OUTSIDE the SUN is finally out….chat with you tomorrow….





West Laurel Hill Cemetery Derby Party

Every year there is a flurry of excitement leading up to the Kentucky Derby and the many parties surrounding the Trifeca of fun. One of our areas most prominent gatherings is held at Historic West Laurel Hill Cemetery

Laurel where they held its sixth Annual Kentucky Derby party on Saturday, May 5, 2018 with a unique charity event, benefiting Gateway HorseWorks.

Geno Vento, Andre, Gina Gannon, Eddie Keels and Ruth Scott
Guests enjoyed Kentucky Derby-inspired fare catered by Southern Cross Kitchen and crafted libations from 13th Street Cocktails and Derby-themed dessert cupcakes by Cupcakes By Ruth.

Davida Janae of Vida Fashionista and Gina Gannon, QVC were judges for the best fascinator…. and the winner is

Sandra Yodesky

Sandra Yodesky at the moment her name was called

Rob Saxon of MANNA won best dressed man, and rightfully so

Raffle winner David Nogar and guest judge Pat Nogar of Living Well


Paul Triggiani, Brandon Szeker and Kristen Herrmann

There are two significant derby parties happening this weekend, I’ll be there bring your derby best and
your smile!!

The Radnor Hunt and Preakness at the Piazza

Hope to see you there…


The Avenue of the Arts celebrates its 25th anniversary

The Avenue of the Arts celebrated its 25th anniversary during an event held at the Doubletree Hotel at Broad & Locust Streets, Philadelphia earlier this month. The event kicked off with a rooftop cocktail reception, where guests enjoyed lite bites and drink on the hotel’s rooftop deck overlooking the Avenue of the Arts and many of its achievements and future projects. 

The Avenue of the Arts is a city designated arts cultural district on a segment of Broad Street in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, that includes many of the city’s cultural institutions, most notably the theater district south of City Hall. The designation can be found as far south as Washington Avenue and as far north as the Cecil B. Moore neighborhood. The name “Avenue of the Arts” originated in a strategy by mayor Ed Rendell to redevelop South Broad Street in Center City. The Avenue of the Arts originally ran along Broad Street from Locust Street south to Lombard Street. The Avenue’s definition was expanded to North Broad Street by city planners under mayor John F. Street‘s administration to encourage further development in the area.[3] The Avenue of the Arts is overseen by the non-profit organization Avenue of the Arts, Inc. originally led by Executive Director, Karen Lewis (source), and now by Paul Beideman. (There’s also a fun membership social group associated with the Avenue, Friends of the Avenue of the Arts)

The future SLS Hotel and the apartment project slated for Broad & Pine Streets

The Avenue of the Arts is home to renowned performance venues, hotels, eateries,
universities, and residences. There are seven significant new development projects in the works, and the city is investing in the Avenue’s infrastructure.  Avenue of the Arts, Inc. and the Friends of the Avenue of the Arts work to promote investment, beautification, and marketing of the Avenue of the Arts.

Developer Carl Dranoff, who has built many homes on the Avenue of the Arts

Councilman Kenyatta Johnson

John Jarboe, Bearded Ladies Cabaret Founder, entertains the crowd on the rooftop, before leading them downstairs for the reception on the mezzanine.

A great reporter, legendary KYW1060’s Lauren Lipton
Next up for The Bearded Ladies is the Mr. Rogers show at the The Wilma Theater June 20th to July 1st on stage!!!

Tim Moir – Chair – Friends of the Avenue of the Arts enjoys the showPaul Beideman,President of the Avenue of the Arts, greets the crowd

For more photos from this event check out Philly Style Magazine, Philly Mag (Aug) and next week’s Liberty City Press.


55+ Community – Canvas Valley Forge Opens with a Party

55+ Community – Canvas Valley Forge Opens with a Party


These days it’s not just the millennial who desires a fun environment to live, with attractive amenities and engaging neighbors.   Canvas King of Prussia Town Center opened over the winter, and celebrated with a spring soiree last week. Mike Hirata was on hand to capture all the excitement.

The Team from The Buzzoto Group: Peter Sikora, Jenna Miller, Michele Kearney, Diana Moyer, Nancy Goldsmith, Eileen Dunn, Setareh Tate, Sarah McMeekin, Celeste Curtis, Kenn Sforza, Jenn Cianciarulo, and  Erik Sabotka.

King of Prussia-based general contractor and real estate firm The Buzzoto Group’s created a community for people in the prime time of their lives, noted Pete Sikora, Development Manager for Canvas Valley Forge.

“Canvas Valley Forge is a first of its kind 55-plus community because it allows residents to maintain the lifestyle they’ve grown accustomed to in their large family homes, while breaking free from the costly and time-consuming responsibilities of home ownership,” Sikora said. “Canvas’ thoughtful amenities and brand partnerships allow residents to ‘right-size’ their homes without feeling like they are compromising their holiday traditions or hobbies. Amenities such as a test kitchen welcome guest chefs and house wine, whiskey and beer tastings; the formal dining room can be reserved for large family gatherings or holiday celebrations; the workshop studio allows residents to continue to pursue their passions, or pick up a new hobby; and guest suites are on site for when additional space is needed, allowing residents an unmatched living experience that promotes a vibrant, flexible lifestyle.” (source)

Live painting by Janos Korodi.

Firepit, dog walking, hair salon, pool, community room and much more

Pool time
C0mmunity Room
Lauren Curtis, Barb Glasbrenner, and Celeste Curtis
Donna Parisi and Peter Sikora.

Dave Mandes and Peter Sikora

Residents Sam and Daniel.

Check out all the fun on their Instagram

According to the website,, apartment rentals start at $1,995 for a one-bedroom, one bath.