Di Bruno Bros. Holiday Market With Gifts and Traditional Tasty Favorites

Di Bruno Bros. a traditional holiday stop, has now opened a pop-up, outdoor holiday market near its bottle shop in the heart of the Italian Market which is opened through the end of the year. Don’t delay, visitors can shop for their for cheese, charcuterie, antipasti, snacks, sweets, gourmet gift boxes and wine.
The pop-up is open daily through the holiday season.
The Di Bruno’s Bros. Holiday Market is located at 920 S. 9th Street.

Today at 10AM: BOSTON MARKET OPENS IN West Oak Lane With Legendary Boxer Larry Holmes

Sorry for the short notice…

WHO: Larry Holmes (Former Professional Boxer), Jay Pandya,
(Owner, Boston Market) in attendance.

WHAT: Grand Opening & Check Presentation
The New Takeout Only Location Opens Doors on Monday,
December 14, 2020 in West Oak Lane With Official Ribbon Cutting
Ceremony. Boston Market will donate $5000 in holiday meals to the
local community on behalf of Larry Holmes charity, Heart of a

The first 50 people through the drive-thru will receive gift certificate for a heat & serve meal for 4-6 people, redeemable through 12/31 #bostonmarketcares


Dr. Deborah Birx at Love, Pinefish Pivots, David Copperfield Honored, and The Loft Disappears

Hope you had a chance to get out this weekend, we had such incredible weather. Earlier this month the Philadelphia Zoo lit the trees near their entrance beautiful Thank You Frontline Health Workers Blue!!

Then this past week the Philadelphia Zoo welcomed Bea – a 15 month old female giraffe that arrived weeks ago from the Knoxville Zoo in Tennessee. Since her arrival, Bea has been getting adjusted to her new keepers and met her new herd mates 18-year-old, Stella and 11-year-old Abigail.

You may wonder what happened to baby Beau: Beau, the young male giraffe born at Philadelphia Zoo in June 2018 moved to the Cape May Zoo in fall of 2019. Working with the Giraffe Species Survival Program, understanding each Zoo’s particular needs, Philadelphia Zoo worked with Cape May Zoo to coordinate the breeding and eventual move of the young giraffe. Today, Beau is doing great and living with a larger herd in Cape May Zoo in New Jersey. Last year, our male giraffe Gus (Beau’s dad) was selected by the Giraffe Species Survival Plan for breeding at the Freeport-McMoRan Audubon Species Survival Center in New Orleans, Louisiana, an off-exhibit conservation center managed by the Audubon Nature Institute.  On November 5th, Gus embarked on his journey to Louisiana, and while Philadelphia Zoo was sad to see him leave, the Zoo was very excited that he moved to a 42-acre giraffe area to live among a herd of eight females.  This significant move will help ensure that his genetics add to the population of reticulated giraffes for years to come.

Thursday night I got a tip that everyone’s 2nd favorite COVID19 favorite doctor was spotted at The Love dining curbside about 9PM. My friends asked me why is she here, at the time I didn’t know but the next day she was interviewed by 6ABC’s Ali Gorman, in Camden where the good doctor was consulting with someone. Check out Ali’s interview here.

Pinefish pivots for the winter serving delicious comfort food by Chef Ritchie Vargas , who prepared delicious meals at The Palm for over 20 years. NOW We can all enjoy The Palm’s chicken parm again.

Palm inspired Meat Loaf (Instagram post)

What’s for take-out dinner tonight? Palm-style Meat Loaf dinner from Comfort Philly! Link in bio. Pinefish is temporarily closed; enjoy our new pop-up winter kitchen. #OnlineOrdering #GrubHub #UberEats #LocalDelivery #Meatloaf #PhillyEats #EaterPhilly #PhillyFoodies #Pinefish #ComfortPhilly Check out the menu here.

Photo Credit: DCDI

On Saturday night, National Museum of American Jewish History NMAJH inducted magicians David Copperfield and Harry Houdini into its Only in America Gallery/Hall of Fame. The free virtual gala was emceed evening was hosted by actor Brad Garrett. An honor bestowed to just 21 prior inductees, including Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Steven Spielberg, Barbara Streisand, Emma Lazarus, and Irving Berlin, the award recognizes the achievements and contributions of American Jews who share and exemplify the ideals of the stories explored in the Museum. Check out the virtual gala on their FB page here.

After bouncing back and opening after the spring pandemic, and then civil unrest, the Loft location at 1729 Walnut Street has now closed. Don’t blame it on those incidences though, as their parent company Ascena Retail Group filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and announced plans to close approximately 1,100 stores. Although not on the initial list as nearby Ann Taylor was, it is now closed, along with at least nine LOFT stores, 21 LOFT Outlet stores around the USA. The Loft still has stores in our area, University City, KOP , Cherry Hill and Deptford. See you on social media. Today I’m doing a really cool thing,.


Celebrate holidays on the Main Line with a month of festive offerings & Free Parking

Celebrate holidays on the Main Line with a month of festive offerings that started with the Holiday Tree Lighting on Black Friday and goes through December 23rd. Ardmore Initiative, Ardmore Business Association and sponsor PECO hosted a tree lighting virtually and Santa’s arrival with special guest Cinderella by A Dash of Magic. Here’s some photos from the festive event that was both virtual and covered by the press in person. 

All month long you can still celebrate if you missed the tree lighting! The Holiday Rally for Ardmore Restaurants and Retail runs through December 23rd. Head out and support dozens of small local businesses for everyone on Santa’s wish list and find gifts, decor, fashion, ornaments, food, drink and so much more. Every shopper that spends $25 at participating businesses can enjoy a free entry to win prizes valued up to $1,000 in total – including a $100 gift card winner every week in December.

On Sunday, December 13th,from 9:30am to 12:00pm, bundle up and head to Cricket Ave for Christmas on Cricket.  Join Lulu’s Casita and pucciManuli for a jolly good time as they welcome Santa, The Grinch and Elf on the Shelf! The morning will be filled with holiday tunes with Roots with Ruark, ornament making, hot chocolate & cookies and a special story time! Space is limited due to capacity restrictions. 

Finally, enjoy FREE parking at all downtown Ardmore meters and lots on Saturday, November 28th, December 5, December 12, and December 19th courtesy of the Ardmore Initiative, Ardmore Business Association, and Lower Merion Township.  For event details, info about the Rally, or for a directory of businesses, visit www.destinationardmore.com.


Princess Brunch in Northern Liberties in December

A Dash of Magic Events, Glu Hospitality and Germantown Garden Grille all got together for some princess pivots to survive the pandemic together – this was several small businesses in Northern Liberties – all who work with Northern Liberties Business Improvement District and Aversa PR – who teamed up! 
Want to check this unique event out? Your family can get a private heated igloo to enjoy time with your favorite princess at dates coming up soon! 

Be our guest, be our guest. Families are invited to be the belle of the ball at the first-ever Christmas Belle Brunch: The Beauty Princess at the Igloos. This magical socially-distanced dining experience is an unforgettable meal for kids of all ages who love Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. The royal date is set for Saturday, December 19th, at 11:00am, 1:00pm, and 3:00pm. AND just added – Sunday, December 20th at 11:00am and 1:00pm. 

Also, due to popular demand, the Snow Queen Brunch at the Igloos has now added on a third weekend – with seatings at 11:00am and 1:00pm for Saturday, December 12th as well.

On December 26, 2020, look for the Ice Princess for Anna fans from Frozen – now on sale! Don’t miss the Snow Queen’s sister as she takes a twirl around the Igloos! 

AND end the year and don’t turn into a pumpkin with New Year’s Eve Countdown with Cinderella at the Igloos on December 31, 2020 at 11:00am, 1:00pm and 3:00pm. Families are invited to a socially distanced dining experience to help kids say goodbye to 2020 before everyone turns into a pumpkin at Midnight (which, in fact, would be so 2020). 

While this partnership and family-friendly dining series sounds like magical princess fun – it is also a major pivot for the two Northern Liberties based businesses – A Dash of Magic Events and Glu Hospitality. 

Each socially-distanced positive and magical dining experience will include 90 minutes at a private, exclusive and heated igloo just for you and your immediate family members. Get ready to enjoy a safe and socially-distanced photo opportunity, songs from the princesses story  and a grand entrance. Leave room for brunch and lunch, plus hot beverages for kids and adults. Food and drink is pay-as-you-go.Tickets are $15.00 per person for Igloo seating and $10.00 per person for outdoor seating without the Igloo. A portion of each ticket will go to charity, and provide a free princess appearance for children in need through the Salvation Army.

Capacity for this event will be at less 10% of the entire capacity for the venue, to ensure safety and health protocols. All children and adults above the age of two must wear a mask to and from their dining table. The Princess already has her special princess themed matching mask. She can’t wait to see your costumes and masks too! Costumes for the little ones are encouraged but not required. 

Tickets are on sale now for all of the above events at: 

www.germantowngarden.com – events page! 

For A Dash of Magic Events owner Aisha Maria Loeks this represents a major year of princess pivots. For Loeks, 2020 was set to be a banner year for the record books. Her Adorned by Aisha business was set to sparkle at Philadelphia’s major festivals like Philadelphia Flower Show and Christmas Village. Her second business, A Dash of Magic Events, was her back-up sideline business that brought joy to kids at birthday parties and special events across the region. Then, the pandemic hit, and shut-down orders came and cancelled major events and parties, as well as in-person jewelry retail opportunities. Loeks quickly waved her magic wand and shifted gears to survive the new normal. From the sparkle of her main occupation as a jewelry maker, to a major pivot to launch virtual princess meet and greets to socially-distanced princess sidewalk serenades, Loeks is making all that glitters into gold for the final weeks of the year. 
For one of Philadelphia’s biggest Disney and princess fans, this major pivot might sound like a fairy tale out of a cartoon movie. But it’s a story that saw a turbulent few months and a tremendous loss of income where her livelihood was in jeopardy, and health and safety is now a constant concern. She also faces the same challenges other businesses face, as she has to constantly adapt her work to the current government guidelines and shut-down orders. But for this local survivor, it’s not a question of survival but more a question of when will all this be over, and when will the fairy-tale ending come. For her full story, and booking your own private princess sidewalk serenade, story time or family-time, visit www.adashofmagicevents.com.

For Glu Hospitality, what a year – pivoting from Vesper Dayclub and Pool, the open-air steakhouse Germantown Garden Grill, to launching the heated, poolside Igloos at Germantown Garden Grill – and now the Princess and Snow Queen Brunch Series. This has helped them stay open well past their usual date in September when the pool club would close. 
If you haven’t been check out their menu for the Igloos and weekend brunch, plus its a great spot for steaks – and on Sundays for Sports! Menu is at https://gggrill.com/
Congrats Tim Lu and Derek Gibbons on making big things happen in 2020 for their company – they helped open Anejo and SET NoLibs this summer and fall, launched Hunnies Crispy Chicken and Tiny’s Burger Joint on Grubhub, and they have not one but two more restaurants coming your way in 2021 – and Philly Chit Chat will be there for both of them! 



Craft Concepts Group isn’t letting the Grinch steal it’s Holiday spirit. Teddy Sourias and the elves at CCG announce the season grand opening of Tinsel Christmas Pop-up at 112 S. 12th Street. New for 2020, look for a new festive over-the-top streetery, a new twinkling light display, and a brand-new charity for the Canned Good Cocktails. Additionally, look for a new snow machine to bring a touch of a white Christmas to Midtown Village. Christmas cocktails will again be served out of ornaments, boots and snow globes, with food coming from the new sister restaurant next door, Sueno. For the health and safety of patrons and staff, all customers are required to wear a mask while not seated, and customers entering to pick-up their orders must socially-distance and follow the new one-way system through the building. Tinsel will grand open today at 4:00pm and remain open at least through December 31st. Tinsel will run Monday to Friday, 4:00pm to 11:00pm, and Saturday and Sunday, Noon to 11:00pm, through at least December 31, 2020. Sueno next door will feature Tinsel Christmas cocktails and share the streetery. Sueno operating hours will be Monday to Friday, from 4:00pm to last seating at 10:30pm, and Saturday and Sunday from 2:00pm to 10:30pm for last seating. Times may adjust based on local and state guidelines. There is no cover charge or admission to enter Tinsel Christmas Pop-up this year. Tinsel is open to all customers placing and picking up their orders, and to those who dine at the outdoor Christmas streetery. For more about Tinsel, please visit TinselPhilly on Instagram. For more about Sueno, visit SuenoPhilly on Instagram.

“While the current times are dark and gloomy, Tinsel 2020 is just the opposite. Covered wall to wall with dazzling lights and Christmas decor, Tinsel exudes a happy cheer, much needed for all this year,” said Craft Concepts Group owner Teddy Sourias. “Tinsel is an annual tradition that is as much Philly as Christmas Village, the Macy’s Christmas Light Show and the Comcast Holiday Spectacular. It was important to open this year so that we can celebrate the holidays with everyone in a new, safe and socially-distanced way. There is indeed light at the end of the tunnel and we need to hold onto things that are positive and forward-facing. If you are comfortable and in Center City, we invite you to stop by and say Merry Christmas. If you are staying at home, or not able to join us, we will be back and better than ever in 2021 when you are ready. Either way, we are thankful for the support this year for me and my staff of over 300 employees – and we wish one and all a happy holiday!”

Starting today through at least December 31, 2020, a large stretch of 12th Street in Midtown Village will turn into Tinsel Christmas Pop-up, open-air Christmas eatery and restaurant. Tinsel will bring the sparkle of the holidays to the street as the exterior, sidewalk and streetery outside Tinsel, Finn McCools, Sueno and Go Popcorn all get a Christmas make-over with thousands of twinkling lights, bows, presents, elves, santa hats, bells and more.

Outside, look for the streetery featuring seven tables with seating for four guests with heat lamps, wind guards, twinkling lights and added decorations. Table service will be available with food and drinks from both Tinsel and Sueno. Sueno will also feature take-out food and drink from Tinsel and Sueno menus out their front-windows for those in a rush and on the go!

Inside Tinsel, customers will place and pick-up their order in the middle of a Christmas wonderland – as they socially distance “at least one Christmas tree apart from each other” and move in the new one-way layout. No food or drink is allowed for consumption inside, and masks are required at all times when inside ordering or picking up. All food and drink will be packaged and sealed to go.

For cocktails, look for a selection of naughty and nice Christmas creations available at the Christmas streetery, at the Sueno take-out window and inside Tinsel (packaged to go). Ice cold craft beer, standard cocktails and other beverages will also be available. Select drinks will be served as always in a Christmas ornament, a Santa’s boot, a snow globe and other souvenir vessels to take home and keep for years to come. The popular Canned Good Cocktail will return with a portion of the proceeds going to feed furloughed workers out of a job due to the government shutdown of indoor dining. Look for details about this new program to launch in early January of 2021.

For food, patrons can enjoy a full dinner menu of Mexican street favorites from Sueno by Executive Chef Caroline Hough. Additionally, look for the addition of food items from Craft Concepts Group’s new ghost kitchens – plus sweets, treats and holiday comfort food offerings from the elves helping at Tinsel and Sueno’s kitchen.

Tables are first come, first served for Tinsel and Sueno’s Christmas-themed streetery. Guests can, however, put their name in at the host stand during select hours and they will receive a text when their name is nearing the top of the list.

For health and safety, Santa requires all guests must wear masks unless they are at a table, with absolutely no exceptions, otherwise they will make Santa’s naughty list and be asked to leave. Additional safety protocols include staff temperature checks, QR code menus, socially distanced tables, new cleaning procedures, time limits, and other new systems. Tinsel will also update health and safety protocols to be in compliance with local and state health regulations.

“Don’t leave home for Tinsel without your mask,” said Sourias. “Masks are 100% required and have been the new normal for Tinsel and all of our properties in 2020. Wearing a mask is something we should all be used to now. Make a mask wearing fun and festive – and get into the Christmas spirit with holiday themes. But no matter what your mask style, don’t be a Karen Claus and show up without one.

For more about Tinsel, visit TinselPhilly on Instagram.


Where is Mike Jerrick ?

Over the past week a lot of folks have been searching Where is Mike Jerrick from Fox 29, and have landed in my blog. The above screen shot is from my blog search column for the last 3 days.
About a week ago Mike announced via his social media that he had Covid19 . I spoke to Mike on Monday to see how he was doing, and to convey a message to all those who are inquiring about him.

“The Virus comes and goes in waves, so I’m just trying to survive the ups and downs of this nasty situation. Not a great day today, but I am hopeful to bounce back soon. Stay safe everybody, and stay health. Thumbs up, fingers cross and a heart emoji.” Mike Jerrick

at a photo exhibit I did in 2015
Dinner at Positano Coast in October

A few weeks ago Mike and I had dinner, and I was telling him about photos I came across of him in my files from when he was on Fox’s syndicated The Morning Show with Mike and Juliet. Hopefully this will cheer him up a bit. He had already done a stint in Philly at Fox 29, before the national show came calling. I was a fan of his work and went to see if I could catch a filming of the show. I did. Wish I were a better photographer at that time, I could have gotten a better shot of him.

The Morning Show with Mike and Juliet Cinco de Mayo show

I can’t believe we’re friends. How lucky am I. Wishing my friend Mike, a mentor to me and so many people, a speedy recovery. We love you Mike, and Philly is praying for you.
Check out this interview Mike Jerrick did with Gotham back in the day.

Yeah an update from Mike today!!



Today in 1980, Beatles band member John Lennon was murdered by a fan Mark David Chapman outside the singer’s apartment The Dakota in New York City.

I lived in NYC 2005 – 2007 near Strawberry Fields (72nd Street & CPW) and stopped by at least once a month to snap the ever changing memorial to one of the greatest songwriters, singers John Lennon.

The Central Park memorial was designed by Bruce Kelly, the chief landscape architect for the Central Park Conservancy. Strawberry Fields was inaugurated on what would have been Lennon’s 45th birthday, 9 October 1985, by his widow Yoko Ono, who had underwritten the project. The entrance to the memorial is located on Central Park West at West 72nd Street, directly across from the Dakota Apartments, where Lennon had lived for the later part of his life, and where he was murdered. The memorial is a triangular piece of land falling away on the two sides of the park, and its focal point is a circular pathway mosaic of inlaid stones, a reproduction of a mosaic from Pompeii, made by Portuguese craftsmen as a gift from the city of Lisbon. In the center of the mosaic is a single word, the title of Lennon’s famous song: “Imagine“.

John Lennon, born in Liverpool on Oct. 9, 1940, earned worldwide fame when he created the Beatles. Throughout his life, Lennon became known as a peace activist, artist, poet and philosopher, while still writing and recording seminal music. The former Beatle’s life was cut short on Dec. 8, 1980, in New York City when crazed fan Mark David Chapman shot him outside his apartment. He was 40. (NY Daily News)

Gary told me that he visits the local florist shops, and corner stores every morning. He tells them what he’s going to do, as most know by now, and they give him whatever he wants to decorate John Lennon’s memorial Imagine.

The Dakota where John Lennon lived with his wife Yoko and son Sean (this is also the spot where Lennon was shot). On the anniversary of his death she lights two candles and places them in the window. Occasionally she will walk over to Strawberry Fields, but will always show up on the anniversary of his death.

Shortly after his death, Yoko Ono donated $1 million for its maintenance. It has become a gathering place for tributes on Lennon’s birthday October 9, 1940 as well as the anniversary of his murder 12/8/80.

On John Lennon’s 25th Anniversary of his death 2005. I waited in line for 2 hrs to walk by the memorial, it was about 20F out and it was mobbed.

I imagine tonight will be as mobbed with admirers.


Best Holiday Lights to See While Socially Distancing

While some Christmas attractions may be closed this year, and others might be questionable with their socially distancing, you can still enjoy the holiday spirit by participating in something I do even in non pandemic years, driving or walking by fantastic holiday light displays. Here are a few of my favorite. The best part of this tour, it’s free or for a suggested donation, and can be done at your own pace, all in one night or split up before Christmas.

Smedley Street in South Philly I love traveling through the neighborhoods to see holiday lights, and I really love when entire neighborhoods work together to create a winter wonderland of memories like Smedley Street in South Philly. Not only is the overall display fantastic, you also get the feels of a great South Philly neighborhood with cars packed in, and every house lit in unison. I bet they have great block parties. You can drive through this display, but also find parking nearby and walk through the display. This year they have a Venmo ask, and if you can spare a few bucks to help out with the electricity that’d be great. There’s a sign on the right as you leave.
It’s between 16th and 17th, and Moyamensing and Oregon avenues.

East Passyunk Ave: After Smedley Street head back to Broad Street and make a right on East Passyunk Avenue. Over the past year they’ve lit the street up with colorful lights, which reflect the seasons. The twinkling lights will brighten everyone’s holidays. Head down to Moore and make a right, then make a right onto 13th Street to our next destination.

One of the most anticipated light shows every year is The Miracle on South 13th Street. It’s a block long fantastical display of lights overhead, as well as neighborly holiday scenes in front of private homes. Drive through, or park and enjoy the displays up close, but remember these are private homes so no sitting on stoops or late night visits MAP

9th Street Italian Market: Make a right on Dickenson and then a left on East Passyunk towards the very lit Geno’s and Pat’s continue on past Rim Cafe, stop by and say hi to Rene and Belle and pick up a canoli.
Stop By Piazza Di Bruno’s Holiday Market
Continue on through the Italian Market down 9th Street,

don’t forget to look down the side streets for surprises.

When you get to Washington Ave., go left to Broad Street, then make a right towards City Hall.

Swing by City Hall and check out the Holiday tree on the North Side.

On the West side is DECK THE HALL HOLIDAY LIGHTS which starts everyday at 5pm and runs continuously to 9pm. In non pandemic years you would gather to watch the show every half hour, but in these times a slow drive by is all you need to appreciate the holiday lights.

Continue on JFK to 19th Street to Rittenhouse Square which is holiday eye candy.

Rittenhouse Hotel
Head around the square, driving down Pine Street towards 7th Street and Jewelers Row, head to 9th Street and make a right

on Market Street to 2nd Street, make a left on Chestnut Street

heading towards Penns Landing where you can see the spectacular lights of the Visit Philly Ferris Wheel and the
Blue Cross RiverRink Winterfest


Steven Singer Fed Thanksgiving Dinner to The Entire Staff at Pennsylvania Hospital

For this special delivery, there is extra meaning as Singer recently underwent open heart surgery at the Hospital and wanted to bring some thanks to the employees working so hard and putting their own lives at risk. While he was in the hospital several times, he left the ICU and is recovering, but many COVID and other patients won’t this holiday.

The meals, prepared by Manny’s Restaurant and Delicatessen in Southampton, Bucks County, were sent over by jeweler Steven Singer. He was unable to be there in-person after undergoing open-heart surgery at Pennsylvania, where he says he received top-notch care.

Christine Tierney, Chief Human Resources Officer – Pennsylvania Hospital thanks Steven Singer representative for the delicious gesture, as Frank Anastasi, MBA, Chief Financial Officer at Pennsylvania Hospital University of Pennsylvania Health System and staff look on. This special feast for hospital workers is Singers’ way of giving back and part of his pledge to donate a portion from every gold dipped rose to help feed front line workers – while supporting local restaurants in crisis from the global pandemic. For this feast, Singer purchased each and every dinner from Manny’s Catering in Bucks County/ Southampton.

“My heart breaks for the world! It breaks for those who have lost loved ones, those who are ill, small businesses and independent restaurants and everyone effected by this ugly virus, and that is everyone.” – Steven Singer. “We want to be there to support our local community now and long-term. These hospital workers put themselves at risk each and every day, and have to deal with things that are unimaginable to the rest of us. On this unique holiday with numbers soaring, we wanted to support them and say thanks – and let them know we are all with them.”

Singer and his team provided 650+ meals to employees giving up their holiday to serve patients with COVID 19, those in the ICU and other areas of the hospital. They enjoyed individually wrapped, free catered turkey dinners with all the trimmings and pumpkin pie. 

Steven Singer Jewelers Steven Singer is a first-generation jeweler and small business owner on Jeweler’s Row. With 40 years on Philadelphia’s historic Jewelers Row, Steven has been an innovator of the jewelry industry with his maverick marketing efforts including the I Hate Steven Singer Campaign. More information at  www.IHateStevenSinger.com