HughE Dillon: Mayor Nutter’s Inauguration Party

VIPs dance to The Roots as they celebrate the Mayor's second term.

Last night I attended the 192nd Mayoral Inauguration for Michael Nutter held at the Pennsylvania Convention Center. The event was held in the new section of the convention center, not in one of the party rooms as you would expect, but right in the grand lobby area. Scott Merkin and ESM Productions did a fabulous job making the large space feel intimate with carefully placed lighting, drapery and gigantic, star-shaped light fixtures that hung from the ceiling and poles. In his speech to welcome the guests, Mayor Nutter urged them to support PhillyGoes2College, a referral center within the Mayor’s Office of Education that helps Philadelphians of all ages earn a college degree. Below: Olivia Nutter and First Lady Lisa Nutter look on.

Mayor Nutter’s first inaugural ball, in 2008, was held at the Navy Yard and more than 1,500 people attended. This event was much more intimate with just a little over 500 guests. Below: Former U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy, who is running for attorney general, his wife Jenny, and Christina and John Saler. John is the co-chair of the 155th Academy of Music Anniversary Concert and Ball this year, which will be held on Saturday, January 28th. He tells me actor David Morse will emcee this year’s concert with Diana Krall and Yo-Yo Ma.

Below: Melanie Johnson, city representative, Rakia Reynolds, Skai Blue Media, and Bram Reynolds, Global Spectrum. Rakia tells me that she is the co-chair, with Beka Rendell, of the Young Friends Nicole Miller Flyers Wives Fashion Show at the Hyatt at the Bellevue on January 18th. The party is hosted by Lauren and Chris Pronger. All the Flyers wives will be modeling Nicole Miller’s new fashion line, Artelier. Proceeds will go to Comcast Spectacor charities.

Below: Greta Greenberger, City Hall tour director, Kevin Dow, deputy director of commerce, Alan Greenberger, deputy mayor for economic development and director of commerce, Andrew Rachlin, deputy chief of staff for planning and economic development, and Annalisa Mastri. Greta and Alan tell me that their New Year’s resolution is to plan a fantastic, stress-free wedding for their newly engaged daughter Julia. Good luck!!

Speaking of weddings … Nigel Richards, DJ and owner of the 611 clothing label, proposed to Nicole Cashman, Cashman and Associates, over the holidays. They were enjoying dinner from their favorite Chinese restaurant, and Nigel hid the ring in a fortune cookie. He tells me that Nicole’s friends Jen Utley and Lauren O’Dorisio (below, second from left, with John Colabelli) helped pick out the ring last summer. Talk about girlfriends who can keep a secret.

Below: Diane Reott, Mollie McEnteer, Councilman James Kenney, and Beth and John Brennan. Later this group would be bustin’ a move on the dance floor. Others spotted about were Kathryn Ott Lovell, Mariska Bogle, Jennifer Crandall, Ryan Levan, Kate Hagedorn, Erica Atwood, Nora Nienhagen, Ben Greenberg, Brian Taylor, Carol Tamburino, Susan Buehler, Jane Golden, Michael Harris, Joy Harris, Christal Watson, Remy Cofield, Tony Payton, Jr. and Tori Prather. Gary Steuer, Philadelphia’s chief cultural officer, showed me the latest picture of his four-month-old daughter.

Below: One of the rare photos of Mayor Nutter and the two guys who probably know him better than his wife: Jordan Schwartz and Luke Butler. Jordan was the Mayor’s special assistant for most of his first term, and now works in the Mayor’s Office. Now Luke, current special assistant, keeps Mayor Nutter on time (or at least tries). I call him his shadow.

Below: Micah Mahjoubian, Soapbox Solutions, Bobby Henon, newly elected 6th district councilman, Courtney Voss and Lisa Deeley.

Below: Nichole Badger, Shalimar Blakely and Megan Smith, Brownstone PR. Megan’s new year started off on a high note as the Philadelphia Business Journal named her one of the top entrepreneurs under 30 in the city. She’s among folks like Shawn Bullard of Watchmen Property Management and Benjamin Pascal of Invisible Sentinel.

Besides the delicious food by Brulee Catering, Vietnam, Chickie’s & Pete’s, and Astoria, and a custom-designed cake (featuring the streets of Philadelphia) from the Night Kitchen in Chestnut Hill, there was entertainment by various dance troops. Below: West Philadelphia Conestoga Angels Precision Marching/Drum Corps.

Below: The biggest surprise of the night was when The Roots took the stage. It was already announced that ?uestlove was going to be the DJ of the night, but no one knew the full band was going to play a set. The crowd erupted and piled onto the dance floor. Patrick Murphy’s cool factor soared when he boogied down to nearly every song, as did James Kenney. At one point, Mayor Nutter broke into his favorite song, Rapper’s Delight, and did a duet with Black Thought. Earlier in the day, the group played at the Winter Classic hockey game. ?uestlove told me they were rocking Flyers Winter Classic apparel that they picked up at Pro League Authentics on 13th Street.

Below: After their set was over, ?uestlove spun for the next couple hours and kept the dance floor packed. I’m a huge fan of his music. He’s talented and appeals to young and old; only he could mix The Jeffersons theme song with Sweet Home Alabama and continue to keep the people grooving. I left near 11 p.m. as the Mayor and Lisa Nutter were still enjoying the night, but he mentioned that come this morning he would be back on the job finding ways to get guns off the streets, get people back to work, and educate our young people.