Fifth Annual Global Conservation Gala

The Philadelphia Zoo hosted its 5th Annual Global Conservation Gala, November 13, 2014 at the Hyatt at the Bellevue.

The Philadelphia Zoo hosted its 5th Annual Global Conservation Gala, on Thursday at the Hyatt at the Bellevue. The gala honors individuals, families and organizations for extraordinary contributions to wildlife and the natural world.

This year’s gala spotlighted the issues facing gorillas in the wild, addressing the impact of climate change and palm oil on endangered species. The gala also officially launched 2015 as the “Year of the Gorilla”, a zoo-wide commitment of resources designed to mobilize action on behalf of gorillas.

Joanna McNeil Lewis was recognized for her contributions and 27 years of volunteer work with the zoo, and was honored with the Conservation Impact Award. Gerry Ellis was recognized with the Global Conservation Prize.

Photos after the jump »

Cella Luxuria Grand Opening

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On Thursday night, Cella Luxuria Furniture + Accessories celebrated the opening of their new super-chic showroom, ‎Domus‬, with a cocktail party where stylish guests enjoyed delish savories by Brulee Catering, Zavino Wine Bar & Pizzeria & decadent sweets by ‪Abbey Biery Cake Design‬.

Many of the guests were interior design professionals, real estate agents and Center City dwellers looking for home solutions to complete their apartments. Cella Luxuria has five floors of furniture, with the Domus showroom featuring more sleek modern stylized furniture — including the much-desired Calvin Klein furniture line. The Cella Luxuria showroom features reclaimed furniture and accessories, including an oversized chess set made of wood and elements of tools which I hope to find under my Christmas tree this year.

Cella Luxuria is featuring photo artwork by Philadelphia’s Kory Zuccarelli this month. Really talented guy. It was a nice party, they had a full band playing easy listening music while guests looked around and mingled, it was a nice touch.

photos from the Cella Luxuria opening after the jump »

Timberland Opening Party in Philadelphia

From left: Elizabeth Wellington of the Philadelphia Inquirer, with Cherri Greg, Kirk Wardy and Melony Roy, all from CBS.

The fashionable set was on hand Wednesday night to celebrate the opening of Timberland, 1709 Walnut Street. Before I stepped into the showroom, I thought: “How is Timberland going to survive by only selling those yellow boots?” But I was pleasantly surprised to find Timberland now has a complete lifestyle line: The popular yellow boots were still available, but now they had dress boots, shoes, clothing and outer wear for men and women. The store itself — formerly Alfa American Tavern — is appealing, too, with its exposed brick, wood beams and skylight. It’s not your parents Timberland anymore

I especially loved that customers can custom-make your own shoes, with the color of leather you want to use, the stitching, shoelaces and you can have them monogrammed. I can see that will be a big hit, especially for the holidays. Timberland is perfect for Walnut Street, as it goes under its latest transformation with high-end chain stores moving into the tony Rittenhouse Square area. (The next stores to open are Vans, which opens by Friday across the street, and nearby Michael Kors by the end of the year.)

Photos from the Timberland opening party after the jump »

I’m Pre-Gaming My 40th High School Reunion

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I spent some of this weekend trying to book a table for nine for lunch next Saturday, which turned out to be a lot more complicated than I thought. It seems a lot of places in my old hometown are only open for dinner on Saturdays. And that was a problem because my best high-school friends and I want to pre-game our high school reunion.

Well, not pre-game in the current college-student sense, as in “Get stumble-drunk before we even get to the party.” We’re not the drinkers we used to be, frankly. (And a couple of us never were drinkers at all.) But we want a chance to be able to talk and catch up without unfamiliar faces coming up to us in the dark and offering us hugs. (Note to reunion planners: You can’t read name tags in the dark.) It’s not like I never see my old high-school friends. A group of five of us have been getting together just about every year, sometimes with spouses, sometimes with moms, sometimes with kids, sometimes just by ourselves. We still get along, still make each other laugh and cry, just like we did when we were wearing hockey kilts, or “white shirts, dark skirts” for choir and band. Read more »

Jack Ryan: Rebooted

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Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit Philadelphia showtimes

Armed with an unflappable understanding of justice and a haircut you can set your watch to, Jack Ryan was already a movie hero the second the late Tom Clancy committed him to paper. Given its easy appeal, the successful Clancy-inspired film franchise, inactive since 2002’s The Sum of All Fears, has been overdue for a reup. Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit takes very few risks with the patriot and the formula, but its action serves as an ass-kicking reprieve from all that awards-season indigestion.

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Man Uses Internet for First Time

The smartest show on the radio right now is WNYC’s On the Media, and OTM’s smart people have launched a smart podcast called TLDR. The show—or at least, their blog—earned my affection when producer PJ Vogt introduced me to the seemingly universally loathed 40 Days of Dating in a sharply witted post on the superficial passion project of those two annoying but still hot Manhattanites. It also introduced me to the charm of TLDR: It’s short, but not reductive; analytical without feeling parasitic of other’s reporting.

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The 14 Books You’ll Be Reading This Fall

As we pack away our summer clothes, it’s also time to put away the summer book fluff. So while the weather gets chillier and we switch from white to red wine, we want to read something that’s a bit meatier, a bit more substantial. But with new releases every week, it’s hard to know where to even begin. Here are ones that I’m excited about:

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The Last Word on Miley Cyrus

Like most of the rest of America, I watched the Great Twerk of 2013 with my jaw hanging open, staring at my TV screen in disbelief. I didn’t know a lot about Miley Cyrus before her infamous performance at this year’s MTV awards (here’s a link, in case you were indisposed and somehow missed it)—just that she was the teenage daughter of the “Achy Breaky Heart” guy, that she’d been on a kiddie TV show, that she was engaged to somebody named Liam, and that my 20-year-old son once had a crush on her. She didn’t quite fit into that vast category of wild-child ex-kid actors gone bad, the one that includes Lindsay Lohan and Amanda Bynes.

But she seemed to be heading that way, with scantily clad photos and bong hits and drunken escapades. Then came the startling stage show with the giant foam finger and Robin Thicke, who’s old enough to be her father. Miley-geddon, it seemed, was here.
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