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What Folks are Eating During Conoravirus Pandemic

We’re almost through the first week social distancing. I like so many people ate a lot this week. I confess I’ve eaten all my special snacks, and am now left with frozen food and salad until I venture out again. Let’s see what some of our friends have eaten their first week of socially distancing…

Aah pizza, that’s a perfect Friday night snack, especially because it’s Lent. Which reminds me how many of us have stuck by the no sweets promise, or for Alex Holley no carbs. Let’s see what she’s eating.

Alex Holley, Fox 29’s Good Day anchor, is sticking with it. I really didn’t doubt her, she is very disciplined and devoted. This week her favorite dish was a seaweed salad.

Fox 29’s Mike Jerrick is enjoying Geoffrey Zakarian Crab Cakes from QVC. Says they’re delicious. Watch Fox29’s Good Day with the dynamic duo every morning.

Pretty in Passyunk is having nachos. Now why didn’t I think to buy chips, cheese and beef?

Now that looks delicious, healthy and on the diet I should be doing.

Kristina Brodie on advice to keep our gut strong

Love this french fry bag that Brittney Shipp is sporting this week. Looks delicious . I should have bought fries, and ice cream and donuts and hamburgers… Thanks for hanging. See you on Monday. Believe it or not I have a bunch of parties I shot last week that I still need to place, I was just shell shocked this week. Peace out, and stay in. HughE

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City Provides Update on COVID-19 w/Links to Important Sites

City Provides Update on COVID-19 for Wednesday, March 18, 2020

PHILADELPHIA – Philadelphia Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley today announced 16 additional presumptive confirmed cases of COVID-19 novel coronavirus in Philadelphia. That brings the number of confirmed cases to 34. 

The City is awaiting test results on many other cases, and officials will no longer be reporting that number because the volume of testing is so wide and is constantly changing. Health Department staff are working with 144 people who have been exposed to people with this infection to monitor for symptoms.

Dr. Farley also issued a call for Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) volunteers. The MRC is a group of more than 2,500 volunteers who serve the City during public health emergencies and large-scale events. Anyone interested can visit www.phila.gov/mrc to register with our Medical Reserve Corps. Clinical and non-clinical volunteers are needed. 

Also today, the City published a blog detailing City services that remain in operation following the partial shutdown of the government. The blog also provides guidance for residents in need of particular services amid the curtailment of operations.

The Philly311 app now has a section dedicated to COVID-19 requests. The app also provides translation to 16 languages. For residents who call 311, translation is available for over 100 languages through the City’s Language Line.

The Mayor’s and Health Commissioner’s Emergency Order that authorizes the restrictions on business activity remains in force until at least March 27, 2020. The order specifies categories of retail, infrastructure, industrial, healthcare, and social service businesses that are deemed essential. It also specifies restrictions on working from offices. The order can be viewed or downloaded here. Residents and business owners can also view a plain-language summary of the restrictions here.

Business owners or managers who have questions about the order and restrictions can email vbeoc@phila.gov. Residents or employees who believe a business is in violation of these restrictions are urged to contact 311. Restaurants may operate solely to provide food through online, delivery, pickup, or walk-in ordering. Dine-in service is strictly prohibited. 

Residents with medical questions can call the Greater Philadelphia Coronavirus Helpline at 1-800-722-7112. The Helpline, free and available 24/7, is staffed by trained health professionals and is for anyone in the Greater Philadelphia area, including the public and healthcare providers, to help answer questions about COVID-19.

Residents can get COVID-19 updates sent to their phones. Text COVIDPHL to 888-777 to receive free alerts with information and updates from the Health Department. Information is also being updated daily on the Philadelphia Department of Public Health’s webpage www.phila.gov/covid-19.

Notes to media: City officials will continue to update the press every day at 1:00 p.m. in the Mayor’s Reception Room in City Hall. It will be live-streamed via the Department of Public Health’s Twitter (@PHLPublicHealth) and Facebook accounts, and broadcast on PHLGovTV, Comcast channels 64 and 1164, and Verizon channels 40 and 41.

Due to the volume of press requests related to COVID-19, members of the media are asked to hold all City-related questions for those daily briefings. Emailed press questions should go to press@phila.gov.

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Philly Fashion Week – Lov’n My Curves Show – Big & Beautiful Fashion

Kevin Parker and Kerry Scott Philly Fashion Week was a successful smash last month at the Fashion District on East Market last month. I stopped by on Saturday to check out “Lov’n My Curves” to grabbed a few photos fro CBSPhilly, Philly Tribune and Philly Mag. So bummed my photos won’t be in the May issue because of this nightmare we are currently living. So I am going to run the photos here as well as a few others.

Vakeycha Rogers, Marquita Williams and Nicole Connell
Sheryl Lee Ralph debuting her new DIVA clothing line at Philly Fashion Week. It was just announced that Mrs. Vincent Hughes will be seen in a new TV series this fall. (Source)
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A Story That’s No Blarney – When Dad Visited From The Afterlife on St. Pat’s Day

Our family is of Irish descent, my dad was about as Irish as they come and every year as we were growing up he would throw a big party on St. Patrick’s Day. So when he died one of his requests was that we spread his ashes in the Atlantic Ocean off of the island he lived on for half the year in Florida on St. Patrick’s Day and have an Irish Wake. Every year on the anniversary of this event I retell this story, it’s a story of hope, and it really happened to us and I want to share it with you… PS I’ve published this story before, and often re-publish it on the anniversary of the spreading of my dad’s ashes. This version I removed the original photos so none of my nieces or nephews can be identified.

Today marks the 15th year anniversary since we spread my dad’s ashes in the Florida Keys as per his wishes. My father died suddenly at their house in Florida May 3, 2004.

My family on the boat after we scattered dad’s ashes

On March 17, 2005, St. Patrick’s Day, we celebrated my father’s life by spreading his ashes about 2 miles off the Florida Keys (he had died unexpectedly the year before in an accident at this house). It was a beautiful ceremony. We had a St. Patrick’s Day memorial party in the afternoon at the house as dad had requested.

In the evening (about 9PM) the family (including the under 15 set who were not at the house during the day) gathered on the patio to enjoy mom’s key lime pie and other desserts by CANDLELIGHT. My nephew Bob (name changed) was the only youngin’ to join us on the patio as the other kids ate inside watching TV. Bob is a little over 2.5 years old (he had only met my dad about a handful of times as his family lived in another state)

He had never been to my parents house in Florida, and he was never in the backyard before this night (we all rented houses on a different parts of the island and had dinner at one anothers house the previous nights, [he never saw my dad on a boat, we only have one photo of Bob and my dad together, he had only met him a handful of times as my sister lived out of state.] AS we sat around the table on the patio, and after about 20 minutes of eating and chatting Bob stands up and points into the darkness towards the water where my dad’s boat use to be docked (as it was sold after dad died) and states “POP-POP, boat.” He says this a few times. He goes on to say Pop-pop, minnow. “Pop-pop, home” “Pop-pop hello.” “No bait to fish”

A very emotional Mom then asked me to go get a photo of dad and give it to bob’s dad. His dad pointed to the photo and says to Bob, “Who is this? Bob said Pop-pop.” Bob where is pop-pop? said his dad; then Bob pointed towards where the stern (back) of the boat would be, and where my dad spent many hours tinkering (the boat was 26 feet long and has a definite stern, middle and bow section). We were all sitting to the left, at the far right in the darkened part of the patio is a hammock that dad spent lots of hours on reading and snoozing).

As time went on, things got quiet and bob sat silent, my sister Tracy said to me that it was like the movie the Sixth-Sense, I leaned over to her and said “Can Bob see dead people?”. (I don’t think Bob heard me, but his mother came over and tapped me on the head and looked at me with a disapproving look.)

Everything happened on this veranda

THEN Bob jumped up and happily states, as he was raising his arms in the air like he was going to do a cheer, “NO ONE is DEAD,” “NO ONE is DEAD,” “No Sad, No one Dead,” Don’t be scared, No one dead.” After about a minute or two he stopped and began playing patty cake with Pop-pop? Then he played hide and go seek, even stating BOO a few times. Then he walked to the far (and less lit) side of the patio, about 25 feet from where we were all sitting, to where the empty hammock was. He then started pushing the hammock with TWO HANDS gleefully squealing “WHEEEEEE WHEEEEE ISNT THIS FUN….” Finally running back to where we were sitting stunned, Bob stated one last time “NO ONE DEAD, DON’T BE SAD” “Pop-pop HOME”

Dad on the right

At this point Bob went on to play a game of stepping on someones toes, and then someone trying to step on his toes. This was a sight to see as he was clearly communicating and playing with someone (Pop-Pop?) as he was squealing in laughter and looking up. After a bit, as we were all sniffling and in a bit of shock, Bob’s frazzled dad said it was late, and time to go, at that point the usually mild manner boy just burst out crying and actually threw himself on the ground backwards (not violently though). As his dad picked him up, Bob turned 180 degrees towards the water, where the stern of the boat would have been, where my dad spent so many hours, and said bye pop-pop, bye as he blew Pop-pop a kiss good-bye

We all know how blessed we are to have had this amazing experience. And for months following this incident, Bob would occasionally see Pop-pop and announce it to his mom and once had his mom call Nana to tell her, but sightings haven’t occurred in about 2 years, and once in awhile when I see Bob I ask him if he has seen Pop-pop, nowadays he has no idea what I am talking about, and that is just fine with his mother, as she doesn’t want Bob remembering seeing Pop-pop after he had died, so please don’t tell him!

My Mike wasn’t on this trip with me, and being Jewish/Agnostic he was skeptical of my story, and of course reminds me I got an A in Drama. He asked each of my sisters separately about the incident and the stories matched. He’s still Jewish/Agnostic, but knows that we saw Bob interatc with dad that day. Happy St. Patrick’s Day!! God Bless You!! I Believe!!

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Joan Shepp Women of Substance & Style Party

Joan Shepp, iconic fashion maven of Philadelphia, who’s landmark store was on Walnut Street for years and is now on Chestnut Street, is more than a business women. She’s a concerned community member, a friend to many and philanthropic. Last month she held the 20th Women of Substance & Style party to honor notable women in the black/brown community. Not only was it a huge success, but the women brought the fashion. Let’s check it out.

In Honor of Black History Month – 20 Years of Recognition in 2020! – Women of Substance & Style Created in the year 2000 by Tuesday Gordon and Joan Shepp, the “Women of Substance and Style” event has honored over 400 African-American women throughout the Philadelphia region who have contributed to the growth and betterment of their communities over the last 20 years.

A portion of the day’s sales will be donated to “Stoney’s Kids”, a fund created by Tuesday Gordon to support the children of her late dear friend, Erwena Rebecca Stone. 

Mikecia Witherspoon, Patty Bean and Kecia Hilliard

Photos from this event were placed in CBSPhilly, and will be in Philly Mag April issue.

A message from Joan Shepp

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A List of Philadelphia Festivals Just Canceled Including EASTER PARADE!

From Kory Aversa
Good morning,  
On behalf of our clients below, the following events have been cancelled, changed or postponed due to following local, state and federal recommendations in relationship to COVID-19.  Coronavirus # CoronavirusPHL
Please stay tuned for additional updates. 


St. Patrick’s Block Party 
Saturday, March 14, 2020
By Stove and Tap
At Stove and Tap Lansdale, 329 W. Main Street, Lansdale 19446 Status: The block party is cancelled. At this time, food and drink specials will be available at this time inside. There will be no block party, music, hot dog contest,  etc. 

Tuesday, March 17, 2020 Women on East Passyunk Panel By East Passyunk Avenue Business Improvement District Status: Postponed until summer or fall – cancelled for Tuesday. 


Tuesday, March 24, 2020 QOTA LGBT Happy Hour – Anniversary Event By East Passyunk Avenue Business Improvement District Status: Postponed to the fall, cancelled for March 24


Saturday, April 4, 2020 East Passyunk Easter Egg HuntBy East Passyunk Avenue Business Improvement District Status: Stay tuned as the structure of this event may change. TBD.  Sunday, April 12, 2020


Philadelphia’s 89th Annual Easter Promenade
By South Street Headhouse District Status: Cancelled

Sunday, April 26, 2020 Flavors on the Avenue Street Festival
By East Passyunk Avenue Business Improvement District Status: Cancelled

Saturday, May 2, 20208th Annual South Street Spring Festival By South Street Headhouse DistrictStatus: Cancelled

Saturday, May 2, 2020  
8th Annual Maifest
By Brauhaus Schmitz  Status: Cancelled 

Saturday, May 9, 202011th Annual IPA, Champagne and Rose Block Party
By Hawthornes Beer Cafe and Wine Dive  
Status: Postponed tentatively to summer 2020

For events after May 9th, please stay tuned. For any questions, please let me know. 
Best, 
Kory Aversa 215-840-9216  – Aversa PR

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Cancelled in Philly An Ongoing List of Cancelled Events #coronavirusPHL

As an event photographer a lot of my events are being cancelled during this crisis. I will keep an ongoing list here. It’s not in any reasonable order except when I heard it was cancelled. Follow me on Twitter #CancelledinPhilly to see the updated list for cancellations.

“In light of the ongoing coronavirus situation and out of an abundance of caution, the Wells Fargo Center’s facilities are undergoing an extensive cleaning and sanitization on Thursday, March 12.  To facilitate this, non-essential Wells Fargo Center employees are working from home today. 

Today’s Wells Fargo Center events will be rescheduled. Tickets will be honored for a later date or will be refunded at the point of purchase. 

#coronavirusPHL #cancelledinphilly Zarwin,Baum,DeVito Law Firm cancels their March Madness Party 3/19. Nearly 1300 people would attend the party w/proceeds going to @Philabundance. Pixs from last year at Philly Style Magazine.

Notice of Cancellation

The Japan America Society of Greater Philadelphia: In consultation with our sponsor Subaru and in keeping with the CDC’s and the City of Philadelphia’s guidelines for public gatherings, we have decided to cancel the 2020 Subaru Cherry Blossom Festival as a measure of caution for our supporters. We are sorry to disappoint so many attendees, performers, and vendors, but we take our responsibility for protecting our public very seriously. We hope you will experience next year’s festival with us, which we plan on making bigger and better than ever.

Get Your Rear in Gear® Philadelphia has rescheduledits 5K run/walk and kids fun run from Sunday, March 22, 2020, to Sunday, July 19, 2020.  The 12th annual event will still be held at Memorial Hall in Fairmount Park, beginning at 7 a.m. This colon cancer awareness event, usually held during March, National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, is the largest of its kind in the Greater Philadelphia region, typically attracting more than 4,000 on site participants. Many registered attendees have been affected by colon cancer.  Get Your Rear in Gear Philadelphia organizer Maria Grasso said the safety and well-being of the attendees, especially during the current concerns around the coronavirus and major events, were the primary factors in the decision.

NEW DATE: Sunday, July 19, 2020
7:30am registration opens
8:45am Kids Fun Run
9:15am 5K Run/Walk
Memorial Hall, Fairmont Park
4-mile run, 2-mile walk, & Kid’s Fun Run!
Register

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Women Against Abuse – Dish It Up Scheduled for 3/19/20 Cancelled #CoronavirusPHL

Over the past few days we have spent a great deal of time weighing the pros and cons of cancelling our upcoming event, Dish It Up, due to the threat of Coronavirus.  The bottom line for us is the health and safety of our beloved Women Against Abuse Community of advocates, supporters, staff and volunteers.  Therefore, we are cancelling the 3/19/2020 Dish It Up event.  However, we will be working to secure the Lincoln Financial Field’s Tork Club venue for Dish it Up 2021.

We were very much looking forward to being with you at the event next week, however, we do not want to put anyone at risk unnecessarily.  Although the circumstances have changed, the cause for which we are raising funds has not.  In fact, we just completed detailed plans to continue to support survivors throughout the Coronavirus threat.  Please know that your sponsorship or ticket purchase will now be considered a full charitable contribution which means even more will be directed toward our life-saving services.  Should you wish to seek a refund, please contact Megan Slattery in the Advancement Office at: mslattery@womenagainstabuse.org.

We appreciate your understanding as we put the health and safety of the entire WAA community first.  Stay tuned for more information about an online raffle and text-to-pledge with great prizes that were secured for Dish it Up 2020!

With Gratitude,
Lindsay Warren
President of Advancement
Women Against Abuse

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The Palm at the Bellevue Has Closed

It is with a heavy heart that I report the Palm restaurant at the Bellevue has closed.

From Palm Website

I spoke with someone there today who confirmed the news telling me “we just didn’t make it.”

From Palm Website

This New York import was the tenth Palm to open nationwide and has since become a popular destination for diners including local celebrities, business people and locals. Located in the ornamented Bellevue Hotel building, the chic dining room walls are filled with portraits of local and national personalities.

From PBJ

The Palm restaurant at the Bellevue shut down a few years ago in 2016 to undergo a renovation after 27 years in operation. In the renovation they moved the bar from the entrance way and put it in the space of the original dining room, making the dining room smaller but with amble space to seat at least 130 people.

They also built a party room, where recently they hung caricatures of the Phillies Phanatic and Gritty as well as local sports players.

Even my mug is on the wall, right above my beloved Fox 29 family. (Honored even tho I look a little bit like Uncle Fester, maybe that’s my doppelganger.) BTW after they did my mug, the got a new artist with a little color.

My mug was in the original Palm restaurant as well. The Palm will be contacted folks in the coming weeks on what will be happening to your caricature. I have this one on my shelf, so I’m good. The staff was told this morning, and was in shock when I called. Right now they are calling their customers to tell them. There was even a big networking event happening there tonight, and they called them about an hour ago. They were also nice enough to tell me but I knew already. The networking event will be held at Capital Grille now.

About those caricatures, many were long time customers, notable, business people, families and couples. Interesting enough if a couple broke up they would remove them from their original spot and put them on opposite sides of the room, or a column in the case of this couple who resided next to Stu Bykofsky.

I’ll miss so much about the Palm, as it was one of my favorite spots to just jump into for a quick bite alone, or for dinner with the gang as did in January after going to Wonderspaces. I’ll miss the staff, the customers but most of you Chicken Parm, no one made Chicken Parm as good at The Palm. PS I’m wondering if this has anything to do with the rumored plans I mentioned the new owners of the building Nightingale Properties might have especially now that Nicole Miller, Tavern on Broad and nearly every food vendor in the food court has closed. Plus Tiffany’s is moving out of the building. In a blog post last year I mentioned that Nightingale would like the Bellevue to have a grand lobby similar to the original design, as as popular as the Ritz-Carlton fabulous lobby. We shall see. When is the lease up for Williams Sonoma? The Inquirer’s Michael Klein has more on the recent history of the Palm which might interest you.

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Justin Bieber in Philly

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Hey guys I’m in philly come say hi

A post shared by Justin Bieber (@justinbieber) on

Justin Bieber notified his fans he was in Philly on Friday

with a few of his friends including his personal photographer Rory Kramer, Josh Mehl with Nick Demoura show designer and choreographer for his upcoming Changes tour .

Here’s a snippet of the rehearsals for the tour so far.

After noting Bieber was at the Art Museum, on the Rocky Steps, I mentioned on Twitter that I had photographed Justin Bieber on a date in Philly where he and Selena Gomez went to Shops of Liberty Place for a smoothy, and dinner at Vetri’s * if you look at the Inky article it says 2011. Well someone didn’t do well on their reading comprehension.

That evening, Friday night, a friend sent me a text telling me there was a small mob of girls hanging outside Vetri Cucina’s. At first I thought could this be true, would he really take his wife Haley Bieber to a restaurant where he had one of his first Philly dates with Selena? Maybe, I mean it’s delicious there, but …

Ahhh it wasn’t true.

Sorry girl. It wasn’t raining men for you in the Gayborhood Friday night. But I admire your commitment staying an extra half hour after you realized he wasn’t in there, but fret not he did really eat there once.

On the otherhand, he did go exactly where I predicted he’d go to Jean Georges at the Four Seasons as I note in the last line.

Not sure what he did in Philly or why he was here, but I know for sure if you want to see him he’ll be at Lincoln Financial Field on Sat Aug 1 at 7:00pm. performing at his Changes tour, which is now in rehearsal.