Monthly Archives

April 2016

Philadelphia

The DIVINE LORRAINE Is Pre-leasing Already

It’s hard to believe that it’s been nearly a 8 months since the groundbreaking of the long anticipated revival of the grande dame of North Broad Street, The Divine Lorraine Hotel (699 N. Broad St.) back in September, to today when it was announced that the Divine Lorraine apartments would begin pre-leasing the apartments.

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The listing on Craigslist states: Large, open floor plans allow you to maximize your living area while living just steps away from world-class dining and retail. Apartment finishes combine sleek industrial touches, while maintaining the vintage charm of the Divine Lorraine. The modern kitchens feature top of the line appliances and beautiful light granite counter tops.

1 Bedrooms Starting @ $1325
2 Bedrooms Starting @ $2540 **SECOND MONTH IS FREE ON ALL 2 BEDROOMS!

A coffee shop and bi-level restaurant will fill the commercial space.

Each apartment will be equipt with a full kitchen, washer and dryer, and range in a number of bedrooms. The building will even have a 24-hour doorman to ensure the safety of the residences.

The ballroom is so large they are making it into two separate floors holding apartments on each floor. The Annex in the back of the building will be renovated into something, but it is still a surprise.

Purrrfect: Cats are allowed.

Unit Amenities:
-Stainless Steel GE Appliances including Dishwasher and Microwave
-LG Washer and Dryer in ALL units
-Granite Counter Tops
-Modern Plank Flooring
-Vintage, industrial light fixtures
-Plenty of Closet Space
-Subway tiled showers
-Ceramic tiled bathroom floors
-Premium shaker birch wood cabinets
-Commercial/Fusion style kitchen faucets
-Contemporary bathroom fixtures
4-29-2016 5-28-42 PMAn interesting footnote to add is that residents at the Divine Lorraine are allowed to use the amenities at Lofts 640, only block away – featuring a rooftop pool, gym and sundeck.

See the complete listing HERE

Check out a great photo essay of The Divine Lorraine before the renovation got underway, by Streets Department –

Philadelphia

Philly Gossip: Celeb Sightings in Philly, People in the News & Happenings

Good Friday afternoon, how about a little Philly Gossip. Hope you had a great weekend. So much going on. I’m getting my first wordpress lesson today so hopefully I can figure out how to put these instragram and social media photos in with links so you can go right to these pages. Otherwise if you see something you like just google their names and their social media will come up.

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Celeb sightings I tweeted about this week. Seems Will Smith was in town. He was staying at the Ritz Carlton hotel but using the The Residences at the Ritz Carlton Gym. He was also spotted with a real estate agent at the Residences. Maybe that penthouse is finally going to be sold.

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Former President Bill Clinton was seen strolling through the Sonesta Hotel’s lobby after he had spent Primary night there. My mom stayed there last weekend too. That hotel has gotten so hot since it’s been rebranded, and refreshed. In June look for Ruth Chris steakhouse to open. 50Cent was in town on Monday to sign bottles of his booze EFFEN at the state store in Northern Liberties. He must have spent the weekend here cause Saturday night he was spotted at Coda.

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Monday night Chelsea Clinton was at Coda pimping for her mom Hillary Clinton (who stayed at the Sheraton Hotel the night before Primary Night), who was doing a MSNBC Town Hall Meeting at the Constitution Center (BTW that was taped. I guess it didn’t say so during the show. After I wrote my column on Bernie and his meltdown cause Hillary was still taping when he arrived for his segment, people were saying but Bernie was on stage first. I had noted that Clinton taped from 530 to 630pm, but was still on stage at 7PM, but I guess those readers didn’t realize that was 2 hrs before the show aired. )OK now that that’s cleared up, here’s what’s happening in the neighborhood.4-29-2016 7-52-33 AM (Custom)

Congrats City Rep Sheila Hess for your story being published in Philly Current Mag4-29-2016 7-57-40 AM (Custom)

So nice Yo Yo Ma posed with unsung hero Jim Sweeney who has worked backstage with the Phila Orchestra for 25 years4-29-2016 8-01-19 AM (Custom)

Happy 50th Birthday Christopher Barlett, the unsung hero of Philly’s LGBTQ community service – The William Way Center. With him is Ernest Owens, Metro Philly columnist as well as GPhilly editor. He’s had quite a week himself as a shot of him at a Hillary Clinton rally appeared on NYTimes.com

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Perusing Instagram I came across this very interesting photo by Tismfu of 17th and Walnut. You can tell he’s a visitor cause he called it Walnut and 17th, natives usually put the number first. 4-28-2016 10-26-46 PM (Custom)

Congrats to Mark Marek and Dilara Deger on their wedding yesterday. Mark owns the popular Rumor nightclub (Say hi to Teefish at the door when you’re there) and the sexy, speakeasy lounge 1925 (formerly G Lounge).

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Congrats to Sue Daugherty, executive director of MANNA and her girlfriend Meg Paszko on their nuptials.4-28-2016 10-29-04 PM (Custom)

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Happy Spring Awakenings to Stratus Lounge who had celebrity spinner Sam Ronson on hand, who shared time with DJ Royale keeping the dance floor packed.4-29-2016 7-51-21 AM (Custom)

Congrats to Sara Campbell who opened her new boutique in Chestnut Hill at 8409 Germantown Ave Philadelphia, PA .

Here’s a list of a few happenings you might be interested in.

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Rittenhouse Row Spring Festival Preview Party

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TONIGHT

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Bernie Robbins Marco Bicego appearance

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Mother’s Day at Parx Casino

Philadelphia

The Logan Hotel’s new rooftop bar, the breathtaking, Assembly Rooftop Lounge

Last night I attended a VIP/Media sneak preview of the new rooftop lounge the Assembly is located on the 8th floor of the recently rebranded Logan Hotel (The former Four Seasons Hotel) . I had seen photos before I attended last nights event, that not do it justice, not even my photos can because it’s a beautiful space, and much larger than it appears in photos.

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#Selfie Wall Hashtag your photo #assemblyrooftop while there and maybe your photo will be chosen to appear on the Selfie wall

 

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The Logan Hotel presented a $52,086.00 check to the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society (PHS) for the City’s beautification. The results of a pledge they made at their opening party in January, where they said they would donate 10 percent of each guest’s tab to the PHS .
Nick Pytel, Associate Director of Business Development at PHS, Matt Rader, President, PHS, Lisa Stephano, Chief Marketing Officer of PHS, Sandra Heydt, Director of Sales and Marketing, The Logan Hotel and Greg Stafford, General Manager, The Logan Hotel

Assembly

Julie Morningstar, BLT Architects, Daniel Bedesem, BLT Architects, Sarah Baicker, BreakfastOnBroad.com , Melissa Morrison and Doug Soehl, Designer III at Bower Lewis Thrower Architects (who worked on The Assembly ) along with Dawson Design Associates, out of Seattle.

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There was a nice crowd who attended the Assembly preview party, and well dressed, which prompted me to ask them what is the dress code for the lounge?

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You can wear casual clothes, like jeans, shorts, and you won’t get turned away if you’re wearing sneakers.

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One of  the pods, this one is located inside.

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A.D. Amorosi

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Alexandra Golaszewska, ‎Alexandra Go, LLC and Wendy Ramunno, contributor @thephillyvoice

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Danya Henninger, Billy Penn reporter, Caroline Russock, Zagat, and Nicki Mackenn

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The pods are open to the public but they can be reserved for a minimum of $500 for 8 – 12 people, for 3 hrs.

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Susan Schiller , former broadcast Media Liaison at World Meeting of Families 2015,  Kristen Johanson is a reporter for KYW Newsradio and Dr. Jennifer N. Caudle

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So excited to see the Japanese Cherry Trees have grown so big, and are blooming. FYI They always seem to be in full bloom the first week of May. Also note, all week long in the evening the Parkway at 20th Street has been closed for construction. Not sure if it’s happening on the weekend but just in case take RT 76 or Vine Street local to avoid getting stuck in the round about ie circle.

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Nearly 150 people can enjoy the outdoor space, with another 50 people inside. They have two pods with fire pits, they were on last night and it was cozy.

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Judith K. Rogers, Executive Director of The Parkway Council Foundation (she’s so excited for the Parkway work to be done and the celebration of the roadway’s centennial), Jeff Guaracino, president and CEO of Welcome America and Susan Hamilton.

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Bill Hunter, Dilworth Paxson , Ajay Raju, CEO Dilworth Paxson and Koray Avci, Bella Turka jewelry store in Midtown Village

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Wines by the glass were pricey, but the glasses were really big I thought.

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Tori Dohlevie, Shana Saddic and Alyssa Hamel

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I love that they carry Miller “it’s the champagne of beer” and since some people call the Assembly a “The Champagne Lounge” it’s apropo,  $5

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4 oysters $12 – they were delicious

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The indoor standing bar

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The olives were delicious. I mentioned they needed pronged tooth picks cause it took me forever to poke them, and if I drank I’d probably just scoop them up with my hands. $8

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Michelle Conron and Ian M Crumm, sitting pretty in a pod. Did you see the Elizabeth Wellington article in Philly Inky yesterday about Ian. Check it out HERE

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This section is standing room only, first come first serve.

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The additional space on the roof that is not part of the roof deck will be used as a rooftop garden like the Four Season’s did. The produce will be used in recipes used in their restaurant Urban Farmer, where I had dinner last night. It was delicious. Get the Steak Tasting, plus the Caesar Salad.

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Assembly

1850 Ben Franklin Parkway. A modern rooftop lounge located 9 floors above the city with panoramic views. Mon-Thur 5pm-close. Fri-Sun 3pm-close.
Opening Night is Saturday at 7PM

Philadelphia

#Hilladelphia – A Slice of Life on Primary Day

Happy Day After #Hilladelphia where Hillary Clinton won in Philadelphia, winning 63 percent of the vote, and 59 of the city’s 66 wards. (Philly.com) Before being PhillyChitChat I worked on lots of political campaigns and knew where all the players were during election day. Now not so much. I did head to the 4th Street Deli, which in its heyday was the spot. In the past couple years it’s been waning a bit, and yesterday it was downright dead. So bummed, but a few characters did show up.

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I knew when I read the mayor schedule and he was not scheduled to go here that the turnout for fun political characters would be low, especially at the 4th Street Deli. It seems that folks now go to the West Mt Airy spot – Relish. I did catch a few political peeps. On the right is Clark DeLeon ( For 20 years Clark DeLeon wrote a daily column for The Inquirer, a slice-of-life called The Scene – you can imagine I was a big fan, I tried not to fan out too much but I did get a selfie)  to the left is former 4th Street owner David Auspitz. In the back is George Norcross (white hair), former owner of Philadelphia Newspapers Media – ie Philly Inky & Daily News. – Under his reign his team hired me to work at Philly.com. Before I arrived Lynn Abraham had been eating with them.

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Larry Platt, who hired me at Philly Mag, then went on to run the Philly Media Network, and is now running The Philadelphia Citizen, with him is Harriet Lessy, , former gossip columnist at Philly Daily News, now running her political PR agency –  BUZZCommunications and guest. Also spotted in crowd former 6ABC Marc Howard, so maybe the 4th Street Deli is where former newsies hang out or as it seems Hughe’s former bosses.

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Senatorial candidate Katie McGinty arrived in her bright green lime outfit, greeted the politicos that had been hanging out, then spoke to reporters at the 4th Street Deli. I did notice on her election day schedule, that she added Relish to it on the day of the election (as the day befores schedule didn’t have it) and pushed back her visit to the Deli to 130PM. Last November the Deli was packed with politico’s, but come November I’ll probably head out to Relish for an early lunch, and catch a late lunch at the 4th Street Deli.

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Across the street from the 4th Street Deli. I heard Bernie Sanders spent his lunch hour shaking hands at Reading Terminal.

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Between 5 and 8 PM I was photographing the Bank & Bourbon  2nd Anniversary. I was pleasently surprised that it was packed. I’ll have photos from the event in Philly Mag tomorrow, and a few additional ones here on PhillyChitChat on Friday, the food edition. Have you ever eaten there, it’s so good. They really do have the best steak in the City, I think better than my last pick which was Little Pete’s in Fairmount.

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I didn’t want to leave the party, but knowing that Hillary was going to give an election night speech in Philly I had to be there for this historic event. I hadn’t credentialed myself so I got in the general admission line with my friend. When we got to the door I saw the media door was next door and no one was in that line. I thought let me give it a try. I showed him my press pass, and my biz card. He googled my name and then he let Mike and I go in.  PS what sucks about having events at the Pa Convention Center is their proper address takes you to 11th and Arch. So many people were confused trying to find where it was really located, including me. This happens a lot with events. The two entrances are not exactly next to each other.

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Oh I love these t-shirts that a vendor was selling on the street outside the convention center doors. Not original, but cute.

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Hi Kristen Welker, my former neighbor and friend, really we’re FB friends. Maybe she’ll be at the Fairmount Conservancy party tomorrow night with her mom like she was last year.

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It can be hairy up on the media riser, but still with this crazy position I was in, back row, I was able to get the following photos

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The Grateful Photo

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The Warrior Photo

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The I have a full set of teeth photoHD1_8324 (Custom)

The let’s get to work photo

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The Proud Husband Photo

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The supporter photo, omg let me tweet this photo out photo

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The yes we stuck together all these years photo and we’re going to make history again

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Teamwork makes the dream work

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The Mayor Kenney is standing next to the next President of the United States Photo

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As seen on South Street by Danya Henninger – PhillyDesign. Now how did I miss that?z (2) (Custom) z (1) (Custom)

The results from The Philadelphian voting district of the major races

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Have a good day, keep warm.

Philadelphia

Feel the Bern, Bernie Sanders has a Meltdown , Hillary Clinton Rally’s and U MUST VOTE TODAY

Good Tuesday morning. Happy Primary Day, Feel the Bern! Go Vote. Everyone knows I’m voting for  Hillary Clinton, someone called into question me being a reporter and being so open about who I’m voting for. As I always tell people I am not a reporter, I do work in the press, the media takes my photos and they take my stories. If Hillary had had a meltdown I would have written about it, I’ve written about people I like who have meltdowns, or do things that might not be popular, like tweeting about my friend Councilwomen Cindy Bass wearing a Vote for Chaka Fattah button to the Hillary rally yesterday. It’s good to have solid friends like that, ones that aren’t afraid of being associated with someone who might be indicted, but definitely hasn’t used common sense. Anywho, here’s my story about yesterday.4-26-2016 8-37-40 AM

MSNBC was super nice inviting me and three other photographers to photograph back-to-back MSNBC town halls with Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton at the Constitution Center yesterday. The whole thing was embargoed, meaning I wasn’t allowed to tell anyone til a certain time.  It was fascinating because they were pre taping the shows at 5:30PM for Hillary, and 6:30PM for Bernie; and both of them had scheduled events afterwards. Hillary was doing a City Hall Rally in the courtyard at 7:15PM. There was a line at 330PM when I went by and captured these two charmers. Seriously where can I get that outfit on the left?

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Then it was on to the Constitution Center where there was a healthy line waiting to get into the Kirby Auditorium. About 200 people can fit in the auditorium, each campaign offered seats to their supporters who had  to fill out a questionnaire and then were chosen to attend. From the questionnaires a few people were chosen to ask the candidate questions that they had noted on their entry.

HD1_7719 (Custom)I sat with the reporters, mostly the “Pool Reporters” who follow each of their assigned candidates to report on and feed their news agencies stories at each candidates stop. Sometimes Pool Reports can be very funny, as I am subscribed to the White House one, and I usually tweet about them as they happen if they’re funny. So if POTUS, FLOTUS, VPotus or Mrs VPotus is in our area I hear all about their trip, what they’re wearing, who they waved at and if they trip. It’s fun to be a fly on the wallk, which is the kind of reporting I like to do too. So here they are, the folks behind the scenes who you read everyday. They’re all dressed so nice, glad I didn’t wear shorts.

HD1_7727 (Custom)And we get to watch the close circuit feed of the events going on inside the Kirby Auditorium. The MSNBC folks would bring the photographers in, there were only three of us – Inquirer, AP and moi, towards the end of the hours so we could get pixs without interrupting the goin ons. Nothing more annoying to me too, then the clicking of a camera when a performance is going on.  I was super excited to photograph and see Bernie Sanders in person (and Rachel Maddow – PS I have a bucket list) That is why I chose to cover the MSNBC Town Hall over Hillary’s Rally at City Hall or Chelsea Clinton’s Meet and Greet at Coda.

MSNBC's Rachel Maddow moderated an hour-long town hall with Hillary Clinton after a day filled with campaign stops in Philadelphia. The town hall was scheduled to begin taping at 5:30pm, but started at nearly 6PM as Clinton was running a little late.

MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow moderated an hour-long town hall with Hillary Clinton after a day filled with campaign stops in Philadelphia. The town hall was scheduled to begin taping at 5:30pm, but started at nearly 6PM as Clinton was running a little late from her many appearances yesterday.

Hillary was jovial in her Q&A with Rachel, but got serious when a protestor stood up and asked Hillary Clinton about women and families who are being held in immigration detention facilities. Instead of ignorning her, Rachel Maddow turned and asked Hillary Clinton the question the women wanted to know. Clinton said she was against that and when she was elected she would end family detention and pass immigration reform. The women sat down, but the security guards did take away her protest sign.

Hillary was jovial in her Q&A with Rachel, but got serious when a protestor stood up and asked Hillary Clinton about women and families who are being held in immigration detention facilities. Instead of ignoring her, Rachel Maddow turned and asked Hillary Clinton the question the women wanted to know. Clinton said she was against that and when she was elected she would end family detention and pass immigration reform. The women sat down, but the security guards did take away her protest sign.

Everything was light and jovial, with Hillary stressing to Rachel that she is 2.5 million votes ahead of Bernie, and has 250 Super Delgates, so she's not worried.

Everything was light and jovial, with Hillary stressing to Rachel that she is 10 million votes ahead of Bernie, and has 250 Super Delegates and she was well on her way to the nomination.

One of my friends said “During the commercial breaks they couldn’t stop Hillary from talking to us and she stood at the end and asked for our votes.”

Some of Hillary’s highlights that delighted the audience: Legalization of marijuana; Hillary on feminism – women deserve all the rights men have, equally; and restoring voting rights to felons. On whether she would offer Sanders a spot in her White House, she said her cabinet is going to represent the United States, 50% of it will be women. That’s an answer without an answer.

More on Hillary Clinton’s Town Hall at MSNBC

 

 

While Clinton was still on stage, Bernie Sanders arrived at the side door of the Constitution Center on 6th Street. He was not happy when he heard Clinton was still on stage as he expected to just enter the building, and not see her before taking the stage to be interviewed by MSNBC's Chris Hayes. At one point he told his police escort, and entourage that he was going to skip the MSNBC Town Hall and they should prepare to leave. MSNBC assured him that they would not see each other. People on the scene said Bernie emerged from his suv red faced, and did not turn and wave to his supporters. Hillary on the other hand emerged from the building with a broad smile waving to the crowd as she got into her SUV. BTW that is Rachel Maddow 3rd from the right, carrying her bags to her waiting SUV.

While Clinton was still on stage, Bernie Sanders arrived at the side door of the Constitution Center on 6th Street. He was not happy when he heard Clinton was still on stage as he expected to just enter the building, and not see her before taking the stage to be interviewed by MSNBC’s Chris Hayes. At one point he told his police escort, and entourage that he was going to skip the MSNBC Town Hall and they should prepare to leave. MSNBC assured him that they would not see each other. My friend, who is a Bernie Sanders supporter, told me Bernie emerged from his suv red faced, and did not turn and wave to his supporters instead bee lining into the side door, which for a supporter was disappointing she said. Hillary on the other hand emerged from the building with a broad smile waving to the crowd as she got into her SUV. No word on whether they passed each other in the hallowed halls of the Constitution Center, but chances are they didn’t since it seemed to be a Bernie priority. BTW that is Rachel Maddow 3rd from the right, carrying her bags to her waiting SUV.  I did love the Black Men for Bernie buses, and supporters. Rachel said hello to them and shook all their hands. UPDATE: Friends tell me that sure enough Bernie came in one door, and Hillary exited a different door. They never saw each other. 

MSNBC's Chris Hayes with Bernie Sanders at the MSNBC Town Hall Meeting at the National Constitution Center.

MSNBC’s Chris Hayes with Bernie Sanders at the MSNBC Town Hall Meeting at the National Constitution Center as they prepare to go on air for the Town Meeting.  My Bernie Sanders friend said Bernie seemed tired and didn’t exhibit the spunk that he normally exudes, “so I knew something was wrong. “

Bernie seemed optomistic about the turnout for today's primary, but did concede it would be a battle to win if he didn't win any delegates. He did say that his end goal was to beat the Republicans. That is not an option to have a republican as a president. Their goals do not match my goals at all.

Bernie seemed optimistic about the turnout for Tuesday’s primary, but did concede it would be a battle to win if he didn’t win any delegates. He did say that his end goal was to beat the Republicans and is was not an option to have a republican as a president. Their goals do not match my goals at all.

I don't think Bernie ever recovered from his anger on arrival as he was tense for the whole interview, often looking at his watch during the break as he was eager to get to his next stop, Drexel University for a rally where actress Susan Sarandon was scheduled to speak on his behalf.

I don’t think Bernie ever recovered from his arrival as he was tense for the whole interview, often looking at his watch during the break as he was eager to get to his next stop, Drexel University for a rally where actress Susan Sarandon was scheduled to speak on his behalf. I don’t blame him, I’d want to spend as much time with Susan as possible. Toucha, toucha toucha touch me, I want to be dirty. Love her.

Here’s more on the Bernie Sanders interview at MSNBC

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When I left I snapped this photo. So go #FindYourPark and take a photo

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The Black Men for Bernie head towards Drexel University I thought, but later learned they went to City Hall to blow their horns as Hillary was rallying her supporters. I was a little surprised. I don’t know how to insert videos into my blog yet, so click the link to see the video if you want.

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The Rally at City Hall for Hillary Clinton (TY to one of my friends for this pix)

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Hillary waves to the voters as she leaves the rally and heads back to her car. Note the guy on the left with the flashlight so she can “see” where she’s going