Friday, August 8, 2008


(Photos from last night's Philadelphia Style Magazine - The White Party, will be posted on Monday, because today is 08/08/08 and...) Last week I joined Where!! Magazine's Laura Burkhardt, Will Kline, Karen Gross and Zelinda O'Hara along with Carlotta & Chumley for a celebrity bartending event which was part of the Kildare's Charity Summer Series. Their event benefited Action AIDS.

A nice crowd came out to support the cause. The youthful with Perez like zingers Carlotta, Zelinda O'Hara & Mark Singer Chumley and Laura Burkhardt.

Jeff Alexander, Christine McGuigan, Michael Strunk, Sean Bivens all from Beneficial Bank said they were willing to walk the 10 blocks for another Kildare's roast beef sandwich at lunch the following day.

Todd Siwinski and Meredith Lindemon - Daily Candy. Who was boldfaced and in Dan Gross' column yesterday:"Comcast founder Ralph Roberts and actress wife Suzanne were among diners at Parc (18th & Locust) Tuesday night where they sat at a table away from, but had no interaction with, Meredith Lindemon of Yesterday came word the cable giant bought the events listings site for $125 million. Philly is one of 13 cities with DailyCandy newsletters." (When something is boldfaced it means of somewhat important, so it's highlighted, it catches your eye and maybe the reader might really pay attention and read it and not just skim it. Hmm maybe I'll start doing that) Todd works on set designson movies including Philly made "The Village" and "David Searching"David Schwartz, Marty Futrell, Doug Schaller, Michael Soileau, and Rob Goldman

My BF Mike Toub, Mark Beyerle and Terese Balzereit, director of international marketing at the Pennsylvania Tourism Office . Mark Beyerle, owner of Specialty Solutions Group, which operates a catering business and tours and events for visitors. Mark spoke to me about the new bill, sponsored by Councilwoman Blondell Reynolds Brown, to test tour guides in the City. He said that there was “much conditional work” needed, including the distinction between guides and escorts, public and private tours and whether out-of-town tour groups would be exempt from the bill. “We support the spirit of it. We don’t necessarily believe that an application and test will make a better guide,” Byerly said.

Robert Weinberg and Anthony Padilla
Ellen Himic of Ellen Himic Jewelery designer, Kristin and Enrique Garcia, with Laura Burkhardt and Dolph Ward Goldenburg, William Way Center Director. Dolph says that we have until August 15 to make a donation where an anonymous donor will match it dollar for dollar. Which reminds me I want to cut that check today.
The newlyweds Dino Minelli and Carrie Nork Minelli, Cashman & Assocs. Yes that's her official name now. In September their wedding story will be featured in the Philadelphia Inquirer. I will keep you posted.
Laura Blumenthal, Gigi Lamm, Spencer Lamm and Bridget Keegan who had fun drinking their beers through the funny straws that were provided by Carlotta
Today's Laura's 2nd Annual Big Bang Birthday on 08/08/08 - Happy Birthday Laura!!
Auction Items that helped bring the total amount raised for Action AIDS was $799 (Damn couldn't someone kick in another $1)

next week 8/14 celebrity guests are:

Joe Conklin, "Man of 1,000 Voices"

Gwen Gioia, The Bachelorette

Kharisma McIlwaine, The CW Crew

Gervase Peterson, Survivor (To be seen in Butch Cordova's Straight Men/Gay Men Calendar)

Christian Ramirez-Coll, The CW Crew

Diego, Q102 (Could you call Booker to the bar?)

Thursday, August 7, 2008

ARE THE LOCUST CLUB DAYS NUMBER re: 8+2 is 10, whats worse adults who spent a million or kids in school?

I remember the prominently Jewish social club, The Locust Club with it's green awning's and uniformed doorman greeting its smartly dressed members as they arrived for dining or cocktails. But as progress rolled on and the prejudice that once kept Jewish patrons from entering the doors of other clubs, including the Union League, the dwindling numbers hit the Locust Club hard. The once 1000 membership strong fell to less than 300 in the early 1990s and the Club closed. A series of promising restaurants were never able to succeed here, and the building fell silent. In 2004, a developer filed plans to build a 10 story condo project after obtaining the two adjoining brownstones; he was met with neighborhood opposition. Progress is again rearing it's ugly head, and on Friday July 8, the 1610 - 1618 there's a 9AM at 1515 Arch Street 18th Floor the Historic Commission will review the application a 10 story structure which will be a music school and 23 dormitory rooms. The facade of two of the buildings
will be saved.Soon Philadelphia can offer tours of the facade's of what were once great buildings, we will start with the building that was once in front of the Penn Mutual building at 6th and Walnut, then go to the window casing at 8th and Chestnut, then over to the the façade of the c. 1900 Beaux-Arts style Rittenhouse Club where they are building 10 Rittenhouse Square as well as others...
The basement will be reserved for classrooms and a cafeteria. The Roof will have a terrace.

The white permit is from that failed project I spoke of earlier - $1 Million Condo's. The big complaint then was the building of an 8 story building, the music school wants to build 10 story, seems a lot worse for the shadow that will fall on the historic St. Mark's across the street. At the time this quote appeared in the Phila Biz Journal:

"The biggest issue is the height and the impact on the church's garden," said Richard C. DeMarco, an attorney at Klehr Harrison representing St. Mark's. "The garden is part of the church's identity, and the building is not sympathetic to the church."

Was the four years of four abandoned buildings enough to get this project done?
I imagine this hallway will be demolished, can I have the wainscoting?
If you have something to say please attend the meeting
Friday 9AM at 1515 Arch Street, 18th Floor

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

JAMES RESTAURANT's Chef James Burke chosen by Food & Wine for Best New Chef re: Party Photos

The other night I went to a party at James in Bella Vista on the edge of South Philadelphia.
It was in celebration of the chef and co-owner James Burke being named one of Food & Wine Magazine's Best New Chefs for 2008; James opened 18 months ago. It's run by the husband-and-wife team of Chef Jim Burke and Kristina Burke.
The family was on hand for the celebration. Chef Burke and his wife are in the center of this photo.
Some of the food that was passed included hanger steak and potato confit skewers
Chicken liver pâté (hmm love it), Olive tapenade, Tuna tar tar, Porcini arancine
Braised octopus and cherry tomato with tarragon. What I was really impressed with, no not the octopus, but the the servers carried two dishes, one for the food and another for the placement of your used toothpicks. Usually when I am at an event I have to put those things in my pockets, or I see people place them on any flat surface available.

I was really impressed with the crowd that was assembled for the shindig; it really was an eclectic crowd of people, some who I really admire, for example Fashion Writer from the Philly Inquirer Elizabeth Wellington and Big Brother/Big Sisters Kelly Williams. I was so excited to meet Elizabeth, especially as Fashion Week is upon us and maybe we will run into each other up in NYC.For my long time readers you who know the term I someimes use "Philebrity" which I usually preface it with, Joey Sweeney's awesome term, how I hate he coined it instead of me, ok not really the hate part, but here he and she are: 's Joey Sweeney & Ruth Carpenter, with WebLinc eCommerce guru Jen Oliver and WXPN's Jared Styles

XIX's marketing guru Molly O'Shea and Lisa Marie Walls. Juan Carlos Fernadez, RJ Thornburg of Bahdeebahdu, Michael Haschak of Pure Design, Warren Muller of (They will be having an art opening in the fall, look for it)
Janita "Applebaum" Styles, Kristina Burke, Jessiah Styles and well another guy in a seer sucker suit that I failed to get his name. Sometimes I don't want to disburb people I fail to get their names and well that doesn't make a good Social Diary if names are missing. I work on that.

Jessica Wilson and Kelly KvitkaDJ Joey Sweeney laying down the tracks. Pretty impressive as the crowd was swaying and some folks moved to the space infront of the computer (that is still so weird for me to see, instead of a turntable or CD player, so old and unhip I will forever be). Good selection of music too. It was fun for me to chat with Joey & Ruth since I am such a fan of their site. Fan because I can't stop reading it, it's interesting, sometimes it is dead on, but sometimes I get mad when it attacks people I know that I think is unfair, and if its not well then I'm just sad for my friends.

About 150 guests attended; usually (when it's set with tables),
the restaurant can accommodate 60 or so for dinner, and about 20 at the bar. There seemed to be plenty of room, and the crowd was lively and comfortable. I like when the crowd at a party mixes and mingles, and sincerely that is the vibe you get from James and Krista Burke, relaxed and lively.

This is a great photo

Sous Chef Chris DeFeo who served two risottos: Saffron risotto and my favorite, Basil risottoMore Styles at the same party: Jessiah Styles, Janita Applebaum Styles and Chef James Burke. Jessiah and Janita have been out and about making both Michael Klein's column in July for his bday party at the G Lounge, and then yesterday 'casue they were partying with actor Hill Harper over the weekend.

Lauren Jacobsen, Jimmy Contreras and Deborah Zarnow. The girls are wearing clothes they bought at Jimmy's store, Kimberly Boutique in Center City. In fact Kristina Burke is wearing my favorite designer, Tibi bought at Kimberly's.

Political writer/film maker who also was in Michael Klein's column today congratulating her on selling her movie "Electile Dysfunction, here she is hugging her attorney Scott Sigman who must be a happy man to have negotiate the entertainment contract, WHOA is that attorney/client privilege?
I love this photo, and wish I could shoot a lot of my subjects from this angle. All of them really look terrific, hmm maybe I will insist on being shot from above. Joe Zoltek, Annie Heckenberger and Ruth Carpenter (I felt so naked as Annie and I had twit together for weeks and never met, even though we work in the same building, and she knows my intimate thoughts and this was our first meeting - Yikes!!)

PR Style Diva Sarah Doheny and John Snoden
Dan Murphy with my friendly competition, ok we are not competition, Jessica Hawkes and Scott. Jessica shoots for Philly Magazine and is fun, as you can tell, to hang out with.One of the hits of the evening was a signature drink that they whipped up for the evening, called Hendrick's and Honeydew. Made with fresh honeydew and garnished with a sprig of thyme and a bit of the melon, it was refreshing and lovely, perfect for a swampy summer evening. Check out the recipe after the jump.

Hendrick's & Honeydew

7 medium honeydew melon balls
1 1/2 ounces gin, preferably Hendrick's
1 ounce chilled tonic water
1 thyme sprig

In a cocktail shaker, muddle 4 of the honeydew balls with the gin. Add ice and shake well. Strain into an ice-filled rocks glass and stir in the chilled tonic water. Garnish with the remaining 3 honeydew balls and the thyme sprig. (And we were in luck as the gift bag was cleverly packed with all the items you needed to make the drink at home, even a full size ripe melon. If Phyllis is reading this I apologize for eating your pretzel before giving you the bag the next day - LOL)
I had two shots published from this event. This first one was placed by my agency out of NYC (WENN). It was placed on this site that publishes entertainment photos daily, usually doing involving the arts or food. Contact They cropped the original photo as I would have, to tell the whole story.
The Inquirer cropped it even more. I really appreciate my friend Susan Helfrich "setting" up this shot. I saw her going over to introduce herself, moved a nice women out of the way and captured this "candid" shot. If you follow my style you will know that I prefer a "real life" shot as opposed to the posed one. When shooting a red carpet, it is necessary to capture a posed photo, also events too, but as for photojouralism I really like the natural settings and I try not to disburb the scene too much. Here's the actual photo, where Matt Vlahos is in the edge of the photo. I saw the photo happen b4 it did, and it took all my energy to not push him to the right, so I "I Dream of Jeannie" willed it, and I was able to get one shot off before he walked into the frame further.
So if you haven't been to James, don't wait anymore, it's delicious and heck he's been voted by Wine and Magazine, a national magazine I might add, one of the Best New Chefs in the country!!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Quest Love’s Air Questo Air Force 1 PHILADELPHIA UBIQ SALE - re: is waiting in line worth it?

(Photos for this event will be posted after Sunday) After work yesterday (Monday), I was walking down Walnut Street and noticed these folks sitting in line. I thought hmm maybe they are waiting for jobs for the new restaurant going in where Striped Bass used to be. Being a curious kinda guy, and well Philly Chit Chat likes to report on good humor hopeful stories I went over and asked what the line was for. The guy in the white shirt, who would only give his name as Eddie, said they were waiting for the new ?uest Nike Sneakers at UBIQ, the sneaker and streetwear institution in Philadelphia at 1509 Walnut, which is across the street from where Eddie was waiting in line SINCE SATURDAY AT NOON.
After picking my jaw up off the ground I asked what the big deal was. He said he was there for his kid and his best friend who were # 2 & #3 in line. He told me the Air Questo Sneakers were $225. I asked well do you collect sneakers. He said he has for years. Was he a big collector of pokemono cards; No was the curt response. Then the truth came out. "Did you know these sneakers are selling for $1,000 on EBay, but we're just going to keep ours" That's when I thought, now I know he's crazy, sell one of those pairs Eddie!! (I know what you're thinking.. 42hrs/$1000, rats, rain, heat, where the heck is the bathroom? Maybe you'll change your mind after this...)

Ron Crawford gave me the 411 (do people still use that lingo) anyway Ron says that the shoes will be rung up by ?uest and the store only has 96 pairs. Altogether Nike produced 300 pairs making these sneakers a very limited edition. These sneakers were only offered in THREE cities in the US. NYC - because of its trend setting nature, LA for the flash and cash, and Philadelphia because of it's birthright in music and ?uest is from here.Not just any sneakers, but a pair designed by Ahmir "?uestlove" Thompson, drummer for the Grammy-winning hip-hop band, The Roots. Thompson designed the $225 red, green and gold Air Force 1 sneakers as part of the shoe company's 1World collection, which will feature 18 designs over eight months.

“These Air Questo’s right here are an extension of my personality. Kind of all-over-the-place” said ?uest Love. “I just wanted to start off with a very loud statement, a sneaker that sort of has 12 exclamation points behind it. Something that just screams “Rahhhhrr” so you know, this is an extension of my personality. The inside (of the shoe) is of me drumming. Yeah, inside art is very important to me. Even though you’re the only person that sees it from a consumer standpoint but, I sorta know you put a lot of work into it as a designer based on how your shoe is designed on the sole.” - ?UESTThe shoe features a mixture of burgundy leather and red canvas with neon green elephant print. It has red shoelaces, a lasered silhouette of ?uestlove, and a golden Nike swoosh. ?uestlove proclaims these shoes to be “an extension of [his] personality” as he strives to make “a very loud statement, a sneaker that sort of has 12 exclamation points behind it.”

1st floor: Men's and ladies kicks up front. Nike, Puma, Adidas, Reebok, Clae etc.
Toys and men's apparel to the aft. Undefeated, Alphanumeric, Futura Laboratories, aNYthing, Kid Robot, etc.
I'm told both men and women find these particular shoes attractive which are almost-ridiculous-looking Nikes, but if there's a market for them that's terrific.

outlandishly colored row after row. I like it, I think I will look for my September fashion week shoes her, or maybe something to wear to all the events I shoot. I have been looking for my little schtick and I don't like bow ties or colorful sports jackets.
The main floor, but don't forget to go to the 2nd floor: for Vans, Chucks and a bit of clothing.
These cases hold limited edition sneakers from years gone by (2001 -2006) ranging in the price between $1000 and $4000.
Duckie tells me that tomorrow is more than just a limited edition sale of ?UEST Sneakers "It's like Willie Wonka, because 8 of the shoes have golden laces which are very limited edition as they only made 25 pairs with the gold laces and tips.
Also included in the "Golden Ticket" sneaks are a pair of tickets to a special Roots concert. "People look at you like, 'A pair of sneakers?'" Eddie said. "But they don't understand, it's a culture." So look for Eddie at the head of the line throughout the day Tuesday, because the sneaker sale doesn't begin until 6PM when Ahmir "?uestlove" Thompson, drummer for the Grammy-winning hip-hop band, The Roots rings up the sales himself, and then spins for an hour.
August 5
UBIQ Walnut Street
1509 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19102