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Rittenhouse Square

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This & That: Closed in Rittenhouse Square: 1 Saxbys, 1 Diner, a shoe store and …

Be Patient, Be Kind, Be Safe. We’ll come back strong.

Join nearly 40ks others and follow my blog, subscribe upper left hand corner. It’ll go directly to your email every time I publish. Yesterday I took one of my walks around town which I often have done before Covid19 to see how things have changed. These days it can be heartbreaking as Covid19 has stolen so much from us. I did see parts of the City slowly coming back to life, mostly in the business district on Market Street with people in skirts and suits and ties making their way in the blistering heat. Then I walked over to the shopping district on Chestnut and Walnut Streets and was overwhelmed with sadness, but hope. I’ve walked these streets the past few weeks, and although many are still boarded up, several are no longer boarded, and some are open and waiting for you.

Many restaurants were busy in Rittenhouse Row like Parc, Rouge, Devon, Joe’s Pizza, Pietro’s, a.kitchen, Tria.

An eatery I was so surprised closed was Saxbys 20th and Walnut location, the original Saxbys coffee shop. This was I believe their first location. I spent many of years there when I first started doing PhillyChitChat as a business. I wrote them and this is what they said:
For 10 years our Saxbys at 20th & Walnut served the Rittenhouse community under our mission to Make Life Better.  Unfortunately, as our lease reached its expiration date we were unable to come to a mutually beneficial agreement on renewal terms for a new lease leading to our decision to not reopen our Saxbys Rittenhouse cafe.  

The sign on the 18th & Chestnut St door says ‘ we’re closed we miss you already.”

We’re so grateful for the neighbors and relationships we met and nurtured at 20th & Walnut – it’s not goodbye, but see you around –  any Saxbys guest can still visit one of our 4 Saxbys within a ½ mile from our Rittenhouse location when we reopen our other cafes. 

Sadly the pandemic has closed the just opened Chestnut Diner at 1614 Chestnut St., next to Dig (the healthy eatery) and Uniqlo (the clothing store which is open). Most people didn’t even know it was there, and for the few who did the reviews weren’t always stellar.

On Walnut Street: Lucky Brand at 1634 Walnut Street has closed as has nearby Cole Haan shoes at 1600 Walnut Street. (I wish the landlords of the closed business’ would remove the boards as the stores are empty. If they’re windowless I’m sure you have insurance to get them fix.)

But brisk business was happening nearby on Rittenhouse Row as Gap, Urban Outfitters, Free People, Vince, Rag & Bone, Govberg Jewelers and Theory were open for business and with air conditioning on full blast. I wanted to linger by Urban Outfitters as they had their doors open.

Stuart Weitzman, 1711 Walnut currently closed (getting mixed answers on this but you can see his blue awning in this shot in the center) but definitely closed is the shoe stores Dr. Martens , and Vans across the street as is nearby clothing store Intermix (they tried hard to stay open they told me). Good news, Bluemercury 1707 Walnut Street (above) opened as soon as it could and has had steady business as has clothing store Scotch & Soda a few doors down. Don’t let the boards scare you, behind them were stores which closed before the Pandemic: Timberland, Zaras, and Talbot’s.

Open on Chestnut Street is the men’s shoe store Blue Sole Shoes, at 1805 Chestnut, Shops of Liberty Place 17th and Chestnut (the Observation Tower is open as well), and a few blocks away Macy’s across from City Hall.

Hats in the Belfry is open but it looks like they’re having a store closing sale at 1824 Chestnut Street .

Next to Hats is Boyd’s and across the street is Joan Shepp’s, both are closed but I hear will open with fall fashion season merchandise by September.

Finally, the Apple Store is open on Walnut Street, but by appointment only. I like how they have a fan by the door keeping the customers cool while they wait. I tried to get a shot of the inside, it was packed. So make that appointment as it’s the hottest store in town. Sorry for the bad news, but I do want you to see that there are stores open, even though we have lost a few friends. See you on Social Media where I post daily two or three times a day. Monday I photographed folks in Center City enduring the heat for CBSPhilly.

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What did Philly Do on VDay, including Kate Winslet

Happy Valentine’s Day Weekend. More than ever this year my timeline was filled with happy celebrations of our friends and neighbors celebrated the holiday, with friends, their significant others and family. Let’s check some folks out.

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Happy Valentine’s Day❣️

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Seriously the cutest baby in Philly. Azuri Elizabeth has grown accustom to her moms weekly, nearly daily photo shoots. Azuri’s name is a combination of her grandfather on dad’s sides name, and grandmother on mom’s side name. Follow along to see her grow into the beautiful women her mom is. azuri.elizabeth

Congrats!!

Emily and Matt enjoyed a romantic dinner at Parc last night, and just a few tables away was Kate Winslet, her hubby Ed and their two kids enjoying Valentine’s Day at Parc restaurant.

After the first tip came in I started doing a search to see if I could find more info, and or photos. I found the above and I LOL, and shared it with my readers. This is a national site and I love how they featured our Parc on it.

Creeping to see if I see Kate Winslet and family in the background of these photos. What did they eat I wonder, they’re all vegetarians, and Ed Smith, her husband is a Vegan.

Years ago their was a poster of Philly doors. I never tire of seeing them.

Lovely idea

While dining at McGillin’s yesterday a newly married couple came in to have their photos taken with the owners, seems they met there. They declined to be interviewed, but they were smitten and very happy. Check out a fun article at the Inky about the match making skills at the famed ale house.

We stayed in and enjoyed our traditional seafood dinner and chocolate covered pretzels. (I didn’t partake as I had dined earlier with a BFF), watched movies and was asleep by 11pm. Ahhh bliss after 25 years!! Hope you all had a fantastic VDay, and continue with a great weekend.

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Ball on the Square 2019 The Glitz and Glamour of it All

June and July went by so quickly, and I never had a chance to write about the Ball on the Square on ChitChat. It’s a fun event, a wonderful mission and a beautiful atmosphere. Let’s take a look…

Co-chairs Hilarie Morgan, and Noele Wein with Friends of Rittenhouse President Bart Blatstein . The theme of this years Friends of Rittenhouse Ball was inspired by Truman Capote’s fame Black & White Ball where anybody who was anyone was invited to his gala at the Plaza Hotel. But Hilarie and Noele opened the Ball on the Square to whomever was willing to buy a ticket to Rittenhouse Square’s biggest fundraiser. This year’s proceeds will be going to fix the uneven sidewalks which surround the square.
Every year the event attracts locals who watch the parade of fashions. This trio always has a delicious spread and crafty cocktails.

Thanks to Event Partners – Cuisine by Constellation
Decor by Evantine Design;
Music by the Eddie Bruce Orchestra and
Public Relations by Cashman & Associates.

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Celebs in Philly: Queer Eye, Sally Field, Meek Mill, James McAvoy Married? and Jeffree Star

Philly Wood is in high gear between Queer Eye and Dispatches from Elsewhere filming around town. Let’s get started with Philly Gossip here on chitchat every Sunday. Thanks to all my readers for the tips and photos you sent. Some with credit, others want to be anonymous but are just fans who want to support the fun in Philly. I really appreciate it.

Dispatches from Elsewhere filmed through the night in Rittenhouse Square on Friday. There must have been a hundred extras, and they also recruited a few who were hanging out in the square that evening. There was a sign at all entrances to the center of the square which said you may be in the TV series if you are anywhere in the square that evening as they had a camera on a boom doing sweeps. Check out photos from the shoot here with Sally Field, Andre 3000, and Eve Lindley here, FIND OUT WHERE the TV SHOW is based, plus photos from Friday Night’s Shoot >>> Philly Voice Monday and share some never before insider chit chat. I’ll put a link here when it goes live.

Before heading over to Rittenhouse Square to film on Friday, Dispatches filmed a scene in Elixir Coffee Rittenhouse 207 S Sydenham St, with Jason Segal. He had a long day, as the film wrapped at 430am on Saturday. Remember to follow me on Instagram, where I often video scenes of the movie shoot in real time in the Insta Stories. PhillyChitChat

BTW look who stopped by the set on Friday night, James McAvoy (Split, Glass) and Lisa Liberati (James met Lisa when he filmed the movie Split here in Philly, and they’ve been together ever since.) to visit a few of their friends in the film industry. They later headed across the street to enjoy dinner at Parc. Later in the evening James met his idol Sally Field, where he stated I don’t believe you should ever meet your idols, but in this case I did and it wasn’t a disappointment. I don’t want to start a rumor but is that a wedding band on Lisa’s finger?

Photo: Anonymous

Friday Queer Eye Fab Five were spotted filming all day at The Walnut Street Cafe in the FMC/AKA building in University City.

Makeup mogul, Morphe Cosmetics, is celebrating its grand opening at King of Prussia Mall on Saturday, July 27. Special guest and makeup connoisseur Jeffree Star will greet fans and hand out numerous prizes and giveaways beginning at noon. (Photo from Jeffree Star Insta)
Jefree drew quite a crowd, it was almost like his 13.5 million followers on instagram showed up.
Photo Credit: @missjag23 @dariel215_ 
@snipes_usa + @meekmill presented Philly Love Concert at NOTO last night ! This was the first concert since Meek Mill Inked Dream Chasers Label Partnership With Roc Nation. He brought his son Papi up on stage and he performed his own short rap.
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@snipes x @meekmill #PhillyLove Concert.

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Celebrities in Philly. James McAvoy stops by the Dispatches From Elsewhere film set. His longtime girlfriend Lisa is wearing a wedding band.
Today before heading over to the East Passyunk Car Show and Festival stop by the Open House: Public: Sun Jul 28, 1:00PM-3:00PM
730 Fitzwater St
Philadelphia, PA 19147
Residential
3Beds 4Baths 2,500SqFt
Designer Inspired and completely rebuilt with impeccable mindfulness to craftsmanship, this 3-story
Maria Quattrone
RE/MAX @ HOME – Philadelphia
Office Ph: (215) 607-3535
Ph: (215) 607-3535
Philadelphia

Snow Day Rittenhouse Square – Plus Views from a Apartments on the Snowy Square

Tuesday was Philadelphia’s first snow day. As an added bonus the Christmas tree’s around town were still up so I headed out the door to capture a few of my favorite sites.

 These two lovely people were visiting from Australia. They were spending 3 days in Philly, then were headed for 3 additional days in NYC for sightseeing.
 Then I headed for Rittenhouse Square. Every time it snows I hit up the square, it’s definitely one of my favorite spots. This year the tree was the talk of the town. It wasn’t quite the same robust tree as it had been in year’s gone by.
 But it was still as pretty, and the residents still shared their love with the tree adorning it with homemade ornaments, and tinsel. The tree was in all it’s glory yesterday when I took these shots. I think it was one of the prettiest trees ever.

 I called Arielle at Allan Domb Real Estate (he advertises with me)  and asked if they had any apartments on the Square, cause who doesn’t want to see the Square from above.  I do. First we went over to the Wellington.
 The Wellington
Rittenhouse Square
|
135 S 19th St
WOW an amazing apartment. It’s everything you’d want in a home on the square.
 Unit 1409 – 12 | Three bedroom plus den, four and a half bath Price: $ 7 , 7 5 0 / mo. Square Footage: 2,872
and look at this view. Gorgeous.
Check out this apartment with more photos and info.
 
I checked out another apartment, it was facing north and had this fabulous view. 
 2 bedroom/2 baths. This is a view from one of the bedrooms.
 The 2nd bedroom faces 1845 Walnut, and also has a view of the Square.
The Wellington (facing north)
Check out this apartment with more photos and info.

 with an amazing view of the square looking Northwest.
I love the parquet floors and spacious rooms. It captured the old world charm that I imagined apartments on the Square would have.


OK this is exactly the kind of photo I imagine of always taking of the square at dusk, on a snowy day with the holiday lights a glow. #BucketList

The kitchen has white wood cabinetry, some with glass fronts, and all
getting brand new chrome hardware; a brand new stainless steel
refrigerator/freezer, range and dishwasher will be installed; and an
adjoining butler’s pantry

• The master bedroom, overlooking Rittenhouse Square, has a walk-in
closet and bathroom that is getting a brand new vanity, medicine cabinet
and lighting
• The second bedroom, also overlooking Rittenhouse Square, has beautiful custom built-ins
Check it out with more photos: http://bit.ly/14sDuWV
Selfie Stick
OK and now I’m about over this winter. Bring on Summer.
Philadelphia

#FREE #Freebies Ben & Jerry’s Opened Today in Rittenhouse Square. Next Week They Celebrate with Free Cone Days

Seems Ben & Jerry’s opened a store in Rittenhouse today at 11 AM on Friday, September 12. Next week they celebrate with #FREEBIES

1726 Sansom Street
FREEBIES:  
Ben
& Jerry’s will host three days of free cone days-Monday, September
15-Wednesday, September 17, daily from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
and
5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Donations will be taken to benefit The
Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and The Buerger Center for Advanced
Pediatric Care.
NEW ITEMS:
Handmade
Core Sundaes featuring a core of hot fudge or caramel between your two
favorite flavors will be available in the Ben & Jerry’s Scoop
Shop.
The Cores are the first full line of Ben & Jerry’s innovations to
be 100% Fairtrade certified and made with Non-GMO-sourced ingredients.
                       
ABOUT:      
Ben
& Jerry’s produces a wide variety of super-premium ice cream and
ice cream novelties, using high-quality ingredients including milk and
cream
from family farmers who do not treat their cows with the synthetic
hormone rBGH. 
Philadelphia

COLIN FARRELL in PHILLY – ORANGE YOU LOVELY

Stop by Teuschers Chocolates in the Bellevue Shops Lobby for you Easter and Passover Candy Today. Cute chick & rabbit boxes. Just sayin’

What a great week. I think I had a column on PhillyMag.com everyday, but today. My “The Party Never Stops” page debuted in Philly Mag. I went to a lot of fun events, and I even remembered a few of your names. Best of all the TULIPS have popped out. Colin Farrell sightings…

I was going to post a bunch of pixs of Philadelphian’s that were at the Virgin American party last night, as I posted “celebrities” that don’t normally grace these pages in my PhillyMag Column HERE (Seth Green, Amber Rose, Zoe Kravitz & Penn Badgley), but then I thought nah let me do something fresh. I was on my way to the Bows & Brews event at the Ethical Society, as I passed the park the sights and sounds drew me in. I thought wow there’s a lot of orange around. Why don’t I see what I can shoot and use orange as a theme. So the following pixs of orange somewhere in the shot.

She’s in red, but the bike behind her is orange, I think? This is also what you call shooting from the hip. I’m not always brave like my buddy Big Rube who will “hose you down” (paparazzi phrase) whether you know it or not. I really like the shots where you don’t know I’m taking you, candid.
I guess Rittenhouse Square wants to keep peeps off of the grass. Not sure if it’s working.
It was a little colder today than yesterday.
OK this may be red, but isn’t that orange in over there by Parc?
George Perrier is spending a lot of time at the Rittenhouse Row eateries, and people are paying their respects as they should. He looks relaxed at Rouge.
 What’s going on at Parc? Colin Farrell didn’t eat here.
At Devon Big Rube is shooting a subject in the street. That’s Melanie Martin. I haven’t seen her in a bit. She’s been seeing John Westrum for about 2 years. 
I like how someone put their hat on the statue. Victoria Secret Bag pink & orange
I wish people would walk their bikes through the park. About a decade ago they would give you a ticket for riding your bike through the park. I long for those days. 
I finally made it to 2nd Annual Brews & Bowties Event which benefits the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society – Philadelphia Chapter. I will write more about it next week. 
Francesco Storniok and Anh Phan
Ok that is questionable orange, probably more like pink, but I did like the shoes. What do you think of this subject so far? Or are you a Colin Farrell fan and you just want to jump to that info. It’s at the very bottom. 
Then I had dinner at Davio’s which I will write about next week. When leaving I remembered that RAW Artists was at G Lounge, which is the basement floor of Davio’s. My friend Erin Como hosts it, with producer Fred Calalang. (Erin’s with boyfriend Danny Schuyler. Those two are just about to leave town for their next adventure. Erin got a TV gig out of state and will be leaving at the end of this month. So happy, yet devastated at the same time. Erin is by far one of the nicest peeps in Philly.)
Gallery ML to free body painting from its general perception as an over-sexualized fringe art and bring it into the realm of respected fine art. Tonight is First Friday and they are having an exhibit.
Nix Herrera, Face off season 2, Jem, Lawren Alice Curator – Gallery ML and Natasha Kudashkina, Artist
RAW Artist is held the First Thursday of every month. It’s musicians, artist, jewelers, fashion designers showcasing their work. I think it’s $10 to get in. If you’re a budding artist you should apply to show you stuff there.  There’s also smaller events held at Valanni’s every Monday.

Colin Farrell spotted in Rittenhouse Square area
Colin Farrell is in town to film Dead Man Down with actress Noomi Rapace. There were sightings all over town on Thursday as I hear he is looking for a house to rent for the nearly two months he will be filming here. In the evening he was spotted walking through Rittenhouse Square, and then later at The Sporting Club at the Bellevue. (Guess I’ll start working out more.) It’s not a surprise because that’s where Bradley Cooper and Renee Zellweger worked out when they were in town. As I was leaving G Lounge someone gave me a tip that he was eating at a.kitchen. (hmm that is really blurry, but he’s the guy with the hand over his face [on blurry left]. I so had the wrong camera with me. ) Originally he was sitting in the window, but when I got on the scene there were two other snappers there and he moved his seat to the bar to eat, bummer for me. With no chance of knowing when he was going to leave, and the midnight hour approaching I left.  Tune into Fox 29 Good Day Philly to hear about a few more sightings of celebs around town.  Also did you see my star power column in Philly Mag Online Yesterday?
Happy Easter and Passover. Thanks to my Sponsors.  Please support them. How much fun was Let Them Eat Cake, just too much.