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 »

73rd Annual Liberty USO Gala

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The 73rd Annual Liberty USO Gala was held at the Marriott Downtown Saturday night, as the hotel filled with uniformed military personnel, guests, and supporters of the USO. Outside in the street were military vehicles, including a tank which attracted a lot of people wanting to take photos with it.

The USO makes sure help goes to those who need it the most: troops serving in combat, their families, wounded warriors and their families, and families of the fallen.

The evening began with a cocktail party, where service people “warriors” from various military branches enjoyed a small-plates buffet while bidding on the silent auction. The dinner program recognized several military members including Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness, Jessica L. Garfola Wright (recipient of the Liberty Award), who told heartwarming stories of how the USO is always there, doing all they can for the soldiers and their families.

Photos from the USO Gala after the jump »

Malala Yousafzai Receives Liberty Medal

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Tuesday night at the National Constitution Center, nearly 1,500 people gathered to honor a young girl, Malala Yousafzai, with the Liberty Medal. Yousafzai stood up to the Taliban and spoke out about the inequality in education for girls in her native Swat Valley in Pakistan.

Malala wrote an anonymous blog for the BBC website in 2009 that detailed life under Taliban occupation. The following year, the New York Times made a documentary on her life. For her efforts, the Taliban attempted to assassinate her. That, Malala, said was a big mistake, as it buried any weakness and fear she had, and her strength and power were born. Her message on the Taliban was then broadcast around the world, and she spoke in front of the UN in 2013.

Today Malala and her family live in England where she attends school and experiences the more normal student dread of upcoming exams. Earlier in October, Malala was announced as the co-recipient of the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize for her message for the right of all children to education. Even though she’s receiving many accolades, her teachers do not excuse her from her school work. The Emcee for the evening was Martha Raddatz, Chief Global Affairs Correspondent, ABC News.

Photos from Malala Yousafzai’s Liberty Medal ceremony after the jump »

Thom Nickels Signs Legendary Locals of Center City Philadelphia

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On Saturday night Thom Nickels, author of several books on Philadelphia, held a book signing for his latest tome Legendary Locals of Center City Philadelphia at Il Tartufo in Manayunk. The book is about local notables who have made a difference, but were maybe more under the radar than say Betsy Ross or Frank Rizzo.

A few of the people that made the book are Gerry Lenfest, singer Bessie Smith, PR maven Nicole Cashman, author Pearl Buck, columnist A.D. Amorosi, and world-famous essayist Agnes Repplier, to name a few.

After the book signing, a reception was held next door at The Bazemore Gallery (4339 Main St, Philadelphia, PA), where artist Noel Miles’ works were on display. He is also noted in the book.

Photos from the signing of Legendary Locals of Center City Philadelphia after the jump »

Hotel Palomar’s Fifth Anniversary

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On Thursday night Kimpton’s Hotel Palomar Philadelphia celebrated its fifth anniversary with a party filling two ballrooms at Philadelphia’s first LEED-certified hotel.

There was delicious food prepared by Square 1682’s executive chef Caitlin Mateo, specialty cocktails created by celebrated bartender Chauncey Scates, and an interactive experience behind closed doors in some of the hotel rooms. Each of the rooms housed a different one-of-a-kind experimental experience — whether it was cool EDM music playing in a darkened room, a photo booth, or a dance recital created by Anonymous Bodies, King Britt and Klip Collective.

DJ Rob’s Brother played cool tunes all evening as guests wandered between the dance floor on the 25th floor and the buffet on the 24th, where guests could also get their portraits sketched by local artist Denise Fike. It was a great celebration for the boutique hotel, and great to see so many of the people who have passed through the doors over the past five years.

Photos from Hotel Palomar’s fifth anniversary party after the jump »

Philadelphia History Museum’s First City Social

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A beautiful Indian Summer evening greeted guests Tuesday at the Philadelphia History Museum’s (PHM) first City Social fundraiser which was held in their garden.

Formerly the Atwater Kent Museum, the PHM opened two years ago after a renovation and a name change for the museum that holds the city’s treasures and history. Since that time more than 40,000 people have visited, including 3,000 school children, to learn about Philadelphia history through the art, objects and artifacts in the collection.

At the first City Social, the board of trustees honored Mayor Michael Nutter and First Lady Lisa Nutter for their contributions to the city. During the evening’s program, the museum gave the couple a beautifully framed copy of the Lenape Wampum Belt (the original is on display in the museum). Philadelphia’s first couple gifted the museum with the signed Taney Dragons t-shirt and cap that the mayor wore this summer during the Little League World Series, as well as his 2008 Phillies World Series Ring. Funds raised from the event will help maintain and acquire more artifacts for the museum, as well as support the new interactive exhibits which will be installed this year.

Photos from the Philadelphia History Museum’s City Social after the jump »

DesignPhiladelphia Kick-Off Party at Bluecadet

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DesignPhiladelphia, the annual city-wide celebration honoring design in the Philadelphia region kicked off its 10th annual city-wide nine-day festival with a party at Bluecadet, an award-winning digital agency in Fishtown. The evening consisted of specialty cocktails, a silent auction featuring Ikea mirrors transformed by 20 Philadelphia design stars, and Design Philadelphia t-shirts as parting gifts for guests.

Photos from the DesignPhiladelphia kick-off party after the jump »

Second Annual Wigs and Wishes Gala With Paula Abdul

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The 2nd Annual Wigs and Wishes Gala was held at Lucien’s Manor in Berlin, New Jersey, on Sunday, October 5th. It was created by celebrity stylist and salon owner Martino Cartier to raise awareness and funds for the non-profit organization Friends Are By Your Side (FABYS). Proceeds will help provide wigs and hair enhancement solutions for women and children battling cancer and hair loss, as well as grant wishes for children battling cancer.

The evening began with a silent auction of the most amazing gift baskets filled with fun items and experiences created by Susan Liberta, Great Gifts and Promo. Guests also enjoyed a meet and greet with Paula Abdul, then with Tracy Dimarco-Epstein and Gayle Giacomo from Jerseylicious.

At 7 p.m., 600 guests entered the beautifully decorated ballroom for dinner and the program. A fire dancer kicked off the night, followed by a beautifully choreographed number showcasing the many wigs created by FABYS, all made with real human hair.

Martino thanked the guests and explained how the organization, since its inception four years ago, has, with 73 volunteers and offices in eight countries, recruited than 600 salons to participate.

Photos from Wigs and Wishes after the jump. »

Mike Jerrick’s Ya Gotta Try It

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Last week at Fox 29 personality Mike Jerrick’s inaugural “Ya Gotta Try It” at the Independence Visitor Center, nearly 600 people enjoyed unique dishes like “Cracker Jack Sundae” from Bridget Foy’s to “Not Your Mama’s Meatloaf” by Sugarhouse.

“Ya Gotta Try It” was created by Jerrick as a segment on Fox 29’s Good Day Philadelphia. In the segment, Jerrick visits some of the region’s best restaurants and tries their most outrageous dishes. He thought his viewers would enjoy these dishes and came up with the idea to celebrate them with the viewers while raising money for The Second Chance Foundation, which provides financial assistance and resources to vital community-based organizations that serve “at-risk” children, young adults and families. Jerrick serves on the board of the organization.

The evening featured an extended cocktail party, a fun silent auction, and lots of meet-and-greets with Fox 29 personalities, including favorites Jennaphr Frederick, Sue Serio, and Alex Holley, who posed for photos with guests.

Photos after the jump »

Opera on the Mall

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Saturday night, more than 5,000 people filled Independence Park to watch Opera Philadelphia‘s free broadcast of Gioacchino Rossini’s The Barber of Seville.

Concertgoers began arriving as early as 4 p.m. to get prime, front-row blanket seats near Chestnut Street where the screen was located. Midway back was the chair section. The entire block was full by the time a screening of the Warner Bros.’ cartoon “Rabbit of Seville” starring Bugs Bunny started at 7 p.m.

Bugs was followed by the The Barber of Seville, which had been recorded live the previous evening. Many of the actors were in the audience, as they had the day off. I learned that opera singers need to rest their voices after a performance, so shows are scheduled every other day.

David Devan, General Director of Opera Philadelphia, told me that this was the fourth annual Opera on the Mall, and it was great opportunity for people to experience an opera if they’d never been to one previously. The Barber of Seville, is playing at the Academy of Music this weekend and there are still tickets available.

Photos from Opera on the Mall »

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