Celebrating the Holidays at The Shops at Liberty Place

Celebrating the Holidays at The Shops at Liberty Place

“City sidewalks, busy sidewalks, dressed in holiday style”  The shop windows are decorated, snowflakes are hung from the lamp posts, sidewalks are dressed in holiday style as shoppers delight in sparkling Christmas Trees. One of my favorites is located at
the Shops at Liberty Place.
Last week they held an invite holiday cocktail party to celebrate the holidays. House of Claus: A holiday soirée brought together business leaders, guests in hospitality and influencers in Philadelphia.

Maeve Joyce and Jennifer Gross Kruger of Ocean Prime

The holiday party offered guests festive-inspired food from top area restaurants including Ocean Prime, Square 1682, Davio’s Northern Italian Steakhouse and others, beverages from Grace Winery and Bluebird Distilling, live music from Exit 22 jazz quartet (Ampersand & Productions),

live modeling showcasing the season’s hottest looks, and additional seasonal merriment to celebrate the 2017 holiday season — all bathed in sparkling special-effect lighting.
JoAnn Bogart, Holiday Inn Midtown and Brende Mente, Where Philadelphia
Maggie Petrucci, The Union League of Philadelphia, Maggie Munthali, VIP concierge The Union League, Fran Nachman, concierge at the Sonesta Hotel and Mimoza Xhori, concierge at The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company

Molly Albertson, Center City District and Anthony A (LR2)
Maribeth Roman Schmidt, President Of The Board Of Directors at Variety – The Children’s Charity and Angus Murray, Chief Executive Officer at Variety

Co-sponsored by the Center City District, proceeds from the event went to Variety — the Children’s Charity.

Variety also has a gift wrapping station, for a low fee they’ll wrap your gifts. The proceeds go to the Variety,
The Children’s Charity of the Delaware Valley has continued its mission to enrich the lives of children and young adults with disabilities through social, educational, and vocational programs that nurture independence and self-confidence, and prepare them for life.Chris “DJ Swift” Anderson and Bill Zimmerman, both of Philly Bites Magazine

Jordan Parenti, and Laura Burkhardt both of Visit Philly, Joe, concierge Sheraton Hotel and James Zeleniak, Punch Media Pr

Cory Gunselman, Cushman & Wakefield, April McPhatter, Cushman & Wakefield, Leanna L and Lana Maximova
Mindy Myers, Daniel Davis, Jack Cotter all of En Route PR, Zach Santo and Brende Mendte, Where Magazine

For several days, The Shops at Liberty Place will present the Annual Holiday Choir & Orchestra Performances in the Rotunda. Stop in the Rotunda during your lunch hour to listen to amazing performances!

Performance Schedule:

December 18th at 12:00 PM – All Catholic Jazz Band (Archdiocese)

December 18th at 1:00 PM – St. Aloysius Academy

December 20th at 12:00 PM – Harriton High School Jazz Ensemble

James Zelniak, Jared Adkins, Bluebird Distilling and Emily Mormino, Bluebird Distilling
Bluebird Distilling has a tasting room at Shops at Liberty Place

The Shops at Liberty Place gave out swag bags to attendees chock full of offers from shops within the retail space that include holiday newcomers like Bella Turka (jewelry store), Never Too Spoiled (boho chic fashion and accessories), Old City’s Fezziwig’s Sweet Shoppe and Philly Socks.

Jacobs Music

Wednesday, December 13th & Thursday, December 14th
Jacobs Music will provide a self-playing piano in the Rotunda for two days of live entertainment with
beautiful sounds of Christmas music


Tinsel Christmas Bar Pops Up in Midtown Village

Tinsel is most definitely back, as festive Pop-up Bar Opens in Center City

In the past couple years Philly has become the Christmas capital of the state, with the 10th year anniversary of Christmas Village, Dilworth Park’s celebration of the holidays with it’s ice skating rink, Philly Made Shops and

the amazing Christmas Tree on the North Apron. Now a Christmas-themed bar decorated in twinkling lights has opened in Center City to the delight of everyone, a place where you can go and soak up the holiday spirit. Tinsel
Teddy Sourias (l) and Craft Concepts Group announce the grand opening of Tinsel Christmas Pop-up Bar last week at 116 S. 12th Street, Philadelphia. Midtown Village in the space formerly occupied by Simpson’s Jewelry.  Kory Aversa, Aversa PR & Events (r)

Tinsel bar consists for three rooms, the first was the original showroom for the jewelry store, and sit at the 25-foot bar on top of the former jewelry counter, Teddy and a friend traveled to Lancaster to pick up the custom wood bar top, which they plan to re use at one of their other properties. There are also 12 bar stools, some of them have Santa hats that say Naughty on them so you know exactly where to sit. The detail in the decorations are amazing, and this photo doesn’t do it justice, see the ornaments and how they had to be hung just perfect to create a festive atmosphere.

Last night was a media party and I ran into a lot of friends including Alex Holley, Fox29, who is taking up the photography hobby. Follow her on instagram to enjoy the fruits of her labor.  In the 2nd room, there’s a real Douglass Fir covered in Tinsel, which Teddy bought from his worker, who also sells Christmas trees.

In the former diamond safe is a glowing “fireplace”.
On the night I was there I asked Teddy where the Mistletoe was, he said it keeps getting stolen. He’s replaced it twice already.

The decorations of my favorite kitschy kind, and Teddy was able to buy a lot of them online as he needed envisioned what he wanted and needed to obtain them as quick as possible, as they decorated the place in the past week. Check out each ceiling tile which was gift wrapped individually.  There’s the Christmas Story‘s lamp.

The custom wood bar top, with the jewelry case full of ornaments and cute houses used in a train set.

Tinsel will serve specialty cocktails and Christmas themed beer on draft included Troegs Mad Elf, Hardywood Bourbon Gingerbread Stout and Chimay Grande Reserve. The Christmas cocktails, $8-$10, will rotate each week throughout the season. They’ll be a lite bite menu, including an array of Christmas cookies.

As a tool to encourage good behavior in children, Santa serves as the carrot, and Krampus is the stick. Krampus is the evil demon anti-Santa, or maybe his evil twin. Krampus Night is celebrated on December 5, the eve of St. Nicholas Day in Austria and other parts of Europe.

In the third room you can drop off your letters to Santa, and use the Gender Neutral Bathroom.
Tinsel will be open Tuesday through Thursday from 5:00pm to 10:00pm, Friday and Saturday 2:00pm to Midnight, and Sunday Noon to 5:00pm. Tinsel will offer happy hour specials Tuesday through Friday 5:00pm to 7:00pm with $5 select Christmas Cocktails and all drafts. Previously schedule to close around Christmas, tentatively the Tinsel will be open until the Epiphany (Three Kings’ Day) in which is January 6, 2018. You can thank me for that idea.  Christmas music and commercials can’t start early enough for me, and the holidays end too soon as well. If I had a tree I wouldn’t take it down til Valentine’s Day.

Del Friscoes

Del Friscoes

Replica Creative

Replica Creative


Snow Street Style on Saturday

Saturday was a dream day for me, snow in December while the streets are bustling with holiday shoppers.  I shot a lot of great scenes, and saw a lot of stylish people out and about. Here are a few…


City sidewalk, busy sidewalks
Dressed in holiday style.
In the air there’s
A feeling of Christmas.


$10 penguin to help you learn to skate at Rothman River Rink at Dilworth Park

Children laughing, people passing,
Meeting smile after smile,
And on every street corner you’ll hear:


Silver bells, silver bells,
It’s Christmas time in the city.
Ring-a-ling, hear them ring,
Soon it will be Christmas day.


City street lights,
Even stop lights,
Blink a bright red and green,
As the shoppers rush home
With their treasures.
I love anyone who wears Santa hat’s,

reindeer antlers in public.


or elf ears. They’re my kinda people.

Walter is ready for Winter

Snow Snow SnowHow great, the Running with the Santa’s on Saturday took place in the snow.

Check out PhillyChitChat’s Social Media for the best of the best scene shots from Saturday.


Photos: Kenny & Faatimah Gamble’s An Evening of Style & Grace

Music Impresario Kenneth Gamble and wife Faatimah Gamble, philanthropists and founders of Universal Companies hosted their 5 th annual star-studded fashion show to benefit the Universal Pearls of Wisdom, From Boys to Men character building and social etiquette programs and Universal Audenried Culinary Academy at the University Audenried Charter High School, 3301 Tasker Street, Philadelphia, PA. The Benefit kicked-off the 25 th Anniversary Celebration of Universal Companies.


(L-R) Charmaine Matlock Turner President of Urban Affairs Coalition; Kenny Gamble; Retired Councilwoman Marian B. Tasco & Faatimah Gamble

To commemorate and highlight the on-going support from the corporate community of the two key programs – Pearls of
Wisdom and From Boys to Men; the Gambles presented Charmaine Matlock-Turner, President of Urban Affairs Coalition
and Attorney Robert L. Archie, partner of Duane Morris LLP with the Universal Community Service Award. “I
personally thank Bob and Charmaine for their generous support of my wife’s programs over the years. Their generosity is
immeasurable,” stated Kenny Gamble.


Gary Shepherd; Radio Personality, Mimi Brown; Rev. Louise Williams Bishop; Kenny Gamble, Radio Host, Patty Jackson & Derek Corbett of iHeart Media

“Universal Audenried Charter High School Culinary Arts Academy – (“Rocket Catering”) is a state-of- the-art
industry kitchen where Universal scholars develop their culinary and hospitality skills, earn industry-recognized
certifications and participate in competitions. One of five Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs Universal
Audenried offers, the Culinary Arts Academy provides scholars with training, supplemental program material, and
classroom visits from industry content and technique experts. Universal Scholars are also exposed to internships,
community service events and real-world work experience opportunities to enhance their classroom learning and
preparation for post-secondary education.


Councilman At-Large Derek Green; Faatimah Gamble, Fox 29’s Good Day Anchors, Alex Holley & Mike Jerrick


Ron DavisParx Casino Executive and Diane Davis

“An Evening of Style and Grace – School Daze Edition” Fashion Show benefit was under-written by the following:
PECO; Parx Casino; AmeriHealth Caritas; Comcast; Duane Morris LLP; Greater Philadelphia Health Action, Inc; IBEW
Local Union 98; Independence Blue Cross; Temple University; Thomas Jefferson University and Jefferson Health; The
Gamble Foundation; Replica Creative; SugarHouse Casino; SUPRA and Delta-T Group, Inc.


Attorney Bernie Smalley & wife Jackie Smalley; Kenny Gamble; Marie Battle & Rudy Battle

Mike Jerrick Emceed the event, along with Alex Holley (Next up for Alex will be hosting the Hair of the Dog event January 20, 2018. Tickets on SALE NOW)

Appropriately titled, “An Evening of Style and Grace – School Days Edition”, the fashion show featured celebrity
models Sharrie Williams, News Anchor of 6 ABC; NBC 10’s News Anchor/Reporter, Rosemary Connors and
Investigative Reporter Harry Hairston; Philadelphia Tribune Features Editor, Shonda McClain; City Councilman At-
Large, Derek S. Green and Fox 29’s Good Day Anchors’ Mike Jerrick and Alex Holley, who modeled and emceed the
event along with industry leading professional models. The models donned the latest fashions of Main Line Designer,
Frank Agostino along with Les Richard Menswear, Philadelphia Eagles Malcolm Jenkins bow tie line and pieces designed
by the talented students of Drexel University Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design.
Sharrie Williams, 6ABC
Councilman Derek Green 
Bumi Fernandez, Co-Creator of Odunde Festival


Shonda McClain, Lifestyle Editor, Philadelphia Tribune


PS I was intending to attend the event as I adore the Gambles and their mission, but at the last minute was booked to cover another event. Thanks to Devon M Allen, PR and Photographer: Martin Regusters, Leaping Lion Photography & Digital Fuzzion Art for providing these photos and copy for an event I’ve always enjoyed covering.

Del Friscoes

Del Friscoes

Replica Creative

Replica Creative


Christmas Village Moves, Engaged, Jen Carroll Returns

The weather outside was frightful, yesterday, which is exactly the kind of weather I like to photograph. I covered a lot of ground shooting scenes I envisioned in my head, and was excited would come true this year – A White Christmas,


or at least snow on holiday displays. I’ll be showing those photos tomorrow cause today it Philly Chit Chatter. Let’s see what’s happening with our neighbors….

Barely the dust settled and Christmas Village opened a few weeks ago to great fan fare. Last week was the 10th Anniversary celebration, when I took this shot of shoppers lining JFK Blvd to check out several vendor cabins that lined the street.


Yesterday to my surprise they had moved


inside to a newly opened section of Love Park, now the entrance to a Christmas Village is perfectly situated at the corner of 15th and JFK,

catty-corner from City Hall’s holiday festival and Philly Made vendors. AND now there’s tables to sit and enjoy all the delicious delights you can purchase at the Christmas Village.

Two weeks ago Philly born, Top Cheftestant fan favorite Jen Carroll, was on the Today Show in a chef showdown for best tailgate party. Jen had previously competed on Top Chef Season 6: Las Vegas & Season 8: All Stars. Now she’s returned to TOP CHEF this season to compete in Denver. “..four “Top Chef” veterans returned to compete against this season’s eliminated contestants. Jennifer Carroll, Kwame Onwuachi, Marcel Vigneron and Lee Anne Wong” (source)


Spotted at Parc restaurant, a flip phone with former Gov Ed Rendell and Councilman Allan Domb

Congrats to Irene and Ben who got engaged Friday night at The Miracle on South 13th Street


George and Laura who got engaged yesterday at the Phila Art Museum. It’s the engaging season.
See you tomorrow….