Friday, June 27, 2008

AND YOU WONDER WHY THE PHILADELPHIA PARKING AUTHORITY OFFICERS GET SO MUCH GRIEF

As I left work yesterday, I notice many of the people passing me had big smiles on their faces as they sucked on various colored round ice cream pops. I then came to the culprit, who I later found out was James Hampton who's job it was to give out FREE M&M's Ice Cream Treats, and it wasn't even the first day of summer? Remember when Good Humor or Rita's used to give out ice cream on the first day of summer. The new treats came in the same 5 colors that M&M's came in, which looked familiar, but weren't chocolate inside at all, just vanilla.
This guy actually stopped traffic, got out of his $25,000 gas guzzling SUV and snagged two of the free treats, one for mom he said. Note the traffic light is red for the opposing traffic and cars have to go around his truck, maybe he heard about the delicious sweet tasting bar that made him do it. Ought oh, here comes trouble
The PPA officer told James that he might want to go back to his truck.
And we all did the perp walk 'cause I wanted to know what was going on (It was all for you guys, not my own curiosity, I swear)

Turns out that the M&M giveaway truck was in a NO Parking Lane, and it didn't matter that they were spreading joy & happiness, they had to move it. I asked James where would they go, he didn't know, but they had 6 cases of bars to give out and they were going tonight. I asked the PPA officer if he realized how many folks were going to miss out on this freebie, and did he have one. He mumbled something like he doesn't eat that stuff, and they could park where ever they wanted, but it had to be a legal spot if it was going to be on his watch. So once again the PPA ruins the day, by taking candy out of the mouths of babes. With that the M&M Ice Cream truck was off to it's next destination, and as it passed by these two kids and their mom they just stood there cried as it went by. (OK they didn't cry, but they did look at it drive by and seemed sad, I know I was sad.) Officer John Doe went to the next offending vehicle, who was moving boxes into the US Post Office. I overheard PPA asking them to move their truck and they refuses, as they sucked on their M&M ice cream. He wrote them a ticket. So that's it from the City of Brotherly Love and Sisterly affection, for this week. Thanks for my booming numbers, I will try and continue to post interesting stuff, celebrities sightings, Philly's Social Diary, tidbits, friendly gossip and whatever else seems pertinent at the moment. PS: If I didn't post your event this week, I will be getting them all out next week so that I can get up to date. Don't forget to check out the Philadelphia Independent Film Festival over in Northern Liberties this weekend.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

75th anniversary of Screen Actors Guild (SAG) - “THE ANATOMY OF A MOTION PICTURE” re: continuing with my movie making related posts it seems this week

The film office sent me the press release on this event a few weeks ago, I was a bit bummed as I was in NYC that week to cover the myriad of events which I already wrote about on this blog. I changed my schedule and literally came back to Philly in the middle of the night to attend this free seminar at the Philadelphia Library, not only because of the interesting subject, but because of the connections that I always need to make to make Philly Chit Chat the blog to turn to for social news, event coverage, celebrity sightings and well everything Philly. What I got also was a better understanding of Philadelphia's film community, and how each speaker really aspired to achieve something greater for each other and for the Philly film community. Even though I was sleep deprived, more than usual, I was very glad I caught this seminar. Diane Heery, Heery Casting believes an actor should do their homework, read variety, and create your Iactor (iActor puts SAG members at the fingertips of casting professionals, and is the only online casting directory that exclusively features SAG members and automated Station 12 cast clearance. ) (a lot of the photos seem to be dark, but that's because I didn't always use a flash, and the lighting in the Montgomery Auditorium is non existant.)
One of the speakers was a cinematographer who's name I missed. He says it's important to frame the shot and capture the story with it. He may have a stadium full of extras, but only need to focus on the principles, its still important to have the stadium full, or at least shoot it in a way that it looks like the stadium is full. As a photographer his segment was very interesting to me and I hung on every word which screwed up my notes as I didn't take any! John Rusk, First Assistant Director, The Happening
Missy Moyer, Production Manager, The Woodsman
Mark Rosenthal, Screenwriter, Mona Lisa Smile
Jeffrey Cox, Special Effects, Unbreakable
Matt Shapiro, Film Editor, Old Days
Diane Heery, Heery Casting
Michael Lemon, Mike Lemon Casting
Jesse Cute, Publicity & Promotions, Terry Hines & Associates
Jesse Cute, Publicity & Promotions, Terry Hines & Associates. I liked what he had to say. His business is to promote the film, promote the actors, promote Philly. "Philly is my Passion" My mantra exactly. (I would love to cover events for them)Michael Lemon, Mike Lemon Casting wants you to know your character, relax, know your lines, the scene, be present in the moment, bring a headshot, research the director. For me it was great to finally put a face to the names that I had heard over the years, either via quotes in the media or through friends who may have been gotten parts through their agencies
At one point there was a fashion show, it was kinda strange, although the fashions were of local designers who may have dressed various celebrities. I just couldn't wrap my head around that subject.
The panalists who gave up their Saturday to give us an informative chat about the film industry in Philadelphia
GPFO's Joan Bressler who helped put this event together chats with Mark Rosenthal, Screenwriter, Mona Lisa Smile and other guestsActress/Producer/Screenwriter Kamilah Boyete who has just completed a script about a young girl who comes of age in Philadelphia. She will be filming it this summer, and hopefully we can all see it in April at the Philadelphia Film Festival or at the Philadelphia Independent Film Festival that STARTS TONIGHT -- YIPPEE. In fact with Kamilah is a screener from the PIFF, Keith Cohen. Entertainment attorney Christopher Cabott (http://www.lzremick.com/ )greets Philadelphia actor John Wooten, who can be seen in the upcoming "Dream of the Romans" and "Tenure"

Missy Moyer, Production Manager, The Woodsman said it best when she said, and I paraphrase: Movies are made by individuals, not equiptment, and it comes down to the passion of the person to get the job done. Breaking News: after 6 years without a Philadelphia SAG office, news was broken at the event that this will all end in the next 3 months as a new Philly SAG office will be opening. To me it's just a testament of all the hard work Sharon Pinkenson, Joan Bressler, the Greater Philadelphia Film Office and the talent pool in Philadelphia has done to probe that we are Phillywood and movies, TV and other types of media can rely that their project will be in good hands.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

PHILADELPHIA CITY HALL FARMERS MARKET IS ON THE MOVE

it's no longer in the Courtyard. Last week when it was booted to accomodate the filming of Transformers 2, it found a spot at the Northeast corner of Dilworth Plaza. Business picked up beyond the four walls of City Hall and now it will remain at that spot for the rest of the season. Where you can still buy strawberries at $5 a quart, a price that has remained for the past 5 weeks since the market opened**. On a better note cherries and blueberries are both $3 a quart, and for some reason that price seems more reasonable. The girl at the Strawberry counter told me to go buy them somewhere else if I didn't like the price, and you know what I will 'cause those berries look beat. I wish they sold cut flowers.

(Hughe's Update) OK I did some research: Many farmers market sell strawberries at $5 - $6 a quart, and although supermarkets may sell them for $4 a quart, they are grown in California, so it is important for us to support our local farmers especially during strawberry season, but only if the strawberries look and taste good. But if you are going to use them for soup, it doesn't matter what they look like:

Strawberry Soup

2 ½ cups of Jersey Fresh strawberries1 ½ cups of water ½ cup granulated sugar 2 TBSP of lemon juice2 tsp fresh lemon peel, grated, zest only½ cup Jersey Fresh white winePrepare the day before or several hours before serving.
Puree 2 cups of strawberries in blender. Slowly add water. Slowly add the ½ cut of sugar, the lemon juice, lemon peel and white wine and blend well. Refrigerate. Chill well. Before serving, garnish with ½ cut remaining strawberries sliced in half. Serves 6.

THE 14TH ANNUAL Philadelphia Gay & Lesbian Film Festival 2008 re: HAS IT BEEN A YEAR ALREADY?

To kick it off the PIGLFF (I always thought that acronym was funny) had a little shindig a Triump Brewery (a few weeks back, told you I am behind)I saw some of my new/old friends like Butch Cordova, who has something special to announce in the fall. I am definitely looking forward to that party, I already got my invite. That guy is too organized. And also Butch mentioned to me that he
has an upcoming radio show and as soon as I get the details, you will be getting the details. In the meantime he just wrapped his EIGHTH season of "In Bed With Butch", although it's the 00's now and the bed is gone so it's just metaphorically there. I mean can you see Dr. McSteamy doing an interview with Butch in bed? yea me too! http://www.dailycandy.com/philadelphia/ why is that link there, because Meredith Lindemon from Daily Candy is right there in front of me on the right, next to the serious lady about town - Laura Burkhardt and please forgive me I so did not have my pad with me that night, but if you know who that is let me know so I can give her props. Oh I can't bother LB again, she's already too kind with the names
Here are your film screeners and the new Press Director and Philly Chit Chat's new best friend because he gives us on the inside info and scoop on the VIP parties so you can be there too, Matthew Ray, and some of the hardest working fluffers in the business, er I mean screeners, Kelly Burkhardt (no relation to Laura), Scott and Lewis Tice.

Jackie & Catherine
Normally I would skip such childish photos, but since Steve McCann usually takes such a lousy picture I couldn't pass this one up. (Ok the http://www.phillygaycalendar.com/ founder takes great pictures, he is the boy next door and the camera loves him). Thom Cardwell and Matthew Ray
I knew we would not be able to keep these two away from each other long, Matthew Ray and Matthew Vhlos have more in common than just their names; they are energetic, enthusiastic and are genuine nice guys with big ideas that will come true, just you watch and see. With them is Thom and James
Michael Thibodeau, Jared Miller, Matt Fleishman, and Megan Karpinski
there was a nice turn out. As usual when I got there all the sneak preview film festival guides were gone, but guess what Matt Ray had a great idea and put the whole thing on a CD just in case this happened.
Mary Patel and artist Jeff
Matt and his friend forever, Andrew
One of the nicest guys around Michael Braunstein and friends
Rittenhouse Magazine publisher, writer extraordinaire Clare Bramble
Perri, PR Diva Megan Smith and Managing Director of the PFS, Mark James

Your guide this year http://www.phillyfests.com/piglff/2008/closing-night.cfm

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

MARATHON GRILL CENTER CITY PHILADELPHIA CLOSES

Starting June 27, 2008 the Center City, Chestnut Street Marathon Grill will close for about 10 days for renovations; then it will open everyday, but just for lunch, closing about 4PM so the renovations can continue through out the summer. I hope the new place has more spacious eating tables, I always felt like I was flying coach as the tables seemed to practically be on top of one another; gossiping with the girlfriends was always at a minimum as to curb the spread beyond my tablea few months back Marathon did obtained these beauties, which gave me the privacy to enjoy my guests; I asked a source if they were going to keep them? He wasn't sure what they were going to do with them as they were hand me downs from the 20th and Market Street grill which just underwent their renovation. Hmm maybe donate them or something, but please don't trash them, hello Cosi, Project Home, The Attic?
So hurry now to the Chestnut Street Marathon Grill to enjoy the original decor in these waning days.Call the North Star maybe
they could use a few more iconic signs?
When the restaurant is finally finished It will look like the other 6 gorgeously designed, immaculately lit, and attractively staffed, Marathon Grill's complete with a bar where you will be able to enjoy

many evenings and happy hours with friends. The restaurant will also maintain the outdoor seating which is great for people watching, especially in the warm fall weather. I can't wait for the renovations to be complete, I am so there.
In the meantime, don't Fret you can walk to 16th & Sansom or 10th & Walnut to the other Marathon Grills, or try Lucky Strike across the street, I love their burgers, and cheese burger fries, they are open for lunch.

PHILADELPHIA INDEPENDENT FILM FESTIVAL THIS WEEKEND re: Clear Your Schedule, you will not want to miss this!!

I completely dropped the ball on this one, it was on my to do list to tell you, but it slipped through the cracks as I tried to keep current with my postings (look for double daily postings til I catch up, the next one today will be at 2:30PM as I break a story) Now on with today's post: I just want to say how really exciting it is to be in Philadelphia with all the creative people in our City willing to take an idea to fruition and produced a program to showcase independent film makers.  This weekend Media Bureau, Benjamin Barnett and all these people bring it for us to enjoy:  http://www.philadelphiaindependentfilmfestival.com/FestivalStaff.aspx

 

image 

So clear your schedules this weekend, it's here - The Philadelphia Independent Film Festival.

http://www.philadelphiaindependentfilmfestival.com/index.aspx

http://www.philadelphiaindependentfilmfestival.com/pdf/FestivalGuide.pdf

The Philadelphia Independent Film Festival will be screening 151 films in 7 venues over 4 days through out the historically radical artist community, Northern Liberties. All events are within walking distance of one another with the film screenings taking place at The Media Bureau, North Bowl, Liberty Lands Park, Arbol Café, Liberties Walk, 941 Theatre & Woodshop Film Studios.  HughE's Note:  Speaking of historically radical, many of these films are radical, thought provoking, moving, outrageous and fascinating.  For me one of the most interesting films will be "Chasing the Devil".  A documentary on the Ex-Gay movement.  You MUST hear the song at 30 seconds, or the guy with the magnet, oh just watch the whole thing then go see the movie, in fact see as many movies as you can.

The other day I saw a kid of maybe 20 with a "Linda Lovelace Deep Throat Tour" t-shirt on, I thought he probably has no idea how that iconic movie eventually destroyed her life; but someone who did embraced her notoriety of being in the "orgasm business" was XAVIERA HOLLANDER.  In 1968, XAVIERA left her job as the secretary of the Dutch consulate in Manhattan to become a call girl, where she made $1,000 a night. A year later she opened her own brothel called the Vertical Whorehouse and soon became New York City's leading madam. In 1971, she was arrested for prostitution by New York police and was forced to leave the U.S; Well I guess she's allowed back in the States now because she will be visiting the PIFF this weekend and doing a Q&A after the showing of a documentary on her life, on Saturday night.  There's a good chance I will be there for that one. She fascinates me.  She is best known from the book The Happy Hooker: My Own Story (1972), a frank an open discussion on SEX and ORGASM's, really unheard of in the 1970's even after the free sex reign of the 1960's.  Not that I remember, but it seems that only men were really allowed to talk frank about sex.  Today XAVIERA has been operating Xaviera's Happy House, a bed and breakfast within her Amsterdam home.

or you might find me at this movie:

THE INDEPENDENT One man’s shot at
politics
Director: Marty Browning
Category: Feature
GENRES:Drama, Satire
TRT: 80 min
“North American Premiere”
Independent, has 58 days to get himself elected or he loses his
house, his sanity or even his life.

or maybe this one:

LETGO
Director: Jameel Saleem
Category: Narrative Fiction, Short
GENRES:Alternative, Drama, Educational
TRT: 15 min
“WORLD Premiere”
LETGO is the story of a recovering meth addict dealing with
the decision to leave his best friend and old life behind.

(Oh wait I already did a 12 Step Program in my life)

But this one sounds interesting:

Pure
Director: Jason Sokol
Category: Experimental, Short
GENRES:Avant-garde, Independent, Spiritual
TRT: 11 min
“WORLD Premiere”
Filmed in black and white with French dialog and English subtitles set to a jazz
soundtrack. French fi lmmakers are well known for blending fi rst person narration
with dialog between characters. This is my French fi lm of a young girl on
vacation who walks throughout the city snapping photos, stops at local shops,
searches for a Buddha statue and gets into a popcorn fi ght with her roommate..

HUghE's Note: As you can see there is a rich and diverse selection, so poo poo on those gas prices, and take the advice of http://phillyspeak.com/ who so poetically stated that this summer he is taking a STAYCATION and hanging in Philadelphia for exploration, and this weekend the adventure is at the Philadelphia Independent Film Festival.  http://www.philadelphiaindependentfilmfestival.com/

(some content on this blog came from my favorite site: Wikipedia)

Monday, June 23, 2008

DID YOU WORK AT HA WINSTONS and want FREE tickets for this weekend's DEVO concert in Philadelphia?

I know this is short notice, but I ran into Live Nation's Adam Spivak the other day, who I know from working at HA Winsons, the restaurant that his father and uncle - Jerry and Herbie Spivak founded. It was definitely my favorite job that I worked at before I went to college, hmm even after I went to college and helped me stave off the inevitable adulthood, it was a party job. It's hard to believe, but like Second Story, which I talked about last week, HA Winstons was a hopping nightclub in the Eighties as well. (Adam was a bartender there for a summer too.) Anyway Adam, his wife Megan and I were talking about how great it would be if we planned a HA Winstons reunion someday; Adam wrote me today to say a mini one could happen this weekend. Adam writes: "How about you put it on your blog, Free DEVO ( good 80's Band, right?) concert at Festival Pier, this Saturday, For all ex- HA Winston employees, to get a free ticket. You can put together a list and I'll get you the tickets" (Hughe's note: I can't make it, completely booked this weekend, but I will definitely see if there is an interest to get a HA Winston's reunion going; anyone remember the best Christmas Party ever at PAL right before they knocked it down?)So you guys, if you worked at HA Winstons, send me your info, what store you worked at and the years, and I will pass the list onto Adam, who will make sure your name is on the guest list. DEVO Festival Pier at Penn's Landing, 6/28 at 12:00pm DEVO Columbus Boulevard at Spring Garden Street. For tickets buzz@philly chit chat.com (no spaces)