Thursday, November 29, 2007

FALL HANGS ON TO RITTENHOUSE SQUARE

Even though we are a bit beyond "Peak", the Square looked beautiful this late November day. It's great as I was so busy this fall I didn't even take the time to go to my favorite places to shoot the season. Thanks to Global Warming I can capture it now. Even the flowers are still in bloom
The tree is up and lit.
Hot chicks still hanging out in the Square
I actually spotted a "Philadelphia" celebrity, or should I say someone infamous - restaurateur Neil Stein

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

IF YOU WERE PLANNING TO SEE THE PHILLY CITY HALL TREE LIT TONIGHT, DON'T PLAN ON IT

On Tuesday morning I read in the Metro that the Tree Lighting at City Hall was going to be Thursday at 7:30PM. I was a little taken back as I had read a sign at Macy's that the tree lighting at City Hall would be on Wednesday 11/28/07, and then Macy's was inviting folks over afterwards to enjoy hot cider and to watch the newly revamped light show narrarated by Julie Andrews (I had a sneak preview which I will write about tomorrow night)

I got to work and checked the City Hall Web Page and sure enough it was listed WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 28 CITY HALL TREE LIGHTING CEREMONY 5:00 p.m. City Hall, Apron Area Contact: Office of the City Representative, (215) 683-2060; Was the Metro wrong?
Then it was over to the Center City District site with the same info, except it gave Wednesdays date as the Nov 29, the 28th like it should have been:


CITY HALL TREE LIGHTING CEREMONY Wednesday, November 29 City Hall, Dilworth Plaza 215.683.2060 http://www.phila.gov/ Mayor John F. Street will officially launch Philadelphia's holiday season when he turns on the holiday lights on the beautiful City Hall tree. There will be special guests, holiday songs and festivities and much more. (The Metro got the wrong story)But then tonight after chatting with my City Hall "source", she mentioned that sure enough at the last minute the date was changed to Thursday, with no explanation, and the time was 4PM Face Painting, 5PM Tree Lighting, not 7:30PM as the Metro reported. I then checked the Center City District site and it was updated to say: Thursday, November 29, 5pm City Hall, Dilworth Plaza , but the City Hall site still states the lighting was today. (hopefully someone will drop a dime and tell Macy's of the changes.) So if you want to see a magnificent tree lighting tonight, you're plum out of luck if you thought it would be at Philadelphia City Hall, no now you're gonna have to tune into NBC and the 10th annual "Christmas in Rockefeller Center" telecast Tree Lighting Ceremony. Hosted by Al Roker ("Today"), the star-studded 75th annual tree lighting extravaganza will feature Celine Dion, Josh Groban, Barry Manilow, Taylor Swift, Ashley Tisdale and Carrie Underwood performing current hits and holiday classics from Rockefeller Center in New York City.



(daytime Tree photo by Lawyer_215)

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Philadelphia Gay Tourism Caucus holds 5 Year Party

As I left work to attend the Philly Gay Tourism Caucus 5 Year Party, I exited my building to the WOW factor of the Ritz Carlton in all it's glory with basking in "The Night Lights of Broad Street" sponsored by the Center City District an organization you know I LOVE, support and admire. In fact they are planning to light 9 additional buildings along Broad Street, for a total of 12, and want your opinions: lighting@centercityphila.org When I see projects like this, I know our City is moving in the right direction attracting tourists and making Philadelphia a destination.Which is why I was so excited to attend the Philly Gay Tourism 5th Year Anniversary Party. Talk about a grass roots organization that has really made some progress in the City. The Philadelphia Gay Tourism Caucus (PGTC) -- working with GPTMC, the Philadelphia Convention & Visitor's Bureau, and regional CVB's -- has developed the Philadelphia Freedom hotel package for hotels who actively work to be gay-friendly properties. In addition to tourism, you can thank the caucus for the 36 new street signs that are permanently affixed with the rainbow flag to designate the "Gayborhood". If you look on my Yahoo page, next to the Sharon Pinkenson, you will see the other person I admire most in Philly is Meryl Levitz. She is a pioneer in Philadelphia Tourism. I was too intimidated to go up and introduce myself, I should have because I have tourist attracting ideas.
Tami Sortman and Irene, from Frank DiCiccio's office, reading a proclamationSome of my favorite people JD Coleates, owner of http://www.triumphbrewing.com/launchindex.html a huge supporter of Philadelphia, so please support them; Jeff who is still enjoying his studies at Temple; Bruce Yelk, a jack of all trades, one of which is his blog which I read a couple times a day, I love when people update twice a day, I wish I could, check him out at http://nightlifegay.blogspot.com/ and a big, big hug to my friend Laura Burkhardt, who not so long ago we had a big discussion about life and I said I find its best to follow my dreams to reach my goal, its about passion, but girlfriend, I never meant move to friggin Baltimore and leave me behind. I miss the lunches we never got to have. James McManaman are co-owners of Absolute Abstract and a friend; another great business and supporter. Check out their store in Midtown Village along 13th Street or on the web at http://absoluteabstractart.com/
OK now we're talking. Three people who's work I admire. Matthew Ray at HX Magazine, James Duggan at http://www.buckmonkey.com/ and the guy who stole my idea if I was smart enough to come up with it Steve McCann of http://www.phillygaycalendar.com/ Hanging out with them tonight was like being a fly on the wall at a P.T. Barnum, Henry Ford and Benjamin "Bugsy" Siegel coffee clatch. It was great fun. If only I could actually focus on one thing to have that "A-Ha" moment too!!



Then it was out on the street to face those snow flakes. Why is it that the Center City District can pull off a feat like lighting 5 buildings for the holidays, with plans to do 9 more. A small organization like the Philadelphia Gay Tourism Caucus can accomplish various goals like attracting gay tourists to Philly and selling the equivalent of 1,000 nights of hotel rooms to visitors of our City and the "STREET ADMINISTRATION'S STREETS DEPT" can't even make sure that all the bulbs in the snowflakes are LIVE?
Does anyone have a countdown clock til the end of the Street Administration?

Sunday, November 25, 2007

HAPPY THANKSGIVING WEEKEND TRIP TO DC AND CHARLOTTE

On the eve of Thanksgiving as I walked home from work I passed Love Park. The water's been shut off now, the platform installed and waiting for it's Christmas Tree to be installed sometime in the next few days. Further down the Parkway, I took one last look at Swann Fountain's waning stream of water knowing that tomorrow it will be shut off for the season until 2008. I also enjoyed the summer flowers that refuse to let go of the bloom and instead took advantage of the long Indian Summer our region enjoyed this year. I believe Wednesdays high was 68F


That evening Mike and I watch the Thanksgiving Day rehearsals that occur in front of the Art Museum. (I would have more shots here, but for some reason in the dark I switched the camera to RAW mode. Any recommendations for a good program to look at RAW shots?)


The next day Mike, his mom and I travelled to DC for our annual visit to Mike's Aunt Bernie and Uncle Bob's. Here's Aunt Bernie checking those Turkey Cooking Instructions? She said it was the largest bird she ever cooked.
I look forward to her Sweet Potato's served in Orange Peels every year, but I continue to forget to ask her what happens to the orange insides?
1/2 of the Thanksgiving table. Uncle Bob always gives a nice Thanksgiving thank you prayer, and this year David read an article of Thanksgiving that Aunt Bryna wrote that was published in the Washington Post. Emy listed the things we should all be thankful for, thankfully most of the items weren't Republican related as she is a die hard Bush Administration supporter, her dog is named Rummy. After dinner and dessert it was on to the Karaoke
Elizabeth on the right, is Bernie's oldest friend. They met during the Vietnam war even before she met Bob. Elizabeth lives in Spain now.
The next day, Mike and I drove on to Charlotte to visit some of my family.

My brother-in-law Tom and nephew TJwho is a huge Flyers fan, even though he was born and raised in Charlotte, I guess it's nurture not nature in some cases. (not pictured my sister Janine and niece Nicole) Mom and my niece Colleen

Then further up the road My sister Crista and her husband Michael and my look a like nephew, Michael or Wubby (poor kid, hopefully he will lose that nickname when he is 2) Then on Sunday it was back home with a 10 hr drive, joining the masses on 95 and enjoying the full moon rise over Baltimore