Saturday, December 31, 2011

Race Street Pier Fireworks 2012 6PM Show

Race Street Pier located beneath the Ben Franklin Bridge may be the perfect place to watch the 2012 New Year's Eve Fireworks. I raced to Old City about 530PM and was lucky enough to find a parking spot at 3rd and Race. Then headed to the Race Street Pier as I always wanted to see it, and especially gauge how it was to see the fireworks from there.
The pier is divided in an upper level and low level. We took the upper level first and realized it was too crowded. Normally at the end of the pier you would be able to walk to the lower level, but a lot of folks were sitting on the steps and it was impossible to navigate them. (Mike in the grey sweatshirt) So we walked all the way back to the beginning to enter the lower level as that's the only place to enter. My recommendation is to watch the fireworks from the more spacious lower level of the Race Street Pier. Everyone goes to the higher lever as the opening to the pier is wider up there. You'll see what I mean when you enter the pier.
This is what the fireworks look like from the end of the pier. You can't hear the music, but it's still very enjoyable.
and orderly when returning to your cars, well as least orderly for the 6PM fireworks.
Happy New Year!!! See you on Monday for the Mummer wrap up. Tuesday for the Mayor's inauguration.

Friday, December 30, 2011

EVENTS THAT MADE A DIFFERENCE IN THE PHILLY SOCIAL SCENE or I Enjoyed Covering

Philly has never met a food competition they didn't like.
Some of my favorites this year were the 2nd Annual Oyster Shucking contest at the Oyster House (above), The Burger Brawl to benefit Meredith Elementary School. That was a ballsy challenge too as the event was the brain child of Maggie and Rob Wasserman, owners of Rouge and 500˚ where most folks believe has the best burger in town. BTW I stopped in 500˚ the other day and they now have a Turkey Burger and a burger that comes with egg on top of it. Go early as they sell out quickly. I loved the Battle For Cheesesteak Supremacy at Square 1682, but I think the best Philly Food Competition held in the City this year was the The 1st Annual Philadelphia Vendy Awards Food Truck Competition. What a fun day at the Piazza.
The Center City District's 20th Anniversary was significant because our City is so damn clean now. Plus the guys walking around in teal are really helpful to tourist in finding their way around town. I have lived in Center City for 22 years and I know what it used to look like. Kudo's to everyone that works at CCD, and the businesses that support it. 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.
The cause was notable and hosted by two of my favorite girls: Maria and Eliana Papadakis, pictured with Justice Sandra Schultz Newman and Councilwoman Jannie Blackwell at the Marriott Downtown for the Global Conservation Gala to support conservation and the Philadelphia Zoo‘s effort to preserve habitats and endangered species around the world. Another reason this event was so special was the decor. It was the 2nd most interesting decorating event I went to this year. The lighting, the design, the details on our place settings. Just gorgeous and they really cared about conveying the theme to it's guests.The Indonesian Cultural Club greeted guests, and a Gamelan Semara Santi Indonesian percussion orchestra helped transport guests to Indonesia. The theme was carried throughout the room as planned by Mary Love, director of events at the Zoo. Starting with a blank slate and instructions from her boss, Amy Shearer, Mary created a room that put you in the middle of a rainforest, with tropical trees projected on the walls, a large screen video wall with orangutans in their natural habitat, and lighting that completed the theme (created by Advanced Staging Productions). The decor, which included magnificent centerpieces, lamps and silk napkins were nice Southeast Asian touches done by Penncora Productions.

The Power Shift: Dedicated to strengthening the next generations of Philadelphia’s business, political, and civic leaders, The Power Shift and event co-chairs, Nicole A. Cashman of Cashman & Associates and Dr. Keith Leaphart of Replica Creative: Design + Print, with this years winners and committee. "It's a think tank for the next generation." Great networking event at the cocktail party too.

Social Scene Queen: Miss Pennsylvania USA - Amber-Joi Watkins

In Memoriam: Danny Bonaduce and Amy Railsback Bonaduce no longer on the social scene since the demise of WYSP. The duo can now be scene hobnobbing in Seattle as the biggest thing to hit there since Curt Cobain and the first Starbucks. But we still have Wizard World's Comic Con every summer where you can see some of your favorite pop culture peeps like Margot Kidder from the Superman movies. So much fun going to an event like this, seeing celebs, but especially all the fans that love them.One of the most well attended events by the public, City of Hope's "Let them Eat Cake" competition. For $40 you can eat as much wedding cake, and bring it home that you like. Plus the money goes to charity. Salivating yet? Get there early the place gets packed, then everyone's on a sugar high and well you'll want to leave if your me. Tip bring a bag to carry home your doggie containers.

Zarwin Baum March Madness NCAA Kick Off Party. A hard to get invitation, even though over 800 people are invited to go. Large screen TV's are set up in a couple rooms to watch the NCAA basketball games. Held at the Top of The Tower in the Bell Atlantic Building for the past two years, guests enjoy a day of food, catered by B Smith Catering, games and networking during the 8 hour event.
Brianna and Josh Alcorn's wedding. I caught this great shot of Brianna and her grand dad Bob Gaudio.
If you've ever wanted to try every vendor at the Reading Terminal Market, then "Valentine to the Market" is your ticket. So much fun to hang in the market after hours, there were DJ stations, as well as live entertainment in a few nook and crannies that had a few folks up and dancing, or lounging on couches enjoying themselves. The VIP party preceded the main event and including a cooking contest with some of your favorite chefs. Check it out this year on February 25. Buy tickets for this year's event here.I love covering fun notable, sociable birthday parties, weddings and other events (in Center City) and sharing them with my readers. (If you hire me you get to keep the photos.) Notable you say, well if you throw a party like Carol Tamburino throws one for her little girl Sabrina Tamburino, then I'm so there (and this was just for her birthday lunch with the girls.) I love when I get to be an observer at these events especially the Tamburino-Thorne Halloween Party.Girls shopping night out.
Thanks to all these girls for allowing me to chronically their lives over the past 4 years. Looking forward to covering Erin Elmore's big bash birthday coming up in January. Erin 3rd row on the left, celebrated with her girls at Union Trust last year.
An event near and dear to my heart, the one I have in honor of my sister Judy Wilkins and Gilda's Club of SJ 2nd Annual Event at Flemings Steakhouse. Above my mom's BFF Shirl, and mom (r) enjoy themselves at the event. We raised over $10,000 (including donations made online from those who couldn't make it. THANK YOU Billy Sullivan, Flemings Steakhouse, Gloss PR, and you)The Pennsylvania Horticultural's Azalea Garden Party was actually in the Azalea Garden this year.
The First Annual Geek Awards. A great idea conceptualized by Geekadelphia Co-Founders Eric Smith & Tim Quirino I love being that close to Mensa members. Maybe it will rub off?
The new Phillie Hunter Pence gives an impromptu strip tease at the Shane Victorino Fashion Show at the Union League, and why not he had just signed a multi-year monied contract, at the time he was living with Cliff Lee and family at 1706, and he's dating a hot Playboy playmate Shannon James he met a few weeks earlier at the Hamels Foundation event at the Crystal Tea Room. Another fabulous event this year.
I said it went I wrote about it in June, PAWS is one of my favorite events. Great concept having sit down dinners prepared by some of the fanciest restaurants in town. I love this shot with the Chef in the back giving the thumbs up!The tickets are pricey, but not because of elitism, held at the grand Union League, but because they want to raise the most money possible to create a safe environment for the kitties and puppies of this world. For your dollar you get a lot of bang for your buck. The creme de le creme show up for this one, it's right up there with the Academy Ball, although this year's ball is a bit scaled down and scattered through out Center City with the creme eating at XIX and friends at Estia and the Palm.
Audrey Claire's Cook opens on 20th Street. Great concept, a beautiful space and can be a fun night out with friends too; the cherry on the 20th Street restaurant row. If you look closely there's Chef Georges Perrier prepping for the first night.
PIFA - Look for PIFA II in 2013. I wish they had kept the Eiffel Tower. I wasn't concerned that it didn't blend in with the space. It's "art" after all. If we can have the Rocky Statue at the steps of the Art Museum, we should have been able to embrace this sculpture in the under used lobby space. The second annual Feastival took place under the glow of the Ben Franklin Bridge at Pier 9 in September. Not only was it an important fundraising event for much-needed money for the annual Live Arts/Philly Fringe, but the details that went into creating a fun, innovating, eye candy atmosphere put it first place as THE Best Event of the year. It reminds me of the now defunct grand Foundation of Architecture Gala Ball's which were held in nearly finished buildings around the City for over a decade. They ended about a decade ago. It's a must attend cause it's one of those parties everyone is talking about the next day.
Hadas and Dan find each other on Match.com and are living happily ever after.
Any event I can get away and spend with friends even if it's my own New Year's Eve Party. Kristyn Aldrich and Megan Smith, Brownstone PR (Megan's in today's Philadelphia Business Journal as one of the top entrepreneurs under 30 in the city of Philadelphia.) Below is my favorite social picture I took this year taken at the Nicole Miller gets her mug on The Palm's wall hosted by Philly Style Magazine. I called them "The Next Generation of Ones to Watch: Jesse Rendell, Nicole Paloux, Beka Rendell, Lilliana Vazquez, Patrick McGrath and Charles Paloux"
Happy New Year, and thank you my readers and especially my advertisers for making all my dreams come true. (We got over 1.4 million hits on PCC in 2011. That's a 500,000 growth over 2010 [PS contact me for advertising opportunities] ) XOXO HughE Dillon, PhillyChitChat.com

Thursday, December 29, 2011

THE TOP 21 BEST DRESSED PEEPS ON PHLLYCHITCHAT 2011

It was hard to choose among the 25,000 fashion photos I took in 2011. (In total I took 86,617) These are in no particular order.

One sure way not to make the list, wear a white bra under a black outfit, especially a sweater. (It didn't preclude your shot from appearing in these pages as I always say I spend a lot of nights photo-shopping boobies and bloopers.) Here we go...feel free to leave a comment if I missed anyone...Brad Waxman and Sharon Phillips Waxman book end the Joan's (Joan Spain and Joan Pileggi), as I call them. Bernie Spain in the middle. I'm begining to realize the Spain's invest in a lot of restaurants in the City. Mrs. Spain never fails to impress me in wearing some magnificent outfit. Sharon Phillips Waxman started what I believe to be the first Philly fashion show and this year it celebrated the 18th annual Phasion Phest at The Shops of Liberty Place, in Center City.
As pretty as a flower, Kate Wilhelm, Senior Vice President of Business Development at the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society and BFF Mark Focht, Executive Director Fairmount Park Commission. These two used to work together at Fairmount Park and have remained close friends since. In 2012, Kate will be wearing another white dress, a wedding dress as she marries Chris Chimicles in the coming months.
Also hearing wedding bells Philadelphia Style Magazine's John Colabelli and his fiance Lauren O'Dorsio. These two no doubt coordinate their outfits as their threads always compliment each other. Another nice thing, he's not afraid of heels.
The Four Nerds of The 3 Nerds, LLC. Their company came together this past year. The force behind Recess nightclub, as well as launching a successful DJ infused brunch party at Tweed. When Tweed restaurant went out of biz, they recovered nicely without missing a beat launching Industry Night at Arrow Swim Club where every Tuesday night the place was packed. In 2012, the crew is bringing Green House to the 700 block of Chestnut Street. I've chatted with the owners of the eateries along the "next restaurant" row and they're excited for their new neighbor. Celebrate NYE 2012 in style @ Recess Lounge with the 3 Nerds INFO HERE
Chris Mullins and Bill Gehrman. I love when people show up to a garden party and know what garden party attire means. (The Franklin Square Annual Gala)

random Philly Street Chic shot.Carol Drumstas, Brown Forman and Company, made an appearance in her stunning Nicole Miller outfit from this season at the XIX Most Fashionable Women in Philadelphia Party. With her is Sam Milakofsky, Capital Wine and Spirits
Whether dressed down (note he has just a hint of his shirt showing under his sweater) or
dressed up, Ron Zawadsky and WMMR's Marisa Magnatta are a stylish couple. (At the Phila Magazine - Best of Philly Party at Vie)
She undresses for a living, but is just as hot with clothes on. Angela, dancer at Delilah's at Philly Style Mag's White Party.
Dana Spain and Eric Cahill. Sexy confidence is what I think of every-time Dana's in front of my lens. Charitable too, making life better for cats and dogs (PAWS). She knows how to wear the little black dress. She accessorizes, especially when she has dashing and handsome Captain Eric Cahill on her arm.random Philly Street Chic
Mural Arts Ryan Derfler and Whitney Miller. Her shoes match his tie and the flower in her hair. Nice touches. Check out the new Mural Art's gallery & office space in the Gallery at 8th and Market.
The best looking family. The McIlwaine's with daughter CW's Kharisma McIlwaine and son, Alloyius McIlwaine, Cultures Clothing Co. (Ceo-Founder / Artist / Designer) Here at the Noel Zaya's Roaring 20's event held at one of my favorite new spaces Stephen Starr's Arts Ballroom.
Jason Duran and Casey Anderson and their mothers, at their wedding reception this past summer at the Power Plant in Old City. It was great to see so many of Casey friends from University of Penn and Jason's peeps from Temple University School of Medicine celebrate their union.
Metrosexual David Maser is always a man of style, with Brian Sims, who is a candidate for Philadelphia's 182nd District of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives. (If I see you on the street and you look fashion fabulous, I'm gonna ask you for a photo.)Jared and Dara Lazaroff above glowing in expectancy (They had a girl, Bells). Leigh Rubin and Jill Jacobson (She and husband Tal had a boy). Also glowing in expectancy.
Owners of Skin Palette in Rittenhouse Square, another case of casual or dressy, Susie Johnsen and Julie Dorenbos are two who turn heads when they walk into a room. Vote Julie hottest athlete's wife here. Susie is training for her next boxing match this spring.
Chameleon Rakia Reynolds brings it. She has a unique style, including wearing one octopus earring in her right lobe. She has so many different stylish looks that I often don't even recognize her. She's with Philly's Audrey Hepburn's NBC 10's Jillian Mele, who always exudes simplistic class is her style. Erin Como, one of the nicest women you could ever meet, also has a sexy style and isn't afraid to wear those body hugging outfits in many different colors. The girls are all wearing Nicole Miller. Unfortunately Erin's doesn't photograph too well above (maybe the sweater was too much), but in this shot it looks fabulous. Here she is with Lauren Richmond at PhillyChitChat's 4th Anniversary Party at Opa Restaurant. (They have 3 seating's for New Year's Eve.)
Wacky, wonderful Jenn Frederick is willing to try anything on her segments on Fox 29's Good Day Philly, whether it's putting on a tutu to do the Nutcracker, water ski or eat outrageous food in the morning, she's done it. Hanging with her husband Steve Frederick at the Philadelphia Magazine's Best of Philly party.
Thom Cardwell, director of development at QFest, GLBT Film Festival. Do I have to say anymore. This guy should be invited to every event that happens in Philly. He has a quirky, fun and memorable style; probably a closet full of velvet jackets in every color. He should be photographed every time he steps out of the house. Here Mayor Michael Nutter is sporting a little something Thom thought would complete the Mayor's outfit.
2011 was the year of the Nerd, and look for even more copy to take over the white space in 2012 from these guys. NERDS: You know those peeps you made fun of in high school are now your bosses (I was kinda a nerd myself, but not as smart.) Paul Colloman and Jennifer Hall at the First Annual Geek Awards, which was definitely one of the best events of the year. Check out tomorrow's PhillyChitChat blog entry for my picks on the other best events.