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Jacqueline City


Philly Chit Chat is Lucky 13

Philly Chit Chat is Lucky 13 today, in 2020 and that’s a good thing. The business is but the concept is not. In fact it reminds me of when PhillyChitChat first started, it wasn’t a business, it was a hobby. That’s where we are today. PCC covering things I find interesting, that I think you might find interesting as well. Thanks so much to all my subscribers for supporting me over the years, nearly 40,000, ok more like 39, 261 but that’s a darn lot of you who put up with my run on sentences, and writing as if I’m having a conversation.

Thanks to hubby Michael Toub who is my everything. He supports my unorthodox career, it was his idea for me to do a blog to share my photos, he’s my IT guy, he’s my best friend, the nicest guy you could ever meet, funny and friendly. I’ve become a better person because of him. Happy 26 years together too, and your birthday next week. Thanks to his parents for raising a great kid.

What started as a hobby has now turned into a career. I had no idea, nor did I ever plan it to go that way. I am grateful to you my readers who support me in this endeavor & especially for those who allow me to photograph them.

Since I was a little kid, I was always the one friends and family would come to and ask what the latest chit chat happening, and I enjoyed sharing it; dad called me Hedda Hopper (google it). Fast forward to when I was a paralegal at a law firm, Kohn, Swift & Graf, (yes I took those pixs on the website) where at one time one of the partners told me I had to stop gossiping and concentrate more on my work. Eventually in the 1990s I would become the traveling paralegal of the firm….

KSG, specifically my boss Bill Hoese, sent me to NYC to work on a great case. I figured out how to live there cheaper than commuting every day thus crossing off a goal I wanted to do all my life – live in NYC. After working 8 – 12hr days, I found I still had time to explore, and discovered I liked chronicling the celebrity nightlife in Manhattan. It was so much fun, and this was before many of the current celebrity sites were online, before FB got big, or twitter or Instagram were added to the Webster Dictionary.


At the urging of Mike Toub I started a blog about photographing celebrities, the photographers, the fans, the professional autograph seekers, basically the whole scene called Confessions of a Paparazzi. It was exciting time, I had a knack at finding out info on where the celebs would be, and using the info to my advantage where celebrity photographers would let me tag along with them as long as I didn’t get in their photos. The blog allowed me to share these adventures with a larger audience. I also contributed stories and photos to Perez Hilton and Gawker for links back to my blog.

A few of my paparazzi friends at the Waverly Inn in NYC capturing Anne Hathaway and her boyfriend in 2007

After returning to Philly when the assignment was up, surprisingly to none, I became a professional celebrity photographer, part time. I would continue to travel to NYC to photograph celebrities for the next 5 years after work, over night and then would go to work in Philly the next day very tired. It was a lot of fun. All my vacation days – 4 weeks, were spent living in NYC so I could pursue my hobby

Over the July 4th weekend 2007 with my friends Kati & Simon Curtis, who were visiting from NYC, we brainstormed. Simon coined PhillyChitChat and the rest is history. Thanks!! (We wanted to be able to include a lot of topics, not just celebrities.) Greta and Alan Greenberger on right. (2007) Greta has been a great mentor and friend for years.

Although over the years I have been able to shoot a lot of celebrities in Philly. I have to thank many of my readers, businesses and friends for their kind tips over the years in order for me to shoot so many of these celebrities or report on their whereabouts. Thank you so much!! (Thanks Michael Klein and Dan Gross for publishing my photos in the Inquirer and Daily News so many years ago, which really helped me grow.)

Stewart Bradley (what a great guy, boy did we have fun), AJ Feeley and Brent Celek

For many years I was “Paralegal by day, Paparazzi by night” until I parted ways with Kohn Swift 12/31/10, Mike said let’s see if you can make a living doing your blog cause I know you love it so much. I’ll support you for a year. A few months later I realized the only way I could make money was to be hired by PR/Clients to shoot parties as an event photographer, I would suggest they keep their house photographer if they had one, and I would use the photos took to place in the media as well as on my blog, promote their events on Social Media and pr give them photos for their social media.  I then told my readers I would be starting an event photography business, but would still write as I did the previous 3 years – who, what, when and where of the parties and the rest as they say is history. (These days they call it a pivot.)

Thanks to Jen Fred, Fox 29 who then said I’d be perfect for Fox 29 in 2011

Fox 29 came calling, where I appeared weekly for about 3 years, these days I contribute my work weekly (And appear occasionally. I was just on 2 weeks ago) This month, I celebrate 9 years as a regular contributor to Fox 29 and Philly Mag with my own column in the magazine. I also create content for  PhillyStyle Magazine, Metro Philly, Phila Business Journal, Phila Tribune, Philly Voice, and my pride and joy CBS3Philly, and am often featured on TV news shows, and I appreciate that people appreciate my mission of Philly cheerleader.  I’m so glad to have played a part in photographing the City as it came into it’s own in the last 13 years. I now have 3 photographers that work for me Andre Flewellen, Mike Hirata and Talya Hailey, and my sister Janine DeFeo who does our scheduling, and invoicing. We Will All Be Back Before You Know It!!

Thanks to Thom Cardwell for mentoring me in the beginning, and Laura Burkhardt for many years, even today she’s there for me to bounce things off of.

Philly Mag took notice of the who’s who of who I photographed and wrote this piece: I really did p/o a few Mainliner’s calling my girls “socialites”
Just like I called me a paparazzi, when it should have been paparazzo, I felt anyone who went out socially, especially supporting charities even if it was buying a bar drink, should be called socialites. It worked. I got noticed.

Philly Mag wrote about another “it” girl I featured – Maria Papadakis. This was a fun story, so much behind the scenes. Ahh I’ll never write a book.

Brandon Morrison (Custon Tux by LR2, and walking stick by Tobox) and Stacey Kracher, wearing Nicole Miller
There has never been a better friend, mentor, I’ve got your back to me in my life than Kory Aversa. Especially magnified in these trying times. Thank you so much for your friendship and for making me take selfies to chronicle moments even during that frightful storm yesterday, LOL. I’m glad you didn’t video me whimpering with fright from the lightning.
Thanks to the Ritz-Carlton and Aqiremo for hosting my 10th Anniversary Party; and Lynsie Solomon for organizing the party. She was fierce and kept the guest list at 325 people. Sorry for those I missed on the list. Only 7 more years until my 20th Anniversary Party and I’ll make sure you get an invite. Check out photos from my 5th Anniversary Party Here. Thank You All So Very Much, my heart is full with gratitude. To read more about my story head to Philly Mag, Philly Metro Billy Penn. Thanks again. Stay Safe, wear a mask (I know i hate it too) and be kind to one another. xoxo HughE

Sunday Stories: Shipp Surprise, Mad River Closes, Chick Fil A Pivots

COVID19 Day ten thousand, at least it feels that way when it’s cloudy, 68F, and nearly Memorial Day. OH AND of course socially distancing for so long. Sure I go out. I go to the beach more than I normally would in the month of May, but I’ve never had so much time on my hands, and have been so depressed as well. I’m sure we are all in the same boat, wondering when it is safe to hug again. But here’s some good news….

NBC10’s weather gal Brittney Shipp, was surprised with a baby shower spearheaded by her bff, and co-worker, NBC10’s Jacqueline London. Under the premise of doing a NBC10 Promo Shoot, Jackie & Anzio Williams, Vice President of News WCAU – NBCUniversal Media, were able to surprise Brittney while coordinating with her husband Jontue Long to celebrate the socially distant pop up party. Guests included Melissa Magee, 6ABC, Violeta Yas, Telemundo, Annemarie Oswald and Melanie Magill as well as a few very happy friends.

The Sad Reality of Business Due to COVID-19 virus. Killing people and businesses. Mad River in Manayunk announces it’s closing for good.

Friday night I enjoyed Feast Well Foods Sunday Gravy, Taluttos’s Raviolis and meatballs. So good. It’s by Feast Your Eyes Catering, they have pivoted during this time and created delicious meals for Take Out or Delivery.
Saturday Mike and I headed to the beach for a breeze. I stopped by Atlantic City to grab some shots for my column in CBSPhilly. Check them out here.

A Peek Into Reporters Homes

Ever since reporters began practicing social distancing while covering the COVID19 outbreak, we the audience have been given a peek at their off screen personalities by way of their home decor.

One of the first reporters I screen shot was sports anchor Don Bell, CBS3, all the way back on March 17 when he was one of the first reporters I noticed reporting from home (L). I love his disco ball, or is that a light fixture, near his kitchen. Then a few weeks later I captured him again and he’s changed location. He has a green thumb, great taste in art and is a talented photographer. Check out his Instagram for some of his work.

NBC10’s Glenn “Hurricane” Schwartz‘s backdrop consists of lots of family photos including his wife Christie, they met on (so all my friends who say they never meet anyone on there, just hang on), a hat from and of course a satellite photo of a hurricane. (He worked at the National Hurricane Center in Miami, from 1974 to 1977)

After Social Distancing on the anchor desk for a week, popular, perky Fox29’s Good Day anchor Alex Holley headed home last week to co-host the show from living room. The first day of broadcasting featured a photo of her entertaining co-anchor Mike Jerrick on the bookshelf behind her, but the following week he was gone and a cross stitch photo appeared “I Love My Job” next to a photo of her family which I took a few years ago at Easter Brunch. I’ll be sad this year we won’t be having brunch together as we’ve done for the past 3 years. (Happy Easter Glenn and Sharyn Holley)

Wednesday morning Alex still loves her job as the sign stays, but she replaced the Texas white candle with a stylish gold candle, removed a few books and has basically created an Easter egg hunt on her shelf as she’s shuffled the eggs around. Favorite books “Believe It” by Nick Foles, “Leave Everything To God”, “The Power of Nice” and the “The Joy of Cooking”. Maybe Alex could do her own segment on Good Day of her favorite dishes to make during a pandemic.

Stephen Colbert’s bookshelf includes books from political, patriotic and prayer incluinge “No Easy Day: The Firsthand Account of the Mission that Killed Osama Bin Laden”, “The Quest: Energy, Security, and the Remaking of the Modern World”, The Bible, “Lincoln” and “America”.

Originally Kathy Orr, Fox29’s meteorologist was going to transform her spare bedroom into “my #stayhome weather center” but it looks like she chose her lovely living room.

Because Robin Roberts is in a high risk category as a myelodysplastic syndrome survivor she began anchoring Good Morning American nearly a month ago. The first day on the air the background featured a lot of family photos including her parents, sister and her partner of a decade, Amber Laign. Also on the shelf behind her was a vase, and a large amethyst. (Amethyst is a stone of spiritual protection and purification; cleansing one’s energy field of negative influences and attachments) . The following week the background was rearranged, and gone was the Amethyst, and now a red sculpture was added along with a white candle. The photos have been changed, and she added a photo of her parents Lawrence E. and Lucimarian T. Roberts.

This week the red sculpture was switched sides with the candle and the Amethyst returned, the photos were switched out but her parents remain in the same place.

Fox29’s sports anchor Kristen Rodgers also has a green thumb, how bout that orchid.

GMA’s Whit Johnson‘s home looks like it’s right out of Architectural Digest whereas weatherman Dave Price has a fish aquarium plugged into the wall and seemingly is floating in mid-air.

Brightening up the night Jacqueline London, NBC10 anchor has a beautiful living room with decorative pillows, a print of a women walking with a dog on the Parkway with City Hall in the background and image for Pinchu dog. I love everything about this house, it’s so zen.

I love 6ABC’s Sarah Bloomquist’s silver tea set with a blue and white porcelain table lamp.

Another CBSPhilly correspondent with a green thumb Kate Bilo, meteorologist presents her daily weather forecast in front of a lush background.

Lately Steve Sosna has been doing NBC10’s weather forecast from his living room near the entrance of his home. I love the blueprint of Philadelphia on the wall behind him, but my favorite item in his house is his NBC peacock pillow (on left in 2nd photo) which is on his couch, another favorite spot in his house where he reports reports.

Happy birthday this week Jamie Apody. I love her family room filled with so many memories and family photos.

Winner of best background is Bob Kelly, Fox29’s Traffic Reporter, when you really don’t care about what the traffic is you can just soak in all the tchotchkes on his shelves. Love his Phillies jersey, which he wore on what was supposed to be Phillies Opening Day last week. Over his right shoulder is a replica Mummers hat wore at the Eagles Super Bowl Parade by Jason Kelce, a traffic light which lights up when he’s on the air, so many traffic signs and sports bobble heads and a Good Day Philly mug.

I have so many more photos, and will periodically check out the folks above to see if they’ve moved things around to show more of their favorite things. Maybe in a few weeks I will do another segment of Reporter’s Favorite Things and did they really read that book? Happy Passover and Happy Easter. I’ll be back with new content on Monday. Keep safe, enjoy your family and keep in contact with your friends on ZOOM. HughE


Wag The Tail Wednesday – Old City Fest

It’s Wednesday, the City is going to the dogs let’s check it out in DAT >> Dogs Around Town.

Old City Fest was infested with the cuties, and I attempted to pet as many as possible.

You probably have to give your dog CBD for it to zen out so much to wear this costume for Halloween. Send me photos of your dog dressed in their best costume. HughE thanks so much!!

If you click on each photo you can see it in full as well as read about the person and business.

Look who stopped by Old City Festival on Sunday!! Yes he did have his flute with him!! Check out CBSPhilly and Philly Voice for more photos from the Old City Fest. See you tomorrow for Philly Gossip, and my picks for things to do this weekend and beyond. Don’t forget your umbrella today!!


Philly Style Mag Holiday Party 2018 – 18 Great Holiday Looks

Philly Style Mag Holiday Party 2018 – 18 Great Holiday Looks

John Colabelli, publisher of Philly Style Magazine, and Kristine Detterline, editor of Philly Style Magazine hosted their annual holiday invite only soiree in the lobby of The Ritz-Carlton, Philadelphia at Richard Sandoval‘s Aqimero. Friends, family and business leaders in the community enjoyed passed hordourve’s, specialty cocktails , photo booths, and dj entertainment by CTO during the festive event. Spotted in the crowd was Jefferson Hospital’s president Steve Klasko, BJ and Craig Spencer, Roberta and Carl Dranoff, Julie Abramson, whose company Jewel’s Entertainment provided the special guests like Mirror Man, and Santa’s Elf just hanging around, Missy Dietz, Nieman Marcus, and Brian Kappra, Evantine Design, Jeff Guaracino, Executive Director of Visit Philly, Jimmy Contreras, Ritz Carlton, David Davitch, Scarpetta (New Year’s Party), Aida Sparta, Marc Oppenheimer, Parx Casino – they have lots happening in the new year – Sports Betting, A Beer Garden and more live entertainment in the XCite Center – disclaimer Parx is an advertiser, you advertise with us to drop us a note HUGHE@PHILLYCHITCHAT.COM, advertisers always get live links in posts as well),  Charles Chuck Peruto and Lindsey Glasgow (2019 they’ll be Mr & Mrs Peruto), Lynsie and Evan Solomon, Mary K. Dougherty, Linda Swain, Karen Buchholz, John Bolaris formerly weatherman extraordinaire, now real estate extraordinaire with TCS Black Label, Anita Oh, who left CBS3Philly to pursue a law degree at PENN #winning, and Raechal Halpern.

Santa was on hand to hear Bruce and Michelle Shannon‘s list for Christmas as the Cashman Girls controlled the list to
see who was naughty or nice to gain entry. (2019 will be their 20th Anniversary – Congrats Nicole Cashman & Assocs.)

Striped Sequin Dress were popular with the ladies including Kristin Detterline and Thanuja Hamilton. Look for The Sleep Doctor
to be on Dr. Oz again in January, after just having taped another segment last week. During the soiree NBC10’s Rosemary Connor’s snuck out to catch Steve Carell and Robert Zemeckis new film ‘Welcome to Marwen’ at the Ritz at the Bourse.  Later in the evening Steve Carell joined party goers for the afterparty at the Ritz, as well as a bite to eat at Aqimero posing with Melissa Leonard and Jenna Gyger.
Looking for somewhere to dine on Christmas Eve

On December 24th join Aqimero for a joyful holiday celebration. Indulge in our specialty four-course menu, featuring specialties from our wood-burning grill while enjoying the spectacular views of beautiful décor of the lobby and The Ritz-Carlton, Philadelphia.

Partners in Crime: Sidney Grimes, Louie Louie, the new restaurant at the Inn at Penn and Michele VanNostran, Starr Restaurants. The duo told me stories about
Sidney’s annual holiday theme party “Wigs and Turtle Necks” where all guests came dressed as such. Sounds like a blast!

A.J. Marsico and Annie McCormick , 6ABC. Annie has a book coming out shortly called The Doctor, The Hitman and the Motorcycle Gang which will deal with the murder of April Kauffman, a New Jersey radio personality who was shot to death in her home in May 2012. Read more about it over here on

Beauty all around as the newly engaged Allison Smith takes a selfie with Greg Basille and Jen Groover.

Brittney Shipp, NBC10 and Melissa Magee, 6ABC

Jill Rizen was perfection in a glitter jump suit, rounding out the glamour were Ani Semerjian and Lauren Colabelli

When someone says I wore these festive earrings just for you, you take notice. Thanks Whitney Ulmann, Atlantic City’s answer to PhillyChitChat. You can catch her most weeks on Fox 29 giving us the low down on events Down The Shore by Go Whitney. That’s her sister Margo Pisnoy

Congrats to Alexander Hankin for his first article in the December PhillyStyleMagazine. He’s been writing about art for awhile online, but this month he’s in print. Wearing winter white and looking stunning is Vasiliki Tsiouris, co owner of Craftsman’s Row, Opa and Drury Bar. Not a good year for their Sansom Street eateries after the summer water main break a block away. The new year is looking as bright as winter white. Go check out the Drury Beer Garden @ Opa all festive this holiday.

Steve Circelli and Maureen Dellisanti tells me her favorite Christmas tradition is playing “Hide the Pickle.”  I had to look that one up:
A decoration in the shape of a pickle is hidden on a Christmas tree, with the finder receiving either a reward or good fortune for the following year. 

David Alexander Jenkins tops off his unique sense of fashion with a hat

Dr. Ary Modesto , Angela Carson, Raphael Novoa and Rob Santorra

 Buffy Harakidas, Dr. Julie Gomberg, Shannon Heilig , Julie Lesicki and Jennifer Sherlock
Next up for these ladies is HAIR OF THE DOG’S 25th Anniversary Party at Crystal Tea Room
on Janury 19, 2019

Brittney Ship, with Dad Mr. Shipp, Philly Socialite Melissa Leonard and Anzio Williams, VP of News NBCPhiladelphia and Telemundo

Matt Lindenmuth‘s shoe laces match WMMR’s bae Marisa Magnatta’s dress – nuff said!!

Carmen Tomassetti and Rob Molinaro

Kristin Detterline, Andrew Smith and Dr. Nina Radcliff – crop tops are all the rage this holiday season.

Brittney Shipp tells me she makes grandma’s Gumbo recipe at Christmas and it reminds her of her childhood celebrations with the family, whereas Christmas doesn’t start for Jacqueline London to she makes her Gingerbread House. She doesn’t eat it, but it’s very welcoming.

Greg Basile looked the most Merry Merry at this year’s PSM Party.

Thanks to Philly Style Magazine for having me this year, and for always being so kind to Philly Chit Chat.



Sunday Chit Chat – Shipp Returns, Vetri Stops By, Eric Blumenfeld

Sunday Chit Chat – Shipp Returns, Vetri Stops By, Eric Blumenfeld Marries


Welcome to Sunday, hope you’re keeping warm.

The cold has made for some beautiful photos.

Welcome home Brittney Shipp, as she returns to NBC10 Philly to share weather duties with Bill Henley. I don’t recall someone boomeranging back to the same station after leaving to go to another city (Oh wait I was chatting with Mike Jerrick today, and he did leave Fox 29 in the 90s and come back in the 00s). I have seen them come back and go to a competing station, so this is really cool. So excited for her, and us. Shipp returns to NBC10 after working as chief meteorologist for KRON-TV in the San Francisco Bay area for two years. She worked at NBC10 as a meteorologist from 2013 to 2016.While she was gone she also wrote a children’s book –  “The Meteorologist in Me.”  Here she is with her NBC10 co-worker, anchor Jacqueline London enjoying the weather this weekend.
Congrats to Michael Strauss and his new eatery Mike’s BBQ is South Philly. Despite the wind, snow and freezing temperatures, he’s sold out of many of the items on the menu night after night, so get there early. Marc Vetri stopped by to wish him well. I think Marc looks damn happy, and relaxed. He’s not a big smiler, but he’s grinning ear to ear about life now. Yes for Marc this is a grin ear to ear.

Congrats to developer Eric Blumenfeld and Laura Cordaro on their marriage, which took place at his latest project The Divine Lorraine Hotel on New Year’s Eve in the newly renovated ballroom at the iconic hotel. I still pinch myself when I realize the most beautiful building in the City has come back to life. THANK YOU ERIC!!

Spotted: Marcus Johnson wide receiver of Philadelphia Eagles dined at Davio’s in center city earlier this week. Marcus had a calamari to start, ordered an 10oz filet medium well for entree.

Spotted: Betty Schlesinger Domb stopped by her namesake restaurant recently with her son, Councilman Allan Domb. It’s one of my favorite restaurants as well, I’m a huge fan of their Academy Sandwich, pickle bar and the HughE German Chocolate Cake, plus the FunFetti Cake.

Mayor Kenney celebrated two years in office, by tweeted out a series of photos earlier this week including this one of me.
WOW so nice, thanks.

Hope to see you at Saxbys latest coffee shop tomorrow. I’ll be shooting the event from 11AM til 1PM.

8:30-9:15 a.m. – Beneficial Bank CEO Gerry Cuddy will serve drinks behind the bar.
9:15-10 a.m. – Agile Cat CEO Peter Madden will serve drinks behind the bar.
11 a.m. to noon – Philadelphia Eagles Malcolm Jenkins will serve drinks behind the bar.
11:30-11:45 a.m. – Councilwoman Cherelle Parker will stop by the cafe.
1-2 p.m. – Mike Jerrick from FOX29’s Good Day Philadelphia will serve drinks behind the bar.
Info Here




Pixs: Philadelphia Museum of Art (PMA) for the Young Friends’ Watercolor Remix Party

On February 25, 2017, guests gathered at the Philadelphia Museum of Art  (PMA) for the Young Friends’ Watercolor Remix Party.

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More than 300 guests attended the event, raising nearly $55,000 to support a wide range of programs at the Museum including the Young Friends mission of supporting elementary school field trips, art conservation, and acquisitions at the Museum.


Naveen Todi And Danielle Hankin co chairs of the Watercolor Remix Party. Danielle painted her own dress for the occasion.
(PS She is a contender for best dressed of the decade for PhillyChitChat’s 10th anniversary in 07/07/17)

Zoe King, Stephanie Campbell, Paige Corson, Sarah Haack (Custom)

Zoe King, Stephanie Campbell, Paige Corson, and Sarah Haack


Nicole Allen White and Kellan White 

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Naveen Todi, Ina Hajdini, Adelia Mehmetaj, and Suchit Bachalli

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Join the PHS Young Friends Party “Flowers After Hours”
Saturday night March 11
Spirits and munchies as well as a cash bar and the entire flower show is yours for the night


Katie Rupar, Devin Tanney, Molly Brennan, Emily McCracken, Megan Scanlon, and Mariana Fernandez


Kalie Desimone and Michael Gerstein


Jacqueline Cassidy, Tyler Cunnion, and Paul Shifflet


Young Friends enjoy:

  • Free admission to private tours, art-inspired excursions, and unique opportunities to meet local artists and curators.
  • Discounts to ticketed Young Friends events, including some of the city’s most popular fundraisers.
  • Networking and social opportunities—including member organized meetups throughout the city.
  • Philanthropic involvement in one of the largest and most renowned museums in the country.
  • All the benefits of general museum membership.


Guests at Watercolor Remix Party


Back Row: Carrie Fisher, Michael McNeely, Alexa Linton, Dylan Dvlieger;

Middle Row: Filiz Leigh, Tina DiSciullo, Maria Morales, Megan McNeely, Lauren Hunter; Bottom Row: Micka Thurin and party guests.

Cara Piskai and Joe Piskai PMA
DJ RoyalePMA
Guests at Watercolor Remix Party

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The colorful PMA Young Friends Committee

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I normally don’t run photos from events PCC doesn’t shoot, or are not sponsored posted, but I
was away during this event and my friend Danielle Hankin was the co-chair

Photo credit: Dave DiRentis Photography, 2017



Diner en Blanc Has A Charity Component – Now Shut Up

I know harsh title, but after going to events yesterday and people asking me why Diner en Blanc didn’t have a charity component, and then yes I was sad about the negative articles that came out about Diner en Blanc from people who never attended, and the one poor sad sap who didn’t have the gonads to tell his girlfriend he found the whole thing boring, but one posting on FB where a publisher of a magazine wanted to know where the money went, is the one that really affected me (surprised he doesn’t know how much it costs to run an event, it’s not free.)  I am biased, I love the event, they are my clients, and I also donate time to the event.  All I really know about life is we are here for a short time, I really want people to live and love, and I don’t understand negativity. I posted a little thing on FB. I got a feedback, good, disagreeable but not nasty, which is really the way it should be – C’est la vie. Oh wait there was one negative response from a Trump supporter who was mad I maligned him. We’re still friends though, it’s only the hypocrites I can’t stand. Near the end is where the Natanya DiBona statement on the charity work Philly Diner en Blanc does through out the year, and the volunteer hours that go into putting on an event as large as Diner en Blanc, with its 5,000 attendees this year:  My favorite response was Yo Philly, is more like Oy Philly

Here goes

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I included a few responses to my posts


Alexandra Golaszewska I’ve never gone to Dîner en Blanc, mainly I don’t want to haul my own furniture and plates to a dinner. But I don’t get why so many people are saying it needs to be fundraiser. I understand that they’re using public space, but so are all of the restaurants that have sidewalk tables, and I don’t hear the same criticism of them.


Cassie Hepler I said the same thing Hugh E Dillon as in why not get all uppity about the Eagles not donating to charity? Certainly those tickets and salaries are ridiculously overinflated as in millions not just $200K.

HughE: Although all the sports teams do a lot of charity, the ticket holder is not getting a charity deduction for the price of the ticket, so that

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Jacqueline Peccina Kelly Hugh E Dillon I have to agree 100% with what you said – I am disappointed in these naysayers. Is it because it is 2 women who are in charge? Or is it because they are jealous? Ignorance? I applaud Natanya and Kayli for orchestrating, what I think has been the party of the year. They brought 5000 strangers together who became friends for a night – no violence, nothing stolen, and a good time was had by all!

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Brigid McGrath Stasen First allow me to say that I am not a “schlepper”. I like to sit at tables donning white tablecloths and linen napkins with the best of them. Truth be told, I don’t even like buffets. If I’m going out to dinner I enjoy being served. That being said, I think the concept of Diner en Blanc is fun and fabulous. Did I want to go? No. Did I feel a bit of FOMO last night as I watched the videos and enjoyed the photos everyone was posting on FB? Yes. It looked like so much fun and I loved seeing all of my friends that were there enjoying themselves. Unfortunately, the trash etc… left behind is surely not worse than any number of parades in our fine city. If DEB folks paid for the clean up. Good for them. They should. Would it be nice to know if there was a charity angle? Absolutely. It’s a creative and fun event that allows all whom wish to participate to have a wonderful evening under the stars. Loved seeing everyone dressed in their white finery, their fabulous table settings, fun hats and ensembles. Will I be going to DEB 2017? No. Will I again have FOMO? Yes. But that’s okay. My friends had a blast.

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Sarah Doheny We’ve gone the first two years they both were magical evenings. The first year will was by far the best, all the sparklers lite at the same time, napkins waving …the fountain ..
It’s a choice and not everyone will be pleased and not everyone wishes to schlep…

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Mary Anne Keenan McDevitt I love DEB and I have carted my table, chairs, food and drink up and down subway steps, walked miles and ate dinner in the rain and will continue to attend for many years to come. Our group, last night, met across from the Franklin Institute and we walked to the Art Museum. The police stopped traffic as we started our trek, but for the remainder of the walk we obeyed traffic signals and only crossed the street on green. I can not comment on the mess that is left. I know that when we broke down our tables and chairs, last night, there was nothing left behind. (Have you ever seen the parking lot after a Kenny Chesney Concert?) We enjoy the evening and look forward to it.

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Bernnie Visalli How can anyone say something negative about a civil party all dressed in white with sparklers. Saw some coverage of that and it looked amazing.
People complain about everything now.

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Gregory Seitter Unfortunately, you will have a lot of naysayers. Diner en Blanc helps make Philadelphia a first class city. Plus, the event drives revenue in the city. Seems like a win-win for me.
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Christopher: The haters of this awesome event are probably the same people who hate every amazing event of grand scale this city should encourage. If we want to be a great city, a world class city, we should encourage more creative events like this. There is no downside to Diner en Blanc, is there? Bringing so many joyous people together makes our city stronger and more fun
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Karen Toole-Ebbert Amen Hugh E Dillon! I cannot understand why the push for a charity component in the 1st place. Even if it was a total for profit event it is no ones freaking business!! I host events every month and it is time consuming along with expenses.


Monique Crawford Totally agree. Leave it to opportunists to take a European tradition for the people who just want to celebrate life, food, fun, and friends and try to taint it for their own self promoting reasons. It’s Dîner En Blanc people, relax, just don’t go and get back to focusing on your self.
Matt Sullivan I see zero moral difference between using your money to buy tickets to this event and using your money to buy Eagles tickets. Except Eagles tickets are three times as expensive. So I guess Eagles fans care about the poor three times less than these people.
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Josh Kruger I drafted a paragraph-long comment several times before settling on, “Can we all just let each other live our dang lives?”
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Michelle Leonard  (name removed) I don’t think I know you. I am republican and most people know it. I know that Hugh E Dillon definitely knows it. And I consider HughE to be a close friend. He is one of the kindest most thoughtful and generous people I know. He is always fair and reasonable.
Second of all do you entertain? First of all Natanya DiBona and her friend Kayli do an amazing job planning and coordinating such a memorable evening. Do you realize what all of the buses entertainment and all of the other things go into creating this special evening. I don’t know if you went or not but it was a night to remember. Philadelphia is so lucky to have such talented people like Natanya and Kory Aversa putting together this amazing night.
Philadelphians should be thanking them for their generosity to helping to keep Philadelphia the world class city that it is.
Carmena Ayo-Davies You know I love you, I think DEB is beautifully organized, I’m lazy and like to be pampered, so all the extra Ish, is just not my cup of tea. I live in a two bedroom and I have a cleaning lady, I know I’m not toting my meal, table and chair anywhere in white. Just my opinion, I think people should definitely support, all the pictures look beautiful
Amy Z. Quinn It’s legal to get a permit and close down streets for an event, it happens all the time. It’s not my thing but
Marjilyn Murray I dont mind people making fun a bit ( i have attended for 4 years including this one) some of my friends make fun for having to carry chairs/tables/bring your own dinner lol. but such real nastyness from people…mostly who have never attended…i feel is uncalled for. It is a night where so many different people from all walks of life eat together, share food and drink, and peacefully have a wonderful time. We have met so many friends who we may have not met otherwise. Our table was a mix of all ages, races, orientation, and people from all over. We had a ball! How often do we all get that opportunity to go out and meet all different types of people (especially as a parent who doesnt get out too much lol?)


It may not go to charity but if me and my husband choose to go to dinner and spend $100 to eat at a restaurant with sidewalk seating…what is the difference? I dont see people yelling and accusing others of anything nasty (such as not caring about other world issues) because they went to dinner anywhere else.

You seem like a super nice person hugh…people are nasty and jealous and mean. Keep on being you and dont let the naysayers get you down:)


Karina Sellhorn I have never attended, I want to. I respect all opinions… But I don’t understand why every event in the city has to be a fundraiser? To each it’s own. People pay to tour the city; I would pay to get to have that experience.
Shoshana Suzanne Schiller Well, let’s compare apples to apples. DEB does not supply food, alcohol, servers, linens, centerpieces, etc. (Note – my view is DEB is not my thing but others like it and it’s one night of the year when traffic is affected so stop whining and let people who want to pay for the privilege to attend enjoy their night)
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Victor Fiorillo My band The Martha Graham Cracker Cabaret played it last year and I was surprised we didn’t get any crap for doing so. It was a great experience for us. I was a major eye roller but not a harsh critic of DEB prior to that event and after doing it, I came away with mostly positive feelings. I personally would never spend the money to be there, but I don’t fault others for doing the same or for DEB doing the event without a charity component. I disagree with your assertion that they can’t possibly add a charity component — why couldn’t they do a food drive at the event or allow a non profit to set up a table soliciting donations — but there are plenty of events in Philly that are dining oriented that don’t also try to feed the homeless. Not everything has to be everything to everybody and in the end, people are going to continue to sell out DEB regardless.

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Hugh E Dillon A can good is a great idea, but then someone would complain we asked them to carry one more thing. I Know Natanya and kayli would add a charity component if they could. At least to quiet the noise.

Natanya DiBona While we are unable to officially partner with a particular charity, we have given MANY free tickets to non-profits throughout the years (with a wide range of missions- from red cross to fringe arts and the vetri foundation) to auction off, we raised funds for Fairmount Park Conservancy through an event this year in honor of our first location, Logan Circle, we’ve auctioned off paintings done at the 2014 event to benefit PAFA and the Avenue of the Arts and we had 65 of our volunteers assist with #popupphilly, the first pop-up dinner party for the homeless. And actually, Hugh E Dillon, while i do understand what you are saying and I appreciate the sentiment, we would not do anything just to quiet noise- I believe we are authentic and genuine in everything we have done since 2012. 

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Kayli, myself and an 8 person team dedicate 4 months planning this event unpaid and this year we were assisted by another 155 volunteers who helped us execute it….all for the love of planning a great event in the city we love. The city is the beneficiary of all of those thousands of hours we donate of our time to make this event happen (as a small example of the time it takes, threading each of the wristbands that our participants wore took 52 man hours- just imagine what went into planning the whole event). Everyone else does get paid though…the venue (“public space” does not mean free), the city, police officers, street cleaners, portapotties sound and lighting professionals, tent companies, insurance providers, bus companies, Septa, and yes, performers like the fabulous Martha Graham Cracker Cabaret, Victor Fiorillo. The very reasonable ticket price makes all of that possible.


JW: You should know by now that Philadelphians hating on anything positive that goes on in Philadelphia is the most Philadelphian thing you can do. I think it’s up there with the citywide special — $3 PBR and a shot of Jim Bean — as quintessential Philly.

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Q&A: We ask Diner en Blanc’s organizers to explain themselves


Ideas For Table Settings for Diner en Blanc

Ideas For Table Settings for Diner en Blanc

Last month Diner en Blanc held their preview party at the Reading Terminal Market. It was there that guests got their first taste of the food, decor and atmosphere of what they’ll experience on August 18. There was also a display of nearly a dozen tables which competed for the best decorated. During Diner en Blanc, there is a similar table decorating contest, as well as a best dressed contest.table

Diner en Blanc Philadelphia returns on Thursday, August 18, 2016 to a secret location revealed just moments before the picnic begins. In honor of the event’s fifth anniversary, the très chic picnic will expand to 5,000 guests in 2016, tying New York City as the largest in America and one of the largest in the world.


Part mystery tour, part pop-up feast and part je ne sais quoi, Dîner en Blanc is a magical evening that celebrates and re-purposes public space. Bystanders will witness groups of guests all dressed in white gathering at specific rallying points all across the city. Guided by volunteers, these groups will then converge on a unique and unexpected setting, travelling by foot, bus and/or public transportation. Guests will bring their own gourmet feast, table, chairs and table setting. Over the course of the evening, they will eat and celebrate amid music, entertainment and dancing.


Diner en Blanc was brought to Philadelphia by co-hosts Natanya DiBona and Kayli Moran. Each year they coordinate the event with a team of volunteers which this year will top 160 (including the annual planning team, table leaders and on-site event support).

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Past surprise locations for Dîner en Blanc Philadelphia have included 2012’s Logan Circle, 2013’s JFK Bridge, 2014’s Avenue of the Arts and 2015’s The Navy Yards, Marine Parade Grounds. The event has grown from 1,200 in 2012, to 2,550 in 2013, to 3,500 in 2014, and 4,500 in 2015. For 2016, DiBona and Moran have big plans for the biggest year yet, with 5,000 guests. HD1_9414 (Custom) table   table  table

Judging the tables: Siobban Reardon, Phila Library, Brooke Thomas, CBS3Philly, and Brian Cawley, Lord & Taylor, judge one of the dozen Diner en Blanc tables at the preview party HD1_9463 (Custom)

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Séda Alexandrian, Touché and Lisa Silveri, Manager at DRANOFF Properties Realty, Inc.



Chef Jacqueline Peccina Kelly and Laura Eaton with their winning table which was inspired by the Titian R. Peale Butterfly and Moth Collection housed at The Academy of Natural Sciences.


Philly Gossip: Goodbye Brittney Shipp, Alycia Lane Announcement, Shady McCoy and Gamble Celebration

Happy Monday Morning. I’m sure you all have you’re Golden Globe glow on after last nights show. Hopefully that is the last we see of Ricky Gervais forever.

He was nearly as offensive as Mel Gibson has been, and several of his jokes were about Mel who was a presenter last night, which made no sense.

After the show I watched NBC10 News for the latest on Philly News, with my gals Denise Nakano and Brittney Shipp. OMG it was Brittney’s last night in Philly. ‘Sunday marked the final forecast for NBC10’s Brittney Shipp. After
spending three years with our First Alert Weather team,

Brittney is
moving on to start a new journey in San Francisco where she’ll work as
the main weekday night meteorologist for KRON-TV.’ (NBC10 Philadelphia) Saturday night NBC10 family said good bye to Brittney at a party at Del Frisco’s in Center City. All her favs were there Jacqueline London, Keith Jones, Anzio Williams and Rosemary Connors.

Speaking of Rosemary Connors, I spotted her, hubby Ben, LuAnn Cahn, and her hubby Phil at the new southern eaterly in Old City, Little Lion on Friday night. That’s Rosemary in the pink on the left. The place was packed. I was headed upstairs to attend QVC’s Erin Elmore’s birthday party. It was great. I’ll have photos of her party tomorrow.
 Christmas was such a blur as you know, and I forgot to post this awesome shot from former CBS3’s anchorwomen Alycia Lane and her family’s annual Christmas photo where they all dress in matching PJ’s including the dog. Well, Alycia told her friends last week that

baby makes four. A little brother will join big sister Averie, born in June 2014, in June 2016.
Congrats to Kenny Gamble (The Father of the Philadelphia Sound) and Dyana R. Williams (Legendary mistress of music –  “Soulful Sunday” on 100.3 and celebrity strategist) celebrated their grandchild, Luke Gamble‘s first birthday on Saturday. Luke is the child of their son Caliph Gamble and his lovely wife, Deana Gamble.

Congrats to Katelyn and Dan DeLiberty on the birth of their baby girl last week. The baby was due at Christmas time, but took her time in making her debut for mom and dad, who just celebrated their first anniversary  November 15, 2015.

The Santana family let their loved ones know they were expected a baby girl in may at their gender reveal party on Saturday. These parties are so much fun, and seem to be all the rage lately.
Google is developing a talk show like “The View'” and our very own Jen Groover, entrepreneur and life coach, just got cast to co-host. Can’t wait.

Congrats to my former photo editor at Steph Aaronson who was laid off December 4 and has landed as photo editor at the Wall Street Journal.

Former Mob Wives star Alicia DiMichele was at the Philadelphia 76ers-Cleveland Cavaliers game and ran into Shady McCoy who was wearing a Cleveland Indians hat. I’m sure none of the Philly’s fans picked a fight with him.

Congrats to David Deven, General Director and President of Opera Philadelphia on his 10th anniversary at the helm. Up next for Opera Philadelphia is Cold Mountain which opens 2/5/16

Tim Quirino co-founded Geekadelphia & The Philly Geek Awards, lives in San Francisco and came across the production of the Full House Reunion, which is being shot for Netfliks. Set in San Francisco, it’s great to see the “Full House” house is being used for the new movie too. The Full House is party of the “Painted Ladies” in San Francisco, made famous by the 1990s TV show.