Monthly Archives

July 2008


PHILADELPHIA MAGAZINE BEST OF PARTY PHOTOS re: Being chosen best does not mean you are better than other people

Last night I attended an event that I was really looking forward to – The Philadelphia Magazine “Best of Issue” Party. I mean I have been reading that magazine since I was a kid and was aware of the “Best of Issue” when my classmate at my Cherry Hill elementary school, Sharon Saline’s mother was on the very first issue – Carol Saline. My mom got this magazine every month. It was the source that really excited me about Philadelphia while I was growing up in the sleepy suburb. It’s not my parents magazine anymore. I’ve been getting the magazine for the past couple years, and this year it has really step up to the plate. It’s contains a plethora of info, not only a bit of eye candy, but interesting stories, some of them like the Andy Reid story in January’s issue making news. For a monthly magazine in this day of the Internet instant news, that is amazing. Maybe it’s because they have a little competition in town, in fact a lot of competition that they have stepped up their game. Well we are better for it, because like the NY Times it is our old lady and I would like to see it around for a long time. Others feel the same respect for her I mean who else could draw such a diverse crowd to party together with the likes Dan Gross, Paul Rosen and half the KYW staff all in one room. The pink elephant in the room was that Alycia Lane wasn’t at the party. At one point Dan and friends were standing right next to Paul, and had I known who Paul was, that would have been the ironic shot of the night.I was greeted at the door by Melissa Bizzak and Kate Pierce. Who check the folks in, and gave the winners a little blue box, no not the color blue, that had an emblem with “Best of Philly” and the year on it.

“Classic Cake” won the best cake category and made this delicious cake, that I had a piece of, which probably wasn’t on my Nutrisystem plan.

Someone I admire a great deal, I don’t always agree with him, but he has moxie which is probably why he won “The Best Stunt” award, which I wish I had asked him about when he walked in. Mark Segal, Owner of the Philadelphia Gay News. Google him you will see the moxie.Larry Platt and David Lipson welcome the crowd, and tell them that there are photographers out there that will be shooting up a storm and they will all be in the Philly Magazine site tomorrow. OK well I knew I was in trouble, everyone wanted to be in the “Magazine” imagine the bragging rights, I am sure it’s just like when I get my photos in People or Rolling Stone magazine, well at least the first time. That was the first problem, the 2nd problem was some of these folks were down right rude when they found out I wasn’t with the Philly Magazine folks, and thirdly some never asked but treated me as if I was ok bluntly, and “G” rated word, dirt. I was thinking to myself, ok you won “Best of” something in Philly magazine, but that wasn’t a license to think you were better than me, or could basic turn on your heels and walk away from me while I was in mid-sentence. Andrea Planco, Salon Vanity, Nanor Arabatliana, Sun Myst with owner and winner Marilyn Kellmer
The bar was beautifully set up, the magazine covers were cleverly lined up so that a person waiting for their drink could review the years. I wish I had asked who the decorator was as the pudding was in the details.
When I got my mag in the mail, I checked out the winners and wasn’t surprised by the inclusion of Landmarks TOURS‘ Architecture Walking Tours of Philadelphia and the Region take place in more than 50 locations throughout Center City; an organization where I volunteered for about 6 years before my photography took hold. Please check them out you won’t be disappointed. ; Here Paula Spilner, PHd, Landmarks’ Director and Executive Director Frank Vagnone toast to their win. Actually they were both very modest and believe the win is for the whole organization and the success they have had. In fact Frank couldn’t stop gushing that Paula was a tireless advocate and proponent with the tour, and with that I would agree 100 %. You really must take the lecture that is given during the cold nights of winter. It’s something really worth wild to get you going during those dark days.

This is a real feel good story too, you have got to go to their website to read about the wonderful place they have created for kids, and for handicapped kids. It’s no wonder they won for “Best Place for a Child’s Playspace”

As I am a fashionista voyeur, Nicole was nice enough to indulge me and tell me who designed her fab dress by having her husband check the label of her dress (did I mention I am shooting fashion week NYC in less than 30 days, ok guess I do brag a bit) I thought the dress was Marc Jacob, but it is in fact Jessica McClintock. It’s HOT as Paris would say. He look dapper too, but can’t recall his suit, hmm begins with a B I think.

the catering was done by the Restaurant Association, which I never heard of, but they do the Kimmel, The Art Museum and a couple other places in town. The food was great, although I really didn’t eat too much, I like to concentrate on my photo taking. I did have some of these desserts after most of the guests left. They were too pretty and since most people took advantage of the open bar, I had a few tarts so they didn’t go to wasteSexy babes, don’t you think. Aggressive and willing to pose for the chit chat. Annemarie Alessi, Kathi Thomas, Lauren Harris, Deanna Frost – “Style of Man” Best Business Concept – OK who wouldn’t want to go there and pick up a little style

Style of Man

1635 Chestnut St
Philadelphia, PA 19103-4202
Phone: (215) 561-2887

Donna O’Brien “Beautiful Blooms” Its hard to see, but Donna has three daisies magically affixed to her shoulder. There’s no doubt she is making a fashion statement, and one I haven’t seen in Philadelphia. SO stop on by to Beautiful Blooms, pick up a few and maybe she’ll tell you how she did it. Love her taffeta orange dress, I guess she got the memo that that would be the party colors this year.
So you need to pick up some tax free diamonds, Philly Mag thinks AR Morris Jewelers is the place to go. Here’s Inga Khaitman and Wendy Morris enjoying the fruits of their labor. Gossip legend Dan Gross, who I think btw is doing his job and his numbers show it. Last night I had a chance to talk to a few of his subjects, and although they may despise him, they all agree that it’s his job, people want to read that trash and they just try and avoid him or anyone associated with him. Its nice they don’t avoid me, even though my stuff has appeared in his column. I self edit. When someone says “Off the Record” to me, well it’s off the record.

With Dan is PFF media person Matthew Ray and Troy Cassell

Jim Donovan and Stephanie Stahl. It’s true I did try and angle a shot of these folks, maybe for the blog, maybe for the Inquirer where some of my photos are published, maybe for my national photo agency because you never know when they might allegedly hit a cop. I don’t care what the hipsters say people in Philly do want to read about the people they see on TV, why not, we see them everyday, they convey the news to us, and we’re a fascinated bunch. I remember growing up and going to get an autograph picture of Dave Roberts, I was a huge fan of weather, still am. I mean who thought that up, it was genius and you know there was a line too. It’s some of these same people that make fun of our adulation of news people that will be the first in line to get Chase Utley’s or Pat Burrell’s autographs. How many of them will be at the Soul Parade today just to get a glimpse of Jon Bon Jovi, or how many wish they were there to catch Alyssa Milano at the Phillies game or Kate Moss at Johnny Brenda’s or anyone at playing there. Pat Ciarrochi and Mary Stoker Smith. I wish I had seen Edie Huggins in person.
Looking as fabulous as ever, Jennifer the Kinky Quizzo queen holding court every Tuesday at @ Valanni in Center City at 11pm, with her is big fan Natemoving right to burlesque Peekaboo Revue “Best of Philly Winner” Lulu Lollipop and Ginger Leigh (I wonder if Dita Von Teese has stop by)

The night did get better as I came upon people I have gotten to know over the past year and photographed, or one of the 500 people that read me each day. Here is the winner for “Best Local Designer” Rachel Breeden (or what I like to say Mrs. Brad Maule – congratulations!!), Suzi Morris is in the middle doing performance art and on her right jewelery designer at the same store Typhaney Shanker. They are all from the Conspiracy Shop

Upstairs I found WOGL’s Jamyra Perry and Mark Bagley. Mark works at Drexel and says that the 2008 applications are breaking records. The school is in the middle of building a dorm which should be ready in 2009. So in the meantime Parktown should expect more pizza deliveries at 2AM; I told Jamyra that Philadelphia Style Magazine reads my blog and picked out a photo of hers at an event I shot last week, to be in the September issue. So congrats to us both.

Henri David must be very good with faces; sure I have been going to his Ball for the past 15 years, but I have only photographed him professionally about 3 times. Super nice guy, came right over, said hi. It was a treat since I have long admire him, and his partner Paul Struck. We need to be facebook friends. These girls were so much fun. Peri Lei Boutique – Candice Caprice & Bruce Middleman with Kellie and Joseph Gagllotti – Joseph Anthony Retreat, Spa & Salon. These girls were the life of the party, no pretension and I have no doubt were living life relaxed and in love with guys that really seem to revel in the joy of them. On the right is the Philadelphia attorney Paul Rosen (his Firm does a lot of work I admire.) I had no idea who he was though, just a guy with a wife who was dressed beautifully that I thought would look nice on Philly Chit Chat – the Social Diary. But after his wife asked me “Do you know who he is”, and I said no. Well with that his wife said where’s the Philadelphia Magazine photographer? I was disappointed & embarrassed that they didn’t want to be on my site, because I really thought he and his wife looked so Philadelphia Classic with their tailored suits. (This is not his wife, it was a candid photo I took earlier in the night, because I vaguely remembered his face and was going to ask someone later who it was)
the XIX people. Jeffrey Miller and his gang were voted “Best Dessert in a restaurant” an honor they rightly deserve. r – l, Jeff, Molly & Jason. Joing them is Randi from Philly Magazine who does the Wedding Magazine, that I love reading every season.

Ju Ju Spa Best Holoistic Day Spa 2008 – Renee Bruskoff
Stephen Corlino and Dennis Fee (Tavern on Camac – Best Piano Bar). At one point during the night I remember talking to someone who’s had a familar last name. I went into a story about how I had gotten them a bit of PR that made the newspaper. No excitement, I look perplexed and the women said that she was no longer married to the last named person that I thought she was, and basically was not interested in anything more I had to say. I guess she realized she wasn’t going to be in Philly Magazine too. Well after taking the photo, as a “celebrity” friend of mine was with them, I went to collect the names and her friend gave me her maiden name. The friend spoke up and corrected her and said no, “Here I am using my married name ******”. I guess she was willing to give up years of bitterness for name recognition instead.
My sincere apologies to Deanna Durante and friends. I should have gotten all your names, I screwed up as I was being pulled in another direction.
Ahh Kelly Boyd looked fabulous. Just enough time for an air kiss and she was off to tuck the girls in to bed. Nice to see Ashley Kramer too

Mary Patel with her guy Michael D’Addesi producer/film maker; Mary has just joined Michael’s production company “Make U Famous” I know of a couple projects they are working on and they are going to be great for Philadelphia.

Tigre Hill and Arthur Fennell. I had just caught Arthur the day before on TV, so I was honestly able to tell him I enjoyed his work over the years and as recent as the day before. He looks completely different on TV.
Anne Taulance, Philly Mag Wine Editor who has a shoot in about 5.5 hrs as it’s 3:30AM and I have a desk to report to at that time too. With her is her sister who gets to hang out with her older sister as Anne’s husband is travelling. Mary Kate promises to be a new reader, and I am going to hold her to it.
Hello readers of Philly Chit Chat – I love you, thanks, I feel validated. I guess getting my name out there to every corner of Pennsylvania is tough, I mean it is called Philly Chit Chat, not Philly Suburb Chit Chat, I would call them the bridge and tunnel crowd, but well its the same thing. OK back to my new best friends, Erin Elmore and Dr. Shareef Jandali, who knows a thing or two around a pretty face. Thinks Erin is as beautiful as the day she was born.
Ok more loving from these folks, I guess my night wasn’t all that bad. There really are only a few bad apples that spoil the stew, and they were toasted. OK maybe it’s just the mood I am in lately. These folks are some of my new favorites. Charles Peruto, Nina Tinari, Sabrina Tamburino (GPTMC), Steve Thorne, Mia Tinari and Carol Tamburino of Tuner Construction Company.Time to go to G Lounge with Matthew Ray, Matthew Vlahos and Troy Cassell

Gift bag time. Great towel, another magazine, key chain, small bottle booze, salt & pepper all and all a mixed bag this hump day.

Look for additional photos and the Photo Album to be added in a new entry on Saturday


PHILADELPHIA SOUL PARADE DETAILS for Thursday re: note to myself remember to shoot this event

THE PHOTOS FROM PARADE are in Friday’s entry 8/1/08:

The Philadelphia Soul will celebrate bringing home the franchise’s first ArenaBowl title in style on Thursday, July 31 at 3 pm as the City of Philadelphia hosts a Championship Celebration at City Hall in Philadelphia.

The Soul won the title in New Orleans on Sunday, 59-56, against the San Jose SaberCats. Many notables will take part in the festivities on Thursday, including co-majority owners Jon Bon Jovi and Craig Spencer, as well as minority owner Leo Carlin Jr. and team president and minority owner Ron Jaworski.

Bon Jovi will not perform at the celebration, but Jon will address the fans. (Hmm when is that promised concert?)

Two-time ArenaBowl MVP QB Matt D’Orazio and the rest of the players will arrive at City Hall in style as Saturn of Philadelphia will provide Saturn Skys for transportation.

The coaching staff, play-by-play announcer Ari Wolfe, the Soulmates, Soulman, the Soul Band & Drumline and the Foster Trophy will also be there.

The celebration will start with a procession that will begin at 6th and Market Streets in Philadelphia, and with a police escort the owners, players, coaches and Soulmates will make their way to City Hall. (Why not down Broad Street?)

ok check for the photos tomorrow. right click and save for your facebook page.
Bon Jovi sat out the parade, but was on the podium.



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PANSY DIVSION CONCERT + SEX DWARF!! + WHERE! MAGAZINE Celebrity Bartender to benefit Action AIDS

Last week the Pansy Division made an appearance at the PIGLFF. Pansy Division is known as one of the founding examples of the queercore genre of punk rock. An impressive crowd came out to see them, first at the ARTS bank for their documentary, and then later for a concert at the Troc. The night was was billed as A Punk Rock extraveganza, which sadly scared a few vanilla queens off. They were expecting crazy Sid & Nancy folks slam dancing and causing havoc, instead of a band which I found was more like the Pet Shop Boys or even dare I say Romanovsky & Phillips, but they used four letter sexual words in their music that maybe even George Carlin wouldn’t use.

Laura Burkhardt a women who knows good music was there in the audience, with her was Chumley Singer (the other half of Carlotta & Chumley, but a personality all his own too); you can find this trio together again tomorrow as they will be participating in a Celebrity Bartending event that takes place at Kildare’s, 509 s. 2nd Street in Philadelphia. Behind them is film maker Joe Barber in blue. He looks like he was a real bad ass in his dancing mohawk days, he does always wear those cool black rimmed glasses.At Kildaire’s you will find Laura & staff, Karen, Zelinda, Will, plus Chumley & Carlotta behind the bar mixing cocktails for you, so put those girls to work, and no doubt there will be loads of laughs. All the tips benefit Action AIDS. So promise me I’ll see you there! (click on flyer to see it bigger)Also on the bill at the PIGLFF event was WXPN DJ Robert Drake and his “Sex Dwarf!!” documentary about his monthly dance event. It was a perfect pairing, since the dance party was all about new wave, unlike what a lot of gay boiz may have thought, it wasn’t about sex with dwarf’s, but based on a song by Soft Cell by the same name as the documentary pointed out. You know Soft Cell, (Tainted love, tainted love, Touch me baby, tainted love) For me I really screwed myself because that was 5 years of dancing I can’t get back; especially since I was a huge groupie at Revival, the Kennel Club, Enchante, and oh what’s that club that used to be on 23rd & Arch? I was a quiet groupie, often dancing for hours and not bothering to talk to anyone. I sure miss those days, and am glad that Sex Dwarf!! is available for this outlet. (L-R) Simone, Robert Drake, John (Happy Anniversary guys!!) and friends
At the end of the documentaries it was time to PARTYYYYY
And it was over to the Troc for some good times . I was so stoked since I just saw their documentary and really enjoyed their music. I just wanted to soak up the music, bob my head and capture their souls on digital. Chris Freeman (bass/vocals)
Jon Ginoli (guitar/vocals) Joel Reader (guitar/vocals)
Luis Illades (drums) and Jon Ginoli (guitar/vocals)

The end. I enjoyed the Pansy Division documentary, a few of their songs, but I won’t be running out to buy their music. It’s overly descriptive, and unnecessary, I didn’t feel it was punk rock like I was used to, it probably is what Wikipedia defined it as queercore genre of punk rock. Now back in April I saw Shane West in a biopic of punk legend Darby Crash and his band, the Germs. Now that was punk rock. He was also gay and known for his kick ass stage shows. Now his biopic was hard to handle, but I really enjoyed the music; had no idea what he was saying, isn’t that what punk is all about? No I would consider these guys of the same genre as Romanovsky & Phillips, who I love, but Pansy Division actually says the explicit language where R&P just insinuates it. (NSFW video – Mom don’t watch this clip)

After the show DJ & Host of Sex Dwarf!! Robert Drake came out to give us a little preview about Sex Dwarf’s Fifth Anniversary coming up on 8/1/08; and to welcome us to a mini Sex Dwarf night at the Trocadero!! Finally my Sex Dwarf virginity is taken and I can reclaim my cool card by saying “YES I have been to Sex Dwarf, because there’s a good chance I won’t be able to drag my Stir going boyfriend there!! But don’t let this happen to you!!
I bet you will find Marty there; he was excited to get some ink from Chris Freeman on the CD’s he purchased after the concert
festive concert goers that I am sure are regular Sex Dwarfs
And sure there was a little contact dancing, but only with permission, I heard from my dozen or so friends that headed to Stir instead of the Troc, ended up with a little slamming too, as the place was pack and they were uncomfortably banging into each other while celebrating Alec Mapa being Entertainer of the Year and when I told them what they missed, they were sad, I mean who doesn’t want to dance to ROCK LOBSTER??
Don’t Fuck With Me
Russell, Stephen, Gary & CoryKaren and Beth get into the groove. Karen shoots for Philly Edge and you can find her photos: Thanks Qdoba for the delcious food you provided
DJ Robert Drake Says:
Join us as we
5 years of

Be sure to wear your RED and BLACK – the official Sex Dwarf colors – as we enter our SIXTH YEAR of Nonstop New Wave! (Ok these kids got out of hand)

Doors @ 9 – Free Admission til 10 – $2 Drinks til Midnight – PLUS – DUMPSTA’ PLAYERS


Philadelphia Art Gallery Exhibit: Velo+City: The Social History of the Bicycle – Lisa M. Reisman Gallery

Last week, Velo+City: The Social History of the Bicycle opened at Rittenhouse Square’s belle epoque-era gallery and gift destination – Lisa M. Reisman et Cie. The show presents a diverse and compelling collection of original prints, vintage posters, and ephemera. This exhibition visually details the rise of the bicycle over its 150-year history. The works follow the bicycle’s development from a dangerous object of ridicule and plaything of aristocrats to a democratized form of leisure and transportation for all

The curators for the show, Campbell and Michael with gallery owner Lisa M. Reisman. Michael tells me his favorite bike is a Flying Dutchman which was a gift from his dad. Campbell doesn’t ride, but she loves the culture of the bike and celebrates it. She did a lot of the research of Victorian women and their relationship with bikes, as they weren’t really allowed to ride them until the 1900s because of safety issues, and well skirts. The culture of the bicycle is so true. To me the bicycle is a tool I use to get exercise, perhaps to get from place A to place B, but not as much. Who loves the bicycle more than the bike messengers of Philadelphia; they were in the majority of those enjoying this opening night.
As a photographer I have always been fascinated by bike messengers, often trying to sneak a photo here or there, but scared that like in the movie the “Invasion of the Body Snatchers” one of them would turn and point and let out a scretch. A closed culture, rebels, nomads and what I observed as a bit crazy as they weave their bikes at tops speeds through city traffic trying to make that run. They were in fact a bit suspicious at first, but then welcoming as they opened up telling me about their favorites bikes, as many own more than one, and explaining what the bicycle ment to them.

Rachel Gagliardi and Josh Beaver. Josh’s bike of choice = a Fixgear red/white/white. They loved the exhibit and learning about the beginings of the bikes history. The advent of the bicycle in the 1880’s stimulated great controversy about women’s proper role in society. Questions of “how they should ride”, when they should ride, who they should ride with” were considered by commentators, and”wheeling’s” many critics were certain that bicycle riding threatened women’s health, morals, and reputation.
Skirts made riding the Ordinary (a bicycle with a large front wheel) virtually impossible. Tricycles, however, were designed to accommodate full skirts and allowed women to ride without adopting the bloomer outfit, which many women opposed for its politically radical associations. Like nearly every other aspect of life in the nineteenth century, tricycle riding had a specific set of rules and regulations. The rule against women riding alone in fact generated a new profession: the professional lady cyclist as chaperone. Tricycles were commonly used for touring, and the tandem tricycle was popular with couples. Chris & Ashley Sue enjoy the exhibit
Ashley Steigerwalt and Megan Barbour. Although not bike messengers, they enjoy the culture and their messenger bags to carry their stuff.
Ashley has a custom messenger bag he designed himself The first bicycle was two equal-size wheels and a dropped frame with no crossbar was the Victor, first manufactured in 1887. With the addition of pneumatic tires (invented in 1889) and enclosed gear, women were able to ride comfortable without their skirts becoming entangled. The final dramatic improvement in bicycle technology was the coaster brake, invented in 1898. These features enabled women to bicycle safely without having to wear bloomers.
Nadja & Tom, a bit cautious of who I was, but smiles that lit up the room. You know how I like a good smile.
Stewy, KHS with fellow co-worker at Trophy Bikes, Natalie and Dan
I did spend a good deal of time talking to a one Paul Glover who resided in Ithaca for many years, and well was an activist, a member of the Green Party, and started his a newsletter that launch Ithaca’s own currency and influenced the government on several issues. You have to read about him, he is fascinating.

And then in all too short of time I had to leave and go to the next event. But I will be back before the exhibits last day, as it runs through Aug. 14, it’s free and you have no excuse not to stop by and see this fascinating exhibit of prints and lithographs. They are all for sale too!!

Lisa M. Reisman et Cie, 1714 Rittenhouse Square (between 17th Street and Rittenhouse Sq), 215-735-2781,