Saturday, June 7, 2008

Danny DeVito Philadelphia Inquirer 6/5/08

I ran into Danny DeVito on my way home from work on Tuesday. Unbeknown to me he had just finished filming in Logan Square, when I saw him posing with grads and shaking hands with the folks sitting on the park benches.  It was quite a surprise.  I asked him for a photo and he was nice enough to oblige and wave too.image

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Friday, June 6, 2008

STIR : PHILADELPHIA'S LATEST AND MOST STYLISH GLBT BAR

The recently-opened Stir is a welcome addition to Philly's gay nightlife. The formerly dark and dirty space is now fresh, swanky and cozy without feeling cramped. The relatively underground location of this place (down an alley, across from a dumpster, with no visible sign until you get right up on the door) conjures up some seedy images, but just beyond the wardrobe, you're whisked into a magical fairyland (ahem) that is stylish without being all uppity. 1705 Chancellor St Philadelphia, PA (Next to the Warwick Hotel and down the ally from Rouge) Stacey and Holly took over the old Post location and pulled off a miraculous transformation.
Our hosts for the night Bruce Yelk http://nightlifegay.blogspot.com/ hosts the weekly premier summer gay professionals happy hour - every Thursday from 6-8pm at Stir. Join other gay professionals at Philadelphia's hottest new gay bar Stir. (Bruce is a busy guy and is also hosting a Pride Party at Cebu on Sunday 4 - 8PM and next Friday is hosting the official after party of the True Colors tour at the Borgota), Stir proprieter, Stacey Vey and Matthew Izzo http://www.matthewizzo.com/catalog/ Who I had never met before, but told him I like his GLBT Philly tourist ads, but have never been in your store because he doesn't have my size. Without missing a beat he said "We sell hats!"
There are two bars, front and back, with those frosted glass door bathrooms that freak me out in between. (These folks just discovered that although you can't see through the bathroom doors of the one person room, you can see a persons silhouette. If you're shy, the trick is to not turn the light on)
Have you ever met my friend Laura Burkhardt, here she is with Dennis Fee of Tavern on Camac. Laura is out supporting her clients and Dennis was nice enough to come out and support a fellow bar owner in the community. Dennis and his partner are also part of the GPTMC's GLBT campaign http://www.gophila.com/C/Your_Philadelphia/14/Diverse_Philadelphia/287/Gay_friendly_Philadelphia/4.html
Not only is there no sign on the door, which gives you the totally secret, exclusive vibe, but the decor is lovely and the bartenders and clientele are beautiful. So go already! You're totally missing out if you don't. (Decor done by http://www.thephagshop.com/ ) Bruce Yelk hosts these weekly GLBTQ cocktail parties every Thursday at STIR. This week the party goers were treated to a swimsuit fashion show by Matthew Izzo and his merrymen.


The crowd seems to be a constant ebb and flow of attractive guys and girls.

So whether you're Gay, Lesbian, Questioning, a girly girl, boyz type gal, dude who is into other dudes or a straight up straight chick or guy with an open mind, come here. These photos are mine, the some of the wording was lifted from more descriptive patrons than I at http://www.yelp.com/biz/stir-philadelphia as I am a bit fried this week if you know what I mean; sister stuff see 6/29 entry.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

THE WALL BALL 2008: MURAL ARTS FUNDRAISER

One of my favorite groups in the city, the Mural Arts Program, had their big fundraising gala, The Wall Ball, a few weeks ago at the Loews Hotel. The Philadelphia Mural Arts Program (MAP) started in 1984 as a component of the Anti-Graffiti Network (PAGN), a city-wide initiative to eradicate destructive graffiti and address neighborhood blight. The Wall Ball celebrated the Mural Arts Program, as well as, honored two of its outstanding supporters: Rabbi Gerald I. Wolpe, Rabbi Emeritus of Har Zion Temple and William P. Hankowsky, Chairman of Liberty Property Trust.
It was an amazing turnout, and I was reminded once again that I need to drop about 50lbs to navigate around this thin people, especially Sharon Pinkenson who is greeting actor, Isiah Whitlock, Jr from The Wire; looking on is Joseph Weiss and another hero of mine, Jane Golden, founder of the Mural Arts Program.
Isiah Whitlock, Jr was on hand to introduce a short film on the Mural Arts, that he narrated; and Jane Golden.

Guests included Sandra Paul and Susie Pesin

Bruce and Claudia Hinlein

The famed social photographer Carol Springer, who teaches me a little something every time I cross paths with her. Something I need to constantly learn is to get people to write down their names on my pad. I may see them out a lot, or know their first names, but I have a lot of junk in that head of mine and when I finally sit down to write about the event well it could be a week or two since said event, 1AM and heck I am in a tad of a hurry so I sometimes just recall names. So here goes, I have no idea who that nice women is. I have met her twice, and well I can't recall. Next to her is Chris Mullins who's family owns McGillin's Ale House, a true Philadelphia Institute, then there's my other favorite girl Laura Burkhardt and Bill Gerhman. Bill has really done alot for the GLBT business community and for tourism to the City in general.
a few folks participated in their own mini mural projectHere we find Michael Zuber and Linda Rice Dailey looking fine and feeling fine. Great smiles, that's what I like to shoot.

The outpouring of love not only was in abundance with the attendance, but also came through with the amazing amount of items donated to the Silent Auction and later you will hear about the live auction.
a Ryan Howard signed baseball
Gladys Shubin, Harriet Soffa, Cantor Vogel, Rabbi Jay Stein and his wife Rissy Holly and Christa from Cashman & Associates. It takes a good PR agency to pull an event like this together. MAP Public Engagment reps Nancy Davis and Alex Morigi with MC KYW3's Jim Donavan. Jim is also a volunteer tour guide on the popular Mural Arts Tours http://www.muralarts.org/tours/
Leslie Kozloff, Sabrina Tamburino, Lauren Grossman and Adama OrduEmily and Judy with the Mural Arts Education ProgramWXPN's Roger LaMay does the live auction and does it well as a weeks stay in Tuscany goes for $5,500 and dinner with Mayor Nutter goes $500 better. I had lunch with a friend the other day who criticized the mayor for going to too many social functions and not creating policy. Well I think the policy will come along, but the MAN's got a lot to live up to and right now he is righting which was wrong with the last administration and that was to be the people's mayor and get out and greet the people. Look at this impromptu line that formed at the Wall Ball to greet him.
Did I mention that Jane Seymour stopped by. She had been staying in the hotel and was invited to attend the ball. She was very down to earth, making sure that the guest of honor shined. She was in town as she was doing a showing of her own work at Ocean's Galleries in Stone Harbor NJ (They used to carry my photo greeting cards years ago before I got into this celebrity business), anyway she was moved and said that in the future she will be involved in the Mural Arts Program in anyway Jane needed her. It really was inspirational and generous. She's pictured here with Rabbi Gerald Wolpe, who was one of the honorees of the night and his wife of 54 years, Elaine Wolpe, who herself is a humanitarian. After suffering a stroke 22 years ago, she founded a program at Moss Rehab that assists other stroke patients. I was definitely walking among hero's this night.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

PHILADELPHIA'S REAL WORLD HOUSE RETURNS TO DEBAUCHERY FOR CHARITY: re: Chase & Jennifer Utley's fund-raiser to benefit Pa's SPCA

Last week I attended the "Utley First Annual All-Star Animals" charity event for the SPCA, which was held at the old Seamen’s Church Institute, later known as MTV's Philadelphia Real World House and now known as F.U.E.L. Gallery There was music
and a few generous hosts including Comcast Sports host Michael Barkann, Pennsylvania's SPCA President Howard Nelson, Jennifer and Chase Utley Cole Hamels and his wife Heidi (I had no idea who she was/is until I spoke with Derek of Team Derek Phamous Philadelphia autograzzi** [ Hamels, 23, and Survivor contestant-turned-Drexel student Heidi Strobel, 28, got married New Year's Eve 2007 in Springfield, Mo., near her hometown. Among guests were her Survivor cohort Jenna Morasca. Well, it was certainly nice of Heidi to invite Jenna to the wedding, considering, you know, they posed naked in Playboy together. ])
I always put my money on red, it's my birth color (I wish I could remember the casino games rental company, I would love to give them props as they were super nice guys)
This is one of my favorite photos and was published by the Inquirer on Sunday in Michael Klein's INQlings, where by the way my photos appear every Sunday, B2. Brett Myers, Adam Eaton and Jayson Werth Chase signs a few balls for a fan. Jennifer is holding the Phillies branded Budweiser beer. What's up with these aluminum bottles lately, I have seen coke come in them to. Are they easier to recycle?Geoff Jenkins, Chase Utley, Greg Dobbs pose for the "Event Photographer". The EP is usually hired by the PR Firm to capture photos of the event to send out to Philly Magazine, Mainline Times or any of the other media forms that someone might use to promote this great event.
Pat Burrell (Do these guys have to have it all, beautiful women, good looks, talent and money. You think they could be a little more generous with 'graphs for the fans and even the autograzzi who are basically providing signed photos for fans who don't have access)
I wear my sunglasses at night... I don't know what is scarier, the Brett Myers scowl or
the torture chambers that idiots put fighting dogs in to keep them aggressive. I would have to go with the torture chambers for the poor dogs, but I wouldn't want to be married to Brett either.
Support the Pennsylvania SPCA http://pspca.org/donate
As long time readers of Philly Chit Chat may know, I don't always write about my events on a timely basis. When a photo is going to be published locally, I can't scoop the paper and must wait three days after it's gone out. (It's in the small print) (I wish I could tell you who I saw today, but I can't. - I don't know why that other blogger says there are no celebrities in this town; I see them all the time, and sure they may be our tv personalities, but it includes our sports figures that a lot of people like to talk about [there's a lot of great sites devoted to the worship or deconstruction of those folks], and lately we've seen our share of the hollywood set that tend to come here for work. So Phillywood is a great place to catch a celebrity sighting, and I'll do my best to bring them to you)
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**Thanks to Derek who had to help me id all the sports folks on these pages so I could sent my work to my agency and write this blog.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

THE FRANKLIN, ARE YOU CURIOUS?

My mom says "If it ain't broke, don't fix it" so I am
why the Franklin Institute thinks it's a good time to change their name to "Franklin", that's right dropping the Institute.
When I think of Franklinthere's no doubt that I think of this guy firstI might even think of Franklin Plaza, which is at the foot of the Ben Franklin Bridgeif someone told you to meet them at Franklin and you lived in North Philly, you might think The Ben Franklin High Schoolif you were in Center City maybe you'd think it was Franklin Town Park near CCPor across the street at One Franklin Town
or at the hotel at Franklin PlazaYou see I look at the word Franklin as an adjective and Institute as the noun. If you said meet me at the Franklin Institute I would know exactly where to meet you.

I hear the Franklin Institute did research and received positive remarks about the new name, Franklin. I don't know who they asked, but I know many of the people I have asked were curious why they would change the name. I agree, I can't imagine they were hurting for business afterhosting two record breaking exhibits in a row, which introduced the Franklin Institute to a national audience
the thought is just out of this world. The time to re brand yourself probably was before you held these exhibits that catapulted you into nationwide recognition, especially with the added promotion of the display on the grand staircase to the museumAnother curious thing, why would you change the name to "FRANKLIN" if you can't get the website http://www.franklin.com/ and have already established, er nevermind http://www.franklininstitute.com/ but if you google Franklin you do come up with The Franklin Institute - Home - http://www2.fi.edu/I guess the truth is I don't like change, but in this world of texting, IMing and Twitter, well maybe Franklin is all anyone has time to say to get their message across.
I do love the question mark on the Cira Center!!

I do like the ad campaign, people were curious about the painted Question Marks on canvas; and I heard that they shaved question marks into peoples heads, wish I saw that!! If you're curious check out their curious web page which is curious itself: http://www.curioustf.org/