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Take Charge of Your Life

Not on my diet, I wrote last week when I reposted this delicious looking Philly pretzel, a pretzel cut in twos like a sandwich cause it is, a delicious looking bacon, egg & cheese sandwich sold at the new Row Home Coffee shop in Rittenhouse Square. Obviously my readers have good taste as well by the likes on this photograph. For many years I would run over and try such a delight, especially after an invitation as I got from the Row Home Coffee folks. My response, polite but a no. I’m trying to lose weight.

I was once skinny, in fact downright anorexic. Here in 1994 with Mike, and the guy who “introduced” us Rich Liu (we both attended his graduation party and met there), I weighed 155lbs. It’s Mike’s fault, I fell in love, was happy and gained weight, isn’t that how it’s supposed to be? No idea who took this photo, but it cracks me up cause it’s as candid as can be, not one of my favorites, but I kept it.

In this post I won’t be doing my before, currently before photos, but maybe down the road a bit. OK it’s the New Year, and it’s going to be the New Hugh, again, because there is no shame in trying again, and again. With each passing year I attempt to return to healthy, I have made some in roads. It’s hard as you know, especially during the pandemic, cause food is so comforting, and exercise is work.

A few months ago my client GlobalFit, a leading workplace health and wellness technology company, told me about one of their companies the Charge Group virtual nutrition group, an innovative and rapidly growing provider of insurance-funded workplace health and nutrition program. I wasn’t ready to experience it. I wanted to eat freely, ignoring my ballooning weight and high blood sugar. I’m sure my readers were upset, since 2 years ago I announced I was at my wits end with my health. At the time I did get it under control, my numbers came down, I was happy, and then the pandemic occurred and everything went out the window.

Last week I took the first step in taking charge of my life, again. This time with a registered dietician, and the best part it’s virtual, I can do this, even when life returns to normal. I like talking to someone about food, the issues regarding food, I like having accountability, it’s like a therapist for food.

I signed up last week and was paired with dietician Catherine Perez. She went over the services with me, and explained how the insurance supported, one-on-one nutrition counseling services work (my insurance IBX covers 6 visits, a year, and if you want you can pay $75 a visit not covered. That is definitely worth it for me, they have reasonable package programs as well if it’s not covered by insurance as well.) CHARGE is an in-network provider for most major health plans. We were on the phone for more than an hour, and she knows more about my eating habits than anyone. You can trust them with your secrets, which they’ve heard before and will be able to provide you with guidance to reach your goals. BUT with everything, you are your biggest advocate. You need to be honest with yourself, or this won’t work.

Just like many of youse, I’ve tried many programs before, most are great, but they just didn’t fit my lifestyle, which is lazy and convenient, this feels like a good fit. At the end of the 90 minutes I had the foundation and tools to help me achieve my goals, this time. I love they have an online food diary, and a daily goal worksheet. Catherine can see it. This week wasn’t perfect, but I’m on a journey. Come with me, on a fantastic voyage. I’ll be posting here weekly on my progress, I’ll be honest, I honestly want to get healthier, feel better, fit in the chairs at Butcher & Singer, see a show at the Forrest Theater, or need help getting me up after crouching down for a photo at a concert etc.

Sign up process for individuals interested in CHARGE

Below are the 4 steps to sign up:
 Confirm Insurance Coverage

o Fill out a short form to let us know you’re interested. We’ll confirm that your insurance
plan covers nutrition coaching.

 Schedule 1-on-1 Visit with your Registered Dietitian

o If your insurance covers this service, you will be prompted to schedule an initial visit
with your Registered Dietitian.

 Login To Your Nutrition Portal

o Once you schedule your first visit, you will receive an email with login information to
access the CHARGE portal.

 Meet Your Registered Dietitian

o Let’s get started! It’s time to crush your health goals.
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Support Restaurants, Order Supper for the Holidays and Seven Fishes Tradition

Christmas is a week away and some of us are still undecided on what to serve , we have you covered from apps to desserts, for the holidays, and Christmas

The Olde Bar Seven Fishes Christmas Eve Dinner

Pick up here: The Olde Bar, 125 Walnut Street
Order by: December 19
Pick-up by: December 23 and December 24, 12:00pm to 6:30pm

Enjoy a traditional Italian Christmas Eve feast cooked in the style of The Olde Bar! $67.50 per person, minimum 2 people, Ready-to-Heat, Instructions Included. Includes: Cured Hamachi Pastrami, Jumbo Shrimp Cocktail, Curried Mussels, Crab and Corn Chowder, Bay Scallop Pappardelle, Lobster Pot Pie, and Tile Fish en Pappillote. Finished with a slice of  9-layer caramel chocolate cake with el Corazon curd and sea salt . 

4) Garces Trading Company Christmas Family Dinner Order here:  http://garcestradingcompany.com/
Pick up here: The Olde Bar, 125 Walnut Street
Order by: December 19
Pick-up by: December 23 and December 24, 12:00pm to 6:30pm

Enjoy a traditional, Chef-cooked Christmas Day Supper from our family to yours. $50 per person, minimum 2 people, Ready-to-Heat with instructions. Includes: Choice of sliced Pineapple-Glazed Ham with Golden Raisins & Mustard or Turkey Breast & Gravy. Served with family-style portions of Cider-Glazed Carrots, Truffled Mashed Potatoes, Green Salad with Grapefruit, Artichoke Gratin, and Parker House Rolls. Includes Chef’s selection of holiday cookies. 

Caffe Aldo Lamberti
Christmas Eve Dinner – DINE IN OR TAKE-OUT/ PICK-UP
2011 Marlton Pike W, Cherry Hill, NJ, 08002
Caffelamberti.com
(856) 663-1747
Open for Christmas Eve dining for take-out and dine-in
Open for Indoor Dining and Take-Out
Reservations are required and subject to availability
All takeout orders must be in by 12/22/20 and picked up prior to 4:00pm. Pickup times subject to availability and may fill up
Reservations for Christmas Eve dinner between 3:30 pm and 8:00 pm
Reservations for Christmas Eve lunch (regular menu) between 11:30 and 3:00pm

The Lamberti family hosts their favorite tradition with Christmas Eve Dinner, for dine-in and take-out. Caffe Aldo Lamberti will be featuring their Chef’s special menu, with pairings chosen by our Sommelier. Call 856-663-1747 to reserve your socially-distanced table. Selections include: Jumbo Shrimp & Scallops Fra Diavolo $35 spicy tomato sauce, linguine, Veal Campagnola  $28 Roasted peppers, broccoli rabe, garlic, white wine, cheese ravioli, Filet Mignon Gorgonzola $48 bacon, jumbo lump crabmeat, spinach, roasted potatoes, Grilled 16 Ounce Veal Rib Chop $48 mushrooms, brandy cream sauce, broccoli rabe, potatoes, 16 ounce New York Strip $48 broccoli rabe, potatoes, Zucchini Crabcake $19 jumbo lump crabmeat, herbs, roasted peppers, baby spinach, Yellowfin Tuna and Crab $17 avocado, cucumber, arugula, lime, EVOO, chipotle pepper sauce, and more.

Open on CHRISTMAS DAY including DINE OUTSIDE! 

Smokin’ Betty’s and Devil’s Alley First Christmas Feast! 

Smokin Betty’s
(215) 922-6500  
116 S 11th St, Philadelphia, PA 19107


Devil’s Alley
1907 Chestnut St
Philadelphia, PA 19103
(215) 751-0707
Available for hot pick-up on Dec 24 and Dec 25 12 Noon to 5:00pm. 
$45 Per Person, which includes: 
Every person gets: -Southwest Corn Chowder (Included with ALL ORDERS)-Garden Salad with Cranberry Vinaigrette (Included with ALL ORDERS)

El Camino
(215) 925-1110  
1040 N 2nd St, Philadelphia, PA 19123  
Holiday Dinner Packages
2-$80  4-$140  8-10-$260
Entrees – Pick One:
Ribeye Roast Beef
Braised Brisket Pot Roast
Fried Turkey

Sides:
Spinach & Roasted Squash Salad- Pumpkin Seeds, Bacon, Dried Cranberries, Red Onions, Lemon Sesame Dressing
String Beans with Almonds & Brown Butter
Mashed Potatoes
Orange Honey Glazed Carrots
Rice Pilaf with Dried Cranberries & Pecans
Parker House Rolls

Desserts – Pick One:
Chocolate Yule Log
Red Velvet Roll

Ala Carte Offerings –
Turkey and Gravy – $85.00
6lb Ribeye Roast – $100.00
6lb Braised Brisket Pot Roast – $85.00
Sting Beans with Almonds & Brown Butter – $25.00
Mashed Potatoes – $25.00
Orange Honey Glazed Carrots – $25.00
Rice Pilaf with Dried Cranberries & Pecans – $25.00
Chocolate Yule Log – $25.00
Red Velvet Roll – $25.00 

Dim Sum House
Rittenhouse, 1930 Chestnut St, Philadelphia, PA 19103
University City,  3939 Chestnut St, Philadelphia, PA 19104  

Christmas Eve and Day, 12:00pm to 8:00pm
Open for take-out, delivery and pick-up from regular menu as usual
Also open for special new Feast for 2 or 4
For Feast order by December 23 for December 24 pick-up
For Feast order by December 24 for December 25 pick-up
  Feast for 2 – $80
Half Peking Duck & Ginger Scallion Lobster
2 Dim Sum of choice – see below for selections.
1 Rice/Noodle of choice – see below for selections.

Shanghai options for Dim Sum: Pork Soup Dumpling, Spicy Pork Soup Dumpling, Crab & Pork Soup Dumpling, Pan Fried Soup Dumpling, Scallion Pancake, Beef Stuffed Scallion Pancake
Pork & Leek Dumpling, Pumpkin Tart, Veg Spring Rolls, Pickled Garlic Cucumber, Chili oil Wontons, Sesame Soy Brussel Sprouts

Cantonese options for Dim Sum: Crystal Shrimp Dumplings, Spicy Shrimp Dumplings, Pork & Shrimp Siu Mai, Shrimp Siu Mai, Shrimp Cheung Fun, Fried Shrimp Balls, Chicken Feet,  Shrimp & Chive Dumplings, Shrimp Stuffed Eggplant,  Tofu Black Bean Sauce, Vegetable Tofu Skin Roll, Turnip Cake, Durian Cake, Roast Pork Bao, Egg Tart, Egg Custard Bao

Rice/Noodle options: Authentic Fried Rice, Lo Mein, Pad Thai, Ho Fun, Mei Fun

Supper for All (feeds 4-6 ppl) – $150
Half Peking Duck & Ginger Scallion Lobster
2 Dim Sum of choice –  see below for options
2 Vegetables of choice – see below for options
2 Rice/Noodle of choice – see below for options
2 Familiar of choice withprotein – see below for options

Stove and Tap Prime Rib Christmas Dinner
Stove and Co. presents Christmas Eve-Day menu for pick-up on Christmas Eve at all four restaurants Stove and Tap Malvern, Stove and Tap Lansdale, The Bercy in Ardmore and Al Pastor in Exton!

Al Pastor in Exton
484-341-8888, 560 Wellington Square, Exton, PA 19341

The Bercy in Ardmore
609-870-3027, 7E Lancaster Ave, Ardmore, PA 19003

Stove and Tap in Landsdale
215-393-8277, 329 W. Main Street, Lansdale  

Stove and Tap in Malvern
484-450-8890, 245 Lancaster Ave, Malvern/ Frasier    

Order by December 20th by calling restaurant number
Pick-up by December 24th

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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.
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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 

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Northern Liberties Holiday Pop-up Shops This Weekend

Northern Liberties Business Improvement District kicked off the holiday season with the debut of Northern Liberties Holiday Pop-up, last week, on Black Friday for two weekends, November 27th-29th and December 3rd-6th, from 1:00pm to 6:00pm. This brand-new socially-distanced holiday shopping event features 15+ small local businesses and makers from around the Philadelphia region popping up with gifts, decor, fashions, treats and more in eight retail locations along N. 2nd Street. From French Toast Bites, to Christmas trees and ornaments, bridal wear to baguettes, there will be something for everyone on Santa’s holiday shopping list.

The District’s existing favorite retail shops will also be ready with gifts for all ages like Trunc and Madison’s Cookies. .

Additionally, while visiting the District, shoppers are invited to make a day of it in Northern Liberties by enjoying a meal, hot beverage, baked good or Christmas cocktail at one of the District’s dozens of restaurants, bakeries and cafes

For participating Holiday Pop-up Shop locations, look for the festive framed signs and posters. Social distancing and masks are required. Many merchants will also offer additional safety protocols and contactless forms of payments. For a full list of vendors, dates and locations, visit explorenorthernliberties.org.

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Save The Date: Christmas Belle Brunch at the Igloos in Northern Liberties

InBox: Be our guest, be our guest! You and your family are invited to be the belle of the ball at the first-ever Christmas Belle Brunch: The Beauty Princess at the Igloos. This socially-distanced dining experience is perfect for kids of all ages who love Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. Northern Liberties’ based A Dash of Magic Events partners with Germantown Garden Grill (1029 Germantown Ave) and Glu Hospitality after the success of the Enchanted in Northern Liberties: Snow Queen Brunch series.

This 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. Each reservation will also receive a private The Beauty Princess visit per each Igloo, a souvenir, and princess themed activity sheets – and a special holiday dessert that would make even Chef Bouche hungry! 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.

This event is open to a very limited number of tickets to make this dining experience very safe and intimate. 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 Beauty 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. All families attending must follow the local and health guidelines at the time of the event. If the event is postponed due to weather, all parties will be able to transfer their ticket to a new date and time. Tickets are on sale now at www.germantowngarden.com

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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!

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The Re-imagination of the Nightmare Before Tinsel

Craft Concepts Group and owner Teddy Sourias of Philadelphia’s Christmas Pop-up Bar Tinsel will open the Nightmare Before Tinsel (116 S 12th St, Philadelphia, PA 19107) for the 2nd year in a row TODAY. This year, during the global pandemic, the former spooky season pop-up bar returns as a socially distanced haunted house, along with a new eatery next door Sueño, featuring traditional and fusion Mexican cuisine by Executive Chef Caroline Hough by with food, drink and art.

Society Hill

New and notable, Nightmare Before Tinsel will take on an asylum theme this year. Tinsel will also be a haunted restaurant with food, drink and art installations. Guests will purchase a ticket in advance and will have a set amount of time inside.

A brand-new haunted parklette will open outside with socially-distanced dining tables. Next door, look for a brand new restaurant to pair with Nightmare with cocktails, beer, wine and food which will also be sold to go legally out of a take-out window – while following all state and city guidelines.


To experience Nightmare before Tinsel guests must buy a time-ticketed experience ($15 to $20)

Ticket purchase includes:

1. Guest admission to Nightmare Before Tinsel

2. One complimentary beverage:
Choice of “Nightmare Cocktail,” a premium craft draft, a glass of wine or non-alchoholic beverage(Valid identification required for all adult beverages)

3. One complimentary dessert

Additional info:
*Masks are required and social distancing is enforced at this restaurant. Safety first!
*To reduce line wait guests are welcome to arrive up to a maximum 15 min prior to their ticket time to line up in a standing cue.

***Note: If you would like a table for seated dining we recommend reserving your table through Opentable.com.

What an amazing pivot this year for Nightmare before Tinsel during Covid19. Creating a minute scary moment, followed by delicious cocktails and light bites. I really enjoyed walking through the Halloween time capsule, which incorporated a lot of last year’s decor, but now it goes bump in the night. At the end you or a nearby ghoul will take that desired selfie for you to share this experience with your friends.

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Scene: #POWERTHEPOLLSPA Party at Jet Wine

The Voter Project and Jet Wine Bar (1525 South St, Phila) teamed up to present #PowerthePollsPA, a pop-up at Jet Wine Bar’s patio which will run through Election Day on Tuesday, Nov. 3.

This socially-distanced outdoor Wine Patio Pop-Up highlights the critical need for a new generation of poll workers in the upcoming election. Beginning this Thursday, October 1, and lasting through Election Day on November 3, guests are invited to Jet Wine Bar to view the exhibition of an interactive creation by Philadelphia artist Oluwafemi, and to enjoy a selection of American wines and patriotic cocktails.

Poll Worker Facts:

• Poll workers get paid for their time

• Poll workers generally work the entire day from 7 a.m. to when the polls close at 8 p.m.

• Counties throughout the commonwealth train poll workers on Election Day duties

• Being a poll worker is an additional way to participate in the election process

• A Nationwide goal is set to recruit 250,000 Americans who are interested in signing up to be Election Day workers or volunteers to keep all polling sites safe, readily open, and available for delay-free, in-person voting

Instagram & Twitter: @PowerthePollsPA • Hashtag: #powerthepollsPA • www.thevoterproject.com

#PowerthePollsPA is a collaboration among nonprofit organizations, businesses, and civic organizations such as Civic Alliance, Comedy Central, Fair Elections Center, MTV, Pizza for the Polls, and We Can Vote.

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This and That: IBX Buys Building; Popular Philly Insta Gal Sky Dives, Feast Well Foods Lobster Bake

Hope everyone had a safe and relaxing Fourth of July weekend. I escaped to Cape May, which I will write more about later this week. It was the first time in decades when I left town. Even before I was PhillyChitChat I stayed in town to enjoy our activities. Let’s chit chat about this and that.

Last week I shot the announcement and a key exchange celebrating Independence
(photo provided)

Independence Health Group (“Independence”) announced that it has completed the purchase of its corporate headquarters located at 1901 Market Street in Center City Philadelphia. The purchase builds upon Independence’s ongoing commitment to the Greater Philadelphia region and continued investment in the West Market Street neighborhood. In addition to 1901 Market Street, Independence’s Center City campus includes a leased state-of-the-art customer service call center at 1900 Market Street and Independence LIVE, an award-winning customer experience center at 1919 Market Street, which connects to the company’s headquarters via a courtyard that is open to the community.

Mayor Jim Kenney greets Dan Hilferty, CEO, Independence Health Group with what will now be the norm handshake going forward.

Sheila Hess, City Rep and Brian Tierney, chief executive officer of Brian Communications whose client is Independence, This week in the Phila Biz Journal, their offices are featured.

Menu Planning for the weekend with FeastWell Foods. no minimum for curbside pick-up delivery minimum: $65 + delivery. Philly center delivery: +$12. Delivery Friday, July 10th 3pm – 5pm or
Curbside pick-up
Thursday, July 9th 4:00 – 5:00pm
Friday, July 10th 1pm – 5:30pm

Congrats to Fabiana Ferrarini Creator of “QueenWarrior” Workout who went sky diving for her birthday this weekend. She’s super inspirational and g good follow.

Design by Sara Brown, Misha Kachman, Matt Saunders

In this age of comminicable diseases so many business are hurting, as well as arts & culture. Last week the Wilma is thinking outside of the box you could say. The Wilma, seeking to reopen in Philadelphia, says it will erect a new seating structure in which every party is in its own separate box, creating the Wilma Globe. You can read more about it on their site, as well as help them achieve their goals.

15 years ago, on 2 July 2005, a Live 8 concert was held in Phila in front of Phila Museum of Art, with a densely packed audience of nearly a million people stretched out along the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. The event was organized by the ONE Campaign. #JayZ performed at the concert and no doubt envisioned a future concert here ~ #MadeInAmerica, which was cancelled this year because of COVID19. But you knew it’d be cancelled as I wrote about it on This and That a few weeks ago when I noted they weren’t selling tickets anymore on their website. See you on Social Media, although I am going to do less of it in the coming days as I have to finish a few projects before I pivot with a new business venture in the coming weeks.