Friday, November 7, 2008


I apologize for going over this story again, but I have a few more things to say here is the link 2Monday's story about the Pinata and my observation of the biggest PR event this year:

If the saying there is no bad press rings true, then the Pinata story is an astounding success because after I wrote (and a few others) it was picked up by a lot of other sites including WHYY, later in the week my blog was mentioned on NBC10 and then the story hit some of the newspapers. As a blogger that kind of linkage is validating and good for your rank in the search engines' especially the Google Gods.

Plus it's kinda fun to write about something the newspapers don't pick up on until after the fact, a lot of them didn't have press out there because they must have known it was "just a commercial" being filmed and had no idea what kind of a huge turn out and later fiasco it would turn into.

I drove by the Pinata the other day, it's still intact. Do you see what is missing in this photo, the ribbons that were under the belly. I spoke to someone who is in PR that knows the PR that handled the event, they said that the ribbons were attached to trap doors which were really going to release the candy and that the wrecking ball was just symbolic, and alledgedly made of paper mache, although to my naked eye it looked like metal. Another rumor has it the deed will be done Sunday. Maybe it's invite only as I haven't read anything definitive about that date. Personally I would like to see it moved down to Penns Landing as it's such a good tourist attraction, it could be called the Penns Landing Pinata, as a symbol of another unfishinesed attraction. As for now the Pinata has three guards protecting it, so don't even think about taking it home to your house!
As some of you may know I have a weekly photo column in the Metro, but if they get a big advertisement, they bump my photos like they did this week so the pictures that I picked to run in the paper did not happen. So here they are, it's not the might Metro, but I do get about 700 hits a day, and over a lifetime that could be a lot.
Troi Harrison, Azim Williams, Mahlon Crampton, Anitra Prempeh
All these were shot using the flash, and I have to say flash is the way to go especially when the sun is behind the person. Here's Steve Gibson, Nuria Zelaya, Jenn Robles and Seema Mamtora
I do the labels this way so when I send my photos to my NY agency he can tell where the break is between names. I didn't send these photos there, but I stay in the habit of doing it. I should have sent the Pinata photos to my agency, I didn't anticipate it being such a big story, and was so busy this week I didn't upload them to WENN. Bummer.
Heather Morton_Jason Begin_Andy Kintner

These guys love the Metro and read it everyday, it would have been a thrill for them to see themselves while riding the bus to work, as that's when they read it they told me.
Deshae, Noah, Tirzah, Chloe Peddy and Danielle and Sarai Brown-Alexander and Marilyn Brown

Here are some fun links about this story: or just do a search on Philly Pinata to get the whole story. Of course this is Philly and droves of people should have been expected to show up, especially since it was a free event, a spectacle, a weekend and we were already freaking excited after the Phillies winning the World Series, the parade and Halloween.

Plus who didn't want to see the largest Pinata ever; can you imagine if it was announced they were filming a TV commercial for the largest Pinata and they were giving away 8000lbs of candy? Talk about crowds, then they would have really seen a crowd.Next week I will explain why it's not a good thing to embarrass the freelance photographer who you can't get fired, because 1) he works for himself for this blog, and 2) he's not going to drop everything to take your photo with the first "celebrity" you've ever seen in your whole life, even if your bf screams at at the top of his lungs and everyone at 10 Arts hears it that you want your picture taken NOW; ok I did take it but only because of the pained look on Stewart's face as he was embarrassed for me too, and as for your bf apologizing later because he said he was a loud drunk, that's still not going to get you this photo of you and his hotness Stewart Bradley, because you are the one who basically called me a scumbag.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

WHERE MAGAZINE ALONG WITH LAGO'S AWARDS an Outstanding Concierge with the key to the City of Politeness!!

Webster's dictionary defines Concierge as a French word meaning "gatekeeper" or "keeper of the keys". The position has its origins going back to the time of palaces and castles in ancient France. The royal household employed a "Concierge" whose job it was to see to the needs of VIP visitors as well as to hold the keys to the many castle rooms. The "key" remains a symbol of the Concierge profession to this day.

This year Philadelphia's Where Magazine, which as you know being a follower of PCC daily, has a monthly concierge get together, along with Lago's has started what will become the annual awarding of the Lago's Key to a lucky concierge here in Philadelphia. (The Lago's key was made famous by Demi Moore, ok by me, as I had heard that Ashton bought the necklace for Demi and the story appeared in the Inquirer along with a photo I took of Demi walking in Rittenhouse Square; after that article appeared in the news, Laura as well as many people, I hear, bought the Key Necklace, which is really stunning - The Michael Klein mention in INQlings:

Out and around

Demi Moore has been wearing a sterling Lagos "key" necklace since she and Ashton Kutcher were spotted last week walking out of the Lagos store at 18th and Walnut streets. The necklace, which sells for $195, was designed by Steven Lagos to "enable the wearer to open whatever door is in front of her right now." ) Anyway, Laura Burkhardt, publisher of Where Magazine, bought the "Key" based on the article and the subsequent kyw3 interview I did with the channel. Laura being in the hospitality business had this brilliant idea to award the Lagos Key to a concierge in the City that did extraordinary work for their clients and approached Lago's who thought it was a great idea to, as the Concierge are the eyes and ears for our City, helping guests of their hotel navigate the City in making it a most enjoyable experience. James Zeleniak and Laura Burkhardt
Carrying the position forward into modern times, Hotels throughout the world have long known that having a concierge service on site lends value as an amenity to hotel guests. (I always wanted to be a concierge. Maybe I can follow one of these folks around for a day and see what it entails, I love helping people. Maybe someday...a boy can dream)

The event was held at the Smith and Wollensky at the Rittenhouse Hotel, twice in one week I have been there, I could get used to such pampering. The food has always been delicious here, and to my surprise, as it was the first time I had been in this particular one, S&W has 2nd floor dining with a view of Rittenhouse Square. My suggestion is if you were thinking of having a special dinner, go to S&W and ask for the 2nd floor window, the trees in the park are spectacular at this time.
One of the first people that came up to me when I entered the room was Rittenhouse Hotel's David Benton; what a class act, comes over and says "good evening, I just met you Friday night, John Colabelli introduced us. Sure enough he was right, I was there Friday night shooting for Philadelphia Magazine the "Give Your Shirt Off Your Back Mask Ball", very good memory Mr Benton's has; we chatted a bit and then I was off to snap away. L-R Julie Coker, GM Hyatt Penn's Landing, David Benton, Glen Michael, Hyatt Penns Landing, Chris Matlack, Hyatt Penns Landing , and Glen Pappas, Hyatt Penns Landing.Cabaret Singer, Where! Magazine Editor Karen Gross (remember to stop by and catch her show on Friday 11/7 at the Tin Angel at 7:30PM, she's a hidden treasure in Philly) Barbara and Chef Olivia de St. Martin (Zinc & Cafe Caribou) and Chef Kevin Meeker, Philadelphia Fish Company.

Steven Lagos and Meryl Adis (At the age of 17, Steven Lagos learned the tradition and concepts of the jewelry trade from an 85 year old Russian master. His mentor taught him the lessons of old world craftsmanship, while impressing upon him the importance of working with the highest quality materials. Today, these lessons and traditions are the cornerstone of all LAGOS products.)
Paula Jackson, Courtyard by Marriott, Maureen Crumbley, and Annamarie Sonfini both from the Downtown Marriott in Philadelphia.Philadelphia Trolley Works’ Mike Kates, Karen Ini, Ken Ferber, Laura Burkhardt, Carrie Nork-Minelli, Dino Minelli

Love: CARRIE NORK & DINO MINELLI Philadelphia Inquirer 09/10/2008

Louise Castellano, Profile PR's Jennifer (Promoting the hospitality industry’s brightest and best since 1992), Karen Gross and Julie Humeas enjoying a cocktail or two, chatting about business and the election which was being held the next day.

Enrique and Kristina Garcia, met in college married for a year, cute as a button.Zelinda, Glen Pappas, Hyatt Penns Landing; Brian Mohulo, Raddison; Frank Marandino, Rittenhouse; Jason Crook, Phila Home and Garden on Walnut
The winner, Glen Pappas, was voted on by the advertisers of WHERE! MagazineJulie Coker, GM - Hyatt Penn's Landing, Concierge Glenn Pappas, Where Magazine Publisher, Laura Burkhardt and Jewelery designer and the creator of the Lagos Key, Steven Lagos
After this event Laura, Jennie and I retired to 210, upstairs, for a bite to eat. OMG delicious, shocklingly the bar menu is inexpensive, nice getaway. Try the pork and the tuna tarte, exquisite. Thanks girls

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

OBAMA WINS IT ALL and I helped a tiny little itty bit

Mike got up and went down to our polling place, that's right our building is it's own little district as we have a population of a little over a thousand people in the 776 units. There was a line at 6:30AM, geez those old folks get up early I admire them.
Mike took an IPhone shot of his mom working the polls and it later appeared on the City Paper Election Cover page

Then it was out on the streets to drive voters to the polls, and for visibility as we duded up our car.It's good to see Florida blue, and Virigina voting a Democratic Prez in for the first time in 44 yrs - WOW

Lots of good visibility on Broad and Chestnut. It was good to see a lot of young people out on the streets fighting the good cause
Relentlessly the Earth is supporting Obama. Mike and I actually had a lot of down time as it turned out that many of the voters had planned accordingly to get to the polls, to make a difference, but it was nice to have the backup just in case of an emergency, we were glad to be there for themI was so irritated to see Jesse Jackson crying as just a few weeks back he had some harsh words about Obama (I understand why he is crying as I cried too, but I disagree with his criticism of the President elect including this statement)... An open microphone picked up Jackson whispering, "See, Barack's been talking down to black people ... I want to cut his nuts off." I think he was just jealous, but I don't want to see him near the White House.
Even Morocco was for Obama
1500 Sansom Hdqtrs was buzzing all day, people really came out and worked hard for Obama. They were so organized that there wasn't a lot to do to get folks to the polls, we were sorta back up in case the car pools or vans failed.

After driving a few folks to the polls, we were sent to North Philly near Lehigh and 10th Street, to pick up a few volunteers and return them to Hdqrts. Some people had put in 10 -12 hr days for the past week, many took vacation days to travel to our swing state to help out.
Lots of buzzing going on here too

Obama is her Homeboy!North Philly Broad Street 6PM, lots of great visibility.
Then we picked up a few volunteers (3) from 15th Street to take back to North Philly (22nd & Diamond), Nicole and Stacy; small world they work for Red Tettemer which is in the building where I work! In fact I was introduced to Stacy a few weeks back by Matthew Vlahos, but don't tell her I don't remember; that is the drawback to my hobby, I meet hundreds of people and it will take me a bit to get to know them all.

As I was talking to the girls, asking their assignment one bailed and said she didn't want to fo to that area, then we discussed it and we returned to the 15th Street headquarters for another assignment. In the end I told the Vol Director of everyone's concern in canvasing/line control in North Philly (22nd & Diamond), which would have been a problem in the daylight, we were just completely unfamiliar with that area. Instead they sent us to Point Breeze, which he said they could walk the 2 miles to get there. Which was crazy as it was 7:15PM and who had time.I drove them. Well in this area they wanted her to canvas and knock on doors at 25th and Washington. The girls had just missed the training and didn't want to wing it, so we took another call to drive a women in Kennsington to her place of voting. Even if it wasn't questionable areas, I just don't think knocking on any door at 7PM is a good use of anyone's time, let alone I wouldn't want anyone knocking on my door on election night at 7PM, enough already.

at 7:30PM, we did get a call right before that to drive a man in the NE to a polling place, but it was 5 miles in the other direction and he wasn't sure if he was even registered.
After 8PM, Mike and I headed home, checking in on our polling place. Obama trounced McCain with the majority of the building being little 'ol Jewish ladies as my mother-in-law and her friends say of themselves who are the little 'ol Jewish women, who volunteered daily for months at the campaign office, worked the polls for 12 hrs and sold buttons on the streets of Philadelphia. In my building they have an impressive way of mobilizing themselves, they have a discussion group, and even the most prominent politician and speakers come speak to them at organized meetings. Nonetheless 709 folks voted out of 1100 folks, we always have a high percentage, but this was unprecendented.

We called it a night after they called Ohio, and returned to our condo to wait for the big speech at Midnight!!I Twitter'ed my happiness at 11PM when CNN made the prediction

Tuesday, November 4, 2008




First Friday is coming and after checking out the art, why not check out the talented and versatile singer-songwriter, cabaret performer, vocalist and pianist, Karen Gross as she enchants audiences with her warmth, humor, captivating stage presence and gorgeous, expressive voice at the Tin Angel 20 S. 2nd St Old City 215-928-0770 @7:30PM.By that time you'll want to escape the cold that is finally settling in, maybe for a drink, but what you will really be getting is a really great show with songs you can relate to, some are covers, a few original, trust me you will enjoy them, as well as chuckle a bit as Karen has a wickedly fun sense of humor.
Last week a few of us gathered at the Lisa M. Reisman Gallery to browse, chit chat, nosh and more importantly catch a Karen Gross preview. Since launching her professional music career in 2001, Karen has been busy performing at prestigious music venues and festivals including Lincoln Center in NYC, Harrisburg’s Whitaker Center, Bethlehem’s Musikfest, and Philadelphia's premier music venues including Tin Angel, Cabaret at Odette’s, World Café Live, The Point and Grape Street.
Karen, like so many of us, wears a few hats. She's the editor of Where! Magazine as she pursues he love of music and performing -- as a cabaret performer; and it's a talent that shouldn't go unnoticed. (I'm a paralegal by day, a paparazzi by night PS I have to say I love my new camera, this was shot w/o a flash and the picture has such great colors)Laura Burkhart and Michael Byrne were in attendance.
Barbara de St. Martin, Will Klein and Caribou Cafe & Zinc owner Olivier de St. Martin ;
I had a chance to talk to Chef Olivier de St. Martin and stuck my foot in my mouth, when I told him that when I lived in the neighborhood (12 years ago), Caribou was one of my favorite restaurants and I like the Caribou salad, at which point he mentioned he's only owned it for 6 years. Well I don't really get out much. But then I went on to say how I appreciated that he was one of the first to bring Alfresco dining to that end of Walnut St and how important it was to bring life to that area. He agreed and said he had the first license to do so. Note to self: Must go to Caribou Cafe this month.
Karen’s original cabaret show “Sex & the Single Singer,” a delicious mix of music and comedy, has sold out the house at legendary venues including Cabaret at Odette’s and Philadelphia's Tin Angel. “Sex & the Single Singer” is a sassy, sexy musical journey of a woman’s experiences living on her own, looking for love and forging her own path in the world. I just love cabaret music, the intimacy, the romance and all that comes with Karen's show as she really connects with her audience, as will these songs. Friday Nov 7, 2008 Tin Angel 20 S. 2nd St Old City 215-928-0770

Sexy, sweet Kayce Cashman was picked as one of Philly's hot singles in this month's issue of Philadelphia Magazine, pick it up at stores today (I can get you her digits if you need them); with her is Krista Guido both of Cashman & Associates. Karen had a great sense of humor and sprinkled it throughout her show, at one point taking on the persona of her grandmother and her opinions on what Karen should do about finding a man.rounding out the Cashman crew are Ashley Schaefer and Jacklyn Fisher.
Ashley is heading up the PR for the Foundation for Breast & Prostate Health’s Design for a Cause. Which kicks off on Thursday, November 13, with a party from 7PM-10PM where guests can experience the area’s best in interior and floral design and décor while sampling cuisine and cocktails from local caterers, restaurants and chefs. Tickets are $75 per person.

For more ticket information, please contact the Foundation for Breast and Prostate Health at 215-732-2300 or visit

Last time we visited the Lisa Reisman
gallery she was showcasing that fun exhibit on the history of bicycles over the summer, but wow what a difference a few months make, the exhibit is over and the store is gearing up for the holidays and is chock full of unique things, and favorites (I like the little train pencil sharpener and eraser holder)... The Lisa Reisman Gallery is tucked away on a side street near Rittenhouse Square at 1714 Rittenhouse Square Philadelphia, PA 19103 U.S.A (across the B&B where Oprah stayed when she filmed Beloved)
Greta Greenberger and Lisa Reisman (These two have never met, but they should have, it's like two twins with style and lots of common interest, it's no wonder I am a big admirer of them both)
I wholeheartedly recommend that everyone see Karen Gross as her she is fresh, exciting, and her love of her art is contagious, but don't take my word for it, see her this Friday at Tin Angel Friday Nov 7, 2008 Tin Angel 20 S. 2nd St Old City 215-928-0770 and take a listen to her on her website here
Thanks Lisa Reismann for hooking up with a nice gift bag full of goodies including an EP of Karen Gross' latest songs.