Sneak Peek of Pod Hotel and Eateries

I had an opportunity to check out the public spaces of the newly opened Pod hotel at 31 S 19th Street.

The popular, economical micro hotel by Modus Hotels is in the midst of it’s soft opening, and they are already completely booked this week. What people are really excited about is the hotel’s food program which will be operated by Greg Root and Nick Kennedy, the team behind Fishtown’s Root and Suraya restaurants. The pair’s Defined Hospitality group also will run the hotel’s rooftop bar, which is to feature a retractable canopy.

The Lobby of the Pod Hotel, is expansive with tables and couches. The public space is spacious as the rooms are micro at 170 sq. feet or as Jacob Adelman at the Inquirer describe, about the size of two cars next to each other. (Source)

Adjacent to the lobby, with a view of 19th Street is an all-day cafe – El Cafe– centered around baked treats from Suraya pastry chef James Matty, and will feature coffee from Stumptown Coffee Roasters of Portland, Ore. When I was there last night people were already enjoying the lounge area.

The team that brought you R&D, Pizzeria Beddia and Suyraya are excited to bring you their next passion project, Condesa. Inspired by their trip to Mexico City and beyond Chef Nick Kennedy, Greg Root, Al Lucas with Natalie DiBattista (Project Manager at Defined Hospitality) are opening the full service restaurant around October 1, a Mexican inspired coffee bar (El Cafe) this week, and

an exciting all season rooftop Taqueria/bar (El Techo) in the heart of Center City Philadelphia shortly. The food will be inspired by all seven regions of Mexico as well as the beverage program which is being designed by Aaron Deary of R&D and Suraya fame. (They are hiring too)

Check out the retracting roof. The room was spacious, with lots of tables, nooks and crannies for all kinds of get togethers with friends, loved ones and future loved ones. The room has wrap around views of Center City, and when the roof is retracted the skyline is right there casting light on you. I can’t wait for it to open, I really liked the layout, can’t wait to try the food, and look forward to it’s late night loungy future.

The main entrance is on Ludlow Street. This leads directly to the restaurant and the Front Desk.

Welcome to Philly Pod. I loved you in NYC, and we’re so lucky to have you. It’s amazing what you have built on what seemed to be a tiny lick of land. The 11-story Pod Philly Hotel by Modus Hotels, which broke ground in April 2018 and is now opened in September 2019. Not only is it a hotel, but it’s a destination for us, in the Philly area.


Photos: Opening of the Art Museum North Entrance and Vaulted Walkway

It seems like forever since this project began, but how sweet it is to attend today’s opening of the Art Museum’s North Entrance. I live across the street so I’ve been watching them from the groundbreaking to the opening of the doors. It is magnificent. Now that the West Entrance is closed as part of renovating the building with their Core Project, you’ll need to enter through here or at the East Entrance.

The North Entrance is now open with access to new spaces including an espresso bar, a re-imagined museum store, and education classrooms. You don’t need tickets to access the espresso bar or museum store.

There’s a whole section in the Museum Store dedicated to local artists. Plus I noticed that the Art Museum has embraced the whole love of Rocky with various items including these cute “dolls”, but one of my favorite items is this magnet, which I bought, celebrating the Eagles Superbowl Rally on the Art Museum Steps, scratch that, Rocky Steps, scratch that, the Steps of Glory, yes we have a new all inclusive name for stairway which leads to the East entrance of the Art Museum. I like it!!

At this mornings ceremony Leslie Miller, board chair, Mayor Jim Kenney, Timothy Rub The George D. Widener Director and Chief Executive Officer The Philadelphia Museum of Art, Frank Gehry, legendary architect and not pictured here but to the right of Mr Gehry, schools Superintendent William R. Hite Jr., and Gail Harrity President and Chief Operating Officer of the Art Museum were in attendance and spoke at the ceremony.

28 students from the Bache-Martin school entered the newly restored North Entrance as streamers enveloped them.

The metal sculpture is supposed to mimic the barrel roof of the adjoining hallway. This is the espresso cafe filled with natural light, with plenty of seating. There are also spacious bathrooms just around the corner. 10:00 a.m.–8:45 p.m.: Pay What You Wish admission!! Check out more photos in my column on CBS3Philly.


Gerald Henderson Sr. Wins The 5th Anniversary Julius Erving Golf Classic

Last week I photographed the Julius Erving Golf Classic which took place at the Borgata Hotel, Casino & Spa In Atlantic City, and the Atlantic City Country Club not too far away, on Monday morning for the golf tournament.

The Fifth Annual Julius Erving Golf Classic was held over the weekend September 7-9 at the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa in Atlantic City. On Saturday the Erving Youth Basketball Clinic was held at the state-of-the-art Sixers training complex in Camden, NJ. Youth participants enjoyed an incredible experience with the 76ers dunk team, Q&A session with Dr. J, a gifting from Converse and lunch was provided. On Sunday night, the annual Red Carpet & Pairings Party was held at Premier Nightclub at Borgata.

The Atlantic City Country Club was host to the tee-it-up day for the Official Julius Erving Golf Classic Tournament.

On the final day, September 9, all golf participants headed to the Atlantic City Country Club to tee-it-up in the Official Julius Erving Golf Classic Tournament. Let’s check out the photos from the golf day. Proceeds from the weekend supported Grab a Ball and Play and The Salvation Army

Christian Crosby, Philadelphia 76ers, in-arena host/ personality emceed the opening ceremonies
Jessy Kyle at the Julius Erving Golf Classic at Atlantic City Country Club on September 09, 2019 in Atlantic City, New Jersey.
Hall of Fame Basketball forward and icon Julius ‘Dr. J’ Erving greet friends to The Julius Erving Golf Classic which supports support of Grab a Ball and Play and The Salvation Army.
Dr J’s friends who participated in the Julius Erving Golf Gala at Atlantic City Country Club on September 09, 2019 in Atlantic City, New Jersey. The 2019 Erving celebrity guests included former NBA and WNBA stars Charles Barkley, Alonzo Mourning, John Starks, Reggie Theus, Mike Woodson, Greg Anthony, Gerald Henderson Sr., Gerald Henderson Sr. Clyde Drexler, Jimmy Jackson, Festus Ezeli, Ron Harper, and Nancy Lieberman; MLB and Hall of Fame legend Ozzie Smith; boxer and Hall of Fame star Winky Wright; R&B legends Jeffrey Osborne and Johnny Gill; actors and comedians Chris Tucker and Flex Alexander; former NFL Legends, Ahmad Rashad, Victor Green, Seth Joyner, Mike Quick, Keith Byars, and Marcus Allen and former supermodel Beverly Johnson
Dr J doesn’t play golf, but he greets each golfer as they head out to the green at the Julius Erving Golf Classic at Atlantic City Country Club on September 09, 2019 in Atlantic City, New Jersey.
Legendary model Beverly Johnson has attended all 5 of at the Julius Erving Golf Classic weekends.
Chris Tucker lines up a shot. He and Beverly Johnson were picked as best dressed on the greens.
Football great Marcus Allen and basketball great Charles Barkley, who just got his own statue at the 76ers Complex in Camden, NJ
ESPN’s Jay Harris warming up on the putting green.
Golfers practice with Atlantic City silhouetted in the background.

Reggie Theus reads a bit of history about Dr. J on this signs which were posted at each hole. He’s an American retired basketball player and the former head coach of California State University, Northridge. He formerly served as head coach for the NBA’s Sacramento Kings and New Mexico State University’s men’s basketball team.

“It is such an honor to be able to come here each year for Julius. We started out thinking that we didn’t have much of a chance, but as the round went along, we really made some clutch putts and had great team energy,” said NBA Legend and Philadelphia 76ers Star Gerald Henderson Sr., who’s team won of the 2019 Erving Classic.

Julius “Dr. J’ Erving and Dorys Erving ; On the evening of September 8, guests dressed in their finest attire and headed to the weekend’s Erving Red Carpet & Pairings Party at Premier Nightclub at The Borgata Hotel, Casino & Spa. Hosted by ESPN’s Jay Harris, professional golfer and fashion designer Seema Sadekar, the evening featured some of the most influential athletes and entertainers who honored Erving for his contributions both on and off the court and the five-year tradition of the Julius Erving Golf Classic. Check out Philly Style Magazine, Philly Voice and CBSPhilly for photos from the red carpet event.

Summer of Stars: Who was in town this past week

WOW I have never had so many celebrity sightings, gotten so many celebrity shots and had so much fun sharing the info with you. THANK YOU THANK YOU readers for your tips. I can’t do this without you, and I appreciate your trust. I am always happy to give you credit, or respect your anonymity. I’m happy to retweet you, especially if your a person who wants to be anonymous but wants a little social media love, I’m happy to pay that forward. This is a labor of love for me, and I love sharing your stories with our neighbors. Thank you again so much for all the tips, stories and sightings. I’m a little behind as September snuck up on me…

The Netflik’s Queer Eye show has wrapped. Last week they held a wrap party on the rooftop of the National Apartments, with it’s sweet view of Penns Landing. B R Y N + D A N E ‘ S catering provided food for the cast party. Although none of the cast members stayed at the National, they did use their gym everyday Level 1 Fitness when they weren’t using the gym at The Bridge, where the cast did stay. I would get daily emails, where is the cast staying, how can I meet the Queer Eye guys. I’d think to myself don’t they see the big blue bridge in so many of their workout videos? I make it a point not to tell fans where people are staying, while they’re staying there. The Bridge is also where Michael B Jordan stayed when he was in town filming Creed 2.

Before he left town Tan France stopped by Brandi Carlile’s show at the Mann: Photo by PhotoMojo’s Jeffrey Sidelsky

Look at this fantastic crew that was there last Friday at the Mann. @brandicarlile Philadelphia! What a show. Thanks for letting me bring some friends! You made @TheHighwomen’s album release day even more special! #thehighwomen@tanya_tucker@tanfrance@amandashires@mavisstaples

Thanks instagram Follower Danielle Marie Rose for sending me this shot of Terrence Howard leaving Ocean Prime. When Terrence isn’t filming Empire, or some dashing movie, he calls Lafayette Hill, just outside of Philadelphia, home.

What’s Bill Pullman doing in Philly I thought when Elizabeth Claire sent me this photo. I did some research and found out his wife Tamara Pullman’s brother lives here furniture designer Michael Hurwitz He has a studio at 16 South 3rd Street .

I”ll never get over the thrill of being inPhiladelphia Inquirer I’ve read it since the time I could read, and it’s one of the first professional outlets I got published my work published in ~ a photo of Barry Manilow leaving Ralph’s Restaurant in2007. You must subscribe to the Inky, it’s our home town newspaper. I do describe, I just hadn’t signed in here. Read the Story of This Is Us filming in Philly. BTW they filmed from Sunday until Wednesday. I walked by the Sofitel where they were housed and the “extras” vans were stationed to pick them up and take them to a scene. Social Season has started and I didn’t have time to find out where it was. Keep me informed, I might not have time to shoot them but I will get the scoop for us.

Famous  artist Thomas Keller dined  at Autograph Brasserie on Mainline with the Grims Family – he was in town to play golf at Merion he ate oysters from Washington state, the autograph whole roasted chicken with sides of broccoli rabe, button mushrooms and spinach and tried both the chocolate cake and the hummingbird cake for dessert he is pictured with fearless restaurants director of development Sydney Grims 
Reader Nya Sturrup snapped a photo of Andre 3000 and family at the Chinatown Festival today, and sent it to us. I was at the annual Jewelers Row Fall Festival, and Jason Segel strolled by, with a DATE he told fans. He declined photos. He’s usually super friendly but you know he was on a date with a Philly girl who had blue hair. Dispatches from Elsewhere continues to film in Philly through November.

I never did find out why Jessica Alba was here, but someone did see her on Walnut Street shopping on Wednesday as well. No doubt for research on her beauty blog. And someone did go on record saying they waited on her, in the comments. Now that’s a lot of celebrities in Philly for one week.


Rec & Royal Has Arrived, A New Dance Club & Adult Game Venue

The other day I was walking by Sofitel as I heard the cast of This is Us was staying there. Although I didn’t spot any main stars, I did see the crew cars clearly marked. I also noticed that STATS on 17th had closed. Opened about a year ago, Stats had replaced the Ice Club which never warmed up the crowd and was fairly short lived, before that it was the fairly successful 1925 the Burlesque club, which replaced the hot club G Lounge, which had been in place nearly 10 years.

When I wrote about the opening of the new night club a reader sent me the info and I signed up, where I found out the club was having a soft opening weekend opening on Thursday. Last night I went after shooting the Philly Mag and Philly Pops parties, which will be posted today on some of my media outlets. Greeting guests at the door was Philly’s old time nightlife friend Manny Romano, Director of Marketing at Home Hospitality who has made quite a name on the scene. Most recently connected with the turn around of Vesper nightclub just up the road. Home Hospitality turned Vesper from a sleepy restaurant/bar into a hot and happening nightclub with people waiting to get in on the weekends.

Now Home Hospitality has opened a hot new club just up the street, in the former G Lounge space called Rec & Royal. The clubs website describes the place as : Rec & Royal provides two unique experiences in on artfully crafted venue. One side is an innovative gaming parlour and karaoke lounge and the other is a cutting edge boutique nightclub where you can party the night away.

The club has two distinct areas, the rec part where guests will enjoy an alternative nightlife experience immersing patrons in an adult playground creating camaraderie amongst friends with arcades, team-based games, and karaoke in a high energy social environment. Rec also offers 4 unique hospitality suites where patrons can enjoy a more private experience.

Then there’s the club area, the Royal, which you will find on the other side of a door, which leads to an exhilarating light show, with a formative DJ booth, which is no longer located above the dance floor but out in the open, with tricked out lights, and surprises. Home Hospitality really did a demo job to the space, and it finally flows much better than the previous concepts. It feels and looks more like what Zee bar is like. There’s a lot of lounge areas, bottle service spaces and little nooks for dancing. It’s a cool vibe space, with lite chitchat and a smokey atmosphere.

Rec & Royal had its soft opening on Thursday, September 12, 2019 at 111 S 17th St , and is opened this weekend as well. I didn’t want to spoil your experience, plus they’re still working on a few concepts so I only took a few photos. It looks like a lot of fun, and unlike the last concept they’ll be doing something fantastic with the vault. I’ll be back to hopefully get a photo of you enjoying yourselves. Check out their website here.


This Is Us Films in Philly; Queer Eye Guy and Jason Segal Spotted – Yes they’re still here!!

Hey readers, you’re used to me doing my gossip column on Sunday’s but I’ve been slammed with work so I’m going to give you a whole bunch of chitchat to love today.

Unless you live under a rock, you at least know about the huge hit on NBC >> This is Us, which tells the story of the Pearson family in present, future and past tense, a momentous feat and great character development way to tell a story. The series is based in Pittsburgh where the main characters and their parents were born and raised. As adults, Kate lives in Los Angeles, Randall and his family are in New Jersey (and later Philadelphia) Kevin relocates from Los Angeles to New York City and back again.

Last year ‘This Is Us’ filmed scenes with Justin Hartley, who plays Kevin Pearson, at WHYY studios with Terry Gross. He was being interviewed by Gross. Here are a few of my photos from the shoot in the Inky last year. Well they’re back again this year to film a few scenes, but this time because one of the Pearsons moves to town. On Sunday (I tweeted on Sunday how sad I was to miss shooting them, but I was going to the Eagles game!!) but on Monday I was able to shoot them as they filmed scenes which will be shown in the 4th season which debuts Tuesday, September 24th on NBC. The first episode will likely kick off with The Big Three’s birthday says Good Housekeeping (just as it has in prior seasons) SPOILER ALERT, if you don’t want to know where and what Randall Pearson’s family does next, don’t read any further.

One of the biggest spoiler alerts was watching the trailer for the upcoming season. So many intriguing stories, and say what M. Night Shyamalan is joining the cast? I think I know why, and if you want to know click on the YouTube link as someone chitchats about it in the comments. OK let’s see what happened when This is Us came to town to film Sunday & Monday.

Randall Peason’s family is moving to Philadelphia, which we found out last season when Randall won a City Council seat in our City in the 12th District. (It’s a fictional show, just like Philly having a 12th District, we only have 10) The 12th District, where Randall lives, seems to be the Spring Garden area as that is where they filmed on Sunday, primarily in the 2000 block of Spring Garden. The entire family of actors Sterling K. Brown and Susan Kelechi with their TV kids were spotted walking along Spring Garden Street. Then filming at the Philadelphia Art Museum early Monday morning they were there as well. At one point as noted by Chef Cherryl reports Randall Pearson runs up the Rocky Stairs, which is a regular exercise routine in Philly. In this photo you can also see the Pearson family in pink and green. Philly we’re gonna have a whole new bunch of fans to see the Philadelphia Art Museum and Rocky Steps.

Monday afternoon Lyric Ross, who plays Déjà , a foster kid who was taken in by Randall and Beth Pearson, filmed on South Street. First near the Headhouse on 2nd Street. Then she and her friend grabbed a Rita’s Gelato in the 300 block of South Street, before heading to the Magic Garden at 10th and South. The scene looks to be a fall after school moment as both kids in the scene are wearing warm clothing, and carrying backpacks, but as a Philadelphian every season is the perfect season for a Rita’s treat. (I was kinda bummed I didn’t have my long lens when I got the tip about This is Us filming on South Street, as I was returning from Dr J’s Golf Classic in Atlantic City and I didn’t need it. But still happy about these shots.

UPDATE: WXTU’s Nicole Michalik (3pm to 7PM) has a story on their website about Sterling K Brown at the Art Museum and how this photo came about. Head on over to WXTU

Thanks Leah Ben who tipped me off to Bobby Berk, the interior guy from Queer Eye, filming a Rachel Ray segment at Washington Square last week. The guys are nearly done filming the season 5 of the popular Netflix series.

Actory/Director/Writer Jason Segel who’s been working on the AMC TV series Dispatches From Elsewhere has been filming all over town, and in the burbs. One of them more interesting shoots occurred at the Tower Theater right before Labor Day. An overnight shoot had an audience who was listening to cult leader Octavio eschew his spiel, combat protestors with nerf objects. I hear it was a wild shoot. This series shoots here through November. It premieres on AMC TV in the first quarter of 2020. Jason Segal was roaming around Old City, which seems to be the hot spot to live while filming in Philly, the Queer Eye guys are always spotted in the area as well, anyway Jason stopped in everyone’s favorite women’s shop The Geisha House 149 N 3rd St. Later this week I’ll write about my first trip to see the Eagles play at the Linc, I hear I’m a good luck charm now. #comebackkid; also the 2nd half of my LBWkdn trip, Dr. J Gala & Golf, and more PhillyGossip. Have a great day!!


Philly To Do: Cheers Opera Philly O19 – Free Tickets; Les Dames Philadelphia Dinner

Opera Philadelphia Festival O19 is on the brink of another fantastic series of operas taking place at the Suzanne Roberts Theatre in a few weeks. Last month I attended the launch of this year’s Ale – Launching the #O19 #OPA from Flying Fish at XIX in the Bellevue.

The Opera Philadelphia Festival O19 brings 12 days of opera to Philadelphia from September 18-29.

On Independence Mall at 7 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 14, Opera Philadelphia presents a free broadcast of Opera Philadelphia’s LA BOHEME! in anticipation of the 019 festival, which starts 4 days later on Sept. 18. Bring your picnic and blankets and enjoy a beautiful night of Opera Philadelphia Get your free tickets . #onthemall#philaboheme (Philly Voice)

Les Dames Philadelphia Annual Heritage Farm Dinner 9/15/19

Les Dames Philadelphia is excited to announce one of Philadelphia’s most successful restaurateurs’, Ellen Yin founder and co-owner
of High Street Hospitality Group, as this year’s Outstanding in Her Field Award recipient. Ellen will be honored at Les Dames
Philadelphia’s fourth annual Heritage Farm

Dinner at Bartram’s Garden on Sunday, September 15, 2019 from 4-7 pm. Each year the event recognizes the culinary contributions of
Philadelphia area woman with the Outstanding in Her Field Award. A cocktail reception followed by a three-course farm dinner will feature a communal meal created by over twenty chefs and producers from the Philadelphia food community who have been mentored or influenced by Yin.

Les Dames d’Escoffier is a world-wide philanthropic society of professional women leaders in the fields of food, fine beverage, and hospitality. The Philadelphia Chapter is made up of a diverse group of chefs, winemakers, restaurateurs, writers, food artisans, and many other food professionals dedicated to giving back to their community.

LDW Trip to NC, and Va in Photos

Last weekend I traveled to NC to check out the Outer Banks of NC, the nearby Alligator National Wildlife Preserve, and Chincoteague and Assateague Islands , I’ve been before but not with a long lens to really capture the wild horses roam. I covered it extensively on my social media platforms, but here are the details and more photos. Day 1 & 2

Mike and I planned to leave at 5AM as I the first stop was going to be Alligator National Wildlife Refuge , and it would take 7hrs to get there. Now you might think the ANWR was our destinations to see alligators, but it actually is known for its huge bear population, and the best time to see them was at dawn or dusk. I thought we’d get there for dusk, but because of our late start we settled to see the Wright Brothers monument in Kitty Hawk, NC. Definitely a bucket list stop in my life.

It was high on top of a hill, or at the time a sand dune. From the top you could see the ocean but it was about a mile away. There were two busts of the Wright brothers adorning the monument, and the story of how they executed the first flight – a lot of friends helping to push their glider off the hill. And now we’re all able to fly because of these two inquisitive kids.

As with most of the trips we go on Mike and I don’t make hotel arrangements before we arrive so it keeps us flexible on our timeline, good thing right. 90% of the time we use the app to find hotels at the last minute. When a hotel doesn’t sell out, it releases rooms to this app at a 15% to 25% discount, as you get closer to the date, and on the actual date it might even drop as much as 50%. I was checking all week and the final hotel we chose wasn’t even an option until the day we arrived. We got it for $219 a few hours before we checked in, and then right before I walked in the door of the Ramada Plaza by Wyndham Nags Head Oceanfront I noticed it had dropped another $50, but I had already purchased it. Glad I did, it was spectacular.

We sat here at night as well. The night sky was fantastic. The sound of the ocean was so peaceful. I can’t wait to go back.

It was right on the beach, we had a nice balcony room over looking the parking lot, er I mean the sunset, but more importantly the Atlantic Ocean and sunrise was just outside by the back door.

Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge – – too hot for birds. But it was cool to see Cape Hatteras after hearing about it for so many years after being battered by Nor’easters and hurricane, in fact Dorian is going there tomorrow. Literally for miles Cape Hatteras is like driving through Strathmere NJ, beach on one side, marshes on the other. Very narrow, basically a sandbar with a road. When you get to the end of Hatteras on either side there are houses where the land gets wider, and they are on stilts to allow the highest of tides to flow underneath in storms.

Then we went to this cute island, which sits between the Outer Banks and Alligator National Wildlife Refuge called Roanoke Island. It’s tiny, but has a cute touristy village where we shopped, and grabbed lunch before our next adventure. I didn’t have time to check out the “pirates ship” but it made a great photo.

We got skunked in Alligator National Wildlife Refuge . It was a barren field of nothing for hours, except for those turkeys crossing the street. We went at the wrong time of the year. The grass was high, the corn hadn’t been cut back yet, and it was too darn hot. Yes corn, the wildlife preserve grows corn and soy beans for the sole purpose of a resource for food for the animals, isn’t that nice? A local told us to come back after the first full moon and we’d see hundreds of bears. Next time I’ll go in the spring or fall as I’d love to see the bears safely from my car.

Then we hit a miss on, which happens. It was a Saturday night, there were no hotels for hundreds of miles as we were near the NC beaches. I hadn’t read too much touristy stuff about Elizabeth City leading up to the trip, but it was the only place they had two hotels, and then I waited longer, one hotel. The Comfort Inn. It was a dud at any price, we paid $235. It was dirty, the night desk staff was rude, the day staff was nicer and well it was dirty. We couldn’t wait to leave. Our view was the prison next door. Next Week we’ll ChitChat about the rest of the trip. Check back Friday afternoon for HughE Around Town and celeb sightings in Philly, and what’s happening on the weekend for you late planners like me.


The Four Seasons Hotel Lobby, Jean-Georges and View Review – That Elevator

Welcome back. I’ve lit my pumpkin spice candles and I’m ready to get back to work. How about you? Recently I stopped by the new, much anticipated Four Seasons hotel in the Comcast Technology building to check out the view and food. They were open for about a week when I wandered in, here’s what I found.

Looking towards Jean-Georges restaurant from the JG Sky Bar which is a floor above and looks down on it

An incredible architectural gem we get to claim as part of Philadelphia.

The glass elevator ride was not as scary as I first anticipated, unless you actually look out the glass panel side. There is a full side that is not glass and if you are nervous you can focus on that area and you will be fine.  Do not miss out on the Four Seasons if you are afraid of heights, nothing will happen, the elevators are really amazing and it’s the safest Instagram moment from a height you can imagine.

The check in desk

The ride from the elevator takes about a breathtaking minute, breathtaking cause it’s beautiful not because you’ll be having a panic attack, although I suggest you look towards the doors, or to the left if you are prone to them. The lobby is sleek, modern and mirrored. In fact the whole 60th floor is, which allows you to not only enjoy the beautiful lobby, but the views of the whole City if you just look up. Here I am taking a selfie while facing the check in desk, and enjoying North Philly.

In the lobby I found Brittney Shipp , NBC10 Philadelphia, which is located in the same building on a lower floor, with her mom. From here there are breathtaking views and flower arrangements ( Celebrity Floral Designer Jeff Leatham creates the arrangements. He’s the go to florist to the stars, like Oprah Winfrey, the Kardashians, and Madonna.) ), which is a great location for family photos, Instagram moments, or to just stop and smell the flowers. They are changed every few weeks. This week I saw photos and they’re white.

From the ground floor you take the elevator to the 60th floor, then you go to another bank of elevators to get down to your room. You can’t go from the ground floor to your room without first going back to the lobby which is on the 60th floor. These are the elevators to go to the rooms. There are benches to relax as well as a spectacular view looking west.

The sunset is best viewed from this area looking west, but if someone is sitting in those chairs go to the other elevator bank where there’s an identical view, and no chairs.

On the floor where JG Skybar is the windows have dots on them, making them less than picture perfect. I ran into the Four Seasons GM Ben Shank who told me these were to reflect the sun and keep the room cool. Clever idea without disrupting the views too much. You might recall how hot the Hamilton Garden Roof Top event space was before they added a “roof” and a/c. It might have become a hot box without this added feature.

JG Skyhigh is more than just the hotel’s bar, it’s a destination. It’s more lounge, with tables and comfortable chairs that hug you, spread out on a generous space on the 60th floor. There are nooks and crannies with deuces, or four tops where conversations can be enjoyed as well as lite bites. Jean George takes care of the menu in this space as well, but don’t expect a large menu selection. You can make reservations to sit in the lounge, but you can also walk in as well and wait for a table to open up, sit at the bar or stand around. The day I went the doorman as I entered the building told me it was standing room only.

When I looked around JG SkyHigh I saw a lot of the business leaders, movers and shakers, scenesters, Philebrities and people on dates filling every corner of the breathtaking space. It was like going to a Philly Style Magazine party, my neck was hurting from people saying hello. I wish I had taken more peoples photos, I was taking it all in. Photo top left: Ben Shank, GM Four Seasons Hotel with Sam Cooper and girlfriend Lauren Villa . Sam is in a band, Mt. Joy, they’re playing the Fillmore in Philly Oct 4.

I had promised my friend AJ Mattia we would eat dinner at Jean-Georges in September, but I couldn’t wait and decided to have a bite, I promised myself I wouldn’t do any social media around it so he wouldn’t know.

I’m not to be trusted. I was able to get a seat in Jean-Georges and I dived into the SUMMER TASTING MENU $128 which friends of mine had earlier in the week. It’s a steep price, but the build up to the Four Seasons, and rave reviews about Jean-Georges whet my appetite. (Menu)

Great service by Whitman and Ray. Ask to be seated in Ray’s section.

It was a luxurious treat I don’t regret, a great way to end the summer. Now I can’t wait for the Fall Tasting Menu, and the amazing views that come with it. There are so many restaurants I haven’t tried because of the cost, but I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to try the world renowned Jean Georges restaurant, my friends have all raved about over the years. They were right. Plus the view, oh my the view. I was so wrong in my earlier Social Media posts, it’s spectacular at night as well.

Before I left I was treated to this magnificent lightning storm; no longer will I need to wonder what it would be like to be there during a storm, or experience the view of the City without tinted windows as is the case in most skyscrapers in Philly, or catch the sunset from the tallest building in Philadelphia. You could enjoy all the splendor of this magnificent gem by just going to the lounge, enjoying a cocktail, or even just taking the ride to the 60th floor to to the lobby, take a few photos and head back down again. I have been known to direct tourists to certain buildings, and hotels just see the beautiful views of our City, you know your curious. Just do it.
Check out additional info here and at Visit Philly.


InBox: Hero Thrill Show® Pep Rally to kick off fund-raising efforts in Center City to help support the education of families of fallen police and fire heroes

#PhillyTraffic (You can follow my traffic warnings on Twitter using this hashtag)
Wednesday when you return to work, be forewarned that the feel good Hero Thrill Show Pep Rally will be taking place in Center City at NOON, Market Street, between 18th and 19th streets, (entire block). It’s for a great cause, so take a break from work and cheer on the participants. Here are the details:

Rally is a sneak preview of upcoming Hero Thrill Show®.

WHO:  Scheduled:  Hero Thrill Show®President/CEO James “Jimmy” Binns (emcee); City officials: City Representative Sheila Hess; Fire Commissioner Adam Thiel; Acting Police Commissioner Christine Coulter; representatives from the Police and Fire departments; WOGL Radio personality “Mr. Saturday  Night” Bob Pantano; Boxing announcer Nino DelBuono; Philadelphia Police Highway Patrol Motorcycle Drill Team; Police K-9 unit; Police Mounted Unit; Philadelphia S.W.A.T.; Basketball legend/community organizer Sonny Hill, and professional sports mascots and dance teams.

WHAT:         Hero Thrill Show® Kick-Off Pep Rally/ Program

                            (A preview of the upcoming Hero Thrill Show)

WHEN:        Wednesday, September 4 at Noon

WHERE:     Market Street, between 18th and 19th streets, (entire block)

  • Main stage at center of the block at 1818 Market St. (Media platform across the street)
  • Grand departure of procession, led by Philadelphia Police Highway Patrol Motorcycle Drill Team, following half-hour program.    

DETAILS: Spectators will get a sneak preview of the 65th Annual Hero Thrill Show® at this Kick-Off event. Thrill Show President/CEO Jimmy Binns — an attorney, Deputy Chief of the Darby Township Police Department, Certified instructor of police motorcycle operators and patron of police and fire departments in the region — will lead an all-star lineup.

The Pep Rally will provide a preview of the Hero Thrill Show® on Saturday, September 14, at noon, outside of the Wells Fargo Center, 3601 S. Broad St., in South Philadelphia. The Sept. 14th Hero Thrill Show® features Grand Marshal John Birnhak, President of Weight Watchers of Philadelphia, Inc., City Representative Sheila Hess, singer Alberta Taliaferro, the Police Highway Patrol Motorcycle Drill Team, K-9 Units from Delaware Valley-area police departments, Police Mounted Unit, Homeland Security/ S.W.AT. equipment, fire engines, displays of crime-fighting equipment by the Aviation Unit, Bomb Squad, the Crime Scene Investigation Unit, the Marine Unit, Firearms Instructors, Police Academy and S.W.A.T unit. In addition to a stellar lineup, the show will showcase carnival games, rides on fire trucks, a front seat in a stationary police helicopter; fire-rescue exercises on a huge fire engine ladder truck, local mascots and dance teams from your favorite professional Philly teams, local celebrities and The Bob Pantano Dance Party.

The show is designed to raise money for the college education of survivors of local deceased police and fire personnel killed in the line of duty. A kickoff program at noon on Sept. 14th will open the day-long fun activities. Join us at the time-honored Hero Thrill Show® as we bring the boardwalk to South Philly for a day of thrills.

Tickets are $10 for single purchase, $25 for families (5 tickets, half price). Tickets are available at local police stations/firehouses citywide, or visit

THE MISSION OF THE HERO THRILL SHOW® IS TO PAY FOR THE COLLEGE TUITION OF CHILDREN OF PHILADELPHIA POLICE OFFICERS AND/OR FIREFIGHTERS KILLED IN THE LINE OF DUTY. The Hero Thrill Show® Inc. is the only organization that pays for the college tuition of the children of Police Officers and/or Firefighters who have been killed in the line of duty.  The Hero Thrill Show® is NOT affiliated with the Hero Scholarship Fund.