PHOTOS: Rittenhouse Row Spring Festival 2015

On Saturday, Rittenhouse Row hosted their annual Spring Festival on what just so happened to be one of the most beautiful spring days of the year so far. Thousands showed up to the event, which took place along Walnut Street from Broad to Rittenhouse Square. There were DJs and bands; musicians from The Curtis Institute entertaining the crowd; family-friendly activities keeping kids entertained; and a couple beer gardens for the grownups. On the food front, the 1800 block of Walnut Street was rife with nibbles from Rittenhouse Row’s  STARR restaurants, including Alma de Cuba, Barclay Prime, Butcher and Singer, Continental Midtown, The Dandelion, El Rey and Parc.

I snapped some photos of the afternoon; enjoy them below:



I also stopped by the South Street Spring Festival. See those photos here.

PHOTOS: South Street Spring Festival Breaks Attendance Records

Saturday had it all: the warm weather we’ve been dying for, sunny, cloudless skies, and an abundance of outdoor to-dos throughout Philly. According to the South Street Headhouse District (SSHD), about 55,000 revelers chose the South Street Spring Festival for their soiree of choice, making it the largest single event on South Street in two decades.

If you were brave enough to jump into the crowd, you saw 150 vendors, 27 artists and 30-plus restaurants and food trucks out and about pimping their wares. There was also a new lawn put in on 2nd Street, where there were games and lounge chairs for the leisurely set. SSHD and HughE Dillon shared some photos from the afternoon. Check them out below:



PHOTOS: Opening Night of Theatre Exile’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf

Last night was the premiere of Theatre Exile’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf at Plays and Players. The Edward Albee-penned, Tony-winning play concerns a fed-up, middle-aged married couple who invite a young co-worker and his wife to their home for cocktails. What ensues is an intense evening of psychological mind games that will make you cringe and beg for more all at the same time. The show stars Boardwalk Empire’s Pearce Bunting and Catharine Slusar as George and Martha. The younger couple is played by Jake Blouch and Emilie Krause.

HughE Dillon was there to get snapshots of the opening-night crowd. Check them out in the slideshow below. For more information on how to see Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf, go here.



Art Museum Hottie Identified on Good Day Philadelphia

FOX 29 News Philadelphia | WTXF-TV

On Monday, we posted some photos HughE Dillon took and shared on his blog Philly Chit Chat of a mystery, extremely well-built hottie working out on the Art Museum steps. Well, the hottie is no longer a mystery. Somehow HughE tracked him down and dragged him onto Good Day Philadelphia for an interview with Mike Jerrick and Alex Holley.

Some of what we learned:

  • His name is Geoff Peirce
  • Sorry, fellas: He’s straight.
  • Congrats, ladies: He’s single!
  • He’s 27
  • Grew up in Fort Washington, Pa.
  • He’s a fitness model!

He reveals a lot more in the video above, where you can get an up-close-and-personal look at those oh-so-dreamy bedroom eyes. Enjoy! Mystery solved!

Rocky Spinoff Creed Filming at Rocky Steps Today

Philly photographer HughE Dillon is on the scene this afternoon while Rocky spinoff Creed is filming at the Art Museum steps. He was able to grab this shot, but apparently “production and police are very aggressive in blocking Sly Stallone.”

https://instagram.com/p/0S2TR1tn3K/?taken-by=phillychitchat

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Bloomingdale’s Is Officially Looking for Space in Center City

Screenshot 2015-03-05 at 2.07.30 PM

A clip from MSC Retail’s listing

An email sent by MSC Retail yesterday notes that Bloomingdale’s is “actively looking” for anywhere between 120,000-square-feet and 150,000-square-feet of space for a “full line” store within Center City. Reports back in 2013 said that the company was looking towards The Gallery as a possible option. Is that still the case? HughE Dillion of PhillyChitChat sure seems to think so.

Michael Salove, President and CEO of MSC Retail, told us in an email: “The only comment we can make regarding Bloomingdale’s full line store is that we are interested in Center City Philadelphia should the appropriate opportunity be sourced.  We cannot comment on location, timing, etc.” Read more »

PHOTOS: Gay Couple Married on Mural Arts Love Train for the First Time Ever

On Sunday, February 8th, Mural Arts annual Love Train took off on its fifth and final voyage. To celebrate the milestone—and nearly a year having same-sex marriage in Pennsylvania—organizers chose an affianced LGBT couple to be married on the train by openly gay judge Dan Anders. As I told you last week, the couple chosen was Neal Santos and Andrew Olson. The pair had been together six years, and own an adorable farm in West Philly called Farm 51.



neal santos andrew olson wedding

Neal and Andrew at the after-party at Barbuzzo.

I got the chance to chat with Neal after the festivities were over, and he told me he wouldn’t have had the experience any other way. “It was wonderful. Being on the train with everyone watching us and knowing we could take comfort in each other and have the support from friends, family and passersby. Just wonderful.” The event was attended by several family members of Santos and Olson, including their parents and siblings, and a handful of friends, like Philadelphia magazine news editor Brian Howard and his wife Carolyn Huckabay, communications manager at The Food Trust.

The grooms followed up the evening with a lovely cocktail reception with close friends and family at Barbuzzo‘s stunning new event space above the restaurant in Midtown Village. There, he told me that if they hadn’t gotten chosen for the Love Train, they probably wouldn’t have gotten married for another two or three years. So he’s eternally grateful for the experience.

Our own HughE Dillon was there to get some shots on the train ride. Check them out in the slideshow above.

11 Things to Do in Philly This Week: Lots of Food, Music for a Cause, and Strange Underwater Creatures



PHOTOS: Mark Segal’s Annual Holiday Soiree

Philadelphia Gay News Publisher and longtime LGBT activist Mark Segal and his husband, Jason Villemez, hosted their annual holiday party, but this year the party doubled as a wedding reception to celebrate their recent nuptials.

The soiree was packed as usual with all walks of life—from politics, business associates, and influencers—enjoying a delicious spread and catching up with friends. The highlight of the evening was when former Governor Ed Rendell, Congressman Bob Brady, Mark Segal and Jason Villemez joined the Philadelphia Gay Men’s Chorus on a rendition of “Jingle Bells.”

See my photos of the evening below.



PHOTOS: IBA’s Annual Holiday Fete

Local LGBT-owned business-championing organization Independence Business Alliance (IBA)  and its Board of Directors hosted its annual holiday celebration at the Hilton Garden Inn Philadelphia last night. Many in our community and our allies of business owners, professionals, corporate and community partners were on hand to toast Greater Philadelphia’s vibrant and successful LGBT business community and chat about what the future holds for them.

The festively dressed guests enjoyed an abundant—and delicious—selection of hors d’oeuvres and light bites at food stations and the cash bar on the 10th floor of the hotel, where guests got a killer view of Philly’s twinkling lights.



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