Monthly Archives

January 2016


Philly Gossip: Nerlens Noel, Susie Celek Joins The Competition, Ashley Johnson Headed to NYC, Gina Gannon to Japan

Happy Friday – Seems like a whole bunch of people I know went to the White House this week to meet with the President, or his people.

Marcus Allen, President and CEO of Big Brothers, Big Sisters headed to Washington earlier this week 
 Oscar De La Hoya lands one in Philly, and Team Derek was on hand to greet him.

 Andrew Sharp at the White House
 Last night Sixers Nerlens Noel stopped by Rumor, posing with the Best Doorman in the City, Tee Fish.
 Former WPHL 17 Eye Opener Ashley Johnson headed to FOX 26 Houston in 2014, and is now on her way to Fox NYC next week. Congrats girl.
 Renee Patrone, Events By Renee appeared with Eve Tannery, TV News Anchor, WFMZ Channel 69, 33, Bethlehem to discuss Super Bowl party tips.
 Mayor Jim Kenney at the Phila Car Show yesterday, rethinking the idea of taking a “City Car” perhaps.
 Since her split with Julie, Susie Celek‘s star has risen even higher. In recent times she’s appeared in Benton Blount‘s new country video, participated in a movie that shot over the summer, and now is participating as a Wingette coach in the Wing Bowl halftime show’s inaugural pillow fight against  Coach Chelsea (Chelsea Durkalec), Team 94.1. Another interesting change in career’s Skin Palate is now operating out of Marilyn Kellmer‘s Sun Myst, formerly a competitor of Skin Palate.
 My cousin – in – law David Nakamura, Washington Post’s White House Correspondence, ran into Billie Jean King at the White house yesterday.
 Bon Voyage Gina Gannon who will be appearing on QVC Japan next week.
Dreaming of you today

Day and Sunset Views from the Liberty One Observation Deck

Earlier this week I had a chance to check out the Liberty One Observation Deck during the day arriving at 4PM, and stayed through sunset til darkness.

One Liberty Observation Deck, Philly From The Top, located in the heart of Center City, is Philadelphia’s tallest enclosed observation deck. At 883 feet up, enjoy 360° views, 365 days a year, morning noon & night! Located within walking distance to other major attractions and just steps away from public transportation, get a top-down look at iconic sights, breathtaking views and discover the music, sports & culture that is the City of Brotherly Love.

 Open every day 10 a.m. – 10 p.m., One Liberty Observation Deck is owned and operated by Montparnasse 56, the group behind observation decks in Paris, Berlin and Chicago. For more information, visit or call 215.561.DECK (3325)

Address: 1650 Market St #5700, Philadelphia, PA 19103

On a clear day you can see forever, but all I really care about is seeing how the City is laid out. The building to the right, shaped like a U is the new Whole Foods/Rodin Museum Apartments. It’s nearly done. Very exciting. It really fits in nicely with the buildings that have been established there already. Next to it is an apartment building, The Parkway, then there a bunch of houses, then my building – The Philadelphian (condos), then the Pearlman Center of the Phila Museum of Art, then 2601 Parkway which is another condominium, to the far right you can see City View Condos, in the foreground is the current Whole Foods, which will soon be a Target.
CBS3 to the North.
Family Fun For Four

Give your family a bird’s eye view now through February 29, 2016. Two adult (ages 12+) and two youth (ages 3-11) tickets for $49. A savings of $17. Only available for purchase at the ticketing desk.

Coming soon CityPASS! On March 1, 2016, One Liberty Observation Deck will be added to the attractions offered on the Philadelphia CityPASS. More details to be announced.

 The Center City District (CCD) and Friends of the Rail Park are proud to announce that The Bacon Brothers, Philadelphia natives Michael and Kevin Bacon, will play a special benefit concert to support Phase I of the Viaduct Rail Park on February 4, 2016 at Union Transfer.
The concert will support the construction of Phase I of the Viaduct
Rail Park, a CCD-managed project, carried out in partnership with the
City of Philadelphia and Friends of the Rail Park.
In the photo above the Rail Yard can be seen behind Goldtex Apartments (center)

There are a few observations seats, bathrooms, a candy machine as well as a drink machine. In the lobby there’s a gift shop.

Looking south
The new FMC building on the left, adds to the skyline being lit in blue
For more information visit and follow on social
media: Facebook –; Twitter – (@PhillyFromTop);  Instagram – (@PhillyFromTheTop).

Photos: The LLS Sponsor Party for Red & White Ball and info on Raffle for 2016 Mercedes-Benz GLC300 4MATIC SUV ($41,500).

Philadelphia, PA (January 22, 2016) – On Wednesday, January 20th, The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) hosted a party for their top-level donors and high-level volunteers at Euro Motorcars Devon to kick off their Mercedes-Benz Raffle. LLS is currently selling raffle tickets for the chance to win the all-new 2016 Mercedes-Benz GLC300 4MATIC SUV ($41,500). 

 Your local Mercedes-Benz dealerships have generously donated the vehicle, which means LLS will receive 100% of the ticket sales. Only 2,000 raffle tickets will be sold. $100 per ticket. The winner of the Mercedes-Benz Raffle will be announced the night of the Red & White Ball on Saturday, March 12, 2016 at the Philadelphia Downtown Marriott Hotel.

Ticker holder does not need to be present to win. Visit to purchase your chance to win the all-new 2016 Mercedes-Benz GLC300 4MATIC SUV to benefit The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

Co-chairs, Francis X Gallagher and George Hofmann, with Karen and Karlee Hofmann
Sue Kursman with Auction Committee member, Nina Bernstein
 Chris Britton with Red & White Ball Executive Committee member, Meredith Gardner

Executive Committee member, Fred Hand, with Nicole Johnson

Photos supplied by LLS

PhillyGossip: Charitable Givings: Jakub Voracek & Todd Herremans , Ambassador Andrew Young, Jr. & Lisa Ling Visit

We’re running a little late on Philly Gossip this week. I normally post on Monday but was obsessed with the snow. Let’s see what’s happening with our friends, family and the bold faced names in Philly from photos I’ve curated from social media.

Winning: Philadelphia Flyers Jakub Voracek hosted The Big Brothers Big Sisters Independence Region in his Flyers box on Monday Night. (As of January 1, 2016, Big Brothers Big Sisters Southeastern Pennsylvania
merged with New Jersey sister affiliate, Big Brothers Big Sisters of
Burlington, Camden and Gloucester Counties)
After the game Jakub held a meet and greet with the kids and made a $32,000 donations to the organization. Born in Kladno, Czech Republic, Voracek donates $1,000 for every point he scores this season to help fight MS in the Czech Republic. As of Monday he has scored 34 points in the 15/16 season. (This good deed comes on the heels of some bad news, as Voracek’s sister, Petra, has been diagnosed with the disease.)

 The football season is over and Todd & Elizabeth Herremans have return to Philadelphia where they live in the off season.

Tuesday Todd on behalf of his foundation Herremans Foundation , stopped by the Veterans Group in
to drop off a donation to help them continue improvements
to the home and provide more assistance to local vets. Director Jose
and Board Member Steve Phillabaum showed Todd the new kitchen
area. Outside they are joined by one of the Veteran Residents. Much of
the work on the home is being done by the residents themselves.
In honor of National Spouse Day on Tuesday, Elizabeth Herremans posted this lovely tribute to her husband Todd Herremans.

Another great athlete that calls Philly his adopted home, Connor Barwin recently returned to living in Rittenhouse Square where he bought a house I hear. Normally I wouldn’t write this, but he posted this photo and another on his instagram and people guessed the street, which really isn’t that hard. When he first arrived in Philly he settled in this area; then left and rented at Broad and Washington while I guess he waited on the renovations of his new house. Now he’s settled back into the Ritt Square area and has a life size snowman outside to welcome guests.  One of the nicest guys and very philanthropic with his time and money to ever play on a team in Philly, no one is going to visit his house to egg it when the Eagles suck like when they attempted to do that to Chip Kelly’s house in Haddonfield.

Last week Connor Barwin posted: It was an honor meeting and hearing Rev. King and retired Police Comm. Ramsey speak yesterday on MLK Day.

Tuesday I had lunch at Bank & Bourbon at the Loews Hotel. I ran into CNN’s Lisa Ling, who’s been in town since last Thursday doing profile interviews of notable Philadelphian’s. Yesterday it was retired Police Comm. Ramsey, who I saw leaving the interview room. It was reported Monday that Charles Ramsey, a former police chief in both Philadelphia and Washington, D.C., is returning to his hometown to serve as a senior advisor to the Chicago Police Department to guide civil rights reforms, city officials announced Sunday. (ABC7)

Ling stayed at the Loews Hotel during her time here and captured this shot on Sunday night.

Celebrity Round Up

Friday afternoon when the Academy Ball was cancelled, comedian Martin Short worked out at the Ritz Carlton gym while he waited to hear when the next flight would be to take him back to LA.

Nicki’s back in town

A few weeks ago I reported that Nicki ate at Capital Grille with Meek. Friday I was there for dinner and asked to see her table. It’s in the very last room, ask for it next time your in.

Nicki Minaj, Meek Mill and one of the Sixers owners had dinner at  Del Frisco’s last night after the Sixers win at Wells Fargo. So far Nicki has proven to be a good luck charm to the team as they’ve won both games she’s attended. Maybe she’s the motivation for them to get the ball down to that end.

Over the weekend 
Neef Buck, Young Chris and friends were at Del Frisco’s. Earlier in the month Houston Texans star J.J. Watt was there with his agent. This week he granted a dying women’s wish to meet him.

Former U.N. Ambassador Andrew Young, Jr. visited Jefferson Hospital on Tuesday and was hosted at an event welcoming him last night. Here he is with Keith Leaphart, Replica Creative founder

Today he will be touring the campus

Former U.S. Ambassador Young joins Jefferson President and CEO Dr. Steve Klasko for a special conversation on the importance of health care as part of Dr. Martin Luther King’s vision of equal rights for all. Tune in for a live radio broadcast at 9 a.m. of their conversation and follow-up Q&A session, led by Sidney Kimmel Medical College Class of 2018 student, Peter Salam Beah, on WURD (900 AM) at A free 900amwurd radio APP is also available for your smartphone.

Monday was Australia Day and 95.7 BEN FM
Marilyn Russell posted a few of her fav Australian peeps Russell Crow and Neen James.

After covering the epic snowstorm over the weekend Cecily Tynan took the day Sunday and went skiing with her husband at Blue Mountain. I would have thought she’d have had enough of the snow.


Congrats to Ernest Owens on his new gig, editor, curated of G Philly

TONIGHT Chef Big Rube is serving Chicken & Waffles at Toast from 6PM til 10PM. 
It’s at 12th and Spruce Streets.  $28 sales ended but give Rub a shout to see if they’ll be tickets at the door. @BigRubeHarley

Shop Realm to Support The Wistar Institute 2/4/16 at 1414 S. Penn Square 2nd Floor 530 – 830; RSVP by 2/1/16 to lynsiesolomon

Casey Reed co-stars in Saturday Morning Fever. Check out this interesting article on the show by Molly Eichel at

                                                                            In Passing

Condolences to the Starr Group on the passing of Bruce Koch, their CFO

 As well as Abe Vigoda, who passed away this week. I photographed him a few times when I worked in NYC and he was a delight. Here’s a shot of Abe with Matt Pantaleno and Alicia Vitarelli Pantaleno


Progress of The Sixers State-of-the-art 120,000 Sq. Foot Training Center in Camden

Last year the Philadelphia Sixers announced they would be building their training facility in Camden, NJ. The front office sent a press release and a few photos of the progress of the building of the facility and a sketch of the final product.

The Philadelphia 76ers have revealed the first current construction
images and rendering of the completed exterior for their future Training
Complex today.  The 125,000-square-foot
Training Complex will be the largest in the NBA, and will include the
Sixers basketball operations facility and business operations offices.
 Designed to foster team building and unity, communication, innovation,
and the spirit of competition, the basketball
operations facility includes two NBA regulation-size basketball courts,
a 2,800-square-foot player locker room, and state-of-the-art
performance, wellness, recovery, and hydrotherapy rooms.  The basketball
training facility was conceived to be a 24/7 destination
for elite NBA and front office talent with amenities including a player
restaurant, private balcony, film, and press room.  Construction is
progressing as scheduled on the basketball operations facility,
estimated to open for player use in the fourth quarter
of this year. The business operations offices will include a media
production studio, 7,000-square-foot roof deck, 10,000 square feet of
mixed-use commercial space, and more.
The location is at Delaware Ave and MLK Blvd, not far from the Aquarium.
Erection of the buildings’ structural steel is currently near
completion, and by mid-May the basketball operations facility’s exterior
wall, roofing, and window systems will be in place.  With the building
fully enclosed, mechanical,
electrical, and plumbing contractors will begin installation of
interior building systems and construction.  Glass walls and window
systems dominate the exterior and interior framework throughout the
basketball operations facility, manifesting the Sixers’
focus on building unity and encouraging transparency between players
and staff.  The construction and technical foundation has been laid for
such specialty training apparatus such as a 40-foot lap pool with a
built-in hydraulic platform.
“In designing the basketball operations facility we pulled inspiration
from the most cutting-edge sports medicine, wellness, and recovery
practices from leagues, teams, and sport disciplines across the world,”
said Sam Hinkie,
Philadelphia 76ers President of Basketball Operations and General
Manager.  “We challenged ourselves to create a 24/7 destination for our
players’ physical and mental needs.  Two full side-by-side training
courts with ten baskets to shoot on is the heart of
the building.  Amenities such as an exclusive, covered player’s
entrance, a fully-stocked private restaurant, and a dedicated concierge
will encourage year-round visits to the training facility, allowing our
players to focus on the everyday training of their
body and mind.”
“Whether on the court or in the community, we continue to spend time and
invest resources where we see big upside.  It should come as no
surprise then, that in our commitment to build the biggest and best
Training Complex in the
NBA, we chose a community on the rise, with dynamic, socially aware
corporate partners.  We are confident that Camden is the right place at
the right time to build our new home,” said Scott O’Neil, Philadelphia
76ers Chief Executive Officer.
“I am extremely pleased with the progress of the new Sixers headquarters
and practice facility,” said Mayor Dana L. Redd.  “Even more gratifying
is the commitment the Sixers have already demonstrated and will
continue to do so
through various community engagement activities like volunteering to
beautify our neighborhoods, holding basketball and cheering clinics, or
simply connecting with our residents.  As we move closer and closer to
the completion of their new facility, I look
forward to a promising long-term partnership with the Sixers.”