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Philly Gossip

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Spotted: Andrea Bocelli at Top Tourist Spots; ARod Enjoying BB; New Year’s Eve?

Stratus Lounge

We are in the middle of merriment as Christmas is only 13 days away, can you believe it. Time really flies, even when folks put up their trees and lights in October now. I have a few stops to make this week, and then I go away to see the family. Hope you are making memories, even if you’re staying home. Watch TV with friends. Sometimes I watch with them on the phone, other times I ask one of my friends to watch something and then chitchat on the phone after we’ve both watched it to figure out what went on; I know most of you have watched And Just Like That by now. Great to be back with the girls, but wowsie!!

Stratus Lounge, high above Independence Park with it’s sky views, had a few of us over for a festive holiday celebration last Thursday. 433 Chestnut St., 11th Floor of Kimpton Hotel Monaco I 215.925.2889 I https://stratuslounge.com/ Don’t miss their New Year’s Eve celebration.

Ring in New Year’s Eve at Stratus Rooftop Lounge, the chic rooftop venue on the 11th floor of the Kimpton Hotel Monaco in Old City, on Friday, December 31 with Mr. Hollywood DJ’s First Annual NYE Bash. Starting at 9pm, guests can bid farewell to 2021 under the stars with top-tier entertainment, celebratory cocktails, premium open bar, delicious hors d’oeuvres, and more. 
General Admission Gold ($150) includes entry to Stratus Rooftop Lounge and open bar, whereas General Admission Platinum ($175) includes admission, open bar, reserved pavilion food areas, and seating.  (Trust me spend the extra $25, you’ll want access to the pavillions)
Click here for details on tickets and packages. 

Congratulations Contour Body Studio on your new spot in Ardmore at 55 Rittenhouse Place!!  

Congratulations to WMMR’s Pierre Robert on 40 years with the station. His friends and co-workers, ie friends, through him a party at Rittenhouse’ Charley Dove formerly Audrey Claire’s.

Here’s what Marisa Magnatta posted:

“We all have a story of meeting Pierre for the first time. Mine occurred after The Stones ‘No Security Tour.’ We saw him outside the First Union Center recording concert coverage with the Roving Rock Microphone and my dad nudged me to say hi.

I did. When Pierre asked this 16yr old girl in 1999 what she thought of the band I replied “they’re phat!” He giggled and said “well, that has to be the first time Mick has ever been referred to as fat!”

And that was it. I didn’t even recall that memory until years later, after working with Pierre through countless post-concert coverages, followed by late night dinners and enjoying just a handful of martinis together.

He is a friend and a mentor. And not just to the lucky folks working at @933wmmr, but to the whole damn city!”

Andrea Bocelli was in town this past week to perform with the Philly Pops Wednesday at Wells Fargo. He and his family arrived on Monday and checked into the Four Seasons. Have you seen their Christmas decorations. So beautiful. You don’t have to be staying there, or even eating there to stop by and see the glory. That evening Bocelli his wife Veronica Berti his daughter Virginia and a few friends headed to Gran Caffe L’Aquila with a few friends. They didn’t even announce they were going, just got a resy, sat and ate. They’re just like us, but Andrea and Virginia can sing like angels. Yes it’s true, she is gifted. She sang a few songs with him at his Wells Fargo concert. The next day they were off to explore Philly. First stop Christmas Village, then to Dilworth Park for ice skating. A stop in Macy’s. A few people recognized him, and he stopped for photos. Then it was back to the Four Seasons and dinner at JG Sky High, with it’s beautiful views. Wednesday was rest and the concert.

Speaking of Wells Fargo Center- Alex Rodriguez, A Rod was in the house Saturday night. J-Lo’s ex, Yankee superstar, entrepreneur was spotted at the Wells Fargo Center as the Sixers trounced the Golden State Warriors 102 – 93!!! (Thanks to Caryn Kunkle who tagged me in this photo)

Time got away with me this week. Here are a list of parties I photographed and which media picked them up.

The Opening of The Fin – which by the way was delicious. Reasonably priced. Great atmosphere, and roomy.

Change Our Future Art & Sole – Sneaker Ball Metro Philly Philadelphia Tribune

Gallery: PHILADANCO! returns with “Fast Forward… To The Future”

Celebrating The Weitzman National Museum Of American Jewish History’s New Name

CBSPHILLY Philly Metro

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Spotted In Philly – Philly’s own Kevin Hart, Kate Flannery and RHOA Sheree Whitfield

Saturday night was more than alright, it was downright beautiful. So many folks were out enjoying our wonderful City. I took this shot at 9PM at Broad & Chestnut Streets. Just a random stop at a traffic light, but every block beforehand was just as jumping with folks happy to be out and about.

Last week I covered WMMR’s Preston & Steve’s Camp Out for Hunger, dream come true to cover it wall to wall. It was fun to see how it all operates. Check out their website for photos

I met Meredith from The Office. I tried not to fan out too much. Watching The Office during the pandemic really helped me get through it. I didn’t watch the original run, but I had seen it once before a few years back. To my thrill the actress Kate Flannery is now following me on Twitter. Hi to my Twitter followers. I met a few at Camp Out For Hunger, they don’t follow me on Instagram, just Twitter. I have to do better over there, I tend to focus on Instagram mostly. BTW Dionne Warwick follows me on Twitter too, as does Rosie and Margaret Cho. It’s quite the group.

Look who’s in town. I’m thinking he’s going to be co-hosting the Will Smith book launch event tonight at The Met, the duo are working on a remake of Trains, Planes and Automobiles and just maybe this would explain why Kevin Hart is in town too. Kevin was EVERYWHERE in Philly this weekend. Whereas Will Smith has kept a very low presence in Philly for the past decade, (I hear he arrived in town in the wee hours of the morning today), Kevin has made 2 movies here, and countless appearances including at his mural dedication, and visiting his Alma Mater George Washington High School on Friday. Friday night Kevin Hart stopped by Helium Comedy Club and surprised the audience. He performed after Dave Landau headlined. My friend Eda said he was hysterical. Here’s a shot of Kevin with Dave sent to me by @heliumcomedyphl Saturday night he had dinner at South. Repost from @weare_tajeva (r)

Marc Coleman, founding CEO of The Tactile Group. Who stated on his instagram “Had the opportunity with a few other tech #entrepreneurs to chat with @kevinhart4real about his #venturecapital company and the promise that is Philadelphia.”

Thanks @jpmorgan for making this happen!
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Philly is so popular with the Real Housewives franchise many stopped by, and love our eateries like @sonjatmorgan whose fav is @louielouiephl according to an interview in Philly Style Mag; People have tried to launch a Philly version without success cause the REAL $$ housewives of Philly husbands have said no!! That being said someone (anonymous) sent me a photo of Sheree Whitfield The Real Housewives of Atlanta filming @cariboucafe on Sunday. Girl I know it was nippy, but it’s fall not winter. She left in season 10 but she’s coming back in season 14 and my instagram readers are there for it!!

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Out and About in Philly; Sandler Spotted, Urkel is in Hustle… Brides, Babies and sales

Official fall is a week away, but you wouldn’t know it with this weeks weather. So get out and enjoy these last few weeks of warm weather, as the Old Farmer’s Almanac says we are in for a cold, snowy winter. I shot this at the Waterworks last week, definitely one of the best spots to catch a sunset in Philly. Bring a blanket, lay on the lawn and enjoy.

I caught up with Jaleel White, aka Urkel from Family Matters who’s in town to film scenes in Adam Sandler’s Netflik movie Hustle this week. He told me he plays an assistant gm to the basketball team. He was here last fall filming as well before it was interrupted by the pandemic and was able to take in the sites of Philadelphia. He loves our robust foodie scene in the City and as soon as he returned to film final scenes of the series, he hit up some of our best eateries. Friday night he dined with friends at Vernick Fish. Saturday night he went to Philly’s newest sushi restaurant Izakaya by Yanaga (1832 Frankford Ave with chef Kevin Yanaga aka The Sushi Whisperer in Fishtown. He headed to the kitchen to say hi to the chef, and staff. Then he watched them prepare the dumplings he was about to eat. He also enjoyed Oishi Shrimp Taco, the Toro Roll, Duck Onigiri, while enjoying cocktails “Dance of the Celestial Maiden” Sake Cape May “The Purp” “Tea Time” Cocktail. Hustle is slated to film through the end of September. Hustle stars Adam Sandler, Queen Latifah and LeBron James.

Speaking of good food, I think everyone knows I really want to learn to cook. I have been watching lots of cooking shows. I’ve partnered with The Blok folks. I can’t wait to get this cutting board, which also has a screen to watch cooking lessons, as well as a way to chitchat with family and friends to cook alongside. Are you interested, CLICK HERE

The Best Dish I had this week, was actually the Shrimp & Grits, and the Kielbasa at the new Sandpiper Coastal Bar & Grill at Hard Rock Casino in Atlantic City. Absolutely worth the trip for these dishes. I’m going to call them #destinationdishes. Mike enjoyed the Mahi Mahi Tacos, Blackened Mahi-Mahi Tacos, the Diver Scallops and especially the Monkey Bread for dessert. Atlantic City isn’t as far as it seems to enjoy good food, and a night out.

Speaking of the shore, congratulations to Derek Abes and his beautiful bride Kimberly, who were married Sunday at the Cathedral of Sts. Peter & Paul. Derek spends the summers at the shore mixing cocktails at Memories, as Jerry Blavat spins for the adoring crowd. In the off months, you can find Derek behind the bar at the Ritz-Carlton. Congrats!!

Congratulations are also in order for Mr. and Mrs Jones as the former Brittini Crabtree married the love of her life, Charles Jones on Sunday at The Farm at Eagles Ridge in Lancaster. Brittni and CJ met at Penn State University senior year and graduated in 2015. He popped the question last summer at their favorite shore spot Cape May. Brittini and Charles Jones reside in Philadelphia near her sister Tiffani Solomon – Matron of Honor. Go Eagles!!

David’s Bridal is having their annual sale on wedding dresses. Gowns for $99
First comes marriage, then comes, well not all the time.

Congratulations to Chris Sower and his wife Lori on their upcoming baby girl due in November; and baby makes 4 as she joins brother Murphy.

Celebrities in Philly

Bieber Fever. Sandler Spotted. Wedding Crashers in AC

Pandemic or not, this summer flew by. I had a great time. I’m trying to learn to slow down, I took all of August to work on that project. I saw a lot of friends. I cooked at home. I went bird watching. Then Mike and I went to the Smoky Mountains, and stopped by Charlotte to visit family. I enjoyed visiting my mom in Charlotte the last few days. She really enjoys life, at a very nice pace. I love how she will sit on her porch and read a book everyday for several hours. Then have dinner with friends, or family, or alone. Watch TV for a few hours, and then go to bed at a reasonable hour, wake up and walk for a few miles before starting her day. I couldn’t wait to get back to Philly to get out, see my friends and return to the only pace I know, frenetic.

I attempted to not post on Social Media as much, but then Ida happened. I feel an obligation to keep my readers informed. Since I wasn’t in the area I shared so many posts from the news, and drone photographers. It’s amazing how many people do drone videos, and so talented. Thanks to the readers who sent me photos as well. So sad for all the devastation. Readers have asked me how they can help with IDA’s impact. The Schuylkill Banks is looking for volunteers to help with clean up. Plus more info HERE.

Sunday afternoon Justin Bieber and Hailey Bieber dined at JG Sky High at the Four Seasons. 
Photo of Bieber at Four Seasons credit; Brooke Thompson 
Justin in the green hat, ate 2 breakfast burritos and drank coffee. On his way out fan Brooke Thompson said I love your new CD,  both Justin and Hailey thanked her.  I love the dining area at Four Seasons, I always knew it’d be a great paparazzo spot. I’ve gotten the Pistons there, and in the 2020 someone sent me a Bieber shot while he was dining there.

A few fan photos of Justin Bieber on MIA Festival stage Sunday Night. I was excited to make it back from Charlotte in time to catch the last hour of his show from my friend Phyllis Halpern’s balcony.

Adam Sandler stopped by Pietro’s Radnor (we have two in Center City – South Street and Walnut St) for dinner Friday night, and posed with the staff. He was also spotted at Steak 48 on Saturday night, not too far from where the Bieber’s ate, but no one could tell me if they interacted. Thanks to Pietro’s for sending me this photo, which also appeared on Fox 29.

Thanks to my readers, for sending me tips and photos this week including this nugget where a few celebrity performers entertained at Rob & Rayna’s wedding. Thanks to wedding planning All About Events Philly for sending me this fun story, which I was also able to get on Fox 29 this morning. Thanks so much to you all for stopping by today.

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Tobias Harris with Adam Sandler on Set of Rebounds. It’s Always Sunny Films on Location; Geno’s Re Opens

Justin Moore, general manager of Rivers Casino Philadelphia, Geno Vento and Whizzy cut the ribbon at the re opening of Geno’s Steaks at Rivers Casino

Congratulations to my buddy Geno Vento on the reopening of his Geno’s Steaks eatery at Rivers Casino, which had closed during the pandemic.

Guests started lining up early for the reopening as the first 100 folks received a free cheese steak and Geno swag.

Adam Sandler and LeBron James Hustle has hustled back into town to film the remaining scenes which weren’t completed last fall because of Covid19. Thanks to Diego Ramos for sending me two videos of the film set with Adam Sandler and Queen Latifah, who plays his wife. Filming took place on Thursday in South Philly on a very hot basketball court.

Tobias Harris was spotted in this scene, that’s Adam Sandler in the yellow shirt patting him on the back. Head to Reddit for more on the scenes filmed in South Philly.

According to IMDB the Netflik series is still titled Hustle, but sources tell me it might be renamed Rebounds. I kinda like that name better too. The show is about a sports agent looking to re start his career, or rebound back into business, get it. Plus you know it’s a basketball movie.

Friday Hustle/Rebound took over Ray’s Happy Birthday bar for a scene at the iconic South Philly spot. Also Sandler shoot a scene at the basketball court at 9th and Federal. Thanks to all my tipsters for tips, and videos. The 9th Street scene can be scene on my instagram. More chitchat on which sixers are appearing in the movie HERE

Wait It’s Always Sunny hasn’t filmed in Philly for 5 years, but it’s filmed in Ireland twice since it was last here in 2016?

More surprising news Creed III is not filming in Philly, it’s filming in Atlanta. Good news for Michael B Jordan, he’s staring and will be directing the Rocky franchise movie, but Sly doesn’t appear in this sequel, although Tessa Thompson is back as his wife. READ all About it. We’ll miss you buddy. You were fun to photograph. I am away for a week, but keep sending me those tips I really appreciate it, we all appreciate it being in the know. Stay Safe, Stay Healthy follow me on Social Media as I will be sharing my trip there. I will have two more posts this week which I prepared.

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Congrats Are In Order….Spotted Antoni and Paulina Porizkova in Philly

I think they’re Egret’s, at Ocean City Bird Rookery. (see below)

Thank you to all my readers, folks on the street, family, friends and especially Mike Toub for making my birthday so special. This year I hope to accomplish decade old bucket list items I never really attempted. One is to learn to cook, which means dinner parties, game nights, conversation and a clean house, LOL. AND knowing the names of the birds I’ve been shooting for fun the past few years. I went to my first Bird Meetup last week, and it was fun. I’ll write about it this week. Let’s see what our friends and neighbors are up to, so many well wishes to give…all photos which don’t concern me borrowed from subjects SM, if they want them removed just ask.

My Favs, Memories of Margate with Jerry Blavat and D’Angelo’s Restaurant where Sal serenaded the table with several songs.

Congratulations Brendan and Josh!! “It’s official!!! After our relationship surviving putting together many pieces of ikea furniture over the years without killing each other we decided to get married at a small gathering at our place. We never could have done this all without our families and friends! Thank you all!!! – Josh Michael

Congrats to Alex and Mike on their engagement, ironically coinciding with fellow Instagram influencer

@tusksandtails > Congrats Ashlee Favro and Josh Krantz on your engagement as well!!

Spotted in Rittenhouse Square Antoni Porowski on my birthday July 23, 2021, but surprisingly not here for me. He was attended wedding with his man Kevin Harrington.
In the meantime, my friend Nicole Michalik, aka Nik the Web Chick was on the case trying to figure out why he was in town. I mentioned to her that a reader of mine mentioned a wedding happening in Macy’s on Saturday and thought it’d be fun to shoot for PCC, (with a reception at night at the Crystal Tea Room) which I couldn’t make as I was down the shore for my family reunion. She headed there Saturday morning to sleuth it out with her bestie Joe McCollum. The dynamic duo was unable to uncover the mysterious nuptials.

Porowski’s boyfriend, Kevin Harrington, kevharrington noted on his Instagram…Harrington is from the area and it seems that a couple of his friends were married this weekend.

2 weddings, 1 weekend, 0 glasses of water before falling asleep last night so I am now a raisin @bern_fahey@sheagirl34 #philly#weddings

The Shea wedding took place last year, and on Saturday the reception was held at the place where she and her husband Alex Johnson met, the Manayunk Brewing Company.

Antoni Porowski and Kevin Harrington were in our area earlier this month spending the July 4th weekend in Sea Isle City, and last Christmas spent it with Harrington’s family in Bucks County. There they were spotted outside Bucks County Playhouse as well as shopping at Peddler’s Village.

Competing for height with the Philadelphia City Hall, a magnificent building , once the tallest structure in the world. It is still the tallest standing Masonic structure in the US. (Meaning it has no steel support beams.)
@cityofphiladelphia #phillycityhall (BTW City Hall Tours exterior tours happening now, interior tours star August 3, but the observation tower is not open yet.)

This morning I was watching everyone’s favorite news magazine show Fox 29’s Good Day, they mentioned model, Paulina Porizkova posted this shot of her standing in front of City Hall. As reported by us both a few weeks ago, Paulina, most famously lately of being left out of the will of her husbands Ric Ocasek (truly a case of beauty and the beast, the beast was a musical genius) after they separated a few years earlier, even though they remained close, and she took care of him in his last weeks of life. (BTW I have to admire the admiration of the Daily Mail, which has published at least one glowing article a week on Paulina) OK now to this latest spotting. I believe this was a photo dump, and taken a few weeks ago, even though this is one of her favorite dresses.

Photos in Philly June 11

Last night Paulina spent a beautiful night with her son and his family in LA. We’re glad Paulina loves Philly so much, and hope she will visit again soon.

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Michael Jordan Down The Shore Spotted Wearing … Shazam Films in Philly

(Sorry to my readers I was MIA for a few days, I was at the beach with friends and family, in Margate, Ventnor and Longport, then I went to a hospitality conference. More on that later this week.)
Basketball legend Michael Jordan is down the shore this week. In recent years he’s become quite the legend in sports fishing, having won million dollar tournaments, which brings him to AC this week as he’s participating in the Jimmy Johnson A.C. Championship Fishing Week July 12-17, 2021. Winner gets a ring as well. His boat, the 8o foot Viking Catch 23 is parked at the Golden Nugget marina. (Sean Brace)

He’s staying at the Borgata. No word on if he’s tried the new restaurant the American Bar & Grille, it’s delicious!! BTW he puts his money where is mouth is, he was spotted by wearing Air Jordan 1 Low x Travis Scott (Thanks for tagging me @afeldz)

Thanks to my reader who sent me the video. Ironically I had just met him at a Scott O’Neil book signing at Fitler Club a few weeks ago, and he introduced himself. He didn’t even post it himself. So grateful I got to share it with everyone. Wow word really got out in the small town of Margate, the Wawa was bike free for about an hour. How about Jordan accepting a cigar from a fan, that was trusting. What’s happening with Margate, first Joel Embiid spends June there with his fiance and baby, now Jordan. It is the hot spot. Glad to see Jordan could snag a reservation at the popular Steve & Cookie’s, it’s fairly booked up for the summer. Wonder if he had the ugly tomato salad? Now who’s going to get me a photo or video of Tom Brady, rumor has it he’s fishing in this tournament too. (Speaking of Wawa, an anonymous reader told me George Conway [Kellyanne’s husband} was spotted at Club Wa over the weekend, Club Wa I hear is the nickname parents gave the Wawa on Washington Ave in Margate, where all their kids hang out.)

Updated, someone sent me a photo of his plane. How cool is this…
Boston Market Can Cater Your Next Event or Picnic

Philly Wood still going strong. Last week I mentioned Shazam was in town looking for extras for a few scenes they were filming for the sequel. The movie is set in Philly, but strangely films in Toronto. I caught them the last time they filmed in town for the original HERE. Anyway. thanks to a reader who tipped me off to a low flying helicopter near Columbus Park in South Philly.

I was on East Passyunk in my car wondering where I should grab dinner when I got her text. I had seen the low flying helicopter my self so when she text and thought there was some kinda news happening , it wasn’t that far for me to go check out myself. She was right, it was newsworthy. It was movie news. Lucky for me I ran into a few readers who filled me in that they had gotten notices that Shazam would be filming in the park that day.

I was going to go back at night for the filming, but caught the same helicopter filming exteriors on the Parkway. No word on whether they were filming on the Art Museum Steps, there was a storm brewing. Guess these folds were on a tight schedule cause they filmed despite the electrical storm nearby.

Surprised to see Fox & The Hound close. They made it all the way through the pandemic. I just stopped in about a month ago to grab a burger and they were open. Thanks to Mike Saks who tipped me off to this on Sunday (he’s great, he’s getting ready for the Broad Street Run and gets all the scoops as he trains), but I was away. PHL Business Journal mentioned that the restaurant is no longer listed at a location on the parent companies website. I think it’s time we get a Chickie & Pete’s in town!! Have a great day, thanks again to all my readers for the tips, you make Philly Chit Chat fun. Thanks also for allowing me to pass them on to Fox29 and CBSPhilly…. July is my 10th Anniversary with Fox29!!

SUBSCRIBE to PhillyChitChat HERE and get an email every time I do a blog post. The info goes right into your device, no need to click on a link. Thanks so much!!

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ToDo: Love Your Park, Galas, Restaurant Weeks, Ben Simmons New Gal Pal

Hello PhillyChitChat readers. Sorry for the double post, but Philly is opening quickly. People are vaccinated, #vaxandrelaxed and they are eager to get out. I am being booked several times a week, which makes me so happy, and my Covid19 depression is in the rear view mirror. Also want to remind you if you are subscribed to PhillyChitChat before 2014, and receive the email around noon or 3PM, can you re subscribe at the top of the page on the left. Seems Feedburner is going away July 1. OK Let’s see what’s on the calendar of events.

Sixers standout Ben Simmons was spotted leaving Steak 48 last week by Will Helms (that dude gets so many sports snaps). Ben was celebrating the Sixers win last Wednesday with family, and his new lady love British Model Maya Jama. The two have even been spotted at a Target near Simmons house in South Jersey. He’s a regular guy, his last model squeeze Kendall Jenner got dates at Best Buy, where they bought a vacuum cleaner, Williams-Sonoma where they bought a few pots and pans and dining at Double Knot, Top Golf and the Cherry Hill Mall. Wanting to impress Maya he skipped Gran Luxe Cafe, where Bendall was spotted a few years back, and went to the very hot and happening Steak 48, where they are booked solid for weeks. I was able to get in last week and it was as always, delicious. (Ben Simmons Maya)

TODAY AT BOSTON MARKET
Family Meal offer

#May4thbewithyou 50 percent off dinner for 3 @bostonmarket today. Here’s the coupon.

Advertise WIth Us

Chit Chat and Chew during the Upcoming Restaurant Weeks in our Area

May 17-28, 2021* $20 Lunch & $35 Dinner
Enjoy special three-course meals at participating restaurants. Explore options for dine-in, delivery, or takeout today!
*Not all restaurants are serving lunch, and not all restaurants are participating on the weekend. MORE INFO HERE>

May 6 – 16th: Ardmore Restaurant Week returns after a year off with 10 days of fixed-price lunches and dinners at new and familiar spots. Delice et Chocolat, Buena Vista Mexican, Hunan, Jack McShea’s, Marokko, Tired Hands Fermentaria and others are back with $20, $25 and $30 meal deals,

The GreaterPhiladelphia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (GPHCC) proudly announces the return of Dine Latino Restaurant Week, taking place from May 5, 2021 (Cinco de Mayo) through May 9, 2021. Fueling the region’s food-lovers’ sense of adventure as they discover or rediscover Latino cuisine, the five-day culinary event will offer patrons one (1) complimentary appetizer or dessert with the purchase of two (2) dinner entrees.

Our friends at Chestnut Hill Business District will launch a new monthly series, Second Saturdays this Saturday May 8, highlighting Chestnut Hill’s vibrant arts scene. Each month, the event will allow the arts to come alive on splendid, tree-lined streets along the 7600 to 8600 blocks of Germantown Avenue. Additional Second Saturdays will be held from 2 to 6 p.m. on June 12, July 10, August 14, September 11, October 9, and November 13; rain dates will fall on the following Saturday. With live music, retail and restaurant specials, and family-friendly activities, Second Saturdays offer art enthusiasts, collectors, and casual spectators plenty of reasons to visit Chestnut Hill.

Another event happening on May 8, Philadelphia’s annual Love Your Park Week kicks off. This year’s Love Your Park Week features a mix of volunteer service opportunities and celebration of Philadelphia parks, both in-person and virtual. Love Your Park Week runs citywide May 8-16, 2021. All cleanup events will be capped at 25 total participants and will follow COVID-19 health protocols per Philadelphia’s Department of Public Health. All participants are required to wear masks.

Love Your Park Scavenger Hunt: For the first time ever, discover the fascinating facts and stories behind Philadelphia’s neighborhood parks by participating in a free Love Your Park Scavenger Hunt, launching May 8 and running until May 31. Scavenger hunters can participate by downloading the free GooseChase app to their smartphone and completing each mission at their own pace in various parks across the city (search for “Love Your Park Scavenger Hunt”). Participants who complete all missions during Love Your Park Week will receive prizes, including a Fairmount Park Conservancy membership and merchandise. Learn more at myphillypark.org/lyp-scavengerhunt.

For a full list of events, go to loveyourpark.org.

GALAS GALORE – Party In A Box for a Good Cause

Help BalletX Virtual Premier Party is Thursday May 6, honoring Heather Watts and Jane G. Pepper. It’s free, but there is a suggested donation. Each level brings value as well as swag for you. Click here for Info. Support local dancers, and Ballet X!! It’s fun and makes you feel so good.

SAVE THE DATE for this event which helps those in need dress for success on their way to a promising future:
Celebrate a year in boxes and the success of our clients at The Wardrobe’s Virtual Interactive Party Wednesday, June 9. This year, you won’t just be watching a show, but coming to a VIP Event where our guests of honor – our clients – take center stage.  Our goal is to raise $40,000 to launch our new Wardrobe Box Program throughout the region. 

The party comes to you in an immersive event where you can choose your experience. Tickets start at $50 to view the program and higher levels give you the opportunity to toast with hors d’oeuvres delivered to your door, virtually network with fellow attendees, and even host your own VIP room. But your tickets today!

I’m going to miss this Saxby’s location at 18th and Chestnut Streets

Philly Chit Chat is available to shoot your parties, events, ribbon cuttings etc. Your photos will appear on my blog where I have over 41ks subscribers. I will also pitch your photos to various media outlets where I have agreements and they could be picked up by main stream media as well. INFO

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News: Good Bye Drew Smith, Kristen Rodgers, Congrats Alondra Anaya

Hot Off The Presses

Hope you had a beautiful weekend. So much happening in town, people are emerging from their year long pandemic pods, most fully vaccinated.

Philly Chit Chat is getting hired to shoot parties again, and placing them in the media, it’s what we do!! See About for more info. OK let’s check out HughE Around Town…

On the verge of opening is Lamberti Pizza & Market at 7th and Chestnut. Good news I hear Stephen Starr’s Jones across the street is planning to open, as Jones, not as one of the concepts.

Congrats to Telemundo’s Alondra Anaya who got engaged to her beau earlier this month.

Which was perfect timing as roomie and co worker Miguel Martinez-Valle, Telemundo and NBC10 has moved in with his beau Raymond Smeriglio this passed weekend. They already have a favorite corner in their new home.

Moving On another of Miguel’s co-worker, Drew Smith, NBC10. He’s moving back home to Boston, as his partner Fede finishes up his medical degree. I’ll miss them so much, but am so happy for them both and the great love they share.

Another fond farewell to Kristen Rodgers, Fox29’s sports anchor since 2017, she recently left to join her love in Hawaii. You can’t fault anyone for following their heart. So happy for my friends, congrats to all of them. Staying….

Happy Birthday to Fox 29’s Alex Holley. What a joy to call her my friend. She is exactly who you see on TV, warm, friendly, kind, generous , talented and funny!! Love you Alex Holley, Philly is lucky to have you.

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HughE Around Town: Banana Republic Exits CC Location, What’s Next; Wedding Reveal; Wanda Sykes Spotted

I kinda had dinner with @iamwandasykes Wanda Sykes and Alex Sykes @iamalexsykes @spicefinchphilly on Friday night.
At first I wasn’t going to sneak a photo as Alex Sykes and I follow each other on Instagram and it’s kinda like breaking the “4th wall knowing each other”, but like that snake parable story, I stayed true to my “paparazzo” self and grabbed a sneak shot.
After I finished dinner, I did say a quick hi to them both before I left, and I didn’t ask for a photo. Just a quick hey, it’s me, and it’s you and I love your Instagram posts. I totally told them about my trip to Florida, as they just got back as well. They asked how mom was doing. Hey mom!!
TONIGHT: Wanda is participating in ABC’s “Roll Up Your Sleeves” on Sunday, April 18 at 7PM. Thanks Wanda!! You all must follow their Instagram, they are so loving, and so hysterical. During dinner they ate across from each other, but when they had dessert they sat next to each other, which is when I got this shot from where I was sitting at the bar.
Hey bud!! Spring has sprung, the blooming trees have blanketed the landscape and people are emerging from their hibernation, safely with their masks on. So much happening around town as well and I’m excited to share it with you. Then get out and enjoy the beautiful day and each other.

The big story this week is the Banana Republic at 1401 Walnut Street is closing on June 9th, and the big going out of business sale. After I posted this on Social Media a few readers found out that the landlord decided not to renew the long time clothing store, could it have something to do with their parent company GAP not paying rent in 2020 at many of their Simon Mall locations around the country, which they settled with undisclosed details a few months later. But this location is not a mall, and it is not connected to Simon.

Thanks so much to Jay Farrell who left a message on my FB page with the updated info about the property.
The Zoning Permit. Looks like a bank could take over half the space, and a clothing store takes the otherside.

The Good News: The Banana Republic Factory Store (discount) remains open 1911 Chestnut St. and since the retailer was pushed out of the space, I wouldn’t be surprised if Banana Republic doesn’t resurface somewhere on Walnut St.

Another Story I posted earlier this week on my Instagram
Yeah finally announced!!! @federaldonuts is opening on the Parkway. As you know I got a tour in February of the new Pearl Properties apartment building The Terrace on 18th Street, and was filled in on this tidbit as well as more to come. (The fast-casual doughnut shop will occupy 1,500+ square feet on the ground floor of The Terrace. The Terrace location will have the most seating of any Federal Donuts location, including an expansive raised outdoor patio)
Pearl Properties and Federal Donuts are excited to announce that a brand-new location for Federal Donuts is coming to The Terrace on 18th at 1776 Benjamin Franklin Parkway. Philadelphia’s iconic donut and fried chicken specialists will open their tenth location at the newest residence on Parkway.

Bummer Fairmounters Fine Wines is closing on Fairmount Avenue, and unfortunately you have to head about a 1/2 mile south to get your spirits at the new Fine Wines store at The Granary (1901 Callowhill St,) near the Target store. Neighbors on Next Door are hoping the post office next door will expand, or maybe they’ll take down the ugly building and build a more attractive one with retail. One could only hope.

Like spotting an unicorn, I saw a bride reveal her dress to her groom on Saturday at Fairmount Park. It was magical, people in the park were as excited as I was. PS Some of you folk who subscribe to PhillyChitChat and receive this post in your email will have to click on the Instagram link to see the video. The rest of you should be able to just hit play (BTW you later folks, could you subscribe to the blog in the upper left hand corner. Turns out the Feed burner subscription I used over a decade ago is about to be non existent. I could transfer the 15ks of your emails to the new subscription by hand, or you could just re subscribe which would be so much easier. Remember to verify your email after plugging it in to the subscription box. Thanks!!

The photographer (on left) Allie Wynands, tells me that yesterday was just a small service for an intimate group of guests, which took place at the Gazebo. Photos were taken, and a legal marriage took place. BUT the big wedding, with many more guests and celebration will be taking place next year in April, after the Covid19 pandemic is over, down the shore. Check out Allie’s Instagram page tomorrow for more photos from today’s ceremony.

Charity Speaking:
The Andalusia Foundation’s Virtual Wine Auction fundraising event, which is set to begin tonight at 6 p.m. and closes on Saturday, April 24 at 10 p.m. This silent auction features some incredibly rare and extraordinary wine lots, wine-related items and a special dinner or lunch at Andalusia’s Cottage. Anyone interested in participating can do so from any location thanks to the auction’s virtual format this year!

To preview the auction lots and participate in the online, visit:

WineAuction2021.givesmart.com or text WineAuction2021 to 76278

All proceeds benefit The Andalusia Foundation’s mission to preserve, maintain and interpret this National Historic Landmark for the public to enjoy today and for generations to come. They have beautiful gardens, and great bird watching.

During a virtual membership meeting and ceremony, The Saturday Club, one of the oldest women’s non-profit organizations in both Pennsylvania and nationwide, awarded grant funding to three local organizations with aligned missions. Annual philanthropy grants were presented to Cradle of HopeFamilies Forward Philadelphia and Mission Kids Child Advocacy Center. The funds, which were raised by the club through virtual and in-person community fundraisers throughout 2020 and 2021, will be used to establish and enhance programs while providing key assistance to each organization. 

Save The Date:
The Philadelphia Film Society Presents

FEATURING A POST-SCREENING Q&A WITH MATTHEW MCCONAUGHEY, PARKER POSEY & RICHARD LINKLATER
Stars Matthew McConaughey and Parker Posey will join Linklater and host Jack Black – recorded via Zoom – for a look back at a film that captured the look and the sounds of an entire generation.

DAZED AND CONFUSED + VIRTUAL CAST REUNION
RICHARD LINKLATER | USA | 1993 | 103 MIN | R
April 20 | 8:15 PM | PFS Drive-In at the Navy Yard TICKETS

8TH ANNUAL OSCARS PARTY & SCREENING
Sunday, April 25, 2021
At Cira Green | Philadelphia’s Park in the Sky | 129 South 30th Street

VIP Ticket with 6:30 PM VIP Reception | $200 (PFS Members $175)
General Admission with 7:00 PM Entry | $60 (PFS Members $50)
VIP Virtual Red-Carpet Party, Oscars Trivia Contest, & Gourmet Oscars Watch Box, 7:00 PM | $150 Donation
GA Virtual Red-Carpet Party & Oscars Trivia Contest, 7:00 PM |  $50 Donation
All proceeds from this annual fundraiser support the Philadelphia Film Society’s mission of creating opportunities for diverse communities to experience film through initiatives that inspire, educate, challenge and entertain.

HBO Photos

Speaking of films, the Kate Winslet HBO series filmed in our area last year debuts tonight Mare of Easttown. I was able to stay on top of the filming, but didn’t make it out to the set but about 2 times because of time constraints, as well as locations inside homes, and the studio. Where were the Mare of Easttown filming locations >> mostly in parts of Chester and Delaware counties, in towns including Coatesville, Marcus Hook and Downingtown. But they also filmed at Girard College in Fairmount, as well as Wissahickon Valley Park.

The 800 block of North 2100 Street is blooming right now. ChitChat with you tomorrow. I love doing these around town with Hughe posts. I know I always say I plan to do more, but I definitely will. I’m scouring your SM, reading press releases and will be filling you in here. Fill free to send me info as well and I will try and mention it here.
Thanks for your support, and thanks for saying hi when we’re out and about.

Remember if you receive an email where you have to click on a link to get to the blog, re subscribe at the top left with your email as the other service ends in July. Thanks HughE