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Dispatches from Elsewhere, Paparazzi Shots, A Peek into Cook/Solo K’Far cafe

It might not be cool outside, but I have some cool gossip for you with Thursday’s edition of HughE Around Town.

AMC’s original anthology series Dispatches From Elsewhere began filming Monday. Created by and starring Jason Segel, who will also direct the pilot, Dispatches From Elsewhere is about a group of ordinary people who stumble onto a puzzle hiding just behind the veil of everyday life. They will come to find that the mystery winds far deeper than they ever imagined. Segel executive produces with Scott Rudin ( Scott Rudin is an American film and theatre producer. His notable films include the Academy Award-winning Best Picture No Country for Old Men, as well as Lady Bird, Fences, ), showrunner Mark Friedman, Garrett Basch, Eli Bush, Jeff Freilich and Jones. An AMC Studios production, the hour-long series will include viewer engagement elements across multiple media platforms.

Tuesday Dispatches filmed in 4 locations. South Street, inside the Curtis Center, on Walnut Street at 6th and Walnut,

and on North Broad Street. The show stars Andre Benjamin, Sally Field, Richard Grant and Eve Lindley. Both Jason and Eve were in scenes yesterday. As in my line of business of observing and listening, I am often privy to story lines, you won’t find me spoiling any, but I’ll tell you I like what I’ve heard already. I’ll only report the pieces that are done in public, and you’ll have to wait til the series airs in 2020 to put the puzzle together.

Today they filmed at the Curtis Center again, and then in the afternoon at Suburban Station but not in the Concourse, just in the lobby, the loading dock and on one of the floors. Each hour long episode will take up to two weeks to film. There are 10 episodes. They’ll be plenty of time to see Andre 3000 playing his flute around town. I’m away for a few days, so follow me on social media and I will share tips on what’s happening on set as I hear.

Sabrina DenHamm and Cody Bellinger

When social season slows down, I get to return to my first job ie hobby, as Philly’s paparazzo. Sabrina DenHamm and Cody bellinger, of LA Dodgers , were out walking around @rittrow in Philly before tonights game against the Phillies. Bellinger is in the running to be the 2019 NL MVP

The Harper’s entrance looks fabulous (19th and Chestnut Streets) The tables are ready for K’Far to open as well as you know it’s Michael Solomonov and Steve Cook’s upcoming all-day cafe headed by Zahav pastry chef Camille Cogswell, a James Beard Award winner.

I peeked in and it looks really cute. The prices are really great. I can’t wait to hang out there, maybe all day. OK even though I’m away I’ll have a post on Friday as well. Send me tips and I’ll get those photos and stores for you. Have a great day, HughE


Philly Current Pride

Eddie Keel’s celebrated the new issue of his popular magazine – Philly Current with the “The Pride Issue” Party on The Deck at the Moshulu.

The Pride Issue title might confuse you since June and Pride month is over, but this pride is more than just gay, it’s pride of all things we love, food, family, the City, even Atlantic City. No one is more worthy of the cover than Amber Hikes, the soon to be former Executive Director of LGBTQ Affairs at The Mayor’s Office!

Amber Hikes just announced last week that she’d be leaving this position and taking a new position as the Chief Diversity Officer of the American Civil Liberties Union at its National Headquarters in New York City. What her soar!!

Lucy Nolan attended the event with her kids, here she is with Jaimi Blackburn, PR of Fearless Restaurants which includes the Moshulu.

Drs. Joanne Getsy and Thanuja Hamilton.
Congrats to Thanaju for the recent purchase of her own practice.
Whitney Ullman and Nicolette Bee

Kharisma McIlwaine, Roberta Pipito and Jennifer Zavala

Eddie Keels: Folks, you need to see this stacked issue in glorious print (the way PC was meant, and designed, to be seen)! Guarantee yourself a beautifully-packaged, delivered copy by hitting up PHILLYCURRENT.COM/SUBSCRIBE (🔗 in bio) – either grab a single copy of #ThePrideIssue only, or reserve the next 6 issues all at once! All the cool kids are doing it! 😉 Enjoy this one, folks! 💙 [cover 📷: PC’s @john_cruice]


Andre 3000, Dispatches From Elsewhere Starts Filming, Frankie Ann’s Closes; Dining out for Dogs

Andre 3000 is the new Jason Segal. Remember the actor turned writer, turned director has been spotted every where in June. Well now so has Andre 3000. He’s in town to star in Segel’s AMC TV series Dispatches from Elsewhere, which I told you about last Spring. I’m here to tell you the time is now as the movie films it’s first scenes with full cast – Sally Field, Richard E Grant and Eve Lindley begins today.


The White Dog Cafe and WMMR’s Preston and Steve will host the third annual Dining Out for the Dogs Monday August 19, 2019 starting at 5pm to raise funds for Alpha Bravo Canine, which provides trained service dogs to U.S military veterans suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), and other combat related disabilities.

The White Dog Cafe and WMMR’s Preston and Steve will host the second annual Dining Out for the Dogs on Monday August 19, 2019 starting at 5pm to raise funds for Alpha Bravo Canine, which provides trained service dogs to U.S military veterans suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), and other combat-related disabilities. WMMR, BEN FM, WMGK, WXTU and WIP on-air personalities will be at each of the three White Dog Cafe locations (Wayne Haverford and University City) dining with guests and hosting drawings for prizes including the opportunity for a commissioned 30” by 40” pet portrait (valued at $2650), by artist Jay McClellan, who’s artwork adorns the walls of the White Dog Cafe locations. Raffle tickets for $20 are available now through August 19, 2019 at all three locations for the Jay McClellan portrait. The drawing will take place August 20, 2019 and guests will be notified by email/phone.

There will also be puppy-kissing booths at each location where guests can make a donation to cuddle and kiss one of the Alpha Bravo Canine puppies! Guests can also donate $25 and book a VIP table (very important puppy) where they are guaranteed outdoor seating for the event with their pup (based on availability – at Haverford and U City only).  Guests can enjoy our the new signature Barc Echo cocktail with a portion of the proceeds going too Alpha Bravo Canine now through August 20, 2019.

We hardly knew you, Frankie Ann’s, formerly Rembrant’s in Fairmount has closed. The eatery located at 741 N. 23rd St. was open just about a year, but never took hold. Recently they filed for a variance to have a roof deck and faced opposition from the neighborhood.

But that wasn’t their only problem, their food was never above bar standard. I had the worse nachos in my life there last month. Marilyn and I were just shocked, as we’re big nacho fans. I didn’t post it because I could tell they were hurting, and didn’t want to be the last person to put a nail in the coffin. I had met the owner last year and he was super nice guy, plus he named the place after his wife, I really wanted it to succeed, but you have to have good food. We now have two iconic Fairmount restaurants looking for new operators – The London Grill and the former Rembrandt’s.

I always tell my readers if they want to meet new people to check out a group of their interest. It’s a no pressure way to meet people, folks who have similar interests as you, maybe a future BFF or spouse. I went to the Fairmount Photo Club on Saturday. I learned a few things, you don’t have to be from Fairmount, there were people from all over Philly, the burbs and even SNJ there. Plus you don’t have to own a camera, some people used their phones, like the guy there 2nd from the right. So join us next time of check out one of the other 1000s of groups to find your interest.

Monday a new advertiser started with PhillyChitChat – Maria Quattrone, real estate expert CEO of RE/MAX @ HOME – Philadelphia. Check out this featured listing at 730 Fitzwater.

Ghetto Cowboy starring the sexist man alive – Idris Elba – will begin filming in North Philly in August for a month. They’re looking for cast and crew.
Grab an August issue of Vanity Fair as Idris Elba is on the cover, with a great story inside to familiar your self with the man.

I caught Patti LaBelle at Parx Casino’s Xcite Center on Friday. She was flawless as can be, performing a 90 minute set on stage as if she were 40 years younger. The godmother of soul is 75 years young she told the crowd. Have you been to the Xcite Center yet. It’s an intimate setting with about 5,000 comfortable seats, everyone with a decent view. There are still tickets left for Cheech & Chong, Air Supply, JB Smooth and Jethro Tull.


Happy Anniversary Mike Toub, How We Got to 25 Years

Today is our anniversary. How did we get to 25 years, Mike has a lot of patience.

How did we get from there to here. I wrote on FB: Whenever anyone ever asks how did we make it 25 years, I tell them it’s thanks to Mike’s parents Eleanor Toub and Jerry Toub. They were kind, patient, assertively loving, and had strong core values which they instilled in Mike. He’s genuinely one of the most caring and concerned people I know. Both his parents were teachers, and were used to de escalating meltdowns by hot headed Irish guys like me, no really it’s hard to argue with Mike unless you do it unemotionally with facts and common sense, LOL. Mike’s always there for me, especially as I navigate the uncertainty, sadness and triumphs of life. AND come on it’s not lost on me on how easy on the eyes the guy is, he just keeps getting better looking as we grow older. I love you Michael Toub. It’s been a great 25 years, and I look forward to spending our acorns in retirement. I’m a much better person than I imagine all those years ago when I pictured how my life would go.

Another Big Influence: For years we listened to Dr. Joy Browne who was on WORNYC. Dr. Joy gave us the tools that were instrumental in helping sustain our relationship in the early years, as well as today. She also helped us in ordinary day to day living when we were stuck on a problem whether it was work, or family issues. We started listening to her in 1995, and it continued until her untimely death August 27 2016, at age 71. (We randomly ran into Dr. Joy in Times Square in 2006)

Dr. Joy gave advice on how to have a long lasting relationship, as well as succeeding at other life relationships. Always good advice. One of the first rules we followed was the balance of money. Mike made much more money than I did at the time we met. I was a file clerk, so we divided chores and bills based on a 1/3 to 2/3 balance. We didn’t want the money factor to become an obstacle in our relationship. Then we assigned fines to the habits that annoyed us about each other, like Mike would always forget to shut the cabinets after getting a cup out, or I would leave my shoes in the living room. Each offense was $10 fine. It definitely worked, we were more aware of these habits and were able to break them, or definitely cut them back. Finally big one, we all have disagreements, and over 25 years you can have arguments that spin out of control with no clear path to resolving the issue. Dr. Joy told us about these arguments. She said assign a fun word for such an impasse, and use it, sparingly, and we did. In 25 years we might have used our word “Kangaroo” maybe 5 – 6 times. More in the first few years when the memories of single hood and “no responsibilities”, was fresh in my mind and the compromise factor of a relationship seemed like we were giving up too much of us; but using Kangaroo reminded me that these same issues I’m running away, would arise in the next relationship as well. Kangaroo was a tool to remind of us why we were drawn to each other, why we fell in love, and the goals we were working towards. – Kangaroo meant we had to drop the subject. We could not bring it up again. We could not try and solve it. An argument which would invoke a kangaroo was an emotional, heated argument, a division on an opinion. – We eventually came up with another word, “Kuala”, there’s so cute. That word is used when we have a smaller argument, or disagreement. Used most often after an argument, or during a small argument. When used you can just accept the other person apologizing and go on with your life. Or you can table the argument for 24 hrs and if you want to bring it up again you can. It works, if you work it. xoxox HughE & Mike 1994 going forward…


Welcome To Philly’s Billionaires Row Touts the Website…

Soaring 22 stories over the intersection of Center City’s cultural and residential districts, The Atlantic offers unrivaled craftsmanship and sophistication in a historic beaux arts building and according to the developer – The Post Brothers, it’s also the first building on Philly’s Billionaire Row.

Completely reimagined from the inside out by starchitect Rafael Vinoly, The Atlantic heralds the arrival of Billionaire’s Row residences and lifestyle amenities to Philadelphia luxury apartment rentals.

The beautiful lobby is on Spruce Street

In March The Atlantic apartments held a hard hat tour of the newly renovated building at Broad and Spruce, featuring breathtaking rooftop views with great amenities including grills, a chef’s table, lounge chairs and an infinity pool.

Unique Features

  • •24-Hour Concierge
  • •24-Hour On-Site Maintenance
  • •24-Hour Valet Parking With Text Services
  • •Calacatta Gold Marble Quartz Countertops
  • •Children’S Play Area With Splash Pad
  • •Children’S Playroom; Art Studio, JR Gym
  • •Coffee Service & Ice Bar
  • •Complimentary Daily Group Exercise Class
  • •Coworking Space & Private Meeting Rooms

Check out additional features and how you can live on Billionaires Row…HERE


Julie Ertz Skips ESPY’s, Queer Eye Eats & Hugh Jackman Fights Cancer in Philly

If you weren’t already in love with the story of super athletes, and Philly residents Julie and Zach Ertz after you read today’s romantic gesture you’ll be caught up in their rapture of love. I remember meeting them the first time at Fashion Touchdown a few years ago, it was before they married, they were super chill and friendly. No airs about them. Then he proposed. the question at the stadium where they met.

Then that epic wedding the following year. Then last month he dropped everything to cheer on his wife as she played in the playoffs leading up to the World Cup champion in Europe. I just photographed him at DeSean Jackson’s Welcome Back party, on June 7, and the next day he left Philly to support his wife.

Fresh from the ticker taper parade in NYC earlier in the day World Cup soccer standout Julie Ertz and her husband Philadelphia Eagles player Zach Ertz headed for a celebration dinner at one of their favorite spots Chef Jen Carroll’s (3 time Top Chef contestant) newish restaurant Spice Finch in Center City (220 s 17th street) last night. The dinner was arranged beforehand as a surprise by Zach for his wife. Julie and Zach posed with Chef Jennifer Carroll and Chef Billy Riddle, staff and friends of the Ertz’s. What they ate:
Chef Jen Carroll chose their menu! Garlic yogurt, beet borani,  chicken Kebabs and Zach’s favorite >>  date truffles. I sent this story to both my media partners Fox29 and CBS3Philly << head on over there to see more photos and to see what was for dessert, a Philly favorite. (photos provided by Spice Finch)

Speaking of the World Cup Champs, and the ESPY’s players South Jersey’s Carli Lloyd, Kelley O’Hara, Lindsey Horan, Tierna Davidson and Emily Sonnett all carried Simitri bags at the event. The company was founded by two sister-in-laws, Simran Kaur and Gayatri Chopra, the latter who lives in Philadelphia. (Photo provided by their rep Ilana Waber)

Dining Out:
Antoni Porowski from Queer Eye ate at Pizzeria Beddia, 1313 N Lee St, in Fishtown last night.

Peter from ABC’s Bachelorette stopped by McGillin‘s last week. “Peter is one of the semi-finalists on the current season.  Pete is absolutely charming!  He posed for countless pictures with his fans, worked the room & even sang karaoke.  When Gaby, our manager, introduced herself to Pete and mentioned one of our regulars Ryan “Roller Boy” was also cast this season.  He was thankful for the reminder Ryan lived in Philly & phoned him immediately.  They were reunited at McGillin‘s in minutes!! (Photo credit: Gaby Gock)

The first day of filming for Sally Field in Jason Segel’s anthology series “Dispatches From Elsewhere” starts on Monday. So if you see the Flying Nun around drop me a note – HughE I might be able to get it on TV with your photo credit.

Please save the date for Saturday, October 26th for Philly Fights Cancer: Round 5. Talent for this year’s event was just announced, and will star master of screen and stage Hugh Jackman, former SNL writer and Emmy-winning comedian John Mulaney, as well as Multi-platinum selling pop artist Andy Grammer.

Philadelphia’s most impactful annual charity event returns this year to the Philadelphia Navy Yard on Saturday, October 26th. Last year, a sold-out crowd of over 1,800 grateful families, generous benefactors, faculty, staff and friends attended Philly Fights Cancer: Round 4, raising an extraordinary $10 million. Past headliners for this annual event have included Carole King and Jim Gaffigan; Lionel Richie, Jennifer Hudson and Tig Notaro; Whoopi Goldberg, John Legend, and Earth, Wind & Fire; and Jerry Seinfeld & Maroon 5. More information about the event can be found here.


John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge is A Nearby Treat

At least three times a month I like to walk the trails at John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge which is close by, basically near the PHL airport and perfect for my new hobby – bird watching ie photographing. They have a visitor center where you can see exhibits to introduce yourself and kids to nature, and what you might expect to see in the wildlife refuge, and it’s free.

America’s First Urban Refuge was established in 1972 for the purpose of preserving, restoring, and developing the natural area known as Tinicum Marsh and promoting environmental education. They have a calendar of events for activities, talks and nature walks. (Website) Fishing with a permit is also permitted.

There are two parking lots, one off of Lindbergh Blvd, which is paved and plentiful, and another off of Rt. 420 which is gravel and limited. Sunday I went to Rt. 420, which has great bike riding trails as well as rustic trails, and has several fishing spots. I suggest a family, or for self discovery to go to the 8601 Lindbergh Blvd., Phila entrance that is where the Visitor Center is located and is easiest to walk. There’s more people on that side.


2 Steak Houses Sell, Tan Eats Out, Local Celebs Celebrate

Now we rest after such an active July 4th celebration. Literally I’ve been sleeping the past two days after a whirlwind week. Yesterday I was up and about checking out the wicked storms that rolled through. We can no longer say we don’t live in an area that rarely gets tornadoes now that we’ve had so many and two just yesterday. OK let’s chit chat…

I got a note from Mary Ann Ferrie from Chlöe 232 Arch Street. “We had some special guests for dinner tonight. Tan and Rob France.” Read the story behind how Mary Ann and her husband, Dan Grimes, fell in love in this story on The Netflik’s series, Queer Eye has been filming in our area the past couple weeks. Last week they filmed in Delco, this week they’re in Powelton Village. They even filmed over the weekend according to Karamo’s Instagram.

Steaks at Stake
Del Frisco’s Restaurant Group, Inc. has agreed to be acquired by private equity firm L Catterton. The agreement was unanimously approved by Del Frisco’s board of Directors. The transaction is expected to be completed by the fourth quarter of 2019, subject to approval by Del Frisco’s Restaurant Group stockholders. Last summer DelFrisco’s purchased a company that included Barcelona Wine Bar (there’s one on East Passyunk.) Philadelphia has two Delfrisco branded eateries, one recently opened in the Cambria Hotel on Broad Street, and the one at 15th and Chestnut which just celebrated it’s 10th anniversary (they’re my advertiser as well, nearly 10 years.) AND I just heard that Bryn Mawr’s Marsha Brown, owner of three Ruth Chris’ Steakhouse has sold her stakes in the recently relocated Center City spot at the Sonesta Hotel, the King of Prussia spot (not too far from Nick Foles’ dad’s investment Eddie V’s)and the one she owned in Long Island, NY, back to the corporation. (This story came from a tip, and this article)

What did some of our local celebrities do on July 4th!! Two of our favorite forecaster’s 6ABC’s Cecily Tynan worked the holiday, and in between shifts ran home and enjoyed a family BBQ. Adam Joseph, Karl and the kids hit the beach. (BTW you can click on the photo to see it bigger)

Former star of One Life to Live and General Hospital’s Philly’s own Kristin Alderson spent the week with her family and friends in Ocean City, NJ. Next weekend in Ocean City is the 65th annual Night in Venice is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Saturday, July 13, 2019. 6ABC’s Melissa Magee also spent July 4th at the beach, while Fox29’s Mike Jerrick headed to the July4th concert where he snagged a photo with Meghan Trainor backstage. What a nice dad as Fox29’s Richard Curtis built his kids a tree house.

CBS3’s Jim Donovan went from a swim demonstrating that not even water can permeate his ‘do. Brittney Shipp, Tracy Davidson and Vai Sikahema held down the fort at NBC10Philadelphia, Eyewitness news’ Meteorologist Katie Fehlinger gave us JAWN. And we bid bon-voyage to Alex Holley, Fox29 who’s headed to a tropical paradise for a well deserved vacation.

Congrats to Patty Jackson!! See you tomorrow, right here on Philly Chit Chat for more coverage on the parties and people in Philly. Have a great day!!


July 4th Popping Pics and Thanks You’s

What a whirlwind week, and now I have had some time to sort through the photos I took. The past few days a lot of my outlets have had off except for CBSPhilly and Philly Voice where I have placed pixs from the weeks events, thanks so much to my editors. I also have created columns for Philly Style Mag, and for Septembers issue of Philly Mag (BTW there won’t be a column in August’s issue of Philly Mag as the whole magazine is dedicated to Best of Philly. The party this year is September 12.) Here are a few of my photos from July 4th’s Concert on the Parkway.

It was a crazy hot night, but that didn’t stop folks from coming out to the Wawa Welcome America sponsor, friends and family party on the Parkway. Photo top right: Dave Maser, Dotti Giordano, Frank Giordano, President and CEO The Philly Pops, which by the way played at three big Fourth of July events between July 3 and July 4th – The Philly Pops at Independence Mall, July 4th Celebration of Freedom Ceremony, and the Concert on the Parkway, Buddy Scheerer and Chris Elliott. Wawa folks, Chase Folks and Mark Segal, Jason V, Clayton Fennell, Valintine Bigil – Fennell and Carmen Fennell.

Hey Chill Moody what’s with the Chicago White Sox’s jersey. There must be a story behind it. City Rep Sheila Hess presented Meghan Trainor with a Phillies jersey with her name on it. Wish she had worn it, lol.

Daybreaker PHL at Stratus // Midsummer Morning’s Dream July 24 6am (The day after my birthday)

Loved icon Jennifer Hudson‘s set, and outfit. She set the tone for the evening. I loved that the Philly Pops accompanied her.

25 year old Meghan Trainor kicked off her set playing her biggest song – It’s All About the Bass, followed 3 songs later by her next biggest hit “Your Lips are Moving”. She even brought her 70 year old dad out for her song – Dance Like Yo Daddy. It was a great set, even though we all felt for her as she was dressed in a black track suit and mentioned how hot it was.

Great job City of Philadelphia, City Reps office and Rob Nonemacker, who produced two of the events during the week – the Patti LaBelle street naming event and Celebration of America July 4th. On stage with co-worker Elka Battle-Murillo. Michael Delbene, President & CEO of Welcome America, who did an amazing job for his first Wawa Welcome America week of events, with all it’s moving parts. It was seamless. I especially love the new set up with the Friends, Family and Sponsor party as it’s now one big continuous party with a spacious picnic area and seating for guests. I love how it’s now more apparent for the public on who gets a chance to sit in the white seats in front of the stage, you fill out a form which is on the Welcome America website. Plus adjacent to the seats, stage right, is a picnic area where tickets were given out to folks in contests, and who gathered on the Parkway. So many happy people surprised with tickets during the day got to move up front. Thank you to all the sponsors including Wawa, Visit Philly, The Philly Pops , Live Nation, Comcast and all those who came through and supported this wonderful event to celebrate the Fourth and our City. Check them out here. Welcome America!!
Sunday I’ll have some tidbits, fun gossip, and chit chat you’ll want to know about in my weekly HughE Around Town column, what did the celebs in Philly do this past week. Have a cool day, no really!!


A Few Photos From July 4th Morning

This morning I headed over to the historic area, in the shadow of Independence Hall (actually there were no shadows, it was hot) for the Independence Day Celebration of Freedom Ceremony and the Salute to America Independence Day Parade, a flag-waving, stars-and-stripes, big-city spectacle with a small-town feel. I took a few photos, ok I took way too many photos, come of my favorite are here.

Mayor Jim Kenney presented the fourth annual Magis Award to Connor Barwin at the City of Philadelphia’s annual Celebration of Freedom Ceremony at Independence Hall on July 4th, the final day of the Wawa Welcome America festival as Jason Kelce looks on. 

The Declaration of Independence was read by Philadelphia’s very own Patti LaBelle, the legendary songstress born in Philly, known and loved by the world, who still lives nearby. My BFF in my head, and I can’t believe she knows my name, and I’ve been to her house. I am STAN for her, and can’t believe after years of fandom have met her many times. Literally when I came out in the 1980s, was homeless or couch surfing, her music soothed my soul.

It’s the celebration of the birth of our nation, it didn’t happen without protests, protection and pride. Happy 4th of July everyone of us, as we move towards a more perfect union!!