Friday, April 2, 2010

I'VE BEEN TAPPED AS A NEW COLUMNIST FOR PHILLY MAGAZINE'S NEW BLOG "THE PHILLY POST"

(I'm on vacation Monday. My sister has a MAC and neither of us know how to use it for photos which is ironic since that's what its so good for)

I'm just overwhelmed. So honored that Philadelphia Magazine would ask me to write a weekly, maybe more column as their "gossip, on the scene" blogger at their new site "The Philly Post". (It happened very quickly too, last Thursday they wrote to meet, I met them on Tuesday and they hired me on the spot.)

It's a dream come true for me as a fan of such legendary "gossip" writers Rona Barrett, Ruth Seltzer, Harriet Lessy, Stu Bykofsky, Michael Klein, Dan Gross, Rush & Mallow, Liz Smith and Andy Warhol. Andy only really gossiped with his friends, but his photos were gossip to me, as he capture significant moments of history. That's what I love to do.

To write for the Philadelphia Magazine in any capacity is an unbelievable opportunity and an honor especially with all the other prestigious folks like Gail Shister, Larry Mendte and the others that I have gotten to know since the inception a few weeks back.

The Philly Magazine folks are giving me free range on how I develop the column, and since they were big fans of how I write PhillyChitChat I may write it in a similar fashion, of course without the spelling errors cause thankfully they will edit my piece. Plus I am going to add a few items that I always wanted to do on PhillyChitChat, but somehow it didn't jell with the parameters I set up for myself. One such piece was that every once in awhile "gossip" column, that I got such good feedback on. Now that forum will definitely be on the Philadelphia Magazine site.

Here at PhillyChitChat I will be still be writing daily events for your enjoyment too, and will continue to present quality information. I probably won't be doing as many photos, or writing as many words. I so need to get some sleep and go back to the gym!!

I'm open to your suggestions on what you think my column should focus on, well of course I am still going to write about Sabrina Tamburino. She's my Paris Hilton sans knowable sex tape, with the life that some little girls grow up to want to be. A girl from the neighborhood, that marries the prince and lives in a castle that overlooks the kingdom of Rittenhouse Square. BUT I know there's a lot of stories out there, as well as tips you want to share, and celebrity and Philebrity sightings.

Have a blessed holiday to all my readers.

So thank you all your support and readership.

Hughe, Philly Chit Chat

Temple University’s School of Tourism and Hospitality Management Celebration Recognition 3/23/10

Last week Temple University’s School of Tourism and Hospitality Management (STHM) honored 10 of their most outstanding industry partners in the tourism, hospitality, sport, and recreation industries for their years of support for the students in their program. These partners have helped our students gain invaluable experience through internship and job placement, mentoring programs and applied learning opportunities.
When I was deciding what college to go to for hospitality, the only school with a program of that magnitude was Johnson & Wales, now a days there are other choices, and for what I have read and discussed with the students it sounds like the School of Tourism and Hospitality Management at Temple University is a great choice. Check it out.
Thank you Where Magazine and Laura Burkhardt for inviting me as your guest to this nice event. There's always so much going on in the City, but I still miss out on a few invites most people don't think I would care to cover, but Laura is always generous in keeping my social schedule full. Here she is with NBC10's Aditi Roy. She's always so much fun to photograph. She is exactly who you see on TV, cute, sweet and smart.
The Marriott Downtown Family. Earlier this year they were nice enough to hire me to photograph their 15 year anniversary luncheon, which included a shot of about 100 employees that were there from the very beginning when the doors opened 15 years ago.
Meg Dailey, Bruce Brobeck, Shonda Johnson and Brad Pacana
The Holiday Inn Downtown crew: John Magaldi, Allen Ung, Lana Le, Ruth Lennon, Meg Sokorai, JoAnn Bongart, Marney Kolsky and Alicia Raffensberger
Sarah Stockton-Brown, Punch Media PR, GPTMC's Jeff Liebreich, Sarah, Mike Sheridan, and Laura Totsi


A Message from Steven Korman, Chair STHM Board of Visitors, Steve Korman

CEO of Korman Communities


The Industry Partner Recognition Event has been created by the School of Tourism and Hospitality Management to develop a fund for student scholarships. The STHM Board of Visitors is supporting this event by participating not only as a board, but through generous donations from individual members. Please consider joining our effort as a corporate sponsor. Your contribution will be used to support students with financial need who are struggling to stay in college in these trying economic times. Thank you in advance for making a difference in the lives of our students.

Elizabeth Barber, Associate Dean & Associate Professor, Mike Sheridan, GPTMC and Steven Korman, Chair STHM Board of Visitors
Aditi Roy was Master of Ceremonies as thank you gifts were given to the organizations that employed interns during the past year.
Comcast-Spectacor
Peter Luukko, President

and Chief Operating Officer

Greater Philadelphia Hotel Association
James Gratton, President

Greater Philadelphia Tourism
Marketing Corporation
Meryl Levitz , President and Chief Executive Officer

Holiday Inn Express Philadelphia-Midtown
JoAnn Bongart, General Manager

Hyatt Hotels Corporation
Randy Goldberg, Vice President Recruitment

Marriott International
William Walsh, General Manager

Philadelphia Convention
& Visitors Bureau
Tom Muldoon, President

Philadelphia Eagles


Philadelphia Phillies
David Montgomery, General Partner,
President and Chief Executive Office
r

The Legendary Blue Horizon
Vernoca Michael, Promoter and Co-Owner
Jackie Oblinger, guest, Christina Wollens, Erika Simon all of Spirit of Philadelphia. For more than 17 years, the Spirit of Philadelphia has been entertaining visitors and local residents with scenic lunch and dinner cruises on the Delaware River.

  • The School of Tourism and Hospitality Management is the largest and most comprehensive school of tourism and hospitality management in the greater Philadelphia region.
We are the home of the world's only National Laboratory for Tourism & eCommerce.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

IT'S NO JOKE, TODAY IS NATIONAL CENSUS DAY

April 1 is National Census Day - Probably picked this day on purpose cause only a fool wouldn't be counted cause it effects their lives in ways they probably don't have a clue about, like voting districts and the distribution of funds. It happens only once in 10 years. When you receive the census form, please fill it out and mail it in. It is important that complete those forms accurately and send them in because many policy decisions, fund allocations to the cities and counties, as well as election redistricting decisions will be based on the data collected in those forms. In addition, if you receive visitors at home from the Census Bureau, please help them get an accurate count and accurate information. Before you accept anybody into your house however, please ask and view their badges and documents carefully. For more information, please visit: http://2010.census.gov/2010census/

Responses to the 2010 Census questionnaire should include everyone who is living at the household as of April 1. It is not too late to mail in your 2010 form. For every 1 percent increase in participation by mail, the Census Bureau can save taxpayers $85 million by not having to send census takers door to door. If every household mailed back its Census form, the cost of taking the census would be reduced by $1.5 billion.

Earlier this month Ruben Studard joined Steve Harvey at the Kimmel Center to raise Census Awareness.
Ruben breaking out a song.
Ruben Studard, co-host and Steve Harvey answer audience questions. This summer Ruben is touring with Clay Aiken throughout the states and Europe.
Remember today, April 1 is National Census Day, a day when all residents are encouraged to fill out and mail back their U.S. Census forms, if they haven't already done so.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

777 Broad Street Opens and looking to hit the Jackpot with Tenants

Some would say that Philadelphia's building boom has gone belly up, well almost, although one such project conceived under the tax abatement program, has been completed. 777 Broad Street officially opened in March 2010 as predicted many years ago by Developer Carl Dranoff and his team. (I guess if you own the whole 701 block you can create any address you want)
According to an article in the Philadelpia Inquirer 10/4/09: The project, the start of Dranoff's effort to push the border of Center City farther south, sits less than a quarter-mile from Dranoff's 31-story, $130 million Symphony House condo tower.

Rents will range from $1,900 for one bedroom to $2,600 for two. Currently, the average rent in the region is $1,361, up 6 percent from 2008, according to the apartment search engine Rental.com (Where the heck is that and is that for a 1 bedroom, really?). I don't fault the rents being that high, because this is a high end, super luxury apartment building.

Carl Dranoff addresses the crowd, as Councilman DiCicco and Judge Marjorie Rendell look on. Judge Rendell has really spearheaded the Avenue of the Arts project for over 10 years. My boss who has since passed away, Harold Kohn, was also one of the early supporters.
There were nearly 500 people from all walks of life attending, including dignitaries, politicians, the movers and shakers and good for him for inviting the maintenance staff, construction workers, people who work in his office and new residents. In this shot from left in the grey suit Sen Larry Farnese, Carol Tinari, and Bill Green Jr. who looks just like his dad.

Ruben and Sandra Krisztal. Ruben J. Krisztal, Esq., came to the United States from Argentina in 1967. He has been practicing law for over twenty years and has been litigating nursing home cases for more than fifteen years. He received his B.A. and J.D. from the University of Missouri at Kansas City. He and his wife have a full time home in their native Kansas, but spend a good amount of time here in Philly as Ruben is working on a few very important cases. They are the 1st tenants to sign a lease at 777 and are excited to move in at the end of April. They love the amentities, and the fact that it's a GREEN building.
Rollin Ward, David Riley and Eugene Radcliff enjoy the party. The event was held in the future spot of a restaurant that Carl Dranoff would not disclose to me. The space was about 20,000 square feet.
But the residents of 777 do have The Fitzwater Pub (At first I thought nice Irish name for their "clubhouse" pub, but then I remembered a bordering street is Fitzwater. It's probably a play on both words.) The room is so much more than this picture, but I liked the pool table.

Jen Abrams, Joe Petrusky and lovely in green Roberta Dranoff
Carl Dranoff challenged the interior design students at Drexel to turn 777’s hospitality suite into a luxurious, eco-conscious living space. During the challenge, groups of students in Professor Debra Ruben’s Competition Studio class competed against one another to design a space that meet standards in sustainability, function, and budget. Ruben is a LEED AP and head of Drexel’s Interiors Program sustainability curriculum. The winning team was "The Three C's" Chrstine Murray, Candace Spence and Courtney Robinson, in their winning apartment.
Mark Segal, excited to announce that beau Jason is returning from the Far East after a year long study. Annie Carl, Gov Rendell's office and Robert Metzer
Philadelphia Style Magazine's publisher John Colabelli, with Nina Stanley and newly promoted Associate Publisher at Philadelphia Style Magazine / Niche Media LLC Noah Stein.
Bedroom
Avenue of the Arts
Annie Carl, Terry Gillian, RDA and Karen Lewis, Executive Director of The Avenue of the Arts
The largest two-bedroom units, at the corners with the best views, will go for $3,800 a month.
The 5th floor corner unit where Carl Dranoff is posing with his daughter, mother in law and her BFF
For a great read on the progress of 777 Broad Street, check out the Sky-scrapper blog

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

RENEE ZELLWEGER AND BRADLEY COOPER PHOTOS AT PHILADELPHIA SOUNDSTAGES

READ MY LETTER TO DARK FIELDS actress ABBIE CORNISH (PIX I took of her Monday there too) http://blogs.phillymag.com/the_philly_post/2010/04/14/an-open-letter-to-abbie-cornish/

As mentioned in Michael Klein's column last week, Bradley Cooper & Renee Zellweger, in town for his movie Dark Fields, did a screen test, a make-up test and photo shoot at Philly's newest film studio Philadelphia Soundstages


According to an article in FlimSlate:

Philadelphia has long been a destination for filmmakers. The gritty exteriors, the iconic landmarks and the everyday people of the city that often find their way into productions make for great location shooting.

But at Philadelphia Soundstages, the goal is to do more, to turn the city into a place where not only homegrown filmmaking talent, but productions from all over, have a facility to accommodate modest budgets. And now, as most states, including Pennsylvania, have passed some sort of tax incentives for the film business, it makes Philly as likely as any other major city to become a filmmaking center.

The studio, founded by real estate developer and businessman David Sabag, is in a former warehouse that Sabag found lying dormant and in foreclosure on North 5th Street, but saw something in to spark his business interests.

Sabag has international connections, but first and foremost he believes in promoting Philadelphia. He also has a knack for finding people with complimentary talents. Being the visionary, but having never been in the film industry, being surrounded by people with backgrounds in the business is key.


Scott Kuhn, Director of Corporate Development and Government Affairs of the Soundstage, with Renee Zellweger.


The studio, founded by real estate developer and businessman David Sabag, is in a former warehouse that Sabag found lying dormant and in foreclosure on North 5th Street, but saw something in to spark his business interests.

Enter Thomas Ashley, CEO of Invincible Pictures and Director at Philadelphia Soundstages, and Scott Kuhn, Director of Corporate Development and Government Affairs. Ashley is the filmmaker of the group operating out of the studio, and he speaks the language to other filmmakers and brings in projects with his industry connections. As Kuhn says, he “does the actual work.” To read the rest of the article go HERE:
You'll recall we met Tom Ashley over the summer when I shot the behind the scene's filming of Azziz's new video at Chelsea Hotel "Let's Go" for PhillyChitChat.com
Thanks to Philadelphia Soundstage for providing these photos.

CELEBRITIES IN PHILADELPHIA THIS WEEK

(There are three entries today, yesterday 3 entries. If you haven't yet, check out the flowers at the Macy's Center City Flower Show. It will brighten your day. I wrote about it Sunday.)

I've been getting a lot of tips this week about a few Hollywood celebs visiting Philly, plus been getting a lot of questions like this today? What Movie Is Filming in Philadelphia this Week?

Jimmy Smits is currently filming a new pilot in Philadelphia. The series, entitled Garza (formerly Justice) is being produced by Conan O’Brien’s production company for NBC.
On Location Vacation: the best source for filming locations, celebrity sightings and events in the world, and one I contribute too. (But if you see a celebrity, I would appreciate the tip first so I can try and photograph them. If you give me the tip, and I get a shot, I promise to send you a picture of them too.)
Other folks in town this week: Actress Kathleen Turner playing at the Suzanne Roberts Theater in The Red Hot Patriot: The Kick Ass Wit of Molly Ivins. (I took this shot last Friday night after I got out of my sick bed. KT is not one that like's getting her photo taken [I've seen her in NYC, more than once], so when the opportunity presented itself I took it.) (I do it because I love doing it, it's my hobby and it cost a few dollars and time but I love it, and I love bringing the pictures & stories to you. I mean WOW on this picture, it's the authors of the play, who are identical twins and it's Kathleen Turner the star of the play. It's just the perfect picture; and Kathleen is laughing and you can almost hear that haughty laugh that's had too much smoke coursing through it over the years.)
For the past two weeks I've been getting a lot of tips on Miss Turner hanging out on Rittenhouse Row and it wasn't about shopping either, rather it was visiting the watering holes and reading her book. First she was going to Rouge, but now she seems to have settled into Owen Wilson's favorite spot, Parc.

And this guy on Twitter, who is hysterical proves my theory:

UnckleJason Kathy Turner is at Parc again. She lives here. I love it. And she is drinking a greyhound at 10 in the morning. Amazing.

Sunday: Kathleen Turner and Jimmy Smits at Parc today. If this was 1994, people would give a shit.

(Actually Had I been around and read that, I would have shot that. So Classic, one of a kind shot, maybe it doesn't have money value, but i don't do this for the money.)

Also in town: Bradley Cooper & Renee Zellweger:

Last August a tipster told me they were at a Starbucks on Walnut Street. Us Magazine contacted me when they saw a Tweet I did, cause a lot of my pictures from my agency is published in that magazine I guess cause they asked me to run down with my camera and get a few shots and ask some questions. Everything was handled by my agency and they paid me about $50 for the story, which was later picked up without pay by People Magazine, shown below.

For the past 3 weeks Bradley Cooper & Renee Zellweger have been spending their days in Center City. He's getting ready to shoot a film with Robert Deniro & Abbe Cornish called "Dark Fields". So while Bradley's been getting his make-up tested, his costumes chosen and doing photo shoots at Girard College, Renee has been hanging out at Walnut Street Starbucks, as well as the one at Macy's twice last week.


Neither time have I seen her, bummer. My goal really is to get them both. I only care to get once really, then I can cross it off my bucket list. I've photographed them both before and they are super nice. The heat from these two is so hot that my serious paparazzi friends from NYC will be down here shooting them as soon as the film starts in mid-April. SO READERS ARE WE GOING TO LET A NYC PAPARAZZI GET THE SHOT BEFORE THE PHILADELPHIA PAPARAZZI, I hope not. Tip Me Off Please, I promise gift bags, a shot of the celeb & perhaps a ticket to one of the hot events happening in the City.)

Buzz @ Philly Chit Chat dot Com

Also this week, Thursday at Williams - Sonoma
Giada De Laurentiis @ Williams-Sonoma

Williams-Sonoma King of Prussia
Thursday, April 1, 2010 at 1:00pm

160 North Gulph Road, King of Prussia, PA 19406
(610) 265-5970

Williams-Sonoma The Bellevue
Thursday, April 1, 2010 at 5:00pm
200 South Broad St., Philadelphia, PA 19102
(215) 545-7392

URBAN PROMISE benefits the kids of Camden NJ

A celebrity photographer, Jerritt Clark, not a paparazzi like me, that I follow on Twitter was promoting a party in NYC that benefits kids in Camden, NJ. So I wrote him and asked him about it.

I went on a 3day trip with a gentleman by the name of Tony Campolo who recommended the program to me as something I may want to get involved in. Tony is the founder of the EAPE and was religious advisor to the Clinton family during his presidency. I got involved in the summer of 2004 when I stayed in Camden and worked with Urban Promise for 13 weeks. I have stayed close with the kids in Camden and the program itself and I try to help out when possible. NYC is my home but Camden will always have a part of my soul and heart because being there has changed my life in so many ways.

Attached is the information and invite to the fundraiser I am doing April 1st at The Eldridge to send 15 poverty stricken youth to DisneyLand in California. We are looking to raise as much of the $13,000 needed to fund this trip as possible. If you have any items you would like to donate for auction or if you or anyone you know has a way to offset some of the costs of this amazing trip (i.e. park entry tickets etc) let me know. The children range in age from 11-14 years old and will be accompanied by 7 young adult staff members at UrbanPromise some of whom have grown up though the program and have returned to ensure that those younger than them can see that it is possible to succeed even in America's most negative environment. I would love it if you were able to stop by and help show support. This charity and these kids mean a lot to me and I've worked closely with them for 6 years now. I look forward to seeing you April 1st. My contact info is below should you have any questions or to coordinate on donations.


RSVP Reservations@TheEldridge.com


When: Thursday, April 1st 2010
8:00pm -11:00 pm (Open Bar 8-9pm)

Music By: DJ Cassidy

Where: The Eldridge
247 Eldridge St
New York, NY

Cost: $20 Donation at the door.

So even if you can't attend the party on April 1, perhaps check out UrbanPromise and see if you can help them reach their goal of going to Disneyland.
(And for some celebrity drama follow jerritt clark jerrittclark on Twitter.)

SWEETTOOTH Philadelphia - A Great Place to hit Your Sweet Spot for Easter -

Need help filling your Easter basket?
SweetTooth now occupies a former sweet spot familiar to many Philadelphian's, The Pink Rose Pastry Shop
According to an article by Drew Lazor of MealTicket at the City Paper:

Philly dessert fanatics lamented the January loss of the venerable Pink Rose (630 S. Fourth St.), but it didn’t take very long for the corner space to snag a new operator. Scott Lean, whose family owned the business from roughly 1998 to 2005. Philly's Sweettooth is the city's best source to soothe your cravings. With over 250 candies, chocolates, nuts and dried fruits we have something for everyone.

All the Pink Rose’s signature kitsch-enware (Where's the sign. do you know McGillin's bar takes in those iconic old signs and hangs them on their wall, HINT HINT!) is gone to make room for a big selection of around 250 treats sold by the quarter pound (price isn’t finalized, but it’ll be less than $3): dried fruits, nuts, 10 varieties of malt balls, Pez, gummis, sour stuff, all manner of chocolate, licorice, sugar-free choices and so forth. Why such a dentist-damning concept? “I love sugar,” laughs Lean, who holds a tech job down in Old City full-time.


Scott say that SweetTooth has something for everyone, and I would agree like this Crystal Rock candy (remember making this in high school?) , malt balls and soon pop rocks and vintage candy.
SweetTooth has all your Easter Basket needs, and is opened on Easter for the last minute baskets. Parking can be a little tough in the area, I'm gonna suggest Scott take phone order & run my next package of candy out to my car parked by the fire hydrant. But you really should go in the store to get the full flavored colorful atmosphere. Also Scott hopes to at some time add a couple tables so you can be surrounded by all the sweet stuff as you enjoy your treasures. Here are a few of Scott friend's who have stopped by for a treat.
email: phillysweettooth@gmail.com

phone: 215.923.8800
address: 630 S. 4th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19147