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Chestnut Hill not as far as you think and so adorable

Throughout the fall Mike and I went on numerous trips in Pennsylvania, especially to enjoy leaf peeping. We saved the best for last, Chestnut Hill. Chestnut Hill is a short drive from Center City, about 25 minutes. Or take Septa Bus Route 23, 77, 94, 97, L or Chestnut Hill East train. Chestnut Hill is one of the neighborhoods of Philadelphia, but it can seem a world away with it’s leafy, quaint shops, eateries and art galleries.

I’ve gone shopping and eating many times in Chestnut Hill, but this time Mike and I stayed over at the historic Chestnut Hill Hotel, 8229 Germantown Ave. (sadly no ghosts to report)

Mike and I walked around for about 90 minutes soaking in the beautiful night, and scenery.

I can’t wait for Holidays on the Hill especially the long standing Chestnut Hill Stag and Doe Nights every Wednesday in December leading up to Christmas. I’ll have more on this in the coming weeks as Chestnut Hill is advertising with Philly Chit Chat to promote the holiday tradition.

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Philly Awaits Election Results – Dance Party USA

Sorry I have been AWOL from PhillyChitChat blog, but I have been very active on Social Media, covering what’s happening in Philly regarding the counting of the votes, where to eat and especially what a beautiful autumn week we had, and will be having. Tonight I’m going to share some photos I’ve taken over the past 24hrs as Philadelphian’s, Democratic and Republican, away the counting of the mail in ballots. It was crowded, but not unfriendly.

Gritty’s where there, in fact a video I took of the Gritty’s dancing went very viral and has over 600ks views now. I wish I had attached to it a message like donate to cure cancer or house the homeless.

Hey Gritadelphia 0n the far right!! We follow each other on Instagram but have never met. In fact I never knew what he looked like.

2nd Amendment Rights!!

This is what Democracy Looks Like !!! Thank you to everyone who got out the vote, went out and voted and dropped their ballot in the voting box. FINALLY I hope everyone sees that their VOTE DOES COUNT!!

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How Philly Celebrated Halloween

In another series of Fall in Pa weekends, I spent Halloween in Lititiz, Pa. It was adorable, quaint, close to the countryside and the Wilbur Lititz, Tapestry Collection by Hilton hotel former chocolate factory and the place smelled of chocolate. I wanted to lick the walls, but instead broke my diet, again, and bought some Wilbur Chocolates from the front desk. Some of these photos are “instagram” and might not show in the email blast so you’ll have to click the PhillyChitChat link.

But Philly showed up and proved that Halloween wasn’t cancelled this year, it wasn’t the same as other years, but this is 2020.
Danielle Hankin and Chris Young were “Feeling toasty on a cold halloween. Swipe for s’more kids in costume.”

Wonder Women: Brittney Shipp, meteorologist for NBC10 with her 4 month old daughter Zoey Amore Long, and mom.

Co-worker Rosemary Connors shared a photo of her king of the juggle: 6 month old Benjamin Blaise Cross.

Azuri Elizabeth went to a friends party with mom Stacey Kracher and dad Brandon Morrison.

Folks headed to McGillins Olde Ale House to celebrate as well.

Although the Henri David Ball was cancelled this year, Henri David took a spin around his Washington Square West neighborhood.


Miguel Martinez-Valle and Ray Smeriglio

Mike Wazowski and Kitty! We scare because we care. #halloween #monstersinc #couplecostumes #ComfyHalloween
Nobody did it better than Fox29’s Alex Holley as Cardi B!!
Couldn’t have been done without @michelle_nichole and @jacenbowman @__juandarius__

Although Mike Jerrick was tigerlicious as well!!

Spectacular!!! So glad people still had a blast on Halloween, whether celebrated with a few people at home, at a party or at a restaurant or just taking a selfie. 2020 can’t win!!

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Bucks County: Peddler’s Village and Michener Art Museum Visit

Last weekend Mike and I headed out of town to Bucks County to enjoy the beautiful fall foliage and a concert at James A. Michener Art Museum in their courtyard.

“Concert in the Courtyard” with Anthony Green and child Luke (they) last Friday night.

Rising Tides: Contemporary Art and the Ecology of Water

April 22, 2020 marks the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, founded in 1970 to educate the public about environmental issues impacting our planet. To commemorate this event, the Michener Art Museum will feature work by contemporary artists from the Bucks County and greater Philadelphia region that are investigating the effects of global warming, climate change, pollution, and related environmental concerns on bodies of water and aquatic species. Including large-scale painting, works on paper, sculpture and installation, this exhibition will celebrate the power of art to visualize ecological crisis and global change through the eyes of seven local artists. The exhibition runs July 20, 2020 – January 10, 2021.

Friday night Mike and I stayed at the Golden Plough Inn at Peddler’s Village. We had never been to Peddler’s Village and it was fantastic. I know my people on SM were shocked I had never been here before; it’s not that we hadn’t ever heard of it, we just never went. It was so adorable.

We loved all the shops and the grounds were beautiful. It being Halloween they had a cute scarecrow competition, which is still going on this weekend so go check it out. I’ve posted a few of my favorites.

Before we headed home we stopped by The Hellerick Family Farm in Doylestown. Right now is their Fall Festival with lots to do. It’s free to roam around the lower area of the farm, which is what we did, but to enter the main farm grounds it’s $12 and then pay as you go to participate in some of the activities. If we had more time we would have explored the farm more, but it’s nice to know there’s an alternative in the area to the really crowded farm experiences. Plus there’s ample parking. I’ll be in Philly for the weekend, in Center City and Chestnut Hill looking for all youse dressed in your Halloween finest. Hope to see you. Stay Safe, Wear Your Mask and Vote!!

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LaScala’s in CC Reopens renovated and with a new name

One of the perks of my job is meeting so many people, really nice people, and one of them is definitely Alicia DiMichele. You may remember Alicia from her popular VH1 show Mob Wives, but I only really know her from afterwards as a business women, a single mom, a popular social media star, who later married her best friend Rob LaScala, a successful restaurateur.

I attended their wedding 2 years ago at City Hall officiated by former Gov Ed Rendell. It was so beautiful.

And now their new venture, definitely a collaborative effort as Alicia helped with the interior design (the dining floor is the same one they have in their very white walled house) of the newly reopened formerly known as LaScala, now LaScala’s Fire 615 Chestnut St serving delicious, simple dishes created with recipes from Rob’s mom Rosemary LaScala, as well as Alicia, Rob told me.

Chicken wings, Salmon, and the Ricotta Board. Mike loved his Chicken Parm, it was so big he’s having it for lunch today.

Rob told me he wanted to serve good Italian food, at decent prices, where people could pop in and out on their way to someplace exciting. He recommends people reserve a table via Open Table during these times. There’s indoor and outdoor dining. They have heat lamps. I felt safe, there’s hand sanitizer through out the place, and the staff was wearing their masks properly.

Alicia and Rob with their family on the left is my other BFF is my head Maureen Vecere, with her husband and Vince Vecere. Follow Alicia on Instagram and get to know her family. I just adore them, and her authenticity connecting with her followers. Also she shares her recipes with us as she prepares dinner, as well as what it’s like to live in a house with 5 men.

The LaScala Restaurant Group has several eateries in our area, in South Jersey and a newly opened LaScala’s Fire in Villanova.

LaScala’s Fire was a great experience. I loved the new bright look, the big windows looking out on Chestnut Street, great scene watching. The food was so good, each dish made with a little love and it tastes it. Mike wants to go back already, you know happy husband makes me happy.

The homemade Tiramisu was the best Mike’s ever had and that is his go to dessert. ( I snuck a bite and I concur.) Best of all LaScala’s Fire is easy on your wallet with most dishes under $20. HEAD ON OVER TO CBSPHILLY to see who was there last night at the Friends & Family fete, including her mom who I immediately recognized from Alicia’s InstaStories (2nd to last photo). What a doll!!

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PhillyWood: Winter Wonderland on Spruce Street for Movie

After pausing for a few months because of the pandemic , the AppleTV series Servant resumed filming in July, according to a Tweet by M Night in July. The filming wrapped last month and Night headed to the Caribbean to film his next movie, OLD as I wrote. BUT it looks like the production has returned to film an additional scene. A winter wonderland, Christmas scene. A reader @ryan_wonderwall tagged me on Twitter wondering if it was the Adam Sandler Hustle movie, I knew Sandler was filming at Oaks so I was suspicious, especially when Ryan mentioned the 2100 block of Spruce Street, where the Turner house in Servant is located. When I check his photo and the movie set photo it was confirmed to me this was probably the Servant film’s missing scene.

Night also released a trailer for the season at the same time while announcing the date.
Thanks @bgrophoto for this shot of them blowing the snow on Spruce Street. Check out his page for awesome drone shots.
What are you doing TONIGHT ?
Night of Lights in Chestnut Hill
through 10/25
Want to see the inside of the Dorothy and Sean Turner’s house at 2108 Spruce Street. It was last sold in 2016, and the real estate listing is still active with interior photos. Check them out here. (Thanks Ryan Wall for this show of the Turner house.)
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Christmas Is Not Cancelled in Philly; Where’s Adam Sandler this week?

Christmas is not cancelled in Philly with the announcement that the very popular Christmas Village is going to pop up again at Love Park for the holidays.

Christmas Village in Philadelphia, the authentic open-air German-style Christmas Market at LOVE Park and City Hall, is excited to announce its return from Thanksgiving Day, November 26 through Christmas Eve, December 24, 2020 with a considerably modified layout and extensive safety precautions in response to COVID-19. In its 13th season, the outdoor market will once again host a Preview Weekend on Saturday, November 21 and Sunday, November 22.

In accordance with all city and statewide guidelines, Christmas Village in Philadelphia will be set up in a socially distanced and safe way featuring only half the amount of vendors, guests will be required to wear masks. This year, visitors can still dine on and enjoy their favorite European dishes including Bratwurst, Raclette Cheese and Schnitzel in a fenced-off and crowd-controlled outdoor food court with spacing between tables.

This year’s outdoor shopping area will be set up with a one-way system around the outer limits of LOVE Park for a linear and spaced walking concept allowing proper social distancing. All vendors will be ten feet apart from each other at minimum. Vendors around the outer perimeter will also all face outward toward the street. Waiting areas for access to the food court and shopping will all be socially distanced. For more info about the new holiday season and all COVID-related changes and precautions, follow @philachristmas on FB, Twitter and Instagram or visit www.philachristmas.com.

Dates 2020:
Preview Weekend: November 21 – 22, 2020
First Day: November 26, 2020
Last Day: December 24, 2020
Hours:
Sunday – Thursday: 11:00 am – 7:00 pm
Friday – Saturday: 11:00 am – 8:00 pm
Thanksgiving Day: 11:00 am – 5:00 pm
Christmas Eve: 11:00 am – 5:00 pm

Speaking of Christmas,

The other night Adam Sandler and Queen Latifah filmed a scene for Hustle at the Italian Market, which was decorated for the holidays. In this scene the duo play a married couple taking a stroll of the popular market on an early winter evening. We won’t see the production of Hustle for a few weeks now as they’ve headed to Pottstown to film. Then to Oaks and finally they’ll spend two weeks filming scenes at the Coatesville High School’s gym. The school they’re getting over $80s for the privilege as well as a new scoreboard.

Make sure you get out and enjoy the beautiful fall weather and colors we’re having in 2020. I’ll be back tomorrow with photos from my recent trip to NE Pennsylvania. Have a great day.

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An Electric EVening with Sustainable Princeton & NRG

In partnership with NRG Energy, Inc. and the Princeton Shopping Center, Sustainable Princeton hosted an electric “EVening” of fun and information about energy and how to use it efficiently. With plenty of space to social distance guest test drove an electric vehicle, took an e-bike on a spin, and learn the benefits of going electric, before dining and enjoying live music with friends.

Guests were able to test-drive an EV and speak with dealers. At least five different vehicles –including  Tesla Model 3 and Y, Kia Niro, Hyundai Kona and Audi eTron — were available for test drives! ChargePoint and Apex Solar will be on hand to explain your options and answer any questions you have about home charging.

NRG was on site sharing information on their sustainability efforts and carbon offsets, which allow people to offset the carbon they emit every day.

Sourland Electric Bikes was on hand with a half dozen e-bikes, including Pedego, Giant, and Specialized, which guests took for a trial ride. They were so much faster than I imagined. They’ve really become very popular in the past year. The price averages around $2000.

And then Mike Toub took a test drive, and said I think we should consider an electric car next time. As many of you know this past weekend we went out to Western Pa to leaf peep, and every couple hours Mike was praising the electric car, especially the pick up in the Tesla, who knows maybe in a few years we’ll be cruising the highway in a sustainable energy car.

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Adam Sandler Safely Films Hustle in Philadelphia

Well that ramped up quickly, Phillywood is hosting 2 major film projects this month. Kate Winslet who filmed a HBO series in Philadelphia this week (in Fairmount Park near Valley Green), and Adam Sandler is filming in Center City this week, specifically on Market Street these past few days. I’m sorry I can’t tell you where they will be on any given day, in the name of safety.
Safety is exactly what I’m going to be talking about today. The Adam Sandler movie filming in Philadelphia right now is a Netflix movie “Hustle” about a fired basketball scout who discovers a talented player overseas and then brings him back to America.
Juancho Hernangomez films the Netflik’s movie Hustle in Philadelphia on October 13, 2020

A reader tipped me off to a basketball court being built on a parking lot on Market St, about 15 days ago and a sign that said Netflik. Every day I would drive by to try and figure out when it would be an active film set. If you were following my new social media name @hughe_dillon you would have seen me post clips of the bball court on various days. Sure enough someone in the know did and told me the filming days, which were then pushed forward because of Tropical Storm Delta. What I found observing them filming, is Covid Safety is the key. They’ve thought of everything to keep everyone safe from catching the virus, right down to quarantining actors, NBA players, crew, and extras for the duration of the filming.

Safety: Netflix is taking COVID19 very seriously. They have created a COVID19 Bubble. One of the things I noticed on set is it’s divided into at least two categories, Red and Yellow. In RED all the actors, extras, crew are limited in their bubble on set, as they are transported from holding to the set and most notable they are quarantined in a hotel for days leading up to the shoot of a scene, and everyone is rapid tested everyday before heading to the set. Temperatures are taken as well. Masks are worn at all times when a scene is being filmed. I hear they are being treated very well, are comfortable, feel very safe, and are enjoying this new level of treatment. It’s not easy to be an extra, it’s a lot of waiting around, being patient, but they are passionate and do it for the love of the process (as I do observing them and sharing it with you).

The Yellow area folks can’t go into red, but they might go into the public areas. Then there’s another level probably called don’t even think about going in the yellow or red area. Those would be some of the crowd control folks, the lighting equipment operators, drivers of the trucks, some security, production assistants. Those would be the people who interact with the public the most as they are working on the outside perimeter of the COVID19 Bubble. For example the past two days the extras were staying in a hotel. Note the people with the Yellow and Red Vests on. The transportation vans all have a plastic sheet protecting the extras/actors from the drivers.

In this shot you can see NBA player Juancho Hernangomez filming a scene on the left, the camera man has a mask on as does the sound guy. When Juancho is done he goes to the Covid Safety person, who in the right photo is carrying a blue container. In the container is a bunch of masks (The guy with the mask containers mom contacted me to say she hasn’t seen her son in a month as he’s been quarantined well before filming started).
I noticed that those people are right there when the actor is done filming a scene, to give him a mask. There’s a different person who takes the discarded masks as well.

In this scene on Market Street in front of the Loews Hotel, Adam Sandler valets his car. The shot on the left is during rehearsal, everyone wears a mask during rehearsals. They’re not taking chances and minimizing risks. I didn’t see one person without a mask over the 12 hours I was on set observing.
Only when they filmed the scene did the actors take off their masks.

Standing nearby was the Covid Safety Mask Provider, surrounded by extras. Everyone wears masks until the director shouts “Rolling,” and filming resumes.

As they reset the valet scene, a “stunt” driver returns the car to the start spot where Adam will get in and drive it the 30 feet to the valet station again.

The Covid Safety person is there to collect his mask as he enters the car to shoot the scene again, so he’ll be maskless for the big screen.

Note the socially safe distance the extras are spaced between filming scenes. They literally stood in the spot and spread their arms out to place themselves.

Wednesday night Sandler and crew filmed two scenes on Market Street, I’ll talk more about them at another time. It was so cool to watch, and Sandler was fun on the set. He’s so funny with his dancing, and pretending to shoot hoops. (Other sites with placements PhillyVoice, CBSPhilly online and on screen, WXTU , Philly Inquirer, my Instagram and Philly Chit Chat )
One more thing very Philly about this film, which is actually set in Philly.

PS Philly don’t even try to get on the set. So many people wanted to get photos with Adam, but just because it’s a friendly atmosphere, don’t confuse that with security not being on top of their game. Don’t break the Covid Safety Bubble, you will be taken away, off the set and maybe arrested I’ve been told. Please don’t yell during the filming either. Now that you know when that happens, ie no masks on actors. Thanks. Thanks to the Greater Philadelphia Film Office, and Heery-Loftus Casting for assisting in bringing these productions to Philly, and employing so many of our neighbors, as well as supporting our local economy. If you want to be an extra, the best way to do so is to contact Heery-Loftus. Don’t ask people on the set, they don’t cast, and they’re busy. This is the first major movie being filmed in the USA during the Covid Pandemic. Don’t F it up, LOL!!

Check out this article at Billy Penn chitchatting about the South Fellini shirt Adam Sandler is wearing. HERE

And this great story by Alicia Vitarelli on 6ABC
(How did all these stories get in the press, I was hustling this week. Thanks to my friends at these media outlets for getting out the word that Phillywood is back in business. Support the Greater Philadelphia Film Office.

Here’s a shot just released by Netflik. I shot if from across the street at a different angle. The filming now heads out to the burbs for a few weeks. Hope they make it back into Philly in mid November.

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Chestnut Hill Retailers Join Together for Virtual Fall Fashion Show 10/15/20

Join the Chestnut Hill Business District and several popular retailers (listed below) as they present the Second Chestnut Hill: Fashion’s Night In on Thursday, October 15. To ensure the safety of participating stores and models, retailers will stream from their stores and have the opportunity to showcase various outfits and discuss individual pieces while also answering questions from customers. Chestnut Hill Fashion’s Night In is meant to connect local businesses to the people that matter most — their loyal customers.

The 45-minute virtual fashion show will be hosted by Philadelphia fashion influencer Dani Maiale.

Viewers have two ways to watch the show. The fashion show will be streamed on Facebook Live on the Chestnut Hill Pa. FB Page or patrons can register for free and watch the show on Zoom (link below).
https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_t3iX63nlROO1ZE0wlAlWxg (ID is: 858 4689 6481)

Artisans on The Avenue

Chestnut Hill Sports,

TC Unlimited

El Quetzal

Sara Campbell

Along with Bohemian Pink, and Jonesy’s Accessories

Chestnut Hill Fashion’s Night In is the perfect way to see a sneak peek of what you can purchase online or in person this fall and spend time virtually with friends. Before the start of the show, staff from Tavern on the Hill will provide a fall-themed specialty cocktail recipe on the Chestnut Hill Business District Event Page for all to enjoy!