Robert Irvine Launches; New Philly Dance Club; Kate Winslet Spotted; Sidney & Caroline Kimmel Celebrate

Hey ChitChat readers, hope you’re doing well. Ya gotta love this spring weather. Did you have a chance to visit the PHS Flower Show yet. Lots of great exhibits to see, as well flowers, make and take and the popular potting parties.

Earlier this week I stopped by to photograph celebrity chef, author and TV personality Robert Irvine, who was signing bottles of Boardroom Spirits at the PHS Flower Show in the Fine Wine and Spirits section. He also announced to the crowd that in a few weeks he would have his own line of spirits which would be distributed via Boardroom Spirits. First up is a Gin with some of his favorite herbs, spices and botanicals from the kitchen. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of the bottles will support the Robert Irvine Foundation, benefiting our military and first responders. Look for Chef Irvine to announce info for his popular dining event Beats & Eats which will be May 18, 2020. (Here are my photos from last year) Boardroom Spirits is a sustainable, family-owned craft-distillery offering unique drinking experiences to consumers. Headquartered in Lansdale, Pennsylvania.

Looks like the king of night life Ryan Dorsey is getting back into the night club business. The owner of Recess, former manager of NOTO and co-owner of Dos Tacos, Mr. Dorsey has been hinting on his social media of big things at 461 North 3rd Street, formerly McFaddens.

Mr. Ivy is now accepting applications

Thanks to my tipsters who told me Kate Winslet’s HBO TV Series was filming in Roxborough last weekend at the high school and Salvation Army, and in Wissahickon Valley this week.

Happy Belated birthday to Sidney Kimmel on his 92nd birthday in January. I spoke with Caroline Kimmel in January to chitchat a bit and she was nice enough to send this photo along. She told me they had dinner with friends including one of my favorite signer, Paul Anka, who sang a song in Sidney’s honor. The happy couple celebrated their 20th Anniversary in December, and Sidney surprised Caroline with a gift in her honor to Jefferson: a $70 million gift from Sidney and Caroline Kimmel, which will significantly advance research at Jefferson. The Caroline Kimmel Biomedical Research Building will be a home for big ideas, providing Jefferson scientists with leading-edge technology and laboratories. You can read more about it here. (photo by Halstan Williams )
Stephen Klasko President of Thomas Jefferson University and President and CEO of TJUH System – Jefferson University Hospitals announces the gift from Sidney and Caroline Kimmel. First on the video is Jefferson Resident Physicians who are in Jefferson’s choral.
Photo Provided

Speaking of congratulations, congrats to Jefferson fashion design students Marquies Smith and Robin Skodi showcase socially conscious collections during New York Fashion Week. Fashion design . Check out their story HERE.

See you tomorrow when we’ll chit chat about…


2020 philadelphia Flower Show – Who Wore What

The 2020 PHS Philadelphia Flower Show theme “Riviera Holiday” is inspired by the world’s Mediterranean gardens. There’s no excuse for you not to see the flower show this year, looks like it will be snow free.

The guests who attend the Flower Show Preview Party do not disappoint in their floral fashion.

I like his converse. Wear comfortable shoes, concrete floors are hard on your knees.

PHS Philadelphia Flower Show, titled “Riviera Holiday,” runs through March 8.

Click on photos to make them larger.

Cecily Tynan wearing Mac Duggal

Get your hands in the potting soil with celebrity designer Tu Bloom guiding you as you create your own container garden at a lively Potting Party at the Subaru Zero Landfill Lounge on the Show floor.

Beautiful materials, including Emerald Towers Basil, Pansy Cool Wave Raspberry and Beacon White, Coral and Violet Shades Impatiens, will be available to select. Potting Parties occur throughout Show day, so reserve your spot today. Tu Bloom and Abana Jacobs, Subaru National Promotion Sponsorship Specialist

Javier Veloso and Yocasta Lora, AARP Director of Advocacy & Community Outreach

The flower show is more than flowers, it’s educational, landscaping ideas, and experiences including Butterflies Live!, the lively Make and Take sessions, private tours, family fun. BTW Spring Forward Sunday at 2AM.

Tom Kendall and Heather King, House of Wayward Plants the Official Reuse Partner of the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, the House of Wayward Plants collected 6000 plants and trees and distributed them to 80 community groups and schools to benefit green spaces across London. They crossed the pond and created this lemony garden which will soon be used at PHS Pop Up Beer Garden in Manayunk this summer.


10th annual Party for the Market 2020

The Reading Terminal Market is celebrating their 127th birthday this year and held their 10th Annual Party for the Market on Saturday, Feb. 22.

An after-hours fundraising event, The Party included food from more than 50 market merchants and five open bars serving craft beer, wine and liquor, live entertainment and dancing. The party should really be called dancing at the market as people were dancing all over the place.

There was a jazz room as well as a live popular music band playing on the opposite end of the Market.

To read more about the Reading Terminal Market check out their website.

To see more photos from this event head on over to Philadelphia Tribune as well as in print.


Harry Styles and Xander Ritz Timeline

Readers always ask me how did Harry Styles and Xander Ritz meet. Rumor has it they met through Harry’s agent Jeff Azoff, in NYC in 2015 (Xander and his brother Maxwell Ritz own a company > The Loyalist together in Brooklyn). Harry pops in a couple times a year to visit the Ritz’s who live just outside Philly, on the Mainline in Wayne, Pa. Thanks to my readers for tipping me off to Harry and Xander visiting his family last weekend. I couldn’t find anything concrete but the tips and sightings flowed in and I figured it had to be true. But we all know Harry visits often.

After meeting in 2015, singer Harry Styles and Xander Ritz, from Wayne, Pa became in separable. Often Xander can be spotted in the wings at Harry’s concerts including both Today show performances in 2017 and last Friday (Harry wore a pink jacket for both Today Show Concerts), or walking a few feet behind him when paparazzi are sighted.

Over the years I’ve written about them as Harry often pops into Philly to see Xander, and Xander’s family who live in Wayne, Pa. His father is a popular dentist that many of my readers go to. His mother Anne sadly passed away last summer. Harry attended the memorial.

Max and his wife, along with Xander attended SNL last fall when Harry hosted.

Harry’s close with the Xander Ritz’s family.

So last week Harry and Xander spent the weekend in Wayne with the Ritz’ family. Harry even posed with a few fans when he took a walk with Zander in the neighborhood. Then he, Xander, and manager Tommy went to DC to do an NPR interview on Tuesday, on the way to NYC for the @todayshow appearance he stopped at the Bear, De Wawa and met a very excited Wawa employee @verybvsic Natali Maldonado, who verified to me that Xander was with Harry.

Harry also did a surprise concert for Pandora radio, where he discussed his Wawa experience. The NYPost has a great recap of the discussion, including the push back from the fans when he called Wawa a gas station store, LOL. “It’s a gas station,” he said — but quickly recanted after protests from Wawa-loving fans. “I did have a good sandwich,” Styles offered.

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And now it’s been 5 years for Harry Styles and Xander Ritz. Here’s the first time I wrote about them in 2015.

Have a great day, I’ll see you back here on Monday with more PhillyChitChat!!


Glamsino Royale Brings Glitz & Glamour to Philly

Kimpton Hotel Palomar’s annual casino night which benefits local nonprofit Action Wellness was held Thursday, February 20. I photograph this event every year, and it’s a lot of fun. It always sells out too. They’re doing a great job at creating a fun participation event. Now in its eighth year, Glamsino Royale welcomed the community who dressed in their best glitz and glam and try their luck at winning prizes from local retailers as well as stays at Kimpton Hotels across the country.

Desiree Surplus, David Gana (recently saw Shen Yun and loved it) and Mary Bouchaud

Michael Toklish and Melanie Richter

Jay Kelly, David Gana, Fae Ehsan and Jimmy Orrell

Kate Marlys, Philly Pr Girl (and Action Wellness rep) and Sabir Peele, Men’s Style Pro

Syreeta Veren and Dana Cooper

This year Action Wellness is celebrating the 30th Anniversary for Dining Out For Life on April 30!! Plan to attend dinner that night to raise critical funds for Action Wellness. I remember the very first one, it was a trailblazing idea and was very popular. I had dinner at Judy’s with friends Butch Leiber, Sean Connelly, Pete Evans and a whole bunch of folks from Gay Softball. Check out the restaurants participating here.


Photos: GlobalFit Anywhere Teams with Revel Ride for Unite for Her

Last month Independence Blue Cross (Independence) and GlobalFit teamed up to offer GlobalFit Anywhere. GlobalFit Anywhere connects Independence members to fitness studios, gyms, and trainers in the Greater Philadelphia region at the best possible prices.

On Sunday, GlobalFit Anywhere hosted a charity ride with Revel Ride on South Street which benefited Unite For Her.

As of January 1, 2020, Independence individual and small group members can access this affordable and flexible option. Independence employees with the company’s health insurance also have access to GlobalFit Anywhere

“Independence is proud to be the first insurance carrier to offer GlobalFit Anywhere to its members,” said Jonathan Stump, Independence vice president of Product Services. “We are committed to helping our members use their benefits in the way that works best for them. With GlobalFit Anywhere, our members are just one click away from exploring a new activity or getting back into their fitness routine.”

GlobalFit Anywhere lets consumers browse, book, and pay for fitness classes, gym workouts, and training sessions across multiple fitness providers. GlobalFit Anywhere negotiates discounted fitness class rates and passes the savings to the member. Instead of paying full price, Independence members can find exclusive discounts on classes and times that fit their schedule.

Benefits of the GlobalFit Anywhere app:

  • Flexibility to book a workout based on individual preferences
  • Considers location, activity preference, and budget
  • Pay-as-you-go
  • No cancellation fees
  • No monthly membership required

About GlobalFit
GlobalFit’s health and wellness technology solutions accelerate wellness program engagement, leading to improved population health. With over 25 years in the corporate wellness space, GlobalFit connects wellness with rewards through its fitness, mindfulness and nutrition applications that include GlobalFit Anywhere, Gym Network 360, GlobalFit Rewards, WalkMyMind and Charge. Over 70 million people have access to GlobalFit solutions as part of their worksite wellness program or health plan. For more information, please visit, Check out additional photos on CBSPhilly.


The Spectacle of Snow Geese Migration Not too Far From Philly

I never really noticed or heard about the Snow geese who pass through Pennsylvania during their spring and fall migrations to and from the arctic breeding grounds until I started getting serious about bird watching last year. Now I follow a lot of birders, and photographers like 6ABC’s Bruce Neumann who pique my interest in so many subjects. Bruce photographed spots in and around Middle Creek Wildlife Management Area in Lancaster so I headed out there with Marilyn Russell on Sunday, and we had a lot of company.

Wear a hat
Even the Amish make the trip from nearby Lancaster County

The Snow Geese migration continues into the begining of March, so if you have a chance take a drive out to Middle Creed Wildlife Management Area there’s plenty of parking, and the ride from the turnpike to the pike is quite beautiful.


M Night’s Servant Films, She Wore A Red Wedding Dress, Spotted NeNe Leakes & Sheryl Lee Ralph

Congratulations are in order for Walt Moura and Dana Spain who were married at their home Saturday night, in Society Hill. The bride wore red, and she looked stunning. Friendship turned to love, and now marriage. (provided)
Thanks to my anonymous tipster who was also checking in. Stay-cation anyone?

Real Housewife of Atlanta, Nene Leakes was in town Saturday night to host a show at The Met for Punch Line Philly Ladies Night Out Comedy Tour! with special guests Loni Love, Adele Givens, Sherri Shepherd, Kym Whitley & B Simone. She was spotted checking in at the Four Season’s Saturday afternoon, that job must pay well as Saturday night at the Four Season will set you back a few thousand, but the views are worth a million bucks.

Then she headed to The Met for hair and Make-up by local and international Make Up Artist Jacen Bowman, who also does Fox 29’s Alex Holley’s beautiful face.

Google shot

Thursday director M Night Shyamalan along with actors Lauren Ambrose and Rupert Grint filmed a scene for the 2nd season of Servant in near Rittenhouse Square at 21st and Spruce. At the end of the day they surprised actress Lauren Ambrose with a cake for her birthday and sang Happy Birthday. If that wasn’t sweet enough, the next day, Friday M Night shot scenes in the Bellevue Hotel’s lobby as well as inside Teuscher Chocolates.

Saturday I headed to Kevin Parker and Kerry Scott’s Philly Fashion Week, which has been going on all last week at 801 Market Street. Saturday’s theme was Lov’n My Curves and kicking off the show was legendary, iconic Sheryl Lee Ralph. You know I had to go out and support Sen. Vincent Hughes‘ wife on the Philly launch of her new clothing line “DIVA” Divinely Inspired Victoriously Aware which is also the name of her DIVA foundation where she raises funds for HIV/AIDS as well as other chronical illnesses; the show did not disappoint. The shirts were available yesterday at the show, and will be available on the DIVA foundation shortly. Check back later this week and I’ll have more photos from the Lov’n My Curves at Philly Fashion Week. Have a great day, and get out and enjoy it.


SaveTheDate: BrAVA Philadelphia! Saturday, March 28, 2020 The Academy of Vocal Arts’ (AVA) 85th Anniversary Celebration!

Don’t miss AVA’s spectacular concert extravaganza of opera stars at The Met Philadelphiathe beautifully restored opera house, which featured performances by legends such as Enrico Caruso, Rosa Ponselle, and Arturo Toscanini. This will be the first time in over 80 years that opera returns to the historic stage, as star AVA alumni will perform in this concert extravaganza! This concert is sure to delight opera aficionados and newcomers alike. Tickets to the concert only may be purchased through The Met Philly website, and start at just $30

BrAVA Philadelphia! Performers:

BrAVA performers include international opera stars and AVA alumni sopranos Angela Meade and Latonia Moore, tenors Bryan Hymel and Taylor Stayton, bass-baritone James Morris along with rising opera stars soprano Vanessa Vasquez, mezzo-soprano Hannah Ludwig, baritone Jared Bybee, and bass-baritone André Courville. AVA’s current roster of Resident Artists will also lend their voices throughout the evening. The concert will feature a full orchestra, conducted by AVA’s Jeannine B. Cowles Music Director Chair Maestro Christofer Macatsoris.

Gala Honorees:

AVA is pleased to honor the men who rescued and restored The Met Philadelphia with the AVA Distinguished Achievement in the Arts Award:

  • Rev. Mark Hatcher of the Holy Ghost Headquarters
  • Eric Blumenfeld of EB Realty Management Corporation
  • Geoff Gordon of Live Nation

AVA’s internationally recognized voice teacher Bill Schuman will also be honored. 

BrAVA Philadelphia! Young Professionals Reception – $175

AVA invites Philadelphia’s Young Professionals (ages 45-and-under) to enjoy an exclusive cocktail hour in the Loge of the opera house prior to the concert, where you’ll enjoy mingling with fellow arts and culture lovers. 

Includes $50 contribution, $100 ticket, and $25 value reception

  • One ticket to Saturday, March 28, 2020 Gala performance at The Met Philadelphia featuring AVA alumni stars, with full orchestra, conducted by Maestro Macatsoris
  • Exclusive pre-concert cocktail and hors d’oeuvres reception in the Loge with other Young Professionals (accessible only via stairs) 6:00-7:30 with open bar
  • Mingle with opera singers
  • Recognition in the evening’s Program Book

BrAVA Philadelphia! Gala Dinner

Gala patrons will enjoy a seated dinner onstage of The Met Philly, catered by Chef Jean-Marie Lacroix’s Brûlée, after the concert, and much more! For details on each gala package level, please visit the AVA website here.

For information about Young Professionals, the gala dinner and to reserve your space, please email Leah Golub at or call at 215-735-1685.


Today: Dim Sum House’s Grand Opening in Rittenhouse With Free Food

Today: Dim Sum House‘s Grand Opening in Rittenhouse With Free Food. Jane Guo (above) and Jackson Fu announce the grand opening of Dim Sum House by Jane G’s TODAY February 20, 2020, at 1930 Chestnut Street, at 11:30am. The mother-son duo will bring all-day, every-day dim sum in two styles to Rittenhouse Square. On top of Shanghai and Cantonese dim sum, Dim Sum House in Rittenhouse will also feature dishes from the Jiang Nan region of China including noodles, entrees, fried rice and soups.

For its grand opening, from 12:00pm to 2:00pm, dine-in guests will celebrate with a complimentary order of Scallion Pancakes per table. From 5:00pm to 7:00pm, dine-in guests will enjoy a complimentary order of Dan Dan Noodles per table.

Dim Sum House will test a brand-new ordering system at the dining room tables. With each seating, guests will be able to place their orders for dim sum favorites on a checklist they can hand off and update with their server as their experience progresses. This is especially useful for large groups. Look for this system to debut in University City later this winter.

Dim Sum House in Rittenhouse will launch seven day a week happy hour later this winter. For lunch specials, guests can enjoy a $13 lunch featuring a choice of soup (Hot & Sour or Wonton) with a choice of one of 20 entrees, and a side of rice (White, Brown, and Fried).