Saturday, July 9, 2011

Philadelphia QFest 2011 Opening Night Party at The Ritz & Loews Hotel

Last night I attended the opening of the 17th Annuat TLA Entertainment QFest 2011

Over 100 films will be screened at the Old City Ritz theaters over the next 11 days.

Yesterday PCC celebrated it's 4th Anniversary. One of the first events I covered was the GLBT film festival and it really opened the doors that lead me to where I am today. It's where I met Philadelphia Inquirer's Michael Klein at a reception which lead to my photos being in his column for the next 3 years until he retired that column earlier this year. Today I went to the launch of his new site today of his new site It was a huge success with 4 local chefs and proceeds benefiting Philabundance, MANNA, and The Food Trust. Also there was his wife Jen, who is expecting their first child or two in a few months. Above DJ Marilyn Russell from 95.7 BEN FM checks for rain at the VIP cocktail party which was held before the kick off of the night.
At the party was actor Charlie David, who was in the opening night film "Judas". You might remember Charlie from his last visit in 2007 to promote two of his films "Kiss The Bride" and "Four Letter Word"
Sean Paul Lockhart was also on hand. Not only was he in last nights opening movie, but he is receiving this years Rising Star Award. They call him the Tracy Lord of gay film making, as he was a very popular porn actor and it was later discovered that he was only 17 when he made some of his first movies.
Then it was off to the theater..
Mayor Nutter came by and read a proclamation. Here he is with the cast of Judas Kiss. Director J.T. Tepnapa directs a very talented cast including Charlie David (Mulligans, Kiss the Bride, Dante’s Cove), Sean Paul Lockhart (Another Gay Sequel, Milk, I was a Teenage Werebear) and Richard Harmon (“The Killing”)
Ben FM win a car, listen everyday

Gloria Casarez, Donald Carter and Kelly Burkhardt,
Marilyn Russell Introduces the opening night film Judas. Many of the films are playing two or three times for your convenience

Then it was off to the 33rd floor of the Loews for another fabulous partywith hot hot GLBT peeps including
Carol Coombes, Managing Director of Philadelphia QFest, Claire Kohler, QFest Managing Partner, Claire Kohler says there's something for everyone this year at the festival.
PhillyGayCalendar is covering ever aspect of the festival. They have great videos and shots of all the action every day.

Center front: Joe’l Ludovich is an award-winning producer and film maker. She currently teaches at The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey, filmmaker Tiona McClodden, the writer and director of the highly-acclaimed full length documentary, black./womyn and Professional Blogger and Social Media Manager LeAnne Lindsay
Natalie Hope McDonald, Freelance writer as well as the editor of G Philly, a new series of blogs from Philadelphia magazine. and Meg Rider.
Check this link for more pictures taken Opening Night at QFest as well as throughout the week Online Album

Friday, July 8, 2011

Kokopelli's KIVA LOUNGE GRAND OPENING July 8th Plus News on the Opening of the Restaurant

Since writing last week about Kokopelli, a few things occurred, I've had a few meetings with the owner and also the new gm Eddie Rios and have a better understanding of the new direction I mentioned in my blog post, one being the grand opening of their new club KIVA LOUNGE at the 1904 Chestnut Street address tonight.

You'll recall in a few posts I did over the year, they have held several events in the upstairs club area including the CCTC sponsor party, various charity events and special happy hours. But the club was never branded, often being referred to as the club upstairs, and it was never fully utilized. Now it's going to and in a big way as it will be named Kiva Lounge and be open every Tuesday through Saturdays with DJ's providing music to groove by from 10PM til 2AM. Eddie tells me look for Top 40s on the weekend, and special nights during the week like Latin Night etc. At some point on Monday's there will be an industry night too. The Tequila Bar on the first floor serves appetizers until 1AM

Tonight - FRIDAY JULY 8TH 2011
Wiggle Productions & Hidden Dimension Present:

World-renowned DJ-producer Junior Sanchez hardly needs an introduction. Like his friends Erick Morillo and Harry "Choo Choo" Romero, Sanchez was bred in New Jersey's seminal '90s Latin house scene. He started out spinning at legendary NYC hotspots like Limelight and the Shelter. These days he has risen high above the underground to become one of the most recognizable DJ names in the international scene, remixing artists such as Madonna, Shakira, Placebo, and countless others.

DEEP C-(Tigerhook/FOH/ROC) (I love these sound clouds)
One of Philly’s most well known names in the dance music scene. Chris has steadily risen from his days in the early 1990s with the renowned Wamdue Kids to his current place as one of the city’s most consistent party rockers.

DJ FREEDOM-(Wiggle Productions/Undaground Set)
As a House music fanatic and veteran dj DJ Freedom began his record spinning journey in the early 90s.


KIVA Lounge 1904 Chestnut St.- Located above Kokopelli Philadelphia PA 19103 215.557.7510 9pm – 2am $10 Before Midnight Menu Until 1am Guest List & Bottle Service Info Contact: 856.571.7205

Sound Reinforced by A.T.E.
Lasers by Live broadcast on Sound Function Friday's

(I'm still pulling for me Oldies night. Calling Jerry Blavet are you there?)


Update on the Opening of Kokopelli restaurant.
Kokopelli will re-emerge on Monday August 1. The menu will be similar as the one before (Southwestern) but gone will be the concept of tapas and in it's place will be a 3 course menu with "bigger portions at a better value", GM Eddie Rios tells me. The restaurant hours will be Tu - Sat 5 - 10PM, with a Happy hour in the Tequila Bar from 5PM - 7PM. Plus there will be a late night "Happy Hour" menu served in the Tequila Lounge until 1AM.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

It's My Blogs 4th Anniversary. Here are some Moments from Four Years

I forgot my anniversary was coming up so I whipped this together today. Now I'm running late for the Michael Klein event, opps Like a few of my other entries these past 4 years, this might seem a little disjointed cause I had to forgo my original entry and create this timely piece. Also Save the date for 7/21/11 OPA Restaurant is having an Anniversary Bash in PCC honor. I will be showing a lot of the photos I've taken over the years, plus a bunch I never published but were fun.

- thank you thank you thank you and thank you to the people who helped me along the way. I really appreciate it.

July 7, 2007 I launched What started as a hobby has now turned into a career. I had no idea, nor did I ever plan it to go that way. I am grateful to you my readers who support me in this endeavor & especially for those who allow me to photograph them.
I had had a blog called Confessions of a Paparazzi for (The etc was in there cause even on that blog I wanted to cover a broad range of topics) the previous 2 years when I lived in NYC, but having returned to Philly I needed to come up with something that reflected where I was at that time. Over the July 4th weekend with my friends Kati & Simon, who were visiting from NYC, we brainstormed. Simon coined PhillyChitChat and the logo above. Thanks!! (We wanted to be able to include a lot of topics, not just celebrities. [and by the way that is how Simon smiles])My first blog entry was complaining about the disappearing landscape of the cupcake store and too many banks popping up on corners. They were like the drug stores of the '00's.I like covering charities, and the mainstream press didn't always show up at ones that didn't have a Philebrity attached and it wasn't about not caring, it was about money and staff. Plus each event hires their own photographer that would distribute shots to the magazines and society pages. So there would be coverage, just not immediately.
Megan Smith PR for the Phila Film Festival which is now CineFest. This shot was taken in 2007. Tonight I will see Megan at the opening of QFest (CineFest GLBT Festival), but she also has her own full service PR Company with lots of clients. She's been a great friend to me and PCC these past four years.
Every once in awhile a celebrity would pop up in Philly. Since I was such a "big time" celebrity photographer in NYC, I thought it would be easy to parlay that into getting photos placed in the local media. Not at all.
The first photo I had in any Philly Newspaper: Dan Gross' Gossip column in the Phila Daily News in April 2007 (4 months after moving back to Philly). I couldn't get anyone in Philly to pick this photo up, I thought it would be super easy since Sen Vincent Fumo is greeting hot actress Angie Everhart, plus was in the press a lot regarding his funds. But it wasn't until I mentioned that Fumo had a red string bracelet on like Madonna (symbolizing her Kabablah connection) that convinced Gross to pick this picture up. Then he got to the bottom of the string, and even put in his column that Mayor Nutter wore one to after some Rev gave them both one. The day after this appeared several of the papers I originally contacted asked me why I didn't sell them on that angle. Because I wanted I really wanted it in Dan Gross' column. Having been a fan of Stu Bykosky's and Dan being his successor, I was a fan of his too, it was a thrill to have him write about it.
At that time Dan's column didn't support a lot of photos and I realized how lucky I was to get a shot in. This was before he had the blog. Over at the Inquirer I was also a fan of Michael Klein. His column did support photos, but it wasn't an easy sell, and why would it be, I was an unknown. I don't remember specifically how it happened but it was after a lot of persuading and pitching that I would be places that no other Philly photographer would be, and I could get shots that would be interesting that would otherwise just be reported as words on paper. (I succeeded and am very proud of that accomplishment. There were more than Philebities in Philly, there was just no one to shoot them.) Barry Manilow was the first photo I had in Michael Klein's Philadelphia Inquirer's Inqlings Column in 9/07, and for the next three years my photos would appear in his column weekly. No doubt it helped my career tremendously. (Plus he's a great mentor. Today he launches his new venture )
Later I had my own photo column in the Metro. CBS3 did two stories on me (Lesley van Arsdale & then Anne Marie Green) & NBC10 did stories on me and the celebrities that came to Philly.
My biggest thrill was when I got my own column in Philly Magazine. Then later in the year I was on NBC Philadelphia's Non-Stop The Scene with Justin Pizzi. I still get recognized on the street after appearing in the show. Just last night a lady in Villanova told me she learned so much more about the Philly Social Scene from my segments.
The G Lounge opening introduced me to Nicole Cashman & a relationship that opened the door to the "Philebrities" like NBC10's Dave Warren and John Clark.
Where are they now? Dana Lombardo - Now PR for the Phila Zoo, Brett Silver - Social Philly (A great site, and a great name) not sure what he's doing now. I'm sure sitting behind a desk managing a mega powerhouse business and Carri Nork - Married, 2 kids and PR of Parx Casino
The first time I shot Sabrina Tamburino and Steve Thorne was at the Philly Magazine Best of Party at the Kimmel Center. I had no idea who they were or would become to PCC in this 8/07 shot. Charles Peruto, Nina Tinari, Mia Tinari and Carol Tamburino.
My sister Judy in the black dress.This is the last photo of my sisters together before Judy would pass away from Ovarian Cancer. Janine, Tracy, Aunt Mary, Judy, Crista, Margaret and niece Lauren.
Max Brenner Opens: Here's mom with her 2 grand daughters Nicole & Kelsey
A photo I took of Kristin Cavalleri at Dusk appears in Us Magazine
They never did built Trump Tower PhillyMy blog has given me access to places and events I always wanted to experience. Rosemary Greco, Genna Davis, Jane Seymour and Lynn Yeakel at the Vision 2020 Women Empowerment event at the Constitution Center
Things haven't changed that muchPhilly's Terrence Howard at Philly Style Mag party - Next week is their Hot List Party.

For the first year of I covered a lot of events in the Gay Community, but found many people were reluctant to be photographed. These three had no problem, Matt Ray, Matt Vlahos and Troy Cassel. These days with the popularity of PhillygayCalendar and Facebook, GLBT peeps are more willing to be photographed, although that over 40 set is still guarded.
Greta Greenberger, City Hall Tour Director at work. I think the building should be seen by everyone, and the view of the City should be taken in at the observation deck. Go to Rm 121 for info on the tours or the deck. Get a timed ticket early as they sell out quickly.
Mayor Nutter, Thom Cardwell and Laura Burkhardt. Having worked in the law field for some reason I thought I should delete any sign that we are all adults and take out the beer that Laura was holding. Can you tell?
Thanks to John Colabelli & Philly Style Magazine for whole kindheartedly embracing me covering their events and letting me be an insider.Thanks to the GPFO for their Film Tax Credits I've been able to satisfy my need to shoot film sets without having to travel to NYC where you can't walk a blog without running into a shoot. That is really a feat to be able to take a bite out of the Big Apple and get a film to shoot here.
Ladies who Lunch: Mary Patel, Kelly Boyd and Monica Malpass. Sometimes it's hard to maintain a balance between "friends" and what is news. I am really good with keeping things "off the record" and knowing what is damaging info to a person. For me it's not worth the longevity of my career to publish a gotcha moment.A few favorite shots
Gov Rendell at the First Annual Governor's Cup at the Franklin Square Gala 2010 as Amy Needle and son Eli look on (This shot was published in Inqlings)Look at Fox29's Jenn Frederick sporting those fancy stockings back in 2008 right before that style took off. Here's she's with someone I admire a lot Sarah van Aken of SaVa
The name fits cause I never was one to be labeled or boxed into one category. Sometimes it drives me crazy when people call me "press' even though that was my goal to get my blog out there as another news source. I always wanted to be considered someone who was recording moments, times and memories. One thing I do know is I like to cover charities, ordinary people, bold named folks, celebrities, openings, closings (although people do get mad when I write about that, usually the owners.), the fascinating and the not so fascinating, I sometimes write too much text, sometimes I just want you to look at the photos and come to your own conclusion, I try and live by the golden rule, sometimes I fail, I always regret it when I do. In the end I really do hope I have helped someone whether it was to enjoy a show, a dinner, meet a friend or make ones life easier. Thank you!