Last night, Philadelphia magazine hosted its annual Best of Philadelphia party. In years past, the party was an invite-only soiree; last night, it was open to the public. It was a huge success. My hat’s off to the party planners who created a great atmosphere with various nooks and crannies for people to relax, mingle and enjoy themselves. It was definitely the best of the Philly Mag parties I’ve ever attended. Who wouldn’t want to go to a party in a tent on the top of the Philadelphia Art Museum stairs with a spectacular view of the skyline and that beautiful blue moon shining down? From the moment you walked in the door, you were reminded of the vast history of Philly Mag’s Best of Philly—the main hallway displayed all the magazine covers from 1974 to present—and food vendors included past winners.
Below, Carol Saline, journalist, broadcaster, author, public speaker, and, notably, the cover girl on Philadelphia magazine’s first Best of Philly issue in 1974. She also appeared on the Best of Philly 1975 cover in the same exact outfit, from her closet. Carol was a senior writer for Philadelphia Magazine, and the concept of Best of Philly was new — and the cover was something of an afterthought. “They just asked me ‘Would you like to be on the cover?’” Twenty years later, Carol Saline would again be in the public eye after the great success of her photo-essay book Sisters with photographer Sharon J. Wohlmuth. With more than 1 million copies sold, Sisters changed the face of photo-essay books. With her is Sam Katz. Recently the former mayoral candidate Sam Katz met his Kickstarter goal of raising $53,000 to continue making his documentary series, Philadelphia: The Great Experiment. Check the series out at historyofphilly.com.
Lori Conti, Erin McShea, Jenne Doyle and Dana Morrison (below) work at Heads & Tails Beauty Boutique, which took home the Best of Philly 2013 for best Bikini Wax.
Below: Jeweler John Wind and Jennifer Francis director of marketing for Philadelphia Museum of Art.
Winners of the Best of Philly Dog Gym: WAG: Whole Animal Gym’s medical director Dr. Christina Fuoco medical director and director of operations Chad Carnahan.
Below: Marcel and Alicia White stand in the grand hallway of the Philadelphia Art Museum. They told me what seemed to be the running theme of the night when I asked people what they loved about Philadelphia: “The people, the neighborhoods, the community, the small-town feel and, of course, the food.”
Most stylish couple of the night: Larry Giuffraof Replica Creative and Sarah Laffan in their complementary outfits.
Jeanne Mulvanerty, Donna Goetz and Stefanie Cranston (below) of Hope Chest were acknowledged for Best of Philly 2013 for Best Lingerie. Recently co-owners Goetz and Jen Rosen added a Haverford location to go along with the Center City shop that opened last year.
Below: Lauren Rose with The Home Hero, Pete Rose, who points to his nod for Best of Philly 2013′s Best Handyman.
Below: Steve Basil with the colorful Best of Philly 2013 for Crayola Hair Color Brittiany Cunningham of Architeqt Salon and Gallery
Marc and Melissa Leonard with Marc Oppenheimer, vice president of marketing for Parx Casino, and Megan Parkhill. Marc tells me the best casino in the Philadelphia area is Parx, but I think he might be biased.
Matthew Nadu and James Boney (below) are bringing the vest back into style. What they think is best about Philly is how you can walk two blocks in either direction and find yourself in a new neighborhood, all with great restaurants and culture.
Best of Philly: Best Tomato Pie 2011, Corropolese Bakery & Deli
Below: Miss Philadelphia 2013 Francesca Ruscio with Best of Philly 2009 Nifty Fiftys’ Valerie Pino (left)) and Meghan Freda (right).
Below, Christina and John Saler. For them, the best part of Philly is all the great children’s activities and events in the area.
Jerry Blavat, AKA “The Geator with The Heater” (below). I call him the first rapper because that’s what he’s doing when he’s working the crowd into a dancing frenzy at Memories in Margate and when he’s at his weekly gig at Sugarhouse.
Below: Emily Rothrock and regional manager Hayley Broder of Flywheel Philadelphia. Yesterday I took my first Flywheel class. Great workout. I used muscles I didn’t know I had. I love working out in the dark and competing against myself. It’s like dancing on a bike with someone encouraging you to do your best.
Sam Hamilton, Katie English, Marisa Magnatta, Maria Papadakis, Paige Gesualdo, Samantha Ohren and Crawford Hamilton.
Below, my choice for best-dressed couple of the night. Bradford Reardon‘s personal choice for best restaurnt in Philly is Buddakan. Surprisingly he hasn’t taken his girlfriend of two years, Lauren Elackson, there yet. He’d better get on that, we both agreed.
Best of Philly 2013: Best Bartender Kevin James Holland with Katie Horton (below). Find Holland and his flourishing mustache behind the bar at Fiume, his tiny, phone-less bar on the second floor of West Philly Ethiopian restaurant Abyssinia. Holland tells me his favorite drink is The Sazerac, which is rye whiskey, Peychaud’s bitters and a splash of Herbsaint.
Adam Kohn, David Kohn, Jim Petrongolo and Mark John Santerian Jr. (below). On their list of the Best of Philly are dinner at Vetri’s then partying at Stratus Lounge. You can find them there most any night.
Below, from left: Yvonne Appletans, Franny Murphy, Marilyn Russell of 95.7 BenFM and Clare Morrison (wife of Steve of WMMR’s Preston & Steve). Speaking of great music, the DJ for the party was DJ Perry Angelozzi, who kept the floor hopping.
Below, from left: Jennifer Nunez, Stephanie Reaves, Aaliyah Pinkerton and Nicole Paul tell me that their personal Best of Philly is the city’s diversity. They love the guys, they love the restaurants. If they had to pick one particular place it would be Ela with chefs Jason Cichonski and Chip Roman. Who wouldn’t want eat delicious food, from two hot chefs?
Jahmal Rhaney (below) of 2B Groomed won Best of Philly 2013 for Men’s Grooming. With him is Velvet Howell.
Alexandra Davis and Dayna M. Leaventon of The Rittenhouse, with Jacklin Rhoads and Laura Krebbs. Dayna likes the realness in Philadelphia: People say whats on their minds and that’s whats so great about Philadelphia. I can’t think of anyone who is more frank than Jacklin Rhoads of Cashman & Associates. It is definitely her charm. Laura Krebbs tells me her favorite eatery is Old Nelson deli. She can’t live without their wraps.
Below: Samantha Trasattiof Body by Trasatti, a nutrition and fitness service, and Bridget Quinn, love that Philly has come into its own and no longer has to compare itself to other cities to know it’s the best city to live.