Monthly Archives

March 2011


Chase Utley and Jennifer Utley are joining forces with the City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program

Friday April 1 is a City Wide Holiday as it’s the Phillies Opening Day. I remember my dad taking me to every opening day when I was a kid. It’s a thrill. I’ll be doing the tailgate parties even if it snows, as I have a “Situation” to photograph that afternoon. Today I went back to elementary school for an assembly with Philadelphia Phillies’ second baseman, Chase Utley and his wife Jennifer Utley (Utley Foundstion) who are joining forces with the City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program to promote the proper care and treatment of animals in the heart of the community at the Anna B. Elementary School.
The kids of Anna B Pratt had a traumatic experience with dog fighting in their neighborhood, especially at the school. Every Monday morning the kids would tell their teachers of the horrific events that unfolded in the parking lot of their beloved school on the weekends. It seems that some of the people in the neighborhood would hold dog fighting matches there. Often the kids would have to walk over remnants of the losers from these fights and the cats that were used for food. the “dog owners” were using the outside stairwells as dog houses in between the days when there were no fights.
The administrators, kids and the community wanted to take the parking lot back, to make it a safe place for the kids. So they locked the gates to prevent cars from driving in and creating “a lit area with their car headlights to form these dog fighting rings,” and they had the police increase patrols on the weekends. The dog fights ended and now the school is doing a serious push so the kids will understand that dog fighting is not acceptable.
Prior to the paint day, the Utley Foundation and the City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program invited students of Anna B. Pratt Elementary School to participate in poster, essay, and photo contests. The children were asked to express feelings and share personal stories about family pets or animals in their community. Winners from each contest were awarded a personal portrait on the “Kindness to Animals” themed mural.
Who needs Brad and Angelina when we have Chase and Jen to make a difference in the world. Principle Denise Young, Jen and Chase Utley, Deborah Forgione and Mural Arts Director Jane Golden.

Mural Arts Director Jane Golden discusses the mural that the kids are helping to create along with the Utley’s to go on a wall across the street from the school. She told the kids that the mural was very special to her too as she has two rescued pets a cat, Mazy, and a dog Ruby.
It’s great to see these two again. Jen told me she just got back from California yesterday, and was excited for the upcoming Phillies season. Chase said he’s working hard to get ready to hit the field.There was also a Q&A session with the SPCA. SO funny a little girl wanted to know how kittens were born. The women said they come from the same place as puppies and all of us: our mommies. So cute.
A youngster gives Jen roses and a huge, and I mean huge dog bone for their rescued pit bull Jack. I told the story of how Jen and Chase came to obtain Jack last year, but the most important part of the story is that Chase didn’t like Jack’s given name and renamed him after Jack in the Box. which is a fast food restaurant in California where the two are from.
Chase Utley and Jennifer Utley greets Maurice Parker who created the winning poster for today’s events.
I swear I overheard Jen say “But Chase, Jack will love this little muffin, and Jane has a dog and cat!”
I love this shot of Chase chatting with the kids with Jen looking on.Shardy Brown-Lamar and Brianna Burton help begin painting the “Kindness to Animals” mural created by artist Willis Humphrey. The mural begins on a paint-by-numbers system using parachute cloth. The final wall mural will be mounted on a wall and dedicated at its permanent location at 22nd and Dauphin Streets on June 7th. Other students were creating posters to promote animal adoption to be hung at the Pennsylvania SPCA. Mural artist Willis Humphrey, Jane Golden and the kids of Anna B Pratt
After Chase signed this kids arm, I heard him say I’m not going to wash it until I am old enough to get a tattoo – LOL (PS Jody Shaw, of Audubon NJ, I forgot to get Chase to sign a baseball for your charity, I know you are wondering that right now. I’ll see them again next week. I’m sure it won’t be a problem)


Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts (PIFA) Blogger Shoot & Recomended Events

If I were a guessing guy I would think Natalie Portman is staying in the Washington Square area. She had dinner at Zahav on Tuesday night near 2nd Street (Thanks to my tipster, but I was hanging with Jen Carroll & gang and couldn’t get away to photograph her.) Today Twitter was a buzz with Portman sightings. She walked down Pine Street stopped in Good Karma before heading over to Art of Age with her dog and bright pink scarf. Yesterday I wrote that she’s in town with her fiance/baby daddy choreographer of Black Swan, Benjamin Millepied, who is working on “Building on Balanchine,” with the Pennsylvania Ballet as part of Philadelphia International of the Arts (PIFA). The piece debuts April 14 to 17 at the Merriam Theatre. She is a bit pregnant, but if I were a betting man she’ll sneak into one of the performances. And now for a whole bunch of PIFA wonderful


Join the Moment. Over 135 Events, 1500 Artists, One Festival. Join for a new moment of innovation, collaboration and creativity. Featuring events, performances and creative experiences form Philadelphia and around the world. A convergence of art, ideas and inspiration that hasn’t been seen since a century ago in Paris. The Philadelphia Orchestra, Philadelphia School of Circus Arts, Grounded Aerial, Les Nubians, Sharp Dance Company, Pennsylvania Ballet, Rennie Harris Puremovement, Campagnie Trans Expresse, ?uestlove among many other will gather during this 25 days of celebration to Art.

Next Week Kicks off One Hell Of A Party In Philadelphia. Every single day I will be covering events and talking about which events you should go to. This is going to be the Super Bowl of Arts, Culture and Fun. Philadelphia International of the Arts (PIFA) has reached out to about 30 bloggers from the Philadelphia area, and one from DC, to blog about the different activities from their perspective. I’m going to be focusing on events, and of course all the colorful people that cross my lens. I hope you will be one of them…A few of the bloggers: Laiya St Clair ; Babylon Cartel

Fly City – Outdoor Flying Trapeze Lessons and says “Get ready to to soar during “Fly City!” Fly 25 feet above Broad Street, with City Hall and the Avenue of the Arts at your feet. Fly City’s two-hour outdoor flying trapeze lessons are presented by Fly School Circus Arts and Philadelphia School of Circus Arts during the Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts (PIFA). Take-off begins on April 7 and runs until May 1, at 9:00am, 11:30am, 4:30pm and 7pm daily. “Like” FSCA” and “PSCA” on Facebook for updates.

Fly City – Outdoor Flying Trapeze Lessons

Thursday, April 7 at 9:00am

Location: University of the Arts lot, between Spruce and Pine streets

One of the events I am looking forward to is attending the Opening Night Gala: It’s there that the culinary component of the festival will kick off with the presentation of the Culinary Visionary Award to Chef Georges Perrier. He is being honored for his contribution to the culinary culture of Philadelphia and his accomplishments as a regional member of the Maitres Cusiniers de France (Master Chefs of France). As part of the celebration he will be hosting 2 star Michelin Award Chef Mathieu Viannay of La Mere Brazier from Lyon, France, chef’s hometown, to prepare a special menu at Le Bec-Fin from April 13th-April 15th. Served that evening along with the regular a la carte menu will be an innovative menu using the talents of both Chef Viannay and of the extraordinary Le Bec-Fin kitchen staff.

Perrier says, “I am overwhelmed with both of these distinctions. It is a great honor to be recognized by my fellow Chefs and the City of Philadelphia. I am proud to be so celebrated and be a part of the outstanding culinary talent we have here in this City.”

The Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, a founding resident company of the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, announces the final concert program of its 2010-2011 concert season. The Orchestra will perform L’Histoire du soldat (The Soldier’s Tale) on April 9, 10 and 11. The April 10 & 11 performances will feature life-size puppets and actors directed by Robert Smythe, founder and Artistic Director of Mum Puppettheatre.

This is so cool, performance art, skill and grace.

Une Petit Soiree

Grounded Aerial Performance by Karen Fuhrman and Benjamin Oyzon

The National Constitution Center, located at 525 Arch Street Event: Spring Fling: Freedom of Expression through the Arts Thursday, April 14 – Sunday, April 17, 2011 Thursday through Saturday, 9:30 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. and Sunday, 12:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. Event Admission: FREE with museum admission The Center will host a Spring Fling festival for all ages, in conjunction with the Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts (PIFA). Incorporating film, dance, music, and the visual arts, the Spring Fling will explore freedom of expression using Parisian and American art forms of the early 19th and 20th centuries. Visitors will have the opportunity to create Parisian murals alongside professional chalk artists, and participate in interactive programs. Visitors also can enjoy live performances by the Luke Carlos O’Reilly Jazz Trio, Enchanté Cabaret, Blind Date Duet, the West Philadelphia Orchestra, and the Irish Music Quartet, and attend film screenings of A Letter to Elia, Jean Michel Basquiat: The Radiant Child, 1000 Journals, and Soundtrack for a Revolution. In addition, children and their families can celebrate artistic freedom of expression by creating thaumatropes – optical toys that were popular in Victorian times – featuring dancers and musicians. Visitors also can celebrate the “City of Light” by creating model Eiffel Towers, miniature Statues of Liberty, and “Lady Liberty” tiaras.

This feature is brought to you with the support of PIFA (Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts). If you’re interested in the events, and want to help ensure that PIFA becomes an annual event please Like their Facebook Page and follow them on Twitter!

(Photo Credit: George Widman photographer)


MLB WORLD SERIES CHAMPION Jamie Moyer joins ESPN for 2011

Jamie Moyer, a 2008 World Series Champion & co-founder of The Moyer Foundation, and ESPN, Inc. today announced that the veteran pitcher has joined ESPN as a Major League Baseball (MLB) analyst for the network. Moyer will make his debut on Thursday, March 31 on the Midnight EST edition of “Baseball Tonight.”

Moyer played 24 MLB seasons. As a member of the Philadelphia Phillies in 2010, he became the oldest pitcher in baseball history to throw a shutout when, at 47 years, 170 days old, he turned in a scoreless, two-hit performance against Atlanta (5/7/10). Moyer made 19 starts in 2010 before sustaining a season-ending injury. He underwent surgery to repair his ulnar collateral ligament, also known as Tommy John surgery, and is currently undergoing rehabilitation with intentions to return to the mound in 2012.

In 2008, Moyer helped the Phillies capture their first World Series Championship in 28 years. He started 33 games that season, pitching 196-1/3 innings and compiling a 16-7 record. Moyer’s victories led the Phillies’ pitching staff, while his 3.71 ERA was second only to Cole Hamels (3.09), who was 21 years his junior.
“Baseball has been a significant part of my life for the majority of my 48 years on this earth, so I appreciate this opportunity with ESPN and look forward to being a part of the ‘Baseball Tonight’ team,” stated Moyer. “Not being in a uniform this season as I go through my rehab is an unfamiliar situation for me, so I’m excited to stay connected to the game and offer baseball fans my perspective on the sport that I truly love.”

“Baseball Tonight” has become fans one stop for all the day’s events in MLB. Each night, the show provides the latest news about the game, both on and off of the diamond, previews and recaps games during the season and features analysis from a number of experts, which now includes Moyer. The show first aired on ESPN in 1990.

Karen and Jamie Moyer with Jimmy and Johari Rollins at their benefit for The Moyer Foundation’s Camp Erin™ program – the largest national bereavement camp in the country for grieving children and teens – in Philadelphia and nationwide last December.

It was there that Jamie the 48-year-old lefty, who pitched for the Phillies the past 4 1/2 years, had Tommy John surgery on his pitching elbow in December after injuring it while he was playing ball in Korea. In the meantime, the 24-year major league veteran will serve as a commentator on “Baseball Tonight.”, but hoped to return to the Phillies in 2012.

Moyer played 24 MLB seasons. As a member of the Philadelphia Phillies in 2010, he became the oldest pitcher in baseball history to throw a shutout when, at 47 years, 170 days old, he turned in a scoreless, two-hit performance against Atlanta (5/7/10). Moyer made 19 starts in 2010 before sustaining a season-ending injury. He underwent surgery to repair his ulnar collateral ligament, also known as Tommy John surgery, and is currently undergoing rehabilitation with intentions to return to the mound in 2012.

In 2008, Moyer helped the Phillies capture their first World Series Championship in 28 years. He started 33 games that season, pitching 196-1/3 innings and compiling a 16-7 record. Moyer’s victories led the Phillies’ pitching staff, while his 3.71 ERA was second only to Cole Hamels (3.09), who was 21 years his junior.

Moyer joined the Phillies in 2006 after spending 10 seasons with the Seattle Mariners, where he remains the team’s all-time leader in wins (145). Over a career that spanned more than two decades in MLB, he also pitched for the Chicago Cubs, Texas Rangers, St. Louis Cardinals, Baltimore Orioles and Boston Red Sox. Moyer began his career with the Cubs in 1986 and twice finished in the top five in voting for the Cy Young Award while with Seattle (2001 & 2003). He is also a member of an exclusive group that includes Randy Johnson, Warren Spahn and Cy Young as the only pitchers to have won 20 games at least twice after the age of 38. In 24 MLB seasons, Moyer earned 267 victories, recorded 4,020.1 innings pitched and collected 2,405 strikeouts.

Away from the field, the father of eight is an active philanthropist. He and his wife, Karen, founded The Moyer Foundation ( in 2000 and the nonprofit is dedicated to empowering children in distress by providing education and support to help them live a healthy, inspired life. With the community’s support, The Moyer Foundation has raised more than $20 million to assist over 225 different programs that directly serve the needs of children in distress.


Center City District Celebrates 20 Years of a Fantastic Job; Plus Natalie Portman pops into

PhillyChitChatter Wednesday March 30, 2011:

Natalie Portman had dinner last night with fiance Benjamin Millepied at Zahav restaurant, 237 St. James Place. The 29-year-old Israeli-born actress and Millepied, a well-regarded ballet dancer and choreographer, met during the making of Black Swan, Darren Aronofsky’s psychological thriller that stars Portman as a ballet dancer and garnered her an Oscar. Last week Portman’s ballet body double, Sarah Lane, told Entertainment Weekly. The actress and those involved in the movie deny that. Millepied is in town working with the Pennsylvania Ballet on “Building on Balanchine,” which is part of the Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts and can be seen starting April 14 to 17 at the Merriam Theatre. Daily News Gossip columnist Dan Gross reports the Natalie Portman did a little shopping on Walnut Street at Joan Shepp’s yesterday afternoon. You’ll recall that last week I reported Anne Hathaway had stopped by Shepp’s to pick up a dress to wear to her cousins wedding at the Crystal Tea Room. Sounds like we have a new “Store of the Stars.”
Last night I attended an event for an organization that I really respect, the Center City District, which over the past twenty years created a safe clean environment which produces pride among it’s employees and the people of Philadelphia, it stimulated growth as well as increased tourism, all towards creating a 24hr walkable city.
In March 1991, the Center City District (CCD) set out to revive Philadelphia’s downtown, which was widely perceived as dirty, dangerous and dull. The goal of this private-sector sponsored business improvement district (BID) was to accomplish nothing less than a re-creation of Center City, to transform an intimate-scaled, walkable, 17th-century street grid into a vibrant 24-hour, 21st century city – attractive to businesses, residents, shoppers and tourists. At the top of the list was restoring the basics: making Center City clean and safe.
Initiatives such as “Turning on the Lights Upstairs” encouraged building owners to renovate and rent vacant upper floors. It led to passage of a citywide 10-year tax abatement. “Make It a Night” galvanized shopping and dining with free parking and later hours. The CCD helped building owners update their properties with a “Façade Improvement Matching Grants” program. It offered a “Campaign for Real Change” to help tackle the homeless problem.
The transformation of Center City’s clean streets began with a few key people, including the continuous leadership of President and CEO Paul R. Levy. Above Paul toasts with his guests to another 20 years of success. L-R CEO of the Philadelphia-based Parkway Corporation Joseph Zuritsky, Ron Rubin, Chairman of PREIT and Mayor Nutter in the back row.
Many of Philadelphia’s movers, shakers, politicians and alumni of CCD came out to the Hyatt at The Bellevue to celebrate the milestone, like former DA Lynne Abraham who confirms she is going to run for Pennsylvania Attorney General, former Gov Ed Rendell (great column in Daily News today), who in his speech thank his wife Midge Rendell for being a champion of the Center City District as well as the Avenue of the Arts, Mark Focht, Paul Steinke, Fred A. Shabel is Vice-Chairman of Comcast-Spectacor, Chef George Perrier, Happy Fernandez, Larinda Byers, Feather Houston, Judge Rendell, David Thornburgh, Debra kahn, Morgan and Cora Levy, Ella Komita-Moussa, Nancy Goldenberg and Tony Peopitone.
Allen Domb, Daniella and Louis Barson. No doubt Natalie Portman will be making many stops at their deli, Schlesinger’s, Philadelphia’s premier Jewish-style delicatessen, on Locust Street around the corner from the Merriam Theater.
Philadelphia Inquirer’s film critic since 1986 Carrie Rickey (Flickgrrl) with close friends who’s names I didn’t catch.
But I do know these folks, Chef’s Marcie Turney, James Kenngott and PJ Verrath (we all headed to visit our pal Chef Jen Carroll at Ten Arts after-wards for a little night cap. James is the new chef at Lolita, he had previously been at Bindi. Marcie & James tell me they are going to shake it up a little at Lolita, change the menu, change the table tops and put a little lipstick on the old girl. SOUNDS exciting.) Marcie also told me she and brother Evan Turney are going to butcher school next week. Look for a whole lotta meat to be added to the menu’s at all the restaurants the Turney’s operate.
RJ White and Keri White, no relation, but dressed complimentary.
Barry Killian, Michelle Shannon, VP of marketing and communications for CCD and Chad Angeli
Sharon Phillips Waxman, Greta Greenberger, and Bonnie Grant. Bonnie tells me that singer Lauren Hart was shooting a video for the past two days to promote Philly as a great destination for health care meetings. The shoots were at the Convention Center, PAFA and Drexel’s Science Pavillion.
Justin Fine Ru la La Philly, Cashman & Assocs Laura Krebbs and Michael Steinberg.
Joey and Janis Roberts check out the goodies at the R2L table. As part of the PIFA Chef Pairings: On April 13-15, R2L is hosting Chef Babette de Rozieres of La Table de Babette in Paris. A native of Guadeloupe, Babette specializes in Caribbean cuisine and will prepare special menu additions
Deputy of City of Representative Margaret Hughes with Where Magazine Publisher Laura Burkhardt . Still no word on who is going to be our July 4th entertainment this year. Mums the word on my tip that I hear it’s going to be Stevie Wonder. We’ll see.
Cushman & Wakefield crew: Missy Quinn, Maria Hatzivasilis, Jill Scarlett and Stewart Brown. Look for THE PHLASH BUS to return to the streets on May 1. Dale McFarlane, Missy Quinn, Bruce Shelly, President/Director of Operations at Shelly Electric Company Inc and Rich McClure. Bruce tells me he’s gonna have a big tailgate party for the Phillies on Friday and to come on over. I told him first up I have to see WMGK’s John DeBella do the “Blessing of the Opening Day Balls” at 8:30PM. Also on hand will be Pastor Jeff Raffauf, of West Lawn United Methodist Church; Father Joe Campellone, President of Father Judge High School; and Rabbi Gregory Marx, of Congregation Beth Or will be doing 3 separate blessings. MGK’s Debbi Calton will take over the live broadcast and continue broadcasting until 2p.
Marian Conicella, Publisher, Philadelphia Magazine, Ben Frank, CCPA and Debbie Hogan. Marian and I were comparing schedules and she is as booked as I am this week.
Drew Becher, 36th President of the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society, David Wagaman, Owner of Capriccio Cafe Cret and Jeff Miller, GM Hyatt at the Bellevue. David tells me that on 4/22 coffee is on him as long as you bring in your own mug. It’s Earth Day let’s save the Planet.
Alan and Greta Greenberger. You know from previous posts that I’ve known this duo for about 13 years now. I used to volunteer for Greta on my lunch hours, she used to sell my photo greeting cards in the City Hall Tour Store, and I will be giving the 12:30PM tour on Tuesday’s soon. I just haven’t had a moment free to start. Crazy busy every since I started my photography business. I didn’t ask Alan any questions about what’s going on in the City. I try not to mix our friendship with business, but he’s the City Planner and I think Dilworth Plaza is going to be great. I will say Happy Birthday Alan, as I know it just went by March 15 and I forgot to wish him well. (I love that the banners that hang from the poles on the street, have been coverted to table clothes and tote bags you can buy.)
Mary Hannah, CSR Manager CCD, Sampan’s Christopher Masi, Khamla Vongsakow and Michael Wirzberger, GM. Look for Sampan to start serving brunch on April 9th. It’s gonna be like Bagatelle in NYC, music, party and fun. The boys are planning on serving Dim Sum and have tricked out two custom Dim Sum carts from which they will distribute food. There’s nothing like it going on in Center City.

The crew & alumni at Center City District. Well done, well done. Sweet!!

Some of Center City’s favorite restaurants participated in the celebration including Le Bec Fin (another long established business in Center City), Barclay Prime, Bistro St. Tropez (the other restaurant that is high in the sky with a great sunset view), Max Brenner, Morimoto, Cooperage, Chima, Garces Trading Post and others


Dr. Susan Hughes: Brains, Beauty and Botox

Saturday, March 19 Dr Susan Hughes held an open house at The Mansion in Voorhees. More than 300 women attending event which featured live BOTOX and peel demonstrations, and enjoyed big savings on a range of nonsurgical services as well as shopping and snacking.
Those who brought in new or gently used apparel were eligible to win a year’s worth of Botox…and hence why we got so many of the ladies to bring in wonderful items!
The charitable event raised $5000; $2500 from the guests (and the fab raffles) and then Dr. Hughes matched it was a $2500 donation for a $5000 total. Also there was thousands of dollars of toys, clothing and other things donated to Cradles to Crayons, desperately in need of supplies. Above L to R Susan Hight and Michal Smith of Crandles and Crayons
Dr. Matthew Pinto and Madison Cerquoni
Sharon Hee and Terry Matczak check out the schedule to see what demonstrations might interest them.
Dr Hughes demonstrating her Botox skills to show how easy and simple the procedure is to do.
Victoria Baran and Jackie Romberg
Linda Pekarski and Barbara Hickey were out for a girls day
Elena Ditner and Danielle Daiutolo. Do you see the glitter extension in Elena’s hair?
There’s a great video at ABC6 about the event.
Dr Hughes says: Cosmetic surgery isn’t the only route to facial rejuvenation in New Jersey and Philadelphia, especially for those experiencing the early signs of aging. With the right combination of our medical spa services and high quality skin care, you can achieve and maintain a younger, more refreshed look, and the confidence that comes with it. To learn about the medical spa services offered at the Hughes Center, view the following pages:

Karen Obschleger, Samantha Weiss and Denise Weiss
Jacky Shilling and Tamara Stochel were looking for a little preventive aging pick me ups.
Jazz & Blues performer Jessi Teich
Lauren and Robin Anzalone, Closet Boutique Avalon, NJ
Cathy settled on this cute frock to wear to the pool this summer.
There is a new kid on the block when it comes to effortless fat loss. It’s called Cryolipolysis and is a fat freezing procedure that damages fat cells causing them to die and be eliminated from the body. The brand name for this procedure in the US is Zeltiq. We’ve all heard of burning our fat cells, but how about freezing them instead? The procedure is also referred to as cool sculpting and was discovered by two Harvard professors who stumbled across it by accident when they realized that babies given ice pops lost fat cells in their cheeks. They realized that the cold effect was responsible and started to research it. The procedure has been available in the US and Europe since early 2010 and has recently also become available in Australia. The good news is that the machine has been approved by the F.D.A. as a body contouring treatment (fat zapper effectively).Dr Hughes and Mike DeFeo with the Cool Sculpting Machine, the only one in the tri-state area.

Dr. Susan Hughes is a pioneer in facial cosmetic surgery, and utilizes all the most current and effective innovations. She is the oldest of seven children, all doctors, who followed in the footsteps of their physician parents. Susan M. Hughes, MD, FACS is Harvard trained, and among the most experienced and highly trained facial cosmetic surgeons in New Jersey. She has consistently been selected by her peers as a Philadelphia “Top Doc” in eyelid plastic surgery and facial cosmetic surgery in Philadelphia Magazine’s annual survey. She has also been recognized as a South Jersey “Top Doc” in Plastic Surgery. (856) 528-4896 Located: 1765 South Springdale Rd – Suite B2
Cherry Hill, NJ 08003-2177
(This is a sponsored entry. Thanks!)