Friday, December 25, 2009

MERRY CHRISTMAS WITH LOVE PHILLY CHIT CHAT

Remembering family and friends

Those who aren't with us anymore this ChristmasEspecially my dad and sister Judy. Left to right Mom (saying really Hughe another picture - LOL, dad, Bro in Law Walt, Judy and Mike mom, Mrs. Toub)
People, children, animals who are struggling in this life. Hoping the spirit of the holiday season carries through out the year.
www.SaveTheMummers.com with The Bacon Siblings Hilda, Kevin, Michael and his wife Betsy.
Enjoying life, Having fun. Thanks to Chris Gabello for inviting me to cover the behind the scenes photo shoot of the Varga Bar Calendar Girls. None of my photos were even remotely as this great one he took of Monique Crawford (December's Girl) and myself.
Pick up the 2010 calendar at Varga Bar 10th & Spruce Streets $15
Merry Christmas with love Philly Chit Chat

Thursday, December 24, 2009

NEW YEARS EVE IN PHILADELPHIA - PHILLY CHIT CHAT TOP CHOICES

My Number 1 Choice to Ring In the NEW YEAR'S EVE 2010

R2L – The Residences at Two Liberty Place, 37th Floor, call 215.564.5337 or email nye@r2lrestaurant.com for reservations; Daniel Stern is giving a sneak peak at his new restaurant at the top of Two Liberty Place this New Year's Eve. Ring in 2010, high above the city skyline with top-shelf open bar, music by DJ Panther, hors d'oeuvres from Chef de Cuisine Alex Urena, champagne toast, sweet ending dessert display, and the best view of the fireworks! $150/per person - get a taste of R2L before its open to the public. It's a Cashman Party, so you know it's gonna be good.
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The sickest graphic I've seen of late. This would be the other party I would go to. Again lots of eye candy, movers and shakers, people you might read about in the paper. Sumo Lounge $125. It's gonna be the other half of the movers and shakers of the city.

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I'm looking forward to checking this place out soon...but who wouldn't want to be surrounded by all the excitement of a casino and the trappings that go with it. If this is your game, then this is your place.

Parx Casino - 2999 Street Road, Bensalem, 888.588.7279, www.parxcasino.com. Will be hosting a whole day of festivities including: Mummers Band from 1pm - 5pm, Usual Suspects from 5pm - 9pm and Masquerade from 9:30pm - 1:30am both performing at 360 bar and nightclub; a $100,000 giveaway is taking place at parx on NYE from 2pm until 2am Live countdown on all LED screens and champagne toast on the casino floor at the stroke of midnight.

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ROCK IN THE NEW YEAR AT JOLLY'S DUELING PIANO

(another favorite, that's why there in this order)


Get tuned up for 2010 at Jolly’s Dueling Piano Bar, Philadelphia’s live deuling piano bar where you’re the star of the show! Grab your spot for this reservation-only event by calling 267.687.1161 or 215.290.8122. But do it soon —you won’t want to miss all your favorite rock and roll hits, free cocktails and snacks, plus a midnight singalong of Auld Lang Syne. Choose from three packages:

Booth Package: Enjoy the best seat in the house at one of three private booths. Includes live entertainment all night, favors and table decorations, one hour of open bar from 9 to 10 p.m., complimentary hors d’oeuvres from 9 to 11 p.m., and a midnight champagne toast for everyone in your party. Charge is $600 per booth. (Please note: Each booth fits six comfortably, but if you want to squeeze, you may add two more guests at no additional cost. There is a four-person minimum.)

Table Package: Enjoy reserved table seating, live entertainment all night, favors and table decorations, one hour of open bar from 9 to 10 pm, complimentary hors d’oeuvres from 9 to 11 p.m., and a complimentary champagne toast at midnight. Charge is $50 per person. This package can be made in groups of 2, 3, 4, or more.

Party Package: This package offers live entertainment all night, favors, admittance to the bar after 9p.m., and a champagne toast at midnight. Charge is $25 per person.

Jolly's is located at 2006 Chestnut Street in Philadelphia. Doors open at 8:00pm. Please call Jolly at 267-687-1161 or 215-290-8122 to make reservations. A non-refundable reservation charge of 50 percent must be made at time of reservation, with the balance due by December 28th.
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Have you bought your 2010 Varga Bar Calendar yet. 12 delicious pictures of local Philly girls with tidbits on their favorite meals. You can only buy it at Varga Bar $15 - 10th & Spruce Streets.

Battleship New Jersey Museum and Memorial

www.battleshipnewjersey.org

Spend the First Night of 2010 aboard the Battleship New Jersey! The award-winning Overnight Encampment program will be open for families. Enjoy dinner and breakfast served from the crew’s galley, a tour of the ship, a ride on the 4D flight simulator and the chance to sleep in the bunks the crew of the USS New Jersey once did. PLUS experience the best view of the Midnight Fireworks display over the Delaware River and enjoy a non-alcohol toast! Tickets are $60.95 per person and must be purchased in advance by calling 1-866-877-6262 ext. 203.

Guests can also just come aboard to watch the midnight fireworks on New Year’s Eve. Music, prizes, food and bar service will be available. The Battleship will open at 10 pm. Tickets for fireworks viewing only are $8 per person and be purchased online at www.battleshipnewjersey.org, or over the phone by calling 1-866-877-6262 ext. 107 or at the Ticket Office up until midnight on Dec. 31.

Deep Sea Splash at Adventure Aquarium

Dress to impress at the inaugural Deep Sea Splash at Adventure Aquarium. Best view of the Philadelphia Skyline and our underwater creatures. Enjoy: OPEN PREMIUM BAR AND CHAMPAGNE TOAST AT MIDNIGHT, DELICIOUS HORS D'OEUVRES AND FOOD STATIONS, PREMIUM VIEW OF THE FIREWORKS, DANCING WITH MUSIC BY CENTER STAGE ENTERTAINMENT, COMPLIMENTARY PARKING. TICKETS $99.00 P.P. PLUS 7% TAX OR UPGRADE TO OUR VIP PARTY FOR $135.00 P.P. + TAX AND HAVE EXCLUSIVE ACCESS TO CURRENTS BALLROOM. Visit our website or call 856-365-3300

PHILADELPHIA ORCHESTRA CONCERT

New Year's Eve
Thursday December 31 7:30 PM

Members of The Philadelphia Orchestra

Rossen Milanov Conductor
Audra McDonald Soprano

This New Year’s Eve The Philadelphia Orchestra welcomes Tony Award-winning singer and actress Audra McDonald. Ms. McDonald joins Philadelphia Orchestra Associate Conductor Rossen Milanov and members of The Philadelphia Orchestra in songs of Gershwin and other favorites of the Great American Songbook for this very special celebration to ring in 2010.

CELEBRATE NEW YEAR’S EVE 2009

AT PHILADELPHIA’S FINEST RESTAURANTS

Regular Menu

Del Frisco's

1426 Chestnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19102-2505
(215) 246-0533

Union Trust

717 Chestnut Street Philadelphia, PA 19106 - (215) 925-6000

LATE SEATING 11PM

London Grill (2301 Fairmount Avenue, 215-978-4545, www.londongrill.com)

  • In addition to their a la carte menu, Chef Michael McNally will offer a $45, four-course meal featuring menu items such as: Roasted Diver Scallop with French Lentils, Black Truffle and Beet Foam; Goat Cheese Gnocchi with Wild Mushroom and Tomato Chutney; Roasted Filet of Beef with Sweet Bread and Bone Marrow Ravioli, Creamed Swiss Chard and Port Wine Sauce; and Wild Striped Bass with Maine Lobster and Chanterelle Mushroom Ragout. A selection of desserts will also be offered. The a la carte and New Year’s Eve menus will be available from 5 until 11 p.m., with a bar snack menu served until midnight. A kids’ menu will also be available. At midnight, guests will receive a complimentary glass of champagne as they watch the Times Square ball drop on live TV. Reservations are recommended.
  • Chifa (707 Chestnut Street, 215-925-5555, www.chifarestaurant.com )

    · Sample Chef Garces’ tempting menu combining the flavors and ingredients of both Asian and Latin cuisines with the choice of a $55, $75 or $95 tasting menu. Some of the special dishes will include: Hiramasa Ceviche with Ginger, Charred Pineapple, Orange and Mustard Emulsion; Empanada with Jumbo Lump Crab, Sweet Chile Reduction and Shaved Cucumber; Foie Gras Buns with Hoisin Glaze, Pickled Daikon & Carrot, Togarashi Mayo; Lobster Noodle Bowl with Rocoto Cream, Bacon, Parmesan and Green Peas; Rack of Lamb with Spicy BBQ Sauce, Ginger Quinoa and Pickled Cucumber; and for dessert, Coconut Tapioca. Reservation times are available for all party sizes from 5 until 11 p.m.; a credit card is required.

  • Zahav (237 St. James Place, 215-625-8800, www.zahavrestaurant.com) Chef Michael Solomonov has created a special Mesibah Gedolah Menu, or “Big Party” menu, to be served on New Year’s Eve. Some of the special dishes will include: Hummus-Pitryot with Locally-Foraged Mushrooms and House-Baked Laffa; Borekas with Potato and Black Truffle; Pompano Crudo with Argan Oil, Apple and Fennel; Quail Confit Al Ha’Esh with Foie Gras, Dirty Rice and Kumquats; Spinach Shakshouka with Harissa and Farmer’s Egg; and Kibbutz-Style Dessert of tropical fruits and assorted traditional pastries. The menu price will be $65 per person, excluding tax, beverages and gratuity. Reservations are recommended and will be taken from 5 until 11 p.m

  • Bistrot La Minette

    Queen Village’s Bistrot La Minette is ringing in the New Year with
    seating throughout the evening until 11:30 p.m. Diners can enjoy the
    regular menu with specials created by Chef Peter Woolsey and a
    complimentary champagne toast at midnight.

    A few of the specials for the night include: Pâtes Fraiches aux
    Truffes Noir (house-made pasta, crème fraiche, shaved black
    truffles), Tournedos de Boeuf au Foie Gras (beef tenderloin, seared
    foie gras, thyme jus, port reduction, roasted Brussels sprouts,
    potato croquettes, chanterelle mushrooms), Homard et sa Sauce de
    Caviar (butter-poached lobster, fennel-caviar sauce, lobster
    reduction, parsnip-potato puree, pan-roasted heirloom baby carrots,
    spinach).

    Bistrot La Minette is located at 623 S. 6th Street (between South and
    Bainbridge Streets). For reservations call 215.925.8000, or visit
  • Mémé

    Chef David Katz welcomes guests to celebrate New Year’s Eve with a
    special five-course prix fixe menu for $55, as well as special $5
    glasses of sparkling wine all night.

    The menu will feature quality ingredients such as Griggstown quails,
    braised short ribs and a selection of cheeses from Cowgirl Creamery.
    Diners can also enjoy a chilled seafood platter for an additional
    $15, which will include east and west coast oysters, clams and
    Florida stone crabs.

    Mémé is located at 2201 Spruce Street, Philadelphia, PA. For
    reservations please call 215.735.4900.

    D’Angelos Ristorante & Lounge (One of my favorite places)

    Ring in the New Year right and enjoy the regular menu with specials
    by Chef Tony. Seating is available by reservation through the evening
    until 10 p.m. Also, enjoy party favors and dancing with DJ Inga all
    night long in the lounge for $15 per person (no fee for diners).

    D’Angelos Ristorante & Lounge is located at 256 South 20th Street,
    Philadelphia, PA. For reservations please call 215.546.3935 or visit
FOR A COMPREHENSIVE LIST OF OTHER SITES RESTAURANT CHOICES:

Philadelphia Grub Street


Meal Ticket The New Year's Eve Short List

AND finally...

If you're like me, I'll be hanging out at home with a few friends enjoying CBS 3 TAKES PHILLY FIREWORKS TO NEW HEIGHTS

TELECAST TO AIR IN HIGH DEFINITION FOR THE FIRST TIME Chris May, Susan Barnett to host New Year’s Eve Special

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

LAST MINUTE CHRISTMAS SHOPPING IN PHILADELPHIA - Lisa M Reisman Fine Gifts Rittenhouse Square

Yesterday we got out of work early and I made it a point to run by my friend Lisa Reisman's art gallery/gift shop as I hadn't seen her in some time. I stayed away too long as Lisa has a whole lot more of merchandise and I knew I would be there awhile checking it all out. Like these fine miniature vases or the gold plated actual leaf, that can be used as an ornament or fastened to your door knob.
Located at 1714 Rittenhouse Square Street, Tel: 215.735.2781 which is between Rittenhouse Square's 18th Street and 17th Street and bound by Spruce & Locust. Lisa M Reisman et Cie is a quaint little store on a quaint little street in Philly. It's across the street from the Rittenhouse B&B where Oprah likes to stay. Besides carrying fine art, jewelery (I bought my mom an exquisite piece that I know she is going to enjoy), it also includes these handy bags, purses and satchels.
Plus this is a super find, Lisa carries these necklace holders which are only $20. Perfect last minute gift. They also have frames, ANTIQUE FURNITURE & DECORATIVE ARTS Soaps, Perfumes, Writing Material, prints, furniture and lots of knick knack to choose from. I was there for over 2 hours just taking it all in.
I also met a nice girl who follows me on Twitter (iPhillyChitChat) who tells me that every year she does most of her shopping here as they have something for everyone, at every age group. Pretty endorsing I would say. SO if you have any last minute Christmas Shopping you need to do, I would consider the Lisa M Reisman Fine Gifts.
If you stop by tell her PhillyChitChat recomended you, plus ask for a cup of coffee, which they give you freely as you browse hassle free, that's the best part. Thanks.

Zama Restaurant Philadelphia Rittenhouse Square

I remember a couple weeks ago on Twitter @ProfilePr shot this dolphin outline and teased her followers with "guess where I am?" Well it piqued my interest, but @iPhillyChitChat was unable to guess correctly. When you stepped into Zama you are immediately transformed to a Zen oasis with it's simple design and peaceful atmosphere. At the helm is Chef-owner Hiroyuki "Zama" Tanaka is a veteran of Pod, Morimoto, and Genji at the Ritz Carlton.I loved the stenciling of the ceiling with the aquatics, and the walls designed with a chopstick like covering. It's bright and airy, exactly the opposite of the former occupant Loie. The tables are made to look like a brushed maple or pine, the chairs unadorned.
The food is the main attraction here, which is probably why they used acrylic chopsticks, my dinner companion & BFF Deming told me. The acrylic allows the food to retain it's full flavor as opposed to soaking into the wood. Deming, and I have known each other since high school, but unfortunately as PhillyChitChat, and he as the architectural IT engineer for the Pew Charitable Trusts, don't get to see each other as much as possible. Zama was the perfect place to catch up, although it was crowded, we were easily able to hear each others conversation as the wall covering allowed the absorption of sound so it wasn't a distraction.Deming who is a serious food connoisseur explained some of the highlights of the menu to me. Don't get me wrong, I love sushi and Asian food, but I am used to grabbing a 8 combo to-go at the corner market and I wanted an expert opinion.
In the front of the house is the Sushi Bar. It's here where they prepare Hand Rolls Three Ways, spicy tuna, salmon avocado & yellow tail jalapeno with soy papers. $15; or U Love Veggie $18; Tuna California Roll $18; Sizzled Whitefish $16; (There is an A La Carte menu with prices mostly in the $3.50 range, but a couple are priced $4.50 - the scallop whole at $10)
Root Vegetables, Seasonable Mushroom, Fried Noodles
Deming had the Lob-Temp $17, which was out of this world siting on a bed of teriyaki-truffle. I can't wait to go back and get it myself.
I had the Bullish ($24), which is seared Kobe on top of sesame soy wrapped sushi rice with spicy ponzu. Color me silly because I thought I should order something other than sushi to show that there are items a non-sushi person could order in case sushi wasn't there thing, or their thing that night. I should have looked to the entree section and I would have noticed the
Black Cod Saikyoyaki $24, Pan-Seared Fish $27, the Organic Teriyaki Salmon, Bone in Pork Chop $24, chicken or the Aged NY Strip $32. By the way, my Bullish was delicious. The Kobe steak was juicy and tender. It was an interesting combination to have it rolled with rice.
There is a sampler on the menu, several combinations, more items and desert. The bill for two, with 2 glasses of wine, apps, entree & dessert was just a little over $100. The atmosphere wonderful, the company priceless. So grab a special someone, a friend or a couple and head over to the newest sushi spot Zama at 128 South 19th Street Philadelphia, PA 19103-4646
(215) 568-1027
Check out these sites for more info on Zama: Michael Klein's The Insider, UWISHUNU and an extensive look just written 12/21/09 at FOOBOOZ

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

EAGLES’ DESEAN JACKSON Hosts His ESPN Radio Show from the aLoft Hotel and SALUTES COACHES to Benefit PAL

Eagles DeSean Jackson began his a radio show on Monday nights back in September from the aLoft Philadelphia Airport Hotel on 950ESPN.

The one-hour show (7 to 8 p.m.), with Harry Mayes and Brian Seltzer, airs every other week during the NFL season from the w xyz Bar in front of a live audience. This week DeSean hook up to promote the Police Athletic League and all the good that they do.

It was a night that belonged to coaches or at least the ones that braved the cold and 19 inches of snow on the ground.
Not only did was Jackson supposed to host his one-hour ESPN radio show in front of a live audience and, as always, pepper his commentary with his favorite game stories, but invited coaches and their guests will have the chance to make a difference in the lives of children by donating $10 admission fee to a worthy cause. PAL offers a large variety of sports, education, and recreational programs to all of Philadelphia's youngsters completely free of charge.
The radio show was quite entertaining, and afterwards I expected Desean to hang out for a bit, chat with the fans, pose for pixs and do a signing. I mean the radio show plays every other week and is free, so I imagine the $10 was to get a little face time with one of their favorite players.
No Progess - Gift (I wonder if he read's his hand. Sometimes I think he forgets it's a gift.)
Back in College DeSean Jackson bares a tattoo that says "My Kingdom Rules," stressing that he is the ruler of his kingdom and his destiny.
Hmm No Struggle, what does that mean? Why not a butterfly or LOVE?
And it wasn't like it was packed, because frankly the roads weren't perfect in the neighborhoods and it probably kept a lot of people away I suspect.
When the radio show was over, Desean took a few questions, then seemed reluctant to sign for fans. I know he's young, as someone said defending him, but he often acts like he is so put off by having to show up at these events, it's really disappointing to me as someone who's a fan of seeing fan's happy when they meet their sports hero's. His young fans don't know the difference, they take what he has to offer, and that's not much.
DeSean's mom greets the crowd, "All the babies get autographs first" which is sweet, but the event was in honor of Pop-Warner Football coaches. The items were then given to mom who passed them onto the massive bodyguard took the items to get signed. There wasn't much interaction between the fan and Desean and I was sad to see that since sometimes this will be the only time fans get to see their football hero, who was a complete jerk.

Eric Shipon, PAL Board Member, Nina Timani, DeSean Jackson, Ruben David,PAL Board Member and Sgt. Michael Faust. I know they were excited beyond belief with this shot, just imagine how excited one of the 20 fans would have been. (8:12PM) I told PAL I would send them the picture so they can put it in their newsletter and get a little mileage out of it, so that's something. (Postscript: I had mentioned that Desean needed a publicist, someone sent me the name of his agent. An agent is different, he brokers deals, a publicist gets Desean's name out there off the field, then sees to it that he garners good vibes from the fans. There's no doubt he's a great player, it's his personality that needs polishing. I remember last year shooting him at his welcome to philly party and he refused to take off his sunglasses, indoors. Maybe in a few years he will come back to Philly like Iverson and appreciate the fans here that root for him.)
Desean Jackson, is no Jimmy Rollin's who I photographed earlier in the day and signed for kids and parents alike at a press conference of 300 invited guests.

Monday, December 21, 2009

HAPPY BIRTHDAY NICOLE CASHMAN!!

After returning from a whirlwind trip to Paris, Nicole Cashman's friends wasted no time in welcoming her back helping her celebrate her birthday with "The Cashman Bar Crawl" Friday night. Nina Tinari, Sabrina Tamburino-Thorne, Santa, Nicole Cashman and Lauren D'Orisio
Starting off at The Public House were friends Tracy Seng, and Nicole's friends from high school
Christa Guidi and all the Cashman Girls were out celebrating, but I was running late.
Lauren D'Orisio , Shang Skipper, Nina Tinari and Erin Elmore (double shot of Erin today, who I had just had lunch with earlier in the day)
Nicole Cashman surrounded by her college friends. I really did a diservice to Nicole by not getting a fashion shot as she was looking smokin' in her mini shiney skirt.

Then it was off to Drinker's Pub. My first time there, so much fun I can't share the pixs with you. Later the crew went to D'Angelo's to dance, and I begged off. Heard it was great. Happy Birthday Nicole, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

PHILADELPHIA SNOW PICTURES FROM THE BLIZZARD 2009 - SNOWADELPHIA

What a site when I went out yesterday afternoon. The cars directly in front of my building were buried.
but the folks were in front of a clearing were lucky as the wind kept all the snow off
I thought this would make a good Christmas Card as I brought the hat out to top it off, but the next day it was sunny and that picture came out better
One of my favorite shots. I love the solidarity.
The Art Museum Steps at about 4PM Saturday YIPEEEEEE
Snow boarder with antlers on. Just so much fun.
Thank You, Fairmount Park workers who cleaned off the steps for the sledders to climb w/o slipping. I called my friend Mark Focht, director of Fairmount Park to thank him personally.
In the evening I had a few parties to attend. I didn't want to disappoint. First up, the Mark Segal Party. Foreshadowing: The Ben Franklin Parkway's lights were out.
The clothespin. I love how he has a Santa hat on.
Old City
No parking near Mark Segal's house. Guess I will save that scented candle for his next party. (The pictures are yellow because of the street lights and I forgot to change the setting. So it is still closer to what it really would look like if you were out)
Walnut Street at 6th
Pick up you Varga Bar Girl Calendars for $15. Shot by Christopher Gabello Studios.
Then we were going to the Twins House Anne & Stacey
Window shopping on Pine Street (Thanks to Mike for indulging me and driving me around. I egged him on since he's always bragging, to me, that our crossover SUV can handle snowstorms and ice)
Drunk Santa People. i forgot it was the Running of the Santa's 2009 today. Bummer, can't wait to see those pixs.
South Street. No line at Jim's Steaks on this Saturday night, cause it's closed.
10th Street Pour House (This is one of my fav pixs)
City Hall, again parking, cold, manic excitement over the pictures of City Hall.
18th & Walnut; then to Marty's but seriously what was going to change.
This guy was jumping rope near Rittenhouse Square at about 11:00PM Bummer no parking for Marty's party. Guess he'll have to come to my house to drink that bottle of wine I got him. at the other end of the park these folks were building a family of snowman. they were very serious about their work, bringing along tools and accessories.
I always admire others who shoot the park and come out with awesome shots. I like mine now too. (here I remembered to change the white balance setting)
Fairmount. This is probably what a lot of the Philadelphia neighborhoods looked like. but thankfully you didn't have to go far for a drink or bite to eat as the corner bars seemed to keep regular hours

Sunday about 2PM. The East Terrace of the Philadelphia Art Museum. Great beginers hill for the kids, and young adults snowboarded. and people using cardboard boxes that are shaped like bottles
I love this new edition to Fairmount Park, and it makes a great picture.
Boathouse Row & The Water Works
Snow doesn't stop this jogger
If you look closely you can see a few cross country skiers
Not too many people sledding in the front of the museum. I wonder why?

Nice. I see a Christmas card next year.
Snowboarder
After watching my video, check out the one that is next. It's much cooler with some crazy antics.