Friday, December 2, 2011

RITTENHOUSE SQUARE CHRISTMAS TREE LIGHTING, Elves & Upcoming Events

After Checking Out this entry today, read my Philly Mag column on a pretty big Holiday Party that happened last night: http://blogs.phillymag.com/the_philly_post/2011/12/02/hughe-dillon-cashman-christmas-party/

This year TD Bank distributed a whole lotta cute hats to the festive feeling holiday goers who attended the Christmas Tree lighting in Rittenhouse Square on Wednesday night.There was a bustling crowd that I would estimate at a little over 500 peeps on hand for the lighting, many more than in years gone by. Could have been the warm than normal weather, maybe moms and dads want to educate their kids on the Occupy Philly movement, who showed up about an hour before the ceremony, and left before the lights came on, or it could have been an early visit to Santa at TD bank after the lighting.
I ran into a lot of folks that follow me on twitter including Stacy, Haley, Emma and Margaret Brennan. Stacy tweets as @3girlsandswirls Follow her, she's fun.
After a bit, and the lights came on
Maria Cillella, Courtney Knowlton and Dawn Adamoli
Mary Benedetto, Kevin Lyons, and Scott Malseed
Patrick Mullen
Ilanna Waber and Cori Moskow, of Gloss PR represents Rittenhouse Row. Here are a few more things coming up that you might be interested in:
Our young professionals Holiday Cocktail party and toy-drive at Whisper will be held on Thursday, December 8th. Have you purchased tickets to the holiday cocktail party and toy drive on Thursday? $25 in advance at...

The Great Cookie Bake Off Friday December 9, 2011 at the Shops at Liberty Place 1625 Chestnut Street 12PM. They have a Scotto's Pizza there now, yum!!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

The Wanamaker Building 100th Anniversary Party

Sorry this is a little late, er a lot late today. I took your advice and tried to get more sleep. I didn't set an alarm and well I could sleep all day. Actually I went and photographed something at noon that I thought was a press conference, but was a lunch presser. Much better, yum Salmon Salad at R2L.
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Wanamaker's department store was the first department store in the United States . The store was dedicated by President William Howard Taft on December 30, 1911.At its zenith in the early 20th century, there were two major Wanamaker department stores, one in Philadelphia and one in New York City at Broadway and Tenth Street. (Wikipedia)
These days Philadelphia's first skyscraper is a Macy's department store, and at Christmas time a great place to start traditions with family. Macy's Christmas Light Show, formerly the John Wanamaker Christmas Light Show, has been a Philadelphia Wanamaker Store Yuletide Grand Court tradition. Formally known as the Holiday Pageant of Lights, it features the Magic Christmas . At the top of every hour the show delights kids and adults alike.
Wanamaker's was the home to the Crystal Tea Room restaurant on the 9th floor which closed in 1995; it was restored as a private banquet hall, accommodating sit-down receptions of up to 1,000 people. A Wanamaker's guidebook from the 1920s states that the Crystal Tea Room was the largest dining room in Philadelphia, and one of the largest in the world. You'll recall I go to many events that are held at this location. Remember the wild and crazy one I just went to last Wednesday on Thanksgiving Eve and on Saturday I will be attending the Linda Creed Foundation luncheon there. Above Stephen J. Gleason, executive vice president of Wanamaker Building manager Amerimar Enterprises Inc. greets the guests, and chats about the wonderful attributes of the building, and it's tenants. “We feel the Wanamaker is the best of the old and the best of the new,”
Center City District President Paul R. Levy was presented with The Wanamaker Building Award for Civic Leadership for his profound influence in the local business community and support of Philadelphia commerce. A $5,000 donation was made in his honor to the new Dilworth Project underway at City Hall.

Olivia C. Brown and Iman Butler from the Ritz-Carlton. The Ritz Carlton is going to have a children's gingerbread making event on December 17.
Mark Focht, Director of Fairmount Park and Bill Mifflin, Executive Director at Philadelphia Hospitality. Mark tells me that parking on the outer lanes of the Parkway between Eakins Oval to 22nd Street, on the left side, is now allowed. The meters are in, and parking can commence. Just know that inbound parking is suspended between the hours of 6:30AM and 8AM and outbound parking on the Parkway, is suspended between 4:30PM and 6PM, to accommodate rush hour traffic. Just read the signs to make sure. It used to be 10hr parking on the Parkway, but now it's only 3hrs. I have a beef though, it should be 6hr parking. Why would I want to be stressed out visiting the Art Museum or Barnes for 3 hours?

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

OCCUPY PHILLY ENDS IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT, I Tweeted it Live and Got More Than a T Shirt

I was Philly's trending leader in play by play tweets at 4AM, beating 6ABC, my buddy Chris May at CBS3, #OccupyPhilly and Panties. How about them cookies!!

Also I would appreciate if you guys could go over to Philebrity and vote for moi in the category of
"Which Philadelphian most represents our town as a living, breathing monument to all that is "fabulous?" I really am so honored to even be mentioned, and now mortified I will be last. I know someone has to, but I'd rather it not be me - LOL.
Thanks http://www.philebrity.com/awards/ Then check out the Occupy Philly Eviction shots over at Philly Weekly Photographer/reporter Matthew Petrillo did an outstanding job for the duration of the occupation.

The Claddagh Fund Celebrity Rock-n-Bowl Tournament - Flyers, Fans and Fun

First off I would appreciate if you guys could go over to Philebrity and vote for moi in the category of
"Which Philadelphian most represents our town as a living, breathing monument to all that is "fabulous?" I really am so honored to even be mentioned, and now mortified I will be last. I know someone has to, but I'd rather it not be me - LOL.
Thanks http://www.philebrity.com/awards/

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Monday night the Claddagh Fund held it's inaugural Celebrity Rock-n-Bowl tournament at North Bowl in Northern Liberties
created by Ken Casey, of the Dropkick Murphys, to raise money for the most underfunded non-profit organizations that support vulnerable populations in our communities.
Initially started in Boston, Ma, Casey is branching out to other cities, the first being Philadelphia. Monies raised here, will stay in the local community and support great charities like Stand Up For Kids and the Limen House.
The event was well attended, with sponsorships of the lanes selling for $1,000 allowing 5 players to play, joining a celebrity. And there were actual celebrities here like Hell’s Kitchen contestant Jason Santos, and Kevin Chapman, star of CBS’s Person of Interest, one of the greatest boxers Micky Hart
and Philebrities like Flyers players Ian Laperriere, Zac Rinaldo, Matt Read and Harry Zolnierczyk, Comcast Sports Michael Barkann, Big Daddy Graham, WIP, Marshall Harris, Comcast Sportsnet, and
Miss Pennsylvania, Amber-Joi Watkins, who gives up her crown December 3. She wore it well.
Ian Scott, Ken Casey, of the Dropkick Murphys, Barry Hanrahan, Assistant General Manager of the Flyers.
Micky Ward, retired American junior welterweight professional boxer, Samantha Trasatti, Mixologist at Rouge, and a former WBU champion, Ken Casey, of the Dropkick Murphys. Folks not bowling only had to pay $5 to get into the place, and if the timing was right you could get a photo with one of the celebs. The low price was really about getting awareness to the organization, and it worked as about 50 people turned out to watch the action.
John Gonzalez, CSN Philly, and fiance, Colleen Wolfe, Update Anchor at Sports Radio 94WIP
Arthur Kade, Kate Beaver, Courtney Grant, Billy Riddle, of Ela and no dummy - Nicole Segal who is a Research Assistant Center for Electric Power Engineering Laboratory at Drexel University
Where's Shelton Mercer been lately? When he's not reconnecting with childhood friends, he's being his entrepreneur self, or doing charitable good deeds. Look for the blow up of TwitChange. Shelton is now the Chief Business Development Officer at TwitChange. He's with the lovely Timyka "Tiki" Artist, a reporter working at Pittsburgh's NBC affiliate WPXI. Timyka grew up in Philly, and is a graduate of Temple University. 6ABC's Kenneth Moton, Kevin Brown, Nicole Segal and Melony Shonfield,
Kendra Kirk, Bd Member of Claddagh Fund (CF), Christine McMahon, ED CF, Boston, Kate Diehl ED CF Philly
Eric Fox (2nd from right) was a sponsor of a lane. On his team was Ryan McDevitt, guest, Taylor Morganti, and Al Moganti, National Hockey League Analyst,
Celebrity Boston chef from Hell’s Kitchen Jason Santos with his signature blue hair and Samantha Trasatti.
Arthur Kade, who's been out and about interviewing some of the biggies in the celebrity world of late (Check out his Kevin Hart from last weekend.) What's fun about watching these interviews in Kade is coming from a complete fan angle, he's a fan of these folks and his admiration comes through. He's asking questions that you or I would ask, not a seasoned pro. I wish him luck, it's certainly a new day for him. In the center is Hacina Saadi, and restauranteur JD.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

RJ Cacciutti - A Great Man, Gone Too Soon.

One of the best things about being PhillyChitChat is meeting so many wonderful people, some of them have become friends, which is hard to do because I have so little time to cultivate friendships. When I met RJ Cacciutti we talked for over an hour at the Law Abiding Citizen screening party at Del Frisco's April 2009. (And for many of you, you know how rare that is as I am usually in my working mode, but that's just the way RJ is, very engaging, and Erin was sweet too. We had a lot of laughs.) He told me about his family, his life and the business that he ran with his brother, Chuck, the West Philadelphia Bronze Corp. He told me how he cared for his workers, knew them by name, and their families. He sent them holiday cards, and personalized them. That was impressive. A dying art, the handwritten note. Something my mom still does today. Shortly after that we became email & FB friends (til he left FB), catching up on life, comparing schedules to see when we would run into each other again and meeting at Del Frisco's, or Public House when he was around. He was living a charmed life. Working hard, doing charitable work, connecting people all over the world, and had a close relationship with his family and friends. He always had time for me, gave me great advice, we discussed politics, I would introduce him to my friends as my favorite Republican, but don't hold it against him. I'd played match maker and fix him up with girls I thought would be a good match as he said he was getting to that age, and it was time to settle down. He went on a few dates with some of my choices. Doc Parghi, Kate Slattery and RJ Cacciutti at PIFA April 2011
RJ was eager to introduce me to his parents at the Radnor Hunt this past year: Dolly and Ralph Cacciutti. May 2011. That was really endearing. He told his mom and dad all about what I do, and I sat down with them for a bit as RJ attended to his other guests at The Freedom Council of Valley Forge tent. Then took a few photos of people with the Ronald Reagan cut out. (I'll tell you a secret, the NBC10 tent was next to his tent and I was supposed to introduce him to one of my friends that day. Unfortunately, she had a last minute engagement and didn't come to the Radnor Hunt. I later learned she didn't like blind dates, bummer she missed out on someone special.)
Last month I ran into him at the Good Dog/Bad Dog Gala October 2011. William Firth, RJ CacciuttiDoc Parghi, and Kate Slattery. He said what he usually says, is Mike here? (My partner of a decade). Usually I say no, but this time...I was finally able to introduce him to Mike. They immediately hit it off, like I knew they would. They chatted for about 20 minutes or so. When I joined them, RJ said to me. HughE I want you to have this honorary membership coin from The Freedom Council of Valley Forge in recognition of all the charity work you do. Carry the coin proudly as it signifies honor and the good works of all men. - RJ it was an honor to have known you, and I will miss you. I never made enough time to see you. I never made it to the beach. I never called when I said I would, I never slowed down. I think you'll be happy to know I'm going to work on those things, cause you never know when time has run out. So long my friend.

http://www.philly.com/philly/obituaries/20111129_Ralph_Joseph__quot_RJ_quot__Cacciutti__39__co-owner_of_W__Philadelphia_Bronze_Corp_.html?c=r

Stradley Ronon Hosts "Women Helping Women" Event at Ten Arts

Check back tomorrow for photos on the Claddagh Fundraiser bowling tournament with the Flyers and other celebrities. In the meantime see one here on PhillyMag.

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On a warm fall evening last week, Stradley Ronon Stevens & Young, LLP hosted a women's event at the Ritz-Carlton on the Avenue of the Arts. The evening was to celebrate women in the work force, while benefiting Philly's food bank Philabundance with a menu that featured hors d'oeuvres and desserts prepared by renowned pastry chef Monica Glass, former chef from one of the top restaurants in New York, Le Bernardin. Above: Kim Jessum and Maria Wing - Stradley Ronon, with Phillipa Ashby - Bank of America.
Jennifer Lin - District Attorney’s Office, Deborah Hong - Stradley Ronon, Barbara Doyne - MetLife.
Alexandra Beljin - TD Bank, Gabriela Arce de Smith- Stradley Ronon, Nancy Mirarchi - Mirarchi Chiropractic.
Tracy Davidson - NBC 10, Erinn Carey - Citrin Cooperman, Beth Bradley - Stradley Ronon, Colleen Orsino - Main Line Chamber of Commerce, Kelly Sakmar - Main Line Chamber of Commerce.
Elizabeth Reynolds - Thrive Pilates, Barbara Nugent - Stradley Ronon, Hally Schreiber - Thrive Pilates.
Leslie Miller Greenspan, Barbara Nugent – Stradley Ronon, Tina Rothfuss - Philabundance, Candace Matthews - Philabundance Community Kitchen, Linda Galante and Nancy Margolis – Stradley Ronon
Linda Chisolm – Preferred Search, Lisa Berger Baskin – Berger Baskin Commercial Real Estate, Gretchen Santamour - Stradley Ronon, Ellen Dodel – First Federal of Bucks County
Erinn Carey - Citrin Cooperman, Beth Bradley - Stradley Ronon, Colleen Orsino - Main Line Chamber of Commerce
100 percent of the proceeds from the evening's silent auction was donated to the Philabundance Community Kitchen (PCK) – a 14-week career-training program, with an 85 percent job placement rate in the food service industry. In 2010, PCK generated more than 355,000 meals that were distributed to area emergency kitchens including women's shelters, and other locations. Click here to read some of the recent success stories. Thanks to Stradley Ronon Stevens & Young, LLP who raised $6,000 for Philabundance.

KeVen Parker introduces a Refreshed Ms. Tootsie's Soul Food Cafe - Better Than Ever!!

Since 1996, the best place in Philadelphia to get Chicken and Waffles in Philadelphia has been Ms. Tootsie's Soul Food Cafe 1310 South Street, founded by KeVen Parker and his late mother, Ms. Joyce Parker. Over the years the restaurant has become a very popular eating place, winning culinary awards, as well as becoming a favorite restaurant of many notable people including my girl, the legendary singer Miss Patti LaBelle. Fast forward to 14 years later, KeVen decided that Ms. Tootsie's Restaurant Bar Lounge needed a little sprucing, as well as addressing the need for additional dining space as it had become impossible to seat all those who wanted to eat at the restaurant, especially on weekends. After 6 months of renovations, KeVen Parker (above) unveiled a newly renovated Ms Tootsie, as well as a new business next door called KDP Lifestyle, a home furnishings and gifts store stocked on the first floor of the building next door, and a boutique hotel on the upper floors. with three well appointed luxurious rooms. Each room comes with a full size kitchen, an eating area, bathroom, flat screen TV and a bedroom area. On the fourth floor you'll find plush leather couches, flat screen televisions, and walls lined in steel grey velvet for the guests of the boutique hotel called the Luxe Lounge. This floor will also allow the guests staying at the hotel, access to the restaurant without leaving the building.
The jewel of the new space and found on the first floor of the boutique hotel, is the KDP Lifestyle store. The store features an eclectic variety of home wares, vases, sculptures, greeting cards, pillows, couches, chairs, bedding supplies, and lamps. (These pillows were only $40)
There were also affordable and poignant wall hangings
and gifts, including these sweet teddy bears. Everything was high quality and priced to move.
As for the celebrated Ms Tootsie restaurant, you'll still find many of the mainstays that made Ms Tootsie so popular, but they've also added a few things you'll like too:
  • Pulled Pork Sliders
  • Lobster Macaroni and Cheese
  • Herb Crusted Grilled Lamb Chops with Fried Apples
  • Bourbon Braised Short Ribs with Sweet Home Fries
  • Signature Soul Rolls - Crunchy Spring Rolls Wrapped with Chicken, Yams and Cabbage
  • Ms. Tootsie Pop's - Deep Fried Chicken Drummettes in the Shape of a lollipop served with a Tangy Dipping Sauce
and added more space for diners.
KeVen tells me that parties of two wait the longest to be seated in a restaurant, I checked with my friends and they told me it was true, well the wait is over as KeVen has a dining room especially for you: The Love Lounge only has two tops for that romantic date where you don't have to wait to get your game on.
The R&B room is sleek and has walls decorated by pictures of singers and resounding hues of red and black. It's a great room for dinner, but I can see a late night crowd here too, hanging out, enjoying a lite menu and chillaxing.
Earlier this month, KeVen Parker relaunched Ms. Tootsie's Restaurant Bar Lounge with a new look and a new menu, and introduced KDP Lifestyle & Luxury Suites, a home store and boutique hotel located adjacent to the restaurant to his friends and family with a little soiree. Beth Johnson and Leah Fletcher, The Philadelphia Sunday Sun, long time friends were happy to stop by and support their friend.
Philadelphia's R&B singer Carol Riddick
Erica Atwood and Gordon Robertson. Happy belated birthday, Erica!!
Steven Redel, Danielle Grodanz, Barbara and Jeff Redel, Rebecca Feigenbaum and Michael Redel. They are regulars at Ms Tootsie and can't wait to try everything on the new menu.
Ian Balwin and Christina JacksonGlen Aulson, Ralph Lauren at the Bellevue and KeVen Parker
The young chic next generation: Ernest Robinson, Make-up artist, Arumz Nashipae, Zola Emon, Kevin Parker (the other one), and Sylvia Ndeto
The upstairs bar is sleek, modern and could be a little lonelier than before now that the revamped, restyled, Ms Tootsie has plenty of room to seat you, but I do recommend you stop up after your dinner to mingle and mix for a few. And although Ms Tootsie is more accommodating now, I would still highly recommend you make reservations just in case: Ms. Tootsie's Soul Food Cafe.