A Midsummer’s Eve at the National Museum of American Jewish History

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The Young Friends of the National Museum of American Jewish History (NMAJH) presented A Midsummer’s Eve at the museum on August 14, 2014. Over 300 people — many dressed fabulously in white, the ladies with daisy headbands — enjoyed a kosher dessert reception by Betty the Caterer
and an open bar. The even, a celebration of Tu B’Av, the Jewish holiday of love, was held in the ballroom at the NMAJH, which overlooks Independence Park. Guest mingled with other young friends, posed for photos in front of the step-and-repeat, enjoyed views from the expansive fifth floor terrace, and danced to the tunes of DJ Robbie Tronco.

Photos from the NMAJH’s Midsummer’s Eve after the jump »

2014 Philadelphia Geek Awards

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Excitement reigned on the sidewalk outside The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University on Saturday night as the 4th Annual Philadelphia Geek Awards got underway. Guests, nominees, and presenters walked the red carpet and posed for photographers before heading into the museum to enjoy the the 90-minute cocktail reception held among the many fascinating exhibits in the museum including full sized dinosaurs, fossils, live butterflies and animal dioramas. Some 400 guests were dressed in “Geek Chic” and ready to party.

The Academy staff was also circulating with live snakes, owls, lizards, and bugs, and many people — including yours truly — took #Selfies to share with the world on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook (#PhillyGeekAwards). Then the moment arrived when Geekadelphia co-founder Eric Smith and editor Mikey Ilagan opened up the ceremony with witty banter and gracious appreciation of the sold-out crowd.

Throughout the 90-minute ceremony, awards were given and the audience was entertained by the humor of the presenters and winners. Those geeks are smart and funny. The after-party was held at North Bowl, and was well attended. Many of the ladies told me they were excited to take off the heels and slip into some comfortable bowling shoes.

More photos and full list of winners from the 2014 Philly Geek Awards after the jump »

PHOTOS: Squealing Tweens Take Over the City to See One Direction and 5 Seconds of Summer

One Direction Concert FansThat screaming you hear all over town is from the 50,000 tweens who have invaded Philadelphia to see English-Irish boy band One Direction (1D), who are in town for their “Where We Are” tour with Australian opening act 5 Seconds of Summer (5SOS).

The first show was last night at Lincoln Financial Field, and there’s another tonight. Consequently, hundreds of googly eyed gals (some with their mothers in tow) are camping out at nearly every 4-star hotel in the city for a chance to glimpse 1D members Niall Horan, Zayn Malik, Liam Payne, Harry Styles and Louis Tomlinson.

Photos from the show after the jump

Philadelphia Magazine’s Best of Philly Bash 2014

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Philadelphia magazine’s Best of Philly Bash was held last night at Citizens Bank Park. The torrential rains didn’t put a damper on the annual party which celebrates the best of the best of Philadelphia, as selected annually in the August issue of the magazine.

Each year Philly Mag chooses interesting locations for their party. This year they held it on the 200 level corridor of Citizens Bank Park, transforming the venue into a day at the beach, complete with a boardwalk and sand. Besides the delicious food and spirits served, there were fun activities, including cornhole, Jenga, checkers, a baseball throw and dancing to the tunes of Speaker City. There were also tours of the stadium, including the trophy room, where the 2008 Phillies Championship trophy is kept.

To top off an already great night, there were fireworks!

Photos and video of the Best of Philly 2014 Party after the jump »

Shepard Fairey Afterparty at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts

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Shepard Fairey was in town last week for the dedication of Lotus Diamond, a mural he did in partnership with the Mural Arts Program on the façade of a building at 1228 Frankford Ave. in Fishtown. It’s the first of three he is doing in Philadelphia. Fairey shot to fame for the “Hope” poster he created during the 2008 Barack Obama presidential campaign. Thursday he signed bottles of Hennessy V.S Limited Edition at a private event at Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, and then was guest of honor at a party that evening. He even got behind the turntables at the and spun records for a bit. The dedication of the mural was Friday.

Photos of the Shepard Fairey after-party after the jump »

THIS WEEKEND: The Giver‘s Brenton Thwaites and Odeya Rush at Cherry Hill Mall

Fans of all ages were invited to immerse themselves in the world of new book-to-film sci-fi flick The Giver, at a special event at the Cherry Hill Mall Friday. Guests took part in various activity stations, like spin art, hair-chalking, nail-painting, a candy bar, photo booth and contests by Wired 96.5.

After about an hour the film’s young stars Brenton Thwaites and Odeya Rush showed up to participate in a Q&A and meet-and-greet, where fans were able to get photos with the actors. During the Q&A, Thwaites and Rush admitted they hadn’t read the book before being cast, which brought groans from the fans—some of whom told me they read it twice.



The Giver opens nationwide on Friday, August 15, and is based on Lois Lowry’s beloved young-adult novel of the same name, which was the winner the 1994 Newbery Medal and has sold over 10 million copies worldwide. The film also stars, Jeff Bridges, Meryl Streep and Taylor Swift. Check out the trailer below.

PHOTOS: Boys of Summer Pool Party at North Shore Beach Club

Friday night about 100 muscle-y souls braved the rain to enjoy PhillyGayCalendar’s Boys of Summer 2014 kickoff pool party at North Shore Beach Club. The affair was the first in a weekend long parade of parties that raised money for the long-running LGBT events calendar. The following day there was a car wash on Camac Street (a video soon to come), followed by the big party at Voyeur nightclub and, on Sunday, an afternoon BBQ to close out the annual event. I’ve got photos of the pool party below.



Alive Inside Screening for the Alzheimer’s Association

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Greater Philadelphia Film Office, Derek Freese Documentary Fund and the Alzheimer’s Association hosted a screening of the award-winning documentary Alive Inside at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts last Tuesday night.

The 2014 Sundance Film Festival Audience Award winner was presented at a red-carpet event and there was a post cocktail party afterward. All proceeds from the event will support the Alzheimer’s Association’s Delaware Valley Chapter.

The film, which focuses on the use of music in the treatment of Alzheimer’s patients, included a post-screening Q&A with CBS3 Health Reporter Stephanie Stahl. Michael Rossato-Bennett, ‎director of Alive Inside discussed how the project came about. He also announced that a meeting with Apple was in the works in hopes of expanding the program of getting music to patients on a much broader scale.

To see how music can make a difference in an Alzheimer’s patient’s life was very moving. The music provided to the patient was specific from an era in their life. It brought them back to life, singing, humming, dancing and they were able to recall memories of a time that had seemed lost forever. It’s a must see. The hope is that one day doctors will prescribe music as part of the treatment that is currently used for Alzheimer’s patients.

Photos from the screening of Alive Inside after the jump. »

Ommegang Hop Chef 2014

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Last week at Union Transfer, the Ommegang Hop Chef Competition held its 2014 Philly event pitting the hottest Philly chefs against each other in a fierce competition to be crowned the Hop Chef Philadelphia winner. The winner will go on to represent Philadelphia at “Belgium Comes to Cooperstown 2014” August 8th and 9th for the title of Hop Chef National Champ.

Participating chefs included James Kenngott of Strangelove’s, Justin Petruce of Petruce et al, Jennifer Choplin of Dock Street Brewery, Chad Vetter of City Tap House, Jeremy Nolen of Brauhaus Schmitz, Jonathan Petruce, Ben Puchowitz of Cheu Noodle Bar, Travis Masar of Sampan and Independence Beer Garden, and Townsend Wentz of Townsend.

Each chef created a dish which was paired with an Ommegang beer. Then a panel judged their dishes based on five pairing principles. The chefs each got 10 minutes to describe their dish to the judges, and to explain why they used a particular beer for the pairing.

The judges for the competition were Caroline Hatchett of Star Chefs, Art Etchells of FooBooz, Collin Keefe of Drink Philly, Caroline Russock of City Paper, Danya Henninger of Zagat (who pulled no punches in telling a chef when something was too chewy, too salty or delicious), Top Chef winner Nick Elmi of Laurel and Carly Szkaradnick of Eater Philly.

Ommegang’s Hop Chef 2014 »

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