Friday, June 26, 2009


(UPDATED MONDAY) - ON SUNDAY, a young woman Laura Perille organized a spontaneous dance party on the steps of the art museum. Not sure if you’ve seen these done, but a couple people start dancing out of nowhere and then more join in, then more, then more. It all started with an instructional video on YouTube and then people show up. The point is that they look spontaneous – so you’ll see tourists looking around wondering what’s happening. These things get great viral pick-up on Youtube/Facebook, etc. You can watch the link below

The "Spontaneous" Dance Party

Fulfilling life goals, one SDP at a time...
Sunday, June 28, 2009
2:00pm - 2:05pm
Art Museum
Philadelphia, PA

A "spontaneous" (aka choreographed dance that we are trying to make look spontaneous) dance on the steps of the Philadelphia Art Museum!

If you don't know what this entails, check out the following "spontaneous" dances in European train stations:

Ok, now to the one that we will be doing. Here is the link to the instructional video:

At the time of the event, you just jump in whenever you feel inspired by the music. The dance is just over four minutes long, and when the music ends, you just go on your merry way as if nothing had happened, thereby baffling the tourists.

Why should you do this?
1. You would make me VERY, VERY, VERY (etc.) happy.
2. When will you ever get another chance to do this?
3. I'm giving you an excuse to break it down in public.
4. Everyone can dance. YES you can.

This is legit. The Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau is interested in using this as a potential promotion for the city. We will be recording this event for our own entertainment as well as for promotional purposes.

In order to get as many people as possible in on this, please invite others who might be interested.

Check out this article in the Philadelphia City Paper:

For those of you who were curious, we will be blasting the music from speakers, so everyone will be able to hear what is going on.

Not to overstate the obvious, but remember that this is supposed to look spontaneous! If you are joining in the dance, you want to make it look like you just couldn't help but jump right in.



It's probably too late, but I wish they could add THRILLER

Thursday, June 25, 2009


Who said Philadelphia never has celebrities. This paparazzi knows that they are here. Most of the times they come in the form of visiting sports teams to do battle with our guys, (here the autograzzi are trying to obtain a graph from a ball player last Friday. Who did the Phillies play?)The folks I'm after are the A Lister's, the people that I can get published nationally and get a little notice for Philadelphia. Trust me it's not about the money, unless you get the shot of Britney doing something crazy or video of a celeb punching another one, we are talking $10 - $20, but priceless PR for our City and since I never became the concierge I always wanted to be, this is the next best thing for me to promote the City.

It's few and far between when a Hayden, Aniston or a Moore swings by the City, but we do get our fair share of celebrities or folks who would be guest stars on The Love Boat if it was still in production. Here's Leslie Jordan a recognizable face from TV and the movies, at a Happy Hour at Union Trust last week.
He was in town to appear at Plays and Players in "Del Shores The Storyteller: My Sordid Life" with actor/model Jason Dottley. Jason, Leslie and actor/writer/director Del Shores. Get a copy of "Sordid Lives" by Del Shores, you will be ROFL. Stars Olivia Newton John and Rue McCallahan.

Jane Seymour with Jane Golden. I love this photo of them greeting each other at the Wall Ball
Here's a shot as it was published nationally on this daily entertainment site:

It pays to know the people who patronize our restaurants. Someone tipped me off to Gwen Stefani and No Doubt was eating at Morimoto's in Old City a few weeks back.

Although this shot didn't appear in any print media, besides the Inquirer, a shot like this can be placed on many of websites, and blogs across the world giving Morimoto and Philly a good shot of PR.

The latest movie filming in Philadelphia is "The Best and the Brightest" with Neil Patrick Harris, Bonnie Somerville and Amy Sederis. This week it's been occupying a house on the 2000 block of Spruce Street for filming. I've gone by a few times. Last Friday, June 19, I took this shot as well as a gigantic one that was on the cover of the Philadelphia Inquirer yesterday, which I will be writing about next week as I was invited on the set to conduct a series of interviews with producers and observe the filming.

Last night Doogie was eating at Audrey Claire's and probably had a good laugh as I was scouring the sidewalk across the street looking for him. When I finally saw he was right behind me, he quickly walked past me to the set.

Last night he was eating there again, not wanting to disturb him I waited. This time a producer came out to chat, er distract me, and Doogie came out and walked all the way around the block back to the set. That's just ridiculous, really who does he think he is Tom Cruise, oh wait Tom Cruise would never do that, not only would he come out, but he would tell you his schedule for the rest of the night, he knows the photos I take are for the fans.

JULY 4TH EVENTS IN PHILADELPHIA - Sunoco Welcome America Celebration

I've been getting a lot of hits about what to do in Philadelphia on July 4th since I wrote an earlier piece on it. Independence Day is a big deal here, with most activities around Independence Mall and a few blocks away along the Delaware River at Penn's Landing. On June 27, 2009 the party gets kicked off with a free concert at 7PM, Angie Stone, and fireworks display at Penns Landing around 9:30PM. Then there's a week of activities, here's the schedule. America's Birthday

The culmination is a huge free concert at 8:30PM, with The Roots and Sheryl Crow, on Ben Franklin Blvd ending in a spectacular fireworks display. Here are a few links to help you plan your trip.

City Food Tour -

4th of July Red, White, & Blue Food Tour

Also on June 27, 2009 there's a concert with the Philadelphia Orchestra at the Mann Music Center. At the end of the concert there will be a spectacular fireworks display as well.

Here's a great site with ideas on how to spend the day:

The Mural Arts will be giving their regular tours on that day: Saturday 12:30PM
Most Museums will be open:

The Best Things to do in Philly: Comprehensive list

The Independence Tea Party Association

One of the most important websites: America's Birthday which has all of the City sponsored events for the day, including the week before.
I will be adding to this list as the days go on. Look for The Biggest and the Brightest entry for next week. I need a bit more time to create it. Best Hughe

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


Hmm not a big fan of this title until Justin Pizzi told me "Hughe after 10 weeks, you will feel like a 10 because your life is going to be different." And since he put it that way, my attitude about the title has changed and I know I will feel like a 10 in 10 weeks. I guess like a lot of people my size we don't feel we can be a 10 when my waist size is about 5x's that.
But I need to change that my defeatists attitude; thankfully there are people in my life that believe in me and my goal and encourage me to find the motivation to get me there. There's my family, my partner Mike and coach/owner of Fusion Cross Training Gavin McKay who constantly pushes me, inspires me and encourages me to push myself. All the coaches do, but I do boot camp with Gavin and that 70 minutes is difficult, but Gavin gives us the tools, and the motivation that helps us complete the tasks. Occasionally I get lazy, and fall back into bad habits, which promted this note from Gavin:
" you were not at last night's boot camp. I have already heard from why you weren't here this week so I am not looking for any response about that, we'll leave the past in the past, Boot Camp is when I am doing more of the program stuff (this weeks program including making goals and helping each other with them) so it is important. It is also the weekly check-in and when you get to know the other boot campers and get the social element working to every one's advantage. "
On Tuesday we did an interesting boot camp, which I can not divulge here, but it was that intense workout and the support of my fellow boot campers that really kicked it back into gear again and today I feel renewed and refresh. Unlike other gyms where you are working on your own, but here at Fusion the coaches encourage fraternizing while kicking your ass to get in shape.

When you decide to start exercising and eating healthy, I really think it might be helpful to do it with a friend, and if you can't find one in your life there's always the internet. There are a lot of helpful message boards including weight watchers where people just like you are going through this struggle. It really helps to have someone who's in the struggle with you to support you during those dark days. I do several things, I have partners in fitness, and I have a couple online sites I go to to talk about weight issues and food. I also got a couple books on the issue, one is called "Eat This, not That." This book has really opened my eyes to the shocking calorie content on some of the food on menus at my favorite restaurants. So this book has really helped me choose the correct meal that is satisfying.
Other motivators in my life are these inspirational signs in the bathroom; my favorite is "Age is a Number, Youth is a Choice", followed quickly by "Unleash your inner Athlete" then some Karma thing that Perez Hilton should have lived his life by.
(Another Gavin note) IMPORTANT: I want all boot campers to post their outcome goal on the goal board at Fusion (just ask us for a card and marker). Another way to keep it top of mind, by looking at it every time you come to workout! - Hughe's Goal for this week: I have fallen out of the habit of journaling. This week my goal will be to do it everyday.

I wrote my goal on this board, but also put one on my refrigerator at home to remind me and encourage me everyday. Maybe you should write a goal, put it on your refrigerator. You want people in your life to know your goals; I know they want to support and encourage you. With food and weight we always feel a lot of shame, but we need to embrace it and get over it to put it out there and get it out of our heads. (I should probably clip it to my money, especially when I pull out the wallet to pay for my cheat food pizza, or for my new passion Sweet Ending yogurt, which I seem to have every Tuesday after I do my weigh in at Fusion.)
But for today I'm working through that shame and am putting myself out way out there because I want others to see that you can do it, if I can do it. Especially since I know how you feel, the shame and difficulty of being the size we are. This week I lost another 3lbs, for a total of 10lbs in 4 weeks. Yippee. Very exciting. Now how long til that double chin goes away?
Also this week I will strive to get more than 4 hrs sleep a night. I haven't gotten that down yet.


Monday when I was leaving Fusion Fitness at 7AM, I noticed a "Orange Zoning" notice on backdoor of the Thrift Shop of the Jewish Federation. 1213 Walnut Street, which has been empty for at least 10 yrs. The zoning notice states that their will be a demolition of properties between 1213 Walnut to 1219 Walnut to build a 29-story mix of a hotel and apartments. U3 is working with Fergus Carey, owner of the popular Fergie’s Pub at 1214 Sansom, which would stay in its present location if the building goes forward.

The building would have 299 apartment units and 152 hotel rooms.

After a little research I see that there has been hearings which can be found on the website: 3rd video down.
It reminds me of the "Vera Coking" house in Atlantic City when Penthouse Magazine's Bob Guccione wanted to build a "Penthouse" Casino on the lot that also occupied her house.

In 1983, when Bob Guccione wanted to build his Penthouse Casino in Atlantic City he was successful in buying up all the homes along Columbia Blvd except for one. Vera Coking refused to sell her boarding house even for 1 Million bucks. So he built around it. Before the building was complete, Guccione's company went bankrupt and abandoned the the project. The incomplete building surrounded Vera's boarding house until 1993, when Donald Trump's Trump Plaza Hotel/Casino was to be built. Trump desired Coking's land to build a limousine parking lot, and he demolished the partial built Penthouse. He offered $300ks, but she declined.
Then he got the city of Atlantic City to condemn Coking's house in 1993, which attempted to use eminent domain to buy it out from under her. Coking, enlisting the help of an advocacy group, managed to fight the land grab successfully. She continued to live house surrounded by Trump Plaza's tower, parking lots and entryways until 2007 when she finally decided to sell for an undisclosed amount. (See Vera's house in the center of the picture. I tried to find a photo from 1983 when Guccione encased the Vera's house with girders, but none were to be located. I remember it was an unusual tourist curiousity for years)
As for the 1215 project, basically this whole lot & the Jewish Federation building on the right, will be a 30 story hotel/apt building, except where Fergie's is located, the green sign in the middle of the building. It's a gigantic project, and I will be excited to see it completed, although I am surprised anyone would proceed with such an enormous project in this economy.

Here's a screen shot from The entrance to the Hotel and Apts will be off street in a corridor on the left of the building. I spoke to a Fergie's employee and the staff is exciting for the busy few years as the tower is built. He also told me a little tidbit about the Jewish Federation building and how at one point this project was floated years before, but because the facade of the Federation building was deemed historic the building was a hard sell. In the past few years it's fallen on hard times, the facade has collapsed and a sale was more easily done in this state. Who know's if that's true, but it would explain why the building remained dormant for so many years. More information can also be found on PhillyBlog

Tuesday, June 23, 2009


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.
Jane Seymour stopped by again this year. Here she is with the guy who is responsible for her being introduced to the Mural Art's Program, Loews VIP Concierge Jonathan Vendrick. Last year she had been staying in the hotel as she was going to be showing her art at a gallery in Stone Harbor. He mentioned the gala and asked if she wanted to stop by, she said she would, and it was there they she fell in love with the program, and Jane Golden. Today they are good friends in art.
Besides buying a ticket to this wonderful event, you could also support it by participating in the silent auction filled with amazing stuff. This U2 Drum head sold for $1200. No doubt my friend Diane Werwinski would have loved to have won the bid. One of the things I learned over this past year is sometimes the organization arranges to book the items for the silent auction, or they retain someone to get the items. In this case Cashman & Assoc. were tapped to organize the auction, some of the items were donated and some were obtained by a third party. Left unsold the items are returned to the third party. Which is great as then they are offered again to another worthy charity.
Laura Burkhardt, Jeff Guaracino,Cari Feiler Bender and Nina Tinari

Jane brought some of her art again this year. I think both these pieces are about $2k's

Citizen Bank President Dan Fitzpatrick, Jane Golden, Jane Seymour and Rep Dwight Evans
The Mural Arts Program began in 1984 as a component of the Philadelphia Anti-Graffiti Network, an effort to eradicate the graffiti crisis plaguing the city. The Anti-Graffiti Network hired muralist Jane Golden to reach out to graffiti writers to redirect their energies from destructive graffiti writing to constructive mural painting. Without the love, and dedication of Jane Golden this program would never had been as successful as it has. You have to love what you do, and it shows through her efforts, she truly cares.

Ali Pearlstein, Josh Goldblum, guest, Mike McCaffrey; affiliate with Bluecadet who won a Webby this year. "BLUECADET INTERACTIVE’S WEBSITE: “LIVE HOPE LOVE” NAMED BEST ART SITE IN WEBBY PEOPLE’S VOICE AWARDS" Here is their 5 word thank you.
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.
Bank of America FREE Mural Tour

Saturday, June 27 · 10:00 am - 12:00 pm
Trolley picks up and drops at 423 E. Girard Ave, Fishtown

Call now for reservations for our popular FREE mural tours, sponsored by Bank of America in honor of our 25th Anniversary. These tours book up fast. Call 215.685.0754 today!

Also I HIGHLY recommend you take a Mural Arts Tour which is offered weekly and covers a different part of the city, or theme.

On the right is Ryan Derfler, who is the Tour Manager of the Mural Arts Program

Jane Seymour talks with young artistsGPFO Executive Director Sharon Pinkenson and Executive Director City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program Jane Golden (Two pioneering women responsible for making Philadelphia just a little bit better and brighter.)
This year the Mural Arts peeps decided to have a big cocktail party with a buffet rather than a big seated dinner. The bar was plentiful with lots of choices.
Mayor Nutter greets Jane Seymour. Last year a similar photo of them greeting each other appeared in the paper. This year I had already gotten the photo I thought was "the shot", so I wasn't disapointed that this shot came out sooo busy.
This is the shot that was published, and although I gave MK several choices, I was glad that he thought this was the best shot too.

Monday, June 22, 2009


Karen Gross entertains the guests at the "A Perfect Fit" held Wednesday, June 3, 20096-9pm at the Park Hyatt of Philadelphia at the Bellevue. Karen will performing her entire cabaret show on JUNE 25 7:30 pm "SEX & THE SINGLE SINGER" DEBUTS AT THE SOCIETY HILL PLAYHOUSE! Society Hill Playhouse, 507 S. 8th St. (between Lombard and South sts.)
Philadelphia PA. You don't want to miss it, she's talented and funny.Every year at the Career Wardrobe gala celebrity signed bags are auctioned off. Here's a bag signed by Andy Reid.
Sheylle Linton Jones, Kerri-Lee Halkett, Paige Wolf, and Michelle Buckman
Media giant Brett Silvers , publisher of Phlare Magazine for women.

Laverne Briggs and Darlene Booker-Jones were clients of the Career Wardrobe last year, and told me the service helped them land jobs and a great friendship.
Paige Wolf, Toby Ann Wolf, Merl Wolf and Lois Steinberg
One of the co-founder's Abby Siegel and Isabella
Marion Powell, Sherylle Linton Jones, Sen. Larry Farnesse, Where Publisher Laura Burkhardt, and Sheri Cole, Executive Director, The Career Wardrobe

Mayor Michael Nutter's Change Purse
Sex and the City's Sarah Jessica Parker's Purse
Michael S Smith and Nefertiti Jaquez
Thanks to the local newswomen who participated in this years fashion show: Dawn Stensland-Mendte, Fox29, Monique Braxton, NBC10, Jenifer Lewis and Christena Akers of The Career Wardrobe, Mary Stoker-Smith, CBS3, Laurel Woozley of The Career Wardrobe, Michelle Buckman and Sue Serio of Fox 29, Joey Fortman of MyPHL17 and Nefertiti Jaquez of Fox 29. Here Dawn Stensland-Mendte is telling the folks that she's lost some weight and is now a size 8.
Lori Wilson
Mary Stoker-Smith
The Career Wardrobe is the nation’s largest community-based nonprofit organization dedicated to assisting women in their transition to work by providing professional attire, networking and career skills training.

Started by a group of Philadelphia volunteers in 1994, The Career Wardrobe has assisted over 50,000 women to date.

Joey Fortman from MYPHL17 saw me and gave me this great pose. She probably had no idea my photos appear in the paper, but when it happened I knew this was the shot that would be chosen to run.

The Career Wardrobe is a great organization, and is well attended.

Let the live auction begin: Some of the bags are describe here if you click on the link:
Edwina Wyatts-Knowles and Stacy Beckhardt. Stacy was admiring a Bette Midler bag and said she was going to bid on it and win no matter what. I asked, are you a fan. No it's orange and as you can see by my current bag and glasses I love the color. Sure enough after a vigorous bidding war with a fan, Stacy came out victorious.

The most poignant bag of the night was one signed by Harry Kalas; The Viv Pickle handbag signed by late Phillies broadcasting legend Harry Kalas sold for $2,100 at the auction to benefit the Career Wardrobe.
The winning bidders were Linda and Cleve Corner of West Chester whose purchase price tied the winning bid for another bag by Viv Pickle, aka Susan Murphy, signed by President Bill Clinton. That one was sold to Katherine and Steve Elek, of the Main Line. Career Wardrobe provides workplace attire to professional women who can’t afford it.