Alive Inside Screening for the Alzheimer’s Association

Alive-Inside-Screening-02-0610-Nancy-Glass-Marjorie-Margolies-Stephanie-Stahl-Sharon-Pinkenson-940x540

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

Ommegang-Hop-Chef-Philly-16-6338-Justin-Petruce-Jeremy-Nolen-Ben-Puchowitz-Chad-Vetter-940x540

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 »

PHOTOS: Crowds Pack Eastern State Penitentiary for Bastille Day

On Saturday Fairmount celebrated the 20th Annual Bastille Day at Eastern State Penitentiary. The event commemorates the beginning of the French Revolution with the Storming of the Bastille on the 14 July 1789. The Bearded Ladies Cabaret Company performed an artistic interpretation of the story, with founder John Jarboe playing French cabaret great Edith Piaf. Terry McNally, co-owner of the nearby London Grill reprised her role as Marie Antoinette, telling the citizens from the roof of the “Bastille,” “Let them eat Tastykake!”

This year I wanted to do something a little different and photograph the event from the performance stage as well as from behind the scenes, which my partner Mike Toub photographed. Check out our shots below to find out why Marie Antoinette’s head was spared at this year’s celebration.



July 4th Celeb Spotting in Philly

Nicki Minaj outside the Ritz-Carlton. Photo by HughE Dillon

Nicki Minaj outside the Ritz-Carlton. Photo by HughE Dillon

This past weekend Philadelphia celebrated the nation’s birthday the only way it knows — with a big party. There were parades, block parties, festivals, and Friday night’s Jam on the Parkway coordinated by Philly’s hometown band The Roots and headlined by Nicki Minaj, Jennifer Hudson, and Ed Sheeran.

Read more »

Oxford Mills Urban Oasis Grand Opening

oxford-mills-urban-oasis-940x540

Oxford Mills, billed as an “urban oasis for teachers and nonprofits,” held its grand opening last week in South Kensington, another step in revitalizing the neighborhood. Oxford Mills was once a dye works factory. It was later abandoned and has now been transformed into a hub for Philadelphia’s education community. The project is a mixed-use real estate development designed to provide low-cost housing for teachers as well as commercial space for educational nonprofits.

Paul Kihn, deputy superintendent of the School District of Philadelphia, told the guests, “Oxford will be a great place for teachers to bond with other like-minded teachers, discuss curriculum, vent about their day, prepare for the future, and relax. … A development such as Oxford Mills will help attract good teachers to the city as well as retain the ones we already have.”

Oxford Mills was developed by Gabe Canuso and Greg Hill, D3 Real Estate Development, and a Baltimore company, Seawall Development Company, who had created a similar project called Miller’s Court in Baltimore. The complex has 114 apartments, with half of them earmarked for teachers who will rent them at a 25 percent discount. The retail includes Artwell, Education Plus, Interfaith Center for Greater Philadelphia, Teach for America, Grace and Glory Yoga, and Gryphon Coffee Company, which are available to the residents as well as the neighborhood.

Oxford Mills Urban Oasis Grand Opening »

Mann Music Center’s Party in the Park Gala

Mann-Music-Center-Party-in-the-Park-Diana-Ross-12-2079-Deborah-Johnson-Rhoda-Blount-Sam-Katz-Catherine-M-Cahill-Mann-Music-Center-940x540

Wednesday night the Mann Music Center celebrated the 2014 Party in The Park Gala with musical entertainment from Diana Ross, who is on her “In The Name Of Love” tour. The evening started off with a welcoming cocktail party before the 650 guests were ushered into the dinner tent to enjoy a delicious meal prepared by Stephen Starr catering, as well as a short program. The highlight of the dinner was a tribute to outgoing board chairman Justin P. Klein. (Chris Bruner, managing partner, Ernst & Young, LLP Philadelphia, is the new board chairman as of March 1st.)

Then it was time for the Diana Ross’ concert. I photographed Miss Ross at Radio City Music Hall in 2009, where she allowed the press 45 seconds to capture her image; at the Mann that time was cut back to 0 seconds, but I was able to get a semi-bad cell phone shot. It was a shame, because she looks as beautiful and flawless as ever. Her concert was nearly 70 minutes long with no intermission, and included 5 outfit changes, (10 if you count when she would drop her big bird-feathered coats).

The best part: she had a matching fan for each of the outfits, turquoise, yellow, white, green and blue (not her signature red, though.) She was generous throughout the show and fanned her fans as well as her band. I was a little disappointed that she didn’t acknowledge she was in Philadelphia — sticking with the script — but she smiled a lot and thanked the fans in her Miss Ross way.

She opened with “I’m Coming Out” to a cheering crowd, the highlight of the night had to be her “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” that got even the people sitting in the front seats to stand and dance. She closed out the night with her anthem, adding her own touch to “I Will Survive,” and survive she has, 50 years after exploding onto the charts; Miss Ross is still going strong.

Mann Music Center’s Party in the Park Gala with Diana Ross »

Connor Barwin’s Make the World Better Foundation’s Ralph Brooks Park Fundraiser

Connor-Barwin-Ralph-Brooks-Park-01-Ade-Fuqua-Richard-Negrin-City-of-Philadelphia-Jeffrey-Tubbs-Connor-Barwin-940x540

It was only a few weeks ago I was writing about Bud Selig’s visit to Philadelphia and his comments about the Phillies being the most philanthropic team in the MLB. The Philadelphia Eagles aren’t too shabby, either. There’s Brent Celek’s “Take Flight” Foundation for kids’ education, DeMeco Ryan’s Foundation supporting children’s healthy eating, and Todd Herremans Foundation, which raises money for various children’s charities in need.

Now Connor Barwin has started a foundation called the Make the World Better Foundation (MTWB is an acronym for his parents’ names: Margret Thomas and William Barwin). Friday night Barwin hosted a concert at Union Transfer to raise money for Ralph Brooks Park at 20th and Tasker Streets, a park in need of renovation that Barwin would pass on his bike rides to “work” from his Rittenhouse Square residence. Plans were already underway to revitalize the park; they just needed that extra push — including money to meet the goals set out by the organizations that were in place, including Urban Roots, the ACE Mentor Program, and the Philadelphia Water Department.

The major fundraiser to get them over the hurdle was held Friday night at Union Transfer where Connor Barwin hosted a VIP cocktail party were fans could meet their favorite players. Afterward there was a concert where Kurt Vile and the Violators, The Districts and The Tontons played to a sold-out crowd. The artists donated their services to the organization as did the music hall, along with all proceeds from the bar that evening. When the total is tallied, Connor Barwin is going to match it. In no time, the Ralph Brooks Park will be a safe place for kids to play again.

Connor Barwin’s Make The World Better Foundation’s Ralph Brooks Park Fundraiser »

Annual Rittenhouse Ball on the Square

Ball-on-the-Square-01-724-Sidney-Caroline-Kimmel-Sharon-Pinkenson-Joe-Weiss-940x540

Last night, Rittenhouse Square held its annual Ball on the Square. Nearly 370 well-dressed guests attended. The dress was jackets for guys and gowns for women enduring the near summer heat and humidity for a good cause.

The annual celebration brings much-needed funds for the maintenance of the popular square; last night it was especially sweet as the Friends of Rittenhouse Square met their goal for the One Million Dollar Preservation Campaign. The campaign started under last year’s ball chairs Mary Parenti and Lynn Schecter, and was completed with the efforts of the 2014 ball chairs Janice Birenbaum and Nina Stanley and the ball committee.

Today, walking through the park you can see the improvements: increased lighting, security cameras, the restored and cleaned balustrade, and the illuminated guardhouse and lion. Next up: The restoration of the fountain.

Rittenhouse Ball on the Square »

Opening Party for Icon 1616 Apartments

ICON-1616-apartments-sky-deck-940x540

The ICON 1616 apartments opened with great fanfare on Tuesday night. The party at 1616 Walnut Street featured flappers welcoming guests to the newly renovated 25-story apartment building (it was built in 1929), songs from the enchanted era sung by Jessy Kyle, and small-plate dishes by Brulee catering.

Over the years the building has housed the offices of a few of Philly’s well heeled, then in the aughts it housed Temple University’s Center City campus. In 2013 it underwent a $50 million redevelopment with 220 luxury smoke-free apartments, a sky deck, gym, media and billiards room, bike storage, 160 parking spaces and 23,000 square feet of retail, which includes a Theory clothing store, Santander bank and Town Home jewelry store.

Now it’s ready for residents who want amenities and close proximity to many of the most desirable stores in the area as well as Rittenhouse Square.

Opening Party for Icon 1616 Apartments »

Barnes Foundation’s The Still Lifes of Paul Cézanne Trustee and Supporter Dinner

The-World-Is-an-Apple-Still-lifes-Paul-Ceznanne-06-9058-Ruth-Tristram-Colket-Paul-Cézanne’s-Still-Life-with-Apples-Pears-which-she-lent-to-the-exhibit-940x540

Last week the Barnes Foundation hosted an intimate dinner party for their trustees and supporters of their new exhibit “The World Is an Apple: The Still Lifes of Paul Cézanne” which opens at the Barnes on Sunday, June 22nd, and runs through September 22nd. The show features 21 borrowed works from museums and private collections from around the world.

The exhibit was curated by Judith F. Dolkart — the Barnes curator who has since departed from the museum to become director of the Addison Gallery of American Art in Andover, Massachusettes — and Benedict Leca, director of curatorial affairs at the Hamilton art gallery.

The World Is an Apple: The Still Lifes of Paul Cézanne »

« Older Posts  |  Newer Posts »