Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Pride Premiere Philadelphia Tuesday 2/27/27

Last night at the Prince Theater in Philadelphia, a little bit of Hollywood came to Philly town. The movie is called "Pride" and it is the inspiring story of Jim Ellis (Terrence Howard), a charismatic schoolteacher in the 1970s who changed lives forever when he founded an African-American swim team in one of Philadelphia's roughest neighborhoods. Below it the man of the hour - Jim EllisBernie Mac makes the carpet.Kevin Philips; You'll come for the story, but you will stay for the Speedos - are you, but you're bringing a little fashion to Philly. Now if this was NYC, you would have taken off your damn coats. Super Model Amanda Beard famous for among many things, gracing the recent, now defunct FHM Magazine, and her friend. (It may be a Hollywood type premiere, but it's still Philly and the PR people sometimes do a lousy job at introducing the folks.)After a short but successful run on the Red Carpet, the gentleman that he is, Terrence Howard signed, posed and chatted with over 300 fans. An interviewer said, why do you do it, why do you sign and chat to each and everyone. TH responded, to give them hope, I want to inspire each and everyone to follow their dreams, and to know that if I can do it, they can too. "When I was young, I had a chance encounter with Clint Eastwood at an event like this, he turned smiled and winked at me. It was that moment that carried me through some of the rough days of my career, so that one day I would have the chance to thank him for that inspiration"As Mr. Howard bounded back from completing his last signature, he returned toward the theater doors when stopped by one of my favorite columnist Philly Daily News writer, Dan Gross who, well let me let his column pick the conversation up: 'NO. NO. That's ugly. Don't do that," replied Terrence Howard when we asked him about New York tabloid reports that he's dating model Naomi Campbell. Howard, the star of "Pride," attended the film's premiere last night at Prince Music Theater (1412 Chestnut), where the heartthrob actor signed autographs for many fans, while his handlers tried hard to keep the media at bay (aparently Gross wasn't on the carpet as I got a lot of my best shots when Terrence was being interviewed [those photos are with my agency].) "I reached out to her," Howard told us about Campbell, to whom he was recently linked. "That's what that was about. I reached out to her in a time of need. That's what people are supposed to be doing, not trashing people."Things then went bad to worse with the bastard Mayor showing up, I wish I didn't have to show him, but I wanted to draw attention to the guy below me with the big ass hood for his flash that often cast a shadow on my subjects. Damn I forgot my ladder! Then the mayors cronies came along, sure that's Clifton Davis of TV fame, but he's a croney now. To his right, Shawn Fordham, the mayor's nephew and campaign manager. In this picture the former "Temperture's Rising Star" is saying that this is your next Councilman. Please someone stop the insanity, Streets son Sharif is running too, hasn't this family done enough to the City.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Helen Mirren Congratulations on winning the Oscar I told you you would get!

This is an update to an earlier post because I have more info about the people in the pictures and I also figured out how to video edit and add clips to; Some of you may know that I shot a few pictures at as celebrities were leaving a party that was held for the DGA Awards (which her husband director Taylor Hackford is VP; he also directed the movie Ray with Jamie Foxx) at Nobu. A man named Itsi Akins is also a member of the esteemed GDA group. He arrived at the event on his Segway, and was showing it to many of the celebs as they were leaving, in fact I saw Loraine Bracco from the Sopranos try it out and she fell on her ass in an attempt to operate it. Well when Dame Helen Mirren exited the restaurant, she too was curious, and although I warned her that she could hurt herself, thankfully she ignored me and gave it a try. Itsi started out by giving her a lesson, and wallah, she was off and going. I think he would agree that she was an excellent student as he had really had a hard time keeping up with her making sure she wouldn't spill over like the other women.
I really didn't have too many photos of her riding that night, as I partially felt that it was a private moment and I didn't want to spoil it (Thank god I don't have to make a living from shooting pictures or I would be poor) Eventually I took about 4 shots of Dame Helen doing about 2 laps as Itsi assisted her, and at some point I remembered that I could video it with my other camera, which I did at the same time and that is why the video is a bit shaky.********************

After getting these shots and the video, many of my friends WHO ARE professional photographers, told me that these photos and the video would have been worth upwards of $5,000 if Helen Mirren won the Academy Award for the Queen. Some of the photos have been published, but I never sold the video, and I know why, I shot it in low res and Helen is wearing her underwear. Some of these folks were really bent out of shape everytime they saw me, as it reminded them that they should have waited longer and they would have caught these shots. ******** I may have shot it in low res, but sadly Youtube compressed it and its further distored, but you can see what's going on. The Queen riding a segway can be seen here:


Friday evening, former DNC Chair and current Hillary Clinton Campaign Manager, Terry McAuliffe did a reading and book signing at Friends Select School in Philadelphia "What A Party!" Which is a fascinating, hilarious, and provocative look at the life of one of Washington's legendary figures. From wrestling an alligator to running the Democratic National Committee to his friendship with President Clinton, Terry McAuliffe's wonderful memoir covers it all and is, without doubt, the political book of the year. Former DNC Chair after McAuliffe, Gov. Rendell introduced him. At the event McAuliffe said he was very honest in writing the story of the Clinton administration and the facts surrounding the impeachment. He provided an advance copy to the Clintons for review. The President returned it and said it was great, the best book I read since the Bible, don't change a thing; Hillary on the otherhand, over 250 corrections, none of which were content, but with gramerical errors underlined in red! Each book was inscribed personally with our names, you are a great democrat, Vote for Hillary, thanks - Terry McAuliffe

Friday, February 23, 2007

My Oscar Predications

Dreamgirls Anika Noni Rose - Plays the part of Lorrel in the movie Dreamgirls. She will win Best Song with Eddie Murphy for "Patience". In 2004, she won a Tony Award for Best Actress In a play called "Caroline or Change." Tony Award Winner Anika Noni Rose sings "Can't Help Loving That Man Of Mines." This is a song from the Broadway play called "Showboat." I saw her sing this song in Central Park this past summer. Anika Youtube Click Here. Below is a photo I took at the Premiere in December. Eddie Murphy will win Best Supporting Actor for Dreamgirls Helen Mirren for Best Actress for the Queen (I told her she would win) Jennifer Hudson for Best Supporting Actress for Dreamgirls Not pictured here - Forest Whitaker in “The Last King of Scotland” (Fox Searchlight)

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Barbara Gittings, our gay Rosa Parks, died Sunday of breast cancer

Activist Barbara Gittings, a pioneer of the American gay rights movement, compiled an impressive list of accomplishments. In addition to being instrumental in having homosexuality removed from the American Psychiatric Association's list of mental disorders, she founded the New York chapter of the Daughters of Bilitis and edited its magazine, The Ladder. During her work with that group, she met her life partner of 46 years, Kay Lahusen. She first became well-known to the public in 1965, when she helped organize gay rights demonstrations at the White House and Independence Hall in Philadelphia. She also worked tirelessly within the American Library Association to make materials with glbtq content more accessible to the reading public.In 2005, Gittings and Lahusen attended the unveiling of a state historic marker noting those demonstrations across the street from Independence Hall. Barbara Gittings, died Sunday of breast cancer. She was 75. Yesterday a wreath was laid at this marker by Malcolm Lazin, Executive Director, Equality Forum; Virginia Gutierrez, William Way Community Center; and Stacey Sobel Executive Director, Center for Lesbian and Gay Civil Rights; Today, right now, at this hour (12:20AM) several same sex couples are getting married in Civil ceremonies in New Jersey. This wouldn't have happened if Barbara Gittings didn't stand up for our rights in 1965!! Thanks Barbara, we'll miss you, I was lucky to meet her several times in the past couple years:(

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

RADIOMAN, many people outside of NYC probably don't know the one guy that knows all the stars

Hollywood's hot list is nearly endless this week: Leonardo DiCaprio. Helen Mirren. Jamie Foxx. And Craig Schwartz. Better known to New Yorkers as Radio Man, Schwartz is most familiar as the inspiration for Robin Williams' homeless character in "The Fisher King." (which is on the Encore Channel Thursday at 10PM-EST) Again this week he is George Clooney's guest at the Oscars in Hollywood. When he arrives he gets the star treatment, facial, new clothes, a nice place to stay, a limo ride to the ceremony and a golden ticket to sit in the audience to watch Helen Mirren, Jennifer Holiday and Eddie Murphy get their trophies. Later he will attend the after parties with Clooney; and for the rest of the year he will share his stories with us.****** Radioman has come to know many of the industry's most elite players, who try to hire him - or at least allow him on set - when they're working in New York. The bicycle-powered guy inexplicably shows up at darned near every NY/NJ film set. Bronx, Staten Island, Newark. He's there.Crew members shake their heads and wonder how in God's name he knows where and when to show up for a meal and news. It's a mystery. And so is he.*********** This is one of the first photos I took of Radioman. I had seen him around town, heard about his legend and randomly shot him. When Radioman isn't starring in some show, he is a professional autograph seeker (autograzzi) to supplement his living.

Although he looks homeless, he allegedly lives in Brooklyn, the extremely dedicated film fan has become a personality in his own right, having appeared in dozens of films and television shows shot around town as a HOMELESS MAN or BUM in uncredited roles, including "The Manchurian Candidate," "The Departed," "Hitch" and the an upcoming Will Smith movie "I Am Legend", which is the remake of the Charlton Heston movie "Omega Man", in "Elf" you see him in one of the last scenes as Santa gets his sleigh airborne and disturbs Radioman who sits up from his Central Park bench.... Here bitchy Lorraine Bracco, who rarely signs for anyone, does at least 5 graphs for Radioman. Outside of Mission Impossible 3 is where I saw my favorite actress Susan Sarandon. It was my one and only time in 15 months to see the New York resident actress at an event. Radioman held court for so long, that I was unable to get a decent photo. He didn't get the hint to leave them alone when they both hopped on the phone. (I'm still bitter) Radioman was there the night I broke the story about Reese Witherspoon and Ryan Philippe's big fight at the afterparty for "Flags of our Fathers" Julianne Ann Moore wanted to know "How many do you want me to sign Radioman? He said I only have 20 more! She signed them all. Radioman escorts George Clooney to his car last DecemberHe chats with Steve Buscemi as Jamie Lynn waits her turn Who is bussing Radioman on this very hot August night Well it's Eva Mendes exiting from a club on 27th Street from the afterparty of "Trust the Man" about six months after my arrival, I guess he saw that I was a regular and he would on occasion give me information of the where abouts of celebrities, he also allowed me to get a posed shot. Radioman became a invaluable source of information, telling me where movie shoots were, where after parties would occur and who was in town (sometimes I would tell him things he didn't know, but that was rare). But with him it wasn't a constant stream of info as he could be moody and at those times you don't want to approach him. NEVER, ever approach him when the Yankees are on. Radioman maintains a movie-production hot line at (212) 714-8045 and a Web site, On Sunday look for Radioman in the audience at the Kodak Theater of the Academy Awards and the Oscars for your sighting of the most infamous New Yorker. And listen to him on XM Radio the Celebrity Channel for his 5mins a day celebrity news and sightings.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Chinese New Year rang in at Midnite in Philly Saturday

Chinese New Year is the biggest holiday celebrated among Chinese people. It is often referred to as the spring festival because it signals the beginning of spring. It is a time when families and friends get together to say goodby to the old and welcome the new. It originally lasted for about 4 weeks, but now only lasts for 3-5 days.The dragon is another popular symbol for Chinese New Year. It is a symbol of strength, goodness, and good luck, and supernatural forces. The dragon is said to be a mythical combination of many animals. During New Years, one of the main events is a large parade down the city streets. As part of this parade, people dress up in dragon costumes and dance down the streets. These costumes are made of brightly colored silk and decorated very extravagantly. Some of the dragons are 100 feet long! Men and boys perform intricate dragon dances with one person manipulating the head of the dragon and the rest moving the body.
Little Dragons, aren't they cute? One very important tradition of the Chinese New Year is exchanging gifts. A traditional gift that is given is small red envelopes filled with "lucky money". These envelopes are given to children by their family and friends. The red color is used to bring good fortune, and the money inside is used by the children to buy holiday treats. These envelopes symbolize the giving of good fortune. Chinese New Year celebration would not be complete without fireworks. There are many beliefs about why fireworks are used. One is that the noise wakes up the dragon who will fly across the sky to bring the spring rain for the crops. Firecrackers are thrown at the feet of the dragons in the parade to keep them awake for the celebration. The dragons are believed to sleep the rest of the year. Thanks to Mike for being a real trooper for hanging out til 2AM as old chinese men threw firecrackers inches above our heads.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Party Time at Two Liberty Place Philadelphia

I went to a party to celebrate event planner extraordinaire Karen Spiro's 15th Anniversary of her company EVENTures, ( at Two Liberty Place where they are in the middle of converting the top 20 floors of office space into luxury condominiums (Floors 37 - 57.) I wish I had taken a better shot of the panels lit in red, as they had Karen's logo on them, and silhouettes of Liberty One and the Bell Atlantic Bldg. The lighting design was done by Jeffrey Faust at The caterer was the Frog Commissary. Asian Fusion served in these pink plastic take out containers, which was very clever. Crab cakes were served in martini glasses. I hear the dessert was delicious, I didn't even look at that table.The very busy Thom Cardwell of the Philadelphia Festival Executive Director (before there was a Tribeca Film Festival, there was April 5 - 18th) was there as was my good friend Phyllis, Manager, Special Projects, Pennsylvania Tourism Office. One of my best girlfriends Greta Greenberger, Director of the City Hall Tours and master of many talents!! (and her daughter Julia, check her out at the Bobbi Brown counter at Macy's)The views were just spectacular, City hall in the foreground. but I was obsessed with just one view - the 61 story sister building - Liberty One on the right The Mellon Bank building's crown is golden in celebration of the King Tut exhibit currently at the Franklin Institute until Sept 25, 2007 Liberty One, and being built in the background - The Comcast Bldg., soon to be the tallest building in Philly, the tallest bldg between Chicago and NYC and the Tallest GREEN building in the USA. The 57th Floor, seen here, has some amazing views, which can be yours for a mere $15 Million!!
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