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Midtown Village’s OPA Pivots and Expands Drury Beer Garden

I just got a email from Cashman PR: Some exciting restaurant news! Drury Beer Garden will be re-opening on Wednesday, June 24th with a new look and completely new menu. The revamped space has expanded into the area formerly occupied by Opa and will feature outdoor and indoor seating (indoor opening Friday) and a global street-food inspired menu. The Drury Beer Garden expansion is Phase I of a two-phase project that will conclude with the return of Opa on the 2nd floor of the building in 2021.

Drury Beer Garden

·        The colorful and energetic space was re-designed by co-owners Vasiliki and George Tsiouris, with help from George’s wife Annette. Notable design features include two murals by Philadelphia artist, Paul Santoleri, a lush green canopy wall, a concert-poster collage, seven TV’s, a vintage coke machine that doubles as a backdoor, and a metal wrapped bar.

·        The new menu will feature cocktails such as the “All About the Benjamins Baby”, a whiskey cocktail featuring an edible $100 bill and the” Purple Haze Froze” made with froze, citrus vodka, and blackberry

·        Drury Beer Garden will also feature a Craftsman Row Saloon (also co-owned by George and Vasiliki) pop-up featuring their famed Milkshakes and Milkwich (details below)

·        Hours of Operation: M-F 3:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.; S-S 12:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.

New mural by Paul Santoleri in the former dining area

Menu features include:  

Salads:

o   Cobb – grilled chicken, avocado, bacon, romaine, cherry tomatoes, blue cheese, lemon vinaigrette

o   The Wedge – iceberg, sun dried tomatoes, roasted peppers, croutons, parmesan, ranch dressing

·        Starters

o   Octopus Ceviche – plum tomato, red onion, cilantro, lime juice, fried plantains

o   Chicken Skewers – mango-habanero-honey sauce

Watermelon Salad– mango, goat cheese, arugula, mint, balsamic vinaigrette

o   Chicken Taco- marinated, pico de gallo, corn tortilla

·        Strombolis (A throw-back to a pizza shop that was co-owner George Tsiouris’ first business for 10 years in West Chester, PA)  

o   Italian Stromboli- cheese blend, prosciutto, mortadella, genoa, capicola

o   Cheese Stromboli- cheddar and provolone cheeses, marina o/s

o   Cheesesteak Stromboli- cheese blend, sautéed onions

Cheers:

COCKTAILS:

·        All About The Benjamins, Baby – jim beam black, orange-cherry, bitters, edible hundred dollar bill 

·        Purple Haze Froze – froze, citrus vodka, blackberry (add-on CBD drops optional)

·        Cool as a Cucumber – cucumber vodka, lemon, dill (used to be called “Antho” at Opa, the garnish and name are different now)

·        Mango Tango Margarita- tequila, mango, lime

·        Ginning From Ear to Ear – gin, elderflower, honey, rosemary

·        Watermelon Spritz – watermelon vodka and puree, mint, basil, cava

·        Lime-Ging Mojito- rum, mint, lime, ginger 

MOCKTAILS:

·        Fauxito-  mint, lime, ginger 

·        Berry Tasty- Strawberry, pink peppercorns, basil, lemon 

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INBOX: PARX CASINO ANNOUNCES REOPENING DATE AND PLANS

Monday, June 22, 2020 ~ Bensalem, PA – Parx Casino® is set to reopen its doors to the public at 9am on Monday, June 29, 2020 in accordance with directives from the Centers for Disease Control, Pennsylvania Department of Health, and the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board.

Parx Casino® will implement new health and safety procedures to enhance its existing protocols on the property. The owners and operators of Parx Casino® are focused on the well-being of all team members and guests and are working to create an environment with superior standards of cleanliness and social distancing practices. Slot machines and table games will be reconfigured with limited seating and additional safety measures put in place. Select dining and bar options will be available with limited hours during this first phase of reopening.

The new hours of operation at Parx Casino® will be Monday through Thursday, 9am to 3am

and beginning at 9am on Friday through 3am on Monday, the casino will operate on a 24-hour schedule.

In preparation for the reopening, Parx has created a comprehensive new Health & Safety Plan which includes the following procedures:

Guest arrival process:

o   For now, valet parking will not be available to guests.

o   Entry will be limited to certain marked doors at each of the three main entry areas.

o   Guests will enter through doors that are either propped open, automated, or manually opened by a Parx employee.

o   If the property has reached capacity, guests may be asked to wait in an outside queue.  These queues will be sectioned off, covered from the elements, marked for appropriate social distancing and monitored by security.  We will establish a dedicated queue and entry for our Elite and Premium XClub guests.

o   A security officer will greet each visitor, screen them and ask them to use hand sanitizer.

o   The screening process involves some questions and a temperature check upon entry.  All guests will have their temperature checked using contactless thermal cameras or infrared thermometers.  If a guest registers a temperature at or above 100.4°F, the guest will be asked to take a secondary temperature screening in a non-invasive manner.  If the secondary temperature check also registers a temperature at or above 100.4°F, the guest will not be allowed entry into the property.  If the guest refuses the secondary screening, the guest will be denied entry.

o   Guests will be required to wear approved masks at all times while on the property.  If a guest does not have a clean, approved mask with them, Parx will provide the guest with a mask.  Guests who refuse to wear masks will be denied entry.

Additional guest safety procedures:

o   Guests will be advised to practice appropriate social distancing as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and the Pennsylvania Department of Health.

o   Slot machines, table games, restaurant tables and other physical layouts have been arranged to promote distancing. Per governmental guidance, the poker room will be closed until further notice.

o   Hand sanitizer dispensers will be placed at all entrances and contact surfaces throughout the casino floor, restaurant entrances and service counters.  We encourage guests to use these stations regularly.

o   Health and hygiene reminders will be displayed throughout the property demonstrating the correct manner to wear, handle and dispose of masks.

o   We have increased the frequency of cleaning and sanitizing throughout the premises, with emphasis on frequent contact surfaces, including, but not limited to, door handles, bathrooms, ATMs, TRMs, kiosks, cage counters, gaming machines, gaming tables, dining surfaces and seating areas.

o   We have increased the frequency of air filter replacement and HVAC system cleaning and maximized fresh air exchange.

Employee safety procedures:

o   All employees will submit to the same temperature check process as guests upon their entry to the property.  Employees with a temperature at or above 100.4°F will be denied entry.

o   All employees will wear masks in all public guest interaction areas and public office areas.  Other PPE including gloves will be available to all team members and mandated for certain activities.

o   All employees have been instructed to wash their hands (or use hand sanitizer if a sink is not available) every 60 minutes and after any of the following activities: using the restroom, sneezing, touching their face, blowing their nose, cleaning, sweeping, mopping, smoking, eating, drinking, entering the gaming floor, going on and returning from break and before and after starting their shift.

o   Our employees will be provided training in our new safety, sanitation and social distancing protocols. 

For updated information, please visit www.parxcasino.com or our social media pages – www.facebook.com/parxcasino www.instagram.com/parxcasino and/or Carrie Nork Minelli, PR Director ~ CNorkminelli@parxcasino.com.

ABOUT PARX CASINO®
Parx Casino® is owned and operated by Greenwood Racing, Inc. and is the #1 revenue generating casino
property in Pennsylvania. Parx Casino® is conveniently located 20 minutes north of center city
Philadelphia, I-95 exit 37 or PA Turnpike exit 351 (westbound), exit 352 (eastbound) on Street Road in
Bensalem Bucks County. Parx features over 200,000 square feet of gaming; 3,270 slot machines and 124
live table games; 48 poker tables in custom built private room; live racing & simulcast action; Xcite
Center, 1,500 seat live entertainment venue, Liberty Bell Gastropub, farm-to-fork inspired menu; Parx
Grill, an upscale signature restaurant; Foodies quick service dining; Chickie’s& Pete’s Crab House and
SportsBar; Jax sports bar; Circle Bar; Bambu Noodle House; The Lucky Cheese ~ gourmet grilled cheese
eatery; XLounge, luxury casino lounge; a massive year-round Beer Garden and complimentary parking
for over 5,000 cars. In 2019, Parx Casino® launched sports betting with a $10M world-class sportsbook.
Also in 2019, Parx launched online gaming and online sports betting. For more information on Parx
Casino®, visit http://www.parxcasino.com.

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This & That Friday: Dining Out, Philly To Do and What Does the Green Phase Mean

It’s Friday and time for another column of “This and That” where we cover what’s happening and interesting in greater Philly area. Some of these posts appeared on my Social Media, but I like to save nuggets for us on the blog as well.

Let’s just start off on a sweet note. Kory Aversa, Aversa PR and I went to Morgan’s Pier (Kory’s client) for dinner this week. The view of the Delaware River was spectacular. Folks were socially distant, masks were up when people entered the eatery and relaxed when guests sat table side. You must wear your mask if you walk around the restaurant or use the bathroom. The food was delicious, but I had the best dessert of the year there – Fluffernutter Baklava – only $6 of deliciousness. Make Reservations, I like to ask people not to use their gift cards until 2021 if possible, and to tip the servers 25% for good service. Times are tough. I even tip the folks at my favorite fast food places and Nuts To You. And please wear your mask when you pick up your fast food while you’re in the car.
Etiquette for dining out

Barely re open a week and the stars are already lining up to eat at D’Angelo’s Ristorante 256 S. 20th St. Like @garydourdan who stop by earlier this week to the thrill of so many fans including @pattersonforstaterep @10kkellyj My fav dish at Sal’s place is the lasagna.#phillydiningout #celebritiesinphilly #openinphl 📸 provided

A sure sign of summer, the Art Museum Whole Foods is setting up their outside dining. No doubt the tables are out there as I type this. Definitely one of the best views of the City skyline from the 22nd and Callowhill location.

Karin Copeland’s CreateXChange presents Adrienne Bankert
Tuesday, June 23rd at 4:45pm – Free but you must register
for a discussion with 
ADRIENNE BANKERT
ABC NEWS and GOOD MORNING AMERICA
CORRESPONDENT and author of
YOUR HIDDEN SUPERPOWER:
The Kindness That Makes You Unbeatable at Work and Connects You with Anyone 
Philly is heading into the Green Phase beginning July 3, but next Friday the outdoor area of the Zoo will be open for guests. Plan your future visit by purchasing a membership today. My favorite benefit of the membership is definitely the free parking.
Spice up your quarantine wardrobe and help support Philadelphia Zoo!

A portion of our limited-edition t-shirts directly benefits our SPRING BACK Fund and the animals at the Zoo. Buy One Here
Saxbys announced a new line of coffee, Make Life Proud: Love Speaks, and 100% of proceeds go towards the Attic Youth Center dedicated to supporting LGTBQ young people. You can learn more at hellosaxbys.com/LoveSpeaks
#PHSGARDENINGCONTEST UPDATE: We’ve extended our deadline to enter to Friday, June 26!

Enter your garden, volunteer to be a judge, and learn more about this annual contest. Enter your garden for free

Congrats KyleTanguay for making the Eagles Cheerleading squad again!!

I’ve covered Juneteenth events in Philly for the past 3 years

On Friday, June 19, 2020, there are a number of events planned in Center City to commemorate Juneteenth:

9:30 AM – 12:00 PM – Art Museum – Children’s March- Play Without Fear

12:00 PM – 2:00 PM – 526 Market St – Liberty Bell – Black Lives Matter Fashion Protest

12:00 PM – 2:00 PM – (2 starting points) Broad & Erie and 60th & Market – Juneteenth Car Parade, both parades to end at City Hall

1:00 PM – March starts at 701 Arch St., African American Museum – Celebration to follow:  3:30 PM–6:00 PM at Eakins Oval

WE DID IT. The COVID19 has flattened. Let’s continue this by wearing masks, socially distancing and being patient and kind. Philly moves into the Green Phase in early July. Here’s what that means https://www.phila.gov/2020-06-18-what-the-green-phase-means-for-philadelphia/

See you on Social Media and back here on Monday. Have a safe weekend.

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Happy Gay Pride Philly ++ Fox29 Interview on SCOTUS Ruling

WOW Mind Blown. Never did I think that a prominently conservative Supreme Court would protect my civil rights after years of trying to obtain these rights. It tells me that the majority of the people finally understand being gay is not a choice, and we are not freaks, that Love is Love. Thank You SCOTUS!!

2017

This year because of COVID19, there will be no pride parades, but thankfully I’ve attended a few.

2013
2013
2017
Megan Mullally with Pride Parade Executive Director Franny Price and Mayor Jim Kenney. 2017
2013

Henri David MC and singer Jade Starling at Philly Gay Pride 2016

2019
See you next year Philly Pride!!
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This and That, Scene in Philly, What’s Open Downtown, Food Bank Info

Younger self is crying with joy today after the Supreme Court finally protected my civil rights with 6-3 decision that federal law bars workplace discrimination against gays, lesbian and transgender. GORSUCH writes for Dem appointees. ROBERTS agrees. ALITO/THOMAS/KAVANAUGH dissent ie still believe in discrimination. ** I was once fired for being gay by a large well known corporation. The company had meetings on ways to fire me. A closeted lesbian supervisor warned me. I was written up for every little thing, and then fired after about 3 months. In 1988 there was no law protecting me and no lawyer who would take the case. #SupremeCourt #LGBTQ YEAH!! (Source)

I personally went to Pinefish, Dimsum House on Chestnut Street and Germantown Beer Garden, which had a cool menu idea.

WE ALL HAVE TO VOTE ON 11/3/2020!!!
Mask by @thesherylleeralph
https://shop-with-sheryl-lee.myshopify.com/ #VOTE #facemask

Spread the word! Here’s where older adults can receive free, grab-and-go meals thanks to support from @PhilaParkandRec and @pcacares_org https://www.phila.gov/food/#/ Have a beautiful day my friends.

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12 Eateries To Socially Distant Dine Al Fresco

Pennsylvania started dining outdoors last week, and I was out the door dining at 4 restaurants in our area. It was a great feeling of freedom and relief after months of isolation, especially seeing my friends, completing the night with air hugs. Bring your mask. You must wear it as you enter the restaurant and walk to your table. You can take it off at your table. If you go to the bathroom you must enter the building with your mask on. It’s only polite to wear your mask.

Starting Friday, June 12, restaurants in the yellow phase can offer outdoor seating. Indoor areas, including bar areas must remain closed to customers.
Customers being served must be seated at a table. Tables need to be six feet apart and there can be no reusable menus. Restaurants cannot have self-service food or drink options or condiments on tables. Let’s check out some of our favorite eateries opening on Friday.

So excited to go to Morgan’s Pier. The views, the food, the people watching.
221 N Christopher Columbus Blvd,
Philadelphia, PA 19123
215-279-7134
Morganspier.com
Reservations:
Delivery: seamless.comgrubhub.combit.ly
Open: Outdoor Dining, Curbside Pickup and Delivery
Monday – Sunday
12:00pm – 10:00pm
Seating aiming for 250 seat to start with room for expansion
Morgan’s Pier is already an outdoor seating venue. Large wooden picnic tables with oversized umbrellas are perfect for groups for 6 to 10 guests. Smaller metal tables will be available for single diners to 4 guests.  Opening weekend we will have a DJ Friday 5-9 PM, Saturday 1-5 PM and 5-9 PM as background music. It will be table service. Take Out still available to go. Ample signing will be available throughout the venue to remind diners of social distancing and other rules. A poster will be posted at entry along and all disposable menus will have rules and restrictions.

Harper’s Garden. I stopped by yesterday and the garden is in bloom. In between the tables they’ve installed plexiglass dividers, which wasn’t a distraction. You can still enjoy people watching, but will help in social distancing as well as cut down the noise of an always packed place. Here are the deets:
Harper’s Garden
31 S 18th St,
Philadelphia, PA 19103
267-886-8552
Harpers Garden

Reservations: https://harpersgardenphilly.com/reservations
Open? Outdoor Dining – and will offer pick-up/take-out when they re-open this week
Monday – Sunday
11:30am – 10:30pm
Seating for up to 50 to start and then they will expand by July with a new dining section next door. Ample signing will be available throughout the venue to remind diners of social distancing and other rules. A poster will be posted at entry along with a reminder on the menu.  Table service.

Germantown Garden
(next to Vesper Pool)
1029 Germantown Ave,
Philadelphia, PA 19123
267-214-0086
germantowngarden.com
Reservations:  Open Table


Delivery: ubereats.comseamless.comgrubhub.comdoordash.com
Open for Takeout and Outdoor Dining
Reservations Only through OpenTable (starts Thursday) or email contact@germantowngarden.com
Seating – looking to get 50 seats to start will maybe add more later
Tuesday-Sunday
4:00pm to 12:00am
This urban oasis in the heart of Northern Liberties will re-open in time for outdoor dining this weekend – this is an entirely outdoor restaurant with table seats, full bar, full food menu, plants and flowers, beautiful lighting and an escape without leaving the city. They will utilize current space now and they have much room to grow with extra tables later. Menu to start will be appetizers, sandwiches, burgers, wings, bar favorites – and entrees and elevated dishes from “standard” menu will be added closer to July.  

Le Virtú
1927 East Passyunk Ave,
Philadelphia, PA 19148
215-271-5626
https://levirtu.com/
Reservations:  Open Table


Open? Take-out, Outdoor Dining
Hours: Monday through Thursday, 5:00pm to 10:30pm, Friday 5:00pm to 11:00pm, Saturday 4:00pm to 11:00pm, Sunday 4:00pm to 10:00pm
They don’t know number but will be one of, if not, the largest place on East Passyunk to dine outside. Il Campo (Le Virtu’s outdoor spacious and lush garden and outdoor space) plus Le Virtu’s patio are available on OpenTable NOW for seatings beginning on Friday or you can call  215-271-5626. Dine with the backdrop of Abruzzo on the giant mural behind! Full menu will be offered. ALSO they are restarting Caviar this week and takeout with most of the entire menu – that part starts today June 10th.

Dim Sum House By Jane G’s (I just had lunch there last week. They have the best Hot & Sour Soup and edamame dumplings.)
(Rittenhouse only at this time for outdoor)
1930 Chestnut St,
Philadelphia, PA 19103
215-563-8800
Dim Sum House


Delivery: seamless.comgrubhub.com
Open? Outdoor Dining, Takeout and Delivery
Reservations Only by Phone
Time Limit of 75 Minutes During Peak Times
Seats: 20-30 to be determined
Tuesday – Sunday
12:00pm – 9:00pm
Dim Sum House in Rittenhouse will open back up today in preparation for outdoor dining on Friday – they will offer nearly 2 dozen seats socially distanced apart with their entire full menu of Dim Sum favorites plus Chinese specialty dishes.

Brü Craft & Wurst, Tradesman’s and U-Bahn
1316 Chestnut St,
Philadelphia, PA 19107
For all properties one phone is being used:  (267) 457-3994  
http://www.bruphilly.com/
https://tradesmansphl.com/
Delivery: doordash.comgrubhub.comseamless.comubereats.com
Open? Outdoor Dining, Takeout and Delivery
Monday to Friday, 3:00pm to 2:00am (kitchen stops 1:00am)
Saturday and Sunday, 11:00am to 2:00am (kitchen stops 1:00am)
Outdoor seating will be socially distanced with extra precautions and span from Bru across U-Bahn to Tradesman’s creating a mini-restaurant row with sidewalk dining on Chestnut Street – with up to 20-30 seats pending final arrangement and party sizes. The menu across all three properties will be the same – dishes from BRU, Tradesman’s and some bar favorites from Finn McCool’s – in time for this weekend the BRU and Tradesman’s offerings will greatly expand from the current limited menu to much larger.
Table service. Specials will also begin for weekly food dishes and special drinks.

Positano Coast by Aldo Lamberti
212 Walnut St, 2nd Floor,
Philadelphia, PA 19106
215-238-0499
http://www.positanocoast.net/
Reservations:Open Table


Delivery: ubereats.com
Open? Outdoor Dining, Takeout and Delivery
Monday-Thursday: 11:30am-10:30pm
(Closed Mondays from November thru April)
Friday
11:30am – 11:00pm
Saturday
11:30am – 11:00pm
Sunday
11:00am-9:30pm

Positano Coast by Aldo Lamberti will offer beautiful outdoor views above the streets of Old City District -with outdoor and cafe/ patio seating with their full menu, bar and wine-beer-cocktail list. Positano Coast by Aldo Lamberti offering Italian inspired Cuisine with a seafood-focused menu, and breathtaking open-air dining plans to reopen with outdoor dining this Friday. That will include a sidewalk cafe and back patio seating. Tables will be spread out between 6 feet or more and will be taking safety precautions. Employees will be wearing masks and taking extra steps for sanitation. There will be between 40-50 seats available along the sidewalk cafe while bigger parties will be set up at the back patio.

Sancho Pistolas
19 W Girard Ave,
Philadelphia, PA 19125
267-324-3530
http://www.sanchopistolas.com/
Delivery: Caviar

Open? Takeout and Delivery and now Outdoor Dining
Seven days a week Noon to 11:00pm
Pistolas Fishtown location will offer sidewalk cafe seating in the heart of Fishtown with socially distanced tables – aiming to get 12-16 seats. This is a recommendation not requirement – parties will be encouraged during first two weeks and during peak time for 90 estimate minute stays. Full menu. Table service. Specials coming soon.

Pistolas Del Sur
1934 East Passyunk Avenue,
Philadelphia, PA 19148
267-519-2329
https://www.pistoladelsur.com/
Delivery: Caviar

Open? Takeout and Delivery
Seven days a week Noon to 11:00pm  
Dine outside under the shade and on the beautiful seating outside East Passyunk’s Pistolas Del Sur. Take in the Avenue views and sidewalk scene and enjoy tacos, entrees, margaritas, cocktails, wine and beer. This is a recommendation not requirement – parties will be encouraged during first two weeks and during peak time for 90 estimate minute stays. Parties of 4-6 people are strongly encouraged during peak times. Full menu. Table service. Specials coming soon.

 Urban Village Brewing Company
1001 N 2nd St, 
Philadelphia, PA 19123
267-687-1961

Reservations: http://urbanvillagebrewing.com/reservations
or call for reservations

Delivery:  Grub Hub
Instagram: instagram.com/urbanvillagebrewing/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/urbanvillagebrewing/

Open? Takeout, Delivery, Outdoor Dining
Monday – Sunday, 12:00pm – 9:00pmThey are aiming 15 tables for seating up to 100 people pending party size – in their beautiful outdoor patio and sidewalk seating in the heart of No Libs on 2nd Street at the Piazza. The tables will of course be socially distanced – full menu – table service – extra cleaning and precautions. They will be using a new app Up N Go to pay by check on phone to be contactless. They will be offering their famous Froze that debuted at the Pod Park last year – which was the most popular drinks of the summer for the entire park in 2019 – this is a big welcome addition! Call for reservations 267-687-1961. 

Jerry’s Bar
129 W Laurel St, Philadelphia, PA 19123 267-273-1632

Reservations: https://www.opentable.com/r/jerrys-bar-philadelphia

Delivery: postmates.com, grubhub.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jerrysbarphilly/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Jerrysbarphilly/

Open? Curbside Pickup and Delivery and now Outdoor Dining
Wednesday – Thursday 2:00pm – 9:00pm; Friday 2:00pm – 11:00pm; Saturday 11:00am – 11:00pm; Sunday 11:00am – 9:00pm

El Camino Real Restaurant
1040 N 2nd St, 
Philadelphia, PA 19123
215-925-1110

Delivery: ubereats.com, grubhub.com, seamless.com, doordash.com

Open? Takeout and delivery and now outdoor dining

11:00am to 10:00pm kitchen, with bar until 11:00pm – seven days a week

They will open their sidewalk seating in the middle of the open-air picturesque Liberties Walk with beer garden style seating where you order from stations and they will bring food out to the tables. Full menu of food, with lots of frozen cocktails for the hot weekends coming. First come, first served. No reservations. When ordering must wear mask, social distancing and following all guidelines as given by state and city.

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R2L Closes, Boyd’s Pauses, Weddings and the Future

Wednesday Wisdom. We’re on the brink of so much good. (PS I noticed my new subscriber email allows you to look at the entry in your email, but it doesn’t let you see the Instagram posts. If you click on the title above they will show, or you could click on the Instagram post and read it on their site as well. Welcome to my new 500 subscribers in the past month. I will be more diligent with the posts going forward, I appreciate you all reaching out to ask me when i would be writing my blog again. I have been doing a lot of social media along the way, but I appreciate you all as well.) Today I’m posting Tidbits Around Town.

Hope, change and progress for a better world.

“What if 2020 isn’t cancelled?⁣
What if 2020 is the year we’ve been waiting for?⁣
A year so uncomfortable, so painful, so scary, so raw — that it finally forces us to grow.⁣
A year that screams so loud, finally awakening us from our ignorant slumber.⁣
A year we finally accept the need for change.⁣
Declare change. Work for change. Become the change. A year we finally band together, instead of⁣
pushing each other further apart.⁣

2020 isn’t cancelled, but rather⁣
the most important year of them all.”⁣ (Leslie Dwight)
Congrats to Brad Luna and Adam Ouanes who were married Sunday June 7 at Church of St. Luke and The Epiphany with just a small group of friends and family in attendance. I followed their weeks leading up to the big day, and there was a lot of angst surrounding Covid19 and guests, but they went ahead with the nuptials, and are planning to celebrate with friends in the near future with Covid19 in the rear mirror. Congrats boys!!

Speaking of weddings, Kerry Anne and Michael Gordon were initially meant to have their dream wedding on May 26, 2020. But as the COVID-19 pandemic made it clear that their original date would need to be postponed, the couple set their sights on a new concept: a “micro” wedding on June 6, 2020 at the Logan Hotel. Check out the rest of their wedding story HERE, And as I stated in my post Do Better when posting other photographers photos and give them credit. For example a photo from the wedding was re-posted by the Today Show, and everyone who re-posted it gave the Today Show credit, and not the photographer Linda McQueen, the couple’s wedding photographer. Creatives deserve proper credit and so does Linda. It’s very exciting to have a photo/video go viral, as well as the message the picture depicts.

So long beautiful restaurant in the sky.

Vera Massi: To all my face book friends, today (Tuesday) we had the sad news that R2L restaurant my 2nd home for the last 10 years is closing its doors forever! It was the best place to work and i have made so many friends along the way! To those i have worked with i hope our paths cross again. There will never be another R2L! *******

I loved R2L, I first went there for Sabrina Thorne‘s Lady Gaga Birthday party, which was held a week before it opened. My friends had a surprise birthday party for me there, I attended Erin Elmore and Craig Spitzer’s wedding there as well as Kiley & Brian Stevenson’s wedding reception last year. I’ll miss Chef Daniel Stern, and the crew at R2L, and the Barbra Streisand table (Table 94) with the view of South Philly. It’s true, when Babs was in town for the opening gala for the National Museum of American Jewish History, she dined afterwards with hunky husband James Brolin and friends at Philly’s only restaurant with a higher than a tree top view at the time. The cast of Paranoia with Liam Hemsworth and Harrison Ford had their wrap party there as well. The Jersey Shore cast had a party there once with Vinny Guadagnino, Sammi Giancola, and yes Snooki showed up and got smashed. So many happenings, good food, and celebrities at the hip night spot. Thanks for the memories.

photo from website

As the City seems to be on the cusp of reopening, the iconic clothing store on Chestnut Street, Boyd’s announces it’s paused for the near future. Check out their message.

Recently I started volunteering Manna on Tues & Wed. Every Tuesday I work alongside employees of @AmericanAir Thanks AA!! Come join us!! Sign up on their webpage via their
https://mannapa.org/ . ‬#phillyvolunteers #volunteerphilly #foodbank Today was burger 🍔 day. On Friday’s in June Philabundence has their drive up food bank at Citizen Bank Park, Lot N. Anyone can go and pick up a box of food, as well as other distribution sites around the City. And a reader told me about
https://www.sharefoodprogram.org/ provides food to distributors around the City.
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InBox: City Announces Removal of Rizzo Statue

PHILADELPHIA – Mayor Jim Kenney today announced that crews have removed the statue of the late Mayor Frank L. Rizzo from the front of the Municipal Services Building.

“When we first announced our decision to move the statue, we chose to do so in a way that was cost-effective, by linking it to the pending renovation of Thomas Paine Plaza,” said the Mayor. “That choice was a mistake—we prioritized efficiency over full recognition of what this statue represented to Black Philadelphians and members of other marginalized communities. The continued display of the statue has understandably enraged and hurt many Philadelphians, including those protesting the heinous murders of George Floyd and too many others. I have seen and heard their anguish. This statue now no longer stands in front of a building that serves all Philadelphians.”

The Mayor on Tuesday, June 2, signed an Order directing the Managing Director to remove the statue immediately. Work began overnight and concluded this morning.

The Mayor continued, “The statue is a deplorable monument to racism, bigotry, and police brutality for members of the Black community, the LGBTQ community, and many others. The treatment of these communities under Mr. Rizzo’s leadership was among the worst periods in Philadelphia’s history. The battle for equal rights and justice is still being fought decades later, and our city is still working to erase that legacy. We now need to work for true equity for all Philadelphia residents, and toward healing our communities. The removal of this statue today is but a small step in that process.”

The statue, installed in 1999, will be placed in secure storage by the Department of Public Property until a plan is developed to donate, relocate, or otherwise dispose of it. No timeline for developing the plan has been established. If and when it is developed, the plan will be presented to the Philadelphia Art Commission for approval. 

Copies of the Mayor’s Order are available here.

The Mayor will be available for questions from members of the press at 8 a.m. in front of the Municipal Services Building.
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Black Lives Matter Protest Signs

I learned a lot this past weekend. I always thought I was an ally, but I realized I was still blind to the message. I have a large reach, which I sometimes forget. It’s not just a hobby anymore. I’m sorry for missing the point, the narrative, the message. I appreciate my readers writing me to tell me, to school me. I don’t know, what I don’t know and that’s not an excuse.
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I was trying to inform, so people could plan their lives accordingly as I often do with my social media, then I waded in as a news source, which I shouldn’t have done with such an important movement of which I obviously an ignorant to understand.

One of my readers told me I didn’t post the signs from the Black Lives Matter protest on Saturday. I did publish them in a column on CBS3Philly, and had always planned to put them here.

Black Lives Matter

I’m also sorry if I was ignorant to the message of what #bringabroomPHL was conveying. I thought it was community building, and bringing us together, I see it it could be construed as sweeping these issues under the rug.  I could have been better with the messaging. It’s has been very successful, no one is placing blame, we are all supportive of Black Lives Matter, but we also want to restore the neighborhood for safety. We know we can’t always depend on the City to stay on top of these things. My sincere thanks to these women who really got the movement off the ground and have dedicated themselves to it since.
Thanks to Venise(Van Whit)Whitaker@venisew @marionleary @learyjen

for organizing this grassroots suggestion. They were out there early this morning in West Philly and North Philly with volunteers cleaning up. If you want to volunteer look for hashtag #bringabroomphl to see where they’re going next or if you can’t make it send a donation Black Lives Matter

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The Reading Terminal Today

Actually yesterday. I was in town to cover Step Up To The Plate Serves 100,000th Meal To Philadelphians for CBSPhilly and decided to run to the Reading Terminal for a bite to eat. I completely forgot for a moment that we were in the middle of a pandemic and was taken back a bit by what I found at the popular eating spot. It was heartbreaking, but also hopeful as so many precautions were in place for protection. PLUS the bathrooms were open which is really nice to know as there aren’t many public bathrooms open in Center City.

Masks are required at all times while customers are inside the Market. Please practice safe social distancing.

The 2nd entrance from the corner is open for entering and exiting.
There are a few vendors opening, including sweet places like like Termini’s and

Fox & Son was open although most of the store is in plastic protection

If you’re looking at this in your email subscription please click on title of email to go to blog to see this post, or click on link. It’s the announcement on the rules at the Reading Terminal Market over the loud speakers.

No sitting at the eateries

Philbert wants to remind everyone that face coverings are required when you are inside the Market

Wednesdays from 8 – 9am continue to be a dedicated shopping hour for adults over 65.

My favorite eating spot Tootsie’s buffet is open. I love their fried chicken.

More than 50 Reading Terminal Market merchants are #OpenInPHL. You can #RTMShop in person from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Monday – Saturday (Weds. 8 a.m. – 9 a.m. reserved for adults 65+) or order delivery or pickup through @shopmercato. Many prepared food and restaurant merchants are also available for Delivery on Demand and Curbside Pickup – just give your favorite place a call to coordinate if you don’t see them on Mercato. Have questions about your Mercato order? Give our Help Desk a call at 215-960-1101 (please note this number has changed).