Sunday, November 30, 2008

Assaultive Slumdog

Yesterday we went to see a film which has become an international sensation: Slumdog Millionaire.
One of my favorite movie rating sites, Rotten Tomatoes, gives this tale of three orphans in India a 92% favorable rating.
And our party of four that screened this film gave it a 75% favorable rating. That means that one of us didn't like it.
I plead guilty.
Slumdog is indeed a powerful tale that centers on one of the three orphans who grows up to become a champion on the India TV version of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?
The film is told in a serious of flashbacks and it is graphic beyond belief.
We journey through the slums of India as our protagonist is beaten, scarred, intimidated, abused, starved, orphaned and at one point even enveloped in human waste.
Danny Boyle's direction of this extraordinarily vivid tale is relentlessly assaultive. It's loud, often manipulative and ultimately overwhelming. The moments of subtlety are few and far between.
One hope to discover that the story is true or at least that it is based on a true story. That would give it some credibility.
But the whole thing is based on a novel.
Could it be true? I suppose so. Real life is always stranger than fiction, especially against the backdrop of modern-day India
Hope does eventually triumph in this tale but my, or my -- what we endure along the way!
The major performances by a young cast of Indian actors are wonderful. And the film certainly does grab and keep your attention.
Like I said, I was in the minority on this. Everyone else in our party loved this film. In fact, audience members even applauded it.
So, you may want to join in the international chorus of raves.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Bare Witness

Yesterday we journeyed to nearby Wilmington for Bare Witness: Photographs by Gordon Parks (1912 - 2006) at The Delaware Art Museum.
I first became a fan of Parks' works as a youngster who always looked forward to the arrival of Life magazine with its wonderful photographs.
The great thing about this current exhibition is that Parks selected all of the photos shown and they were printed specifically for this show not long before he died. parks felt that these works represented a retrospective of his life and work - the way he wanted to be remembered.
This extraordinary exhibition features 73 works as examples Parks' most potent imagery.
After rising as a portrait and fashion photographer, Parks also began documenting social ills as part of the Farm Security Administration. In 1948, he became the first African American staff photographer for Life magazine and established an international reputation for his photo essays chronicling the lives of the poor and the Civil Rights movement. He was also an author (The Learning Tree), filmmaker (Shaft), poet, and musician, a renaissance man whose career embodies the American ideal of equality.
This exhibition runs through January 4.
It is an absolute "must see!"
BTW: The Delaware Art Museum's delightful museum store is a real gem and a perfect place to buy unusual (and affordable) holiday gifts.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

The Ciruccis Are Thankful

Thanksgiving has given Adam Cirucci and Aimee Cirucci a great deal to be thankful for.
Adam Cirucci, the redoubtable legislative assistant to Pennsylvania State Senator Andy Dinniman has done a remarkable job helping to steer Senator Dinniman to a significant re-election victory earlier this month. Since Adam is responsible for much of the Senator's community and media relations, his work in crafting the Senator's messages and outreach has proved vital.
You can sample some of Adam's fine work here and here and here.
And don't forget to check out Senator Dinniman's beautifully designed and written newsletter here.
I can attest to the fact that it's not easy to be a PR pro but Adam already has a leg up on some of the best of them. Of course, he has valuable experience as an award-winning journalist and has also published quite a few pieces of fiction and commentary.
As for the prolific Aimee Cirucci, she reports that "Fall produced a wonderful harvest of writing opportunities."
Aimee has a piece in the upcoming book Six-Word Memoirs on Love and Heartbreak publishing on January 6th from Harper and already mentioned in the NY Post.
Her essay called "Video Killed the Love Story" will be published in What Was I Thinking?: 58 Bad Boyfriend Stories releasing on February 3rd from St. Martin's Press (it is also her first hardcover anthology).
Her first printed magazine article called "Leaving My Job, Finding Myself" will appear in the January issue of Sasee a Southern lifestyle magazine for women.
Her article "The Story of You" recently appeared on BettyConfidential and sparked enough interest that she'll be speaking further about it on Real Life, Even Better a blog talk radio show hosted by Michele Gentile, date is TBA.
Her writing appeared for the first time in both WritersWeekly and Chicken Soup for the Soul earlier this Fall.
And finally, she has started providing articles for Associated Content which offers a comprehensive multimedia library on almost every topic, her first piece is available here. Aimee's website and Facebook page are always updated as articles appear and she tweets about books, writing, publishing, and anything else that crosses her mind on twitter.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Who killed Christmas?

Who Killed Christmas?
Was it lawyers, courts and the ACLU?
Was is greedy businesses and commercialization?
Perhaps cowardly politicians are to blame.
How about apathetic Christians?
Or maybe it was multi-culturalism and our secular society.
You tell us: Who killed Christmas? Vote in our exclusive online poll at the top of this page.
You have until the end of the day Sunday, January 4 to vote in the poll. We want to hear from you. Vote now!

Quoth The Raven . .

Once upon a Sunday dreary, as I pondered, weak and weary
Over how many ways our football team could screw up the season ever more,
While I pondered, fingers tapping/On my pillow, nerves now snapping
Suddenly there came a rapping, rapping at my chamber door/'Tis some relative I muttered, living on the same house floor
Only this, and nothing more.
Ah, distinctly I remember, it was there in late November
And I knew that we'd surrendered any chance for playoff scores/Eagerly, I wished for April, when the Phillies would be staples/And this damned and cursed wasteful
Team would be forgotten lore.
"Go away," I sharply uttered, to the seeker at my door . . .

To read the rest of "The Raven '08" by Christine Flowers in the Philadelphia Daily News click here.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Curious Benjamin Button

More than halfway through The Curious Case of Benjamin Button Cate Blanchett turns to Brad Pitt and says: "Look at you. You're perfect!"
And indeed he is.
But in this sprawling new film it takes a long, long time for Brad Pitt to get that way.
And that's part of the unusual story of Benjamin Button - the "curious case" part.
As we watched an exclusive advance showing of this film last night we were reminded that the greatest stories always come from the South. And Benjamin Button is no exception. Though the film roams the world it is set primarily in New Orleans and it covers the period from the World War I up to Hurricane Katrina. The film is a joy to watch. And ,with so many lilting southern accents and great music it's a joy to listen to as well.
Yes, this may in fact be the first time that Hollywood has actually made a successful film based on the work of F. Scott Fitzgerald. The performances by Blanchett, Pitt and Taraji P. Henson are excellent. Henson, in particular, is stellar. But then again even the secondary performances are great. And the adapted screenplay by Eric Roth combines beautifully with David Fincher's exacting direction. On top of that the cinematography, costumes, sets and makeup are also superb.
What's to compare? Well, Benjamin Button is much like Forrest Gump. And Pitt is almost as much Button as Hanks was Gump. Still, Button lacks the distinctly American flavor of Gump and one longs for a bit more sentimentality in Benjamin Button.
But that's hardly a significant complaint.
Benjamin Button is a Major Motion Picture with lots of Oscar buzz. In fact, this film could garner as many as 11 Oscar nominations, if not more.
But I must warn you: Though it tells a highly unusual story this film is an old-fashioned Hollywood narrative complete with flashbacks. subplots and periodic narration. And for a movie that's based on a short story it's surprisingly long. So, if you're going to watch those incredible movie stars who are the beautiful Cate Blanchett and the perfect Brad Pitt, please be patient. You're going to be in the theater for quite awhile.
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button opens nationwide on Christmas Day.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Happy First Birthday!

Today is our blog's First Birthday!
Thanks to all of you, we've logged more than 21,000 visits over the past 12 months. Generously speaking, that's nearly 2,000 visits per month! THANK YOU!
And thank you for your many comments - even when you disagreed with us.
We want you to keep commenting and keep participating.
We wish we could say we've always been right from the day we began. We haven't.
We predicted Hillary would defeat Barack. We were wrong. We said Rudy would defeat McCain. We were wrong. We foresaw a continuing stable economy with little or no recession. We were wrong. We picked McCain for President. We were right, but 52 percent of the voters didn't agree. We lost.
But we also predicted the return of good, solid conservative leaders (like Berlusconi) in Europe. We were right. very early on we said Cole Hamels would be a Big Star. We were right. We called the Pennsylvania presidential primary right on the nose. Hillary won that one pretty much by the exact percentage that we predicted and we were right. We foresaw the emergence of Sarah Palin and Janet Napolitano. We were right and we wish both of these smart, strong women the best. We said the presidential election would be closer than the polls predicted. We were right. Long before the current shambles we said that Reid and McNabb were in trouble. We were right. We saw enduring bright spots in the local economy (like the continuing commercial growth in Cherry Hill) and predicted these would continue and would move along on schedule. We were right. We guessed that Brian Tierney would buck a trend and take the Inquirer and Daily News and make them lively, successful reads once again. With the help of the World Champion Phillies, he did. And of course we predicted that Joisey's lousy, corrupt band of state "leaders" would continue to break promises, try to raise taxes and tolls, spend carelessly and run the state further into debt. Regrettably, we were right.
Well, for better or worse, we do get some things right.
And we always try to remain lively, open and engaging.
It's been a hugely successful year.
So, if you keep returning we'll keep writing.
Is it a deal?

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Thanksgiving Cards

Each year I receive a few more Thanksgiving cards.
I'm not sure where or how this trend started but I don't like it.
Here's why: Those who send Thanksgiving cards usually don't send Christmas cards.
Thanksgiving is a state holiday - a secular feast. Don't misunderstand me. It's a nice holiday and I think it's wonderful that the whole country celebrates this day together. And it's important to give thanks. Obviously, the Pilgrims gave thanks to God. But Thanksgiving nowadays is hopelessly generic.
And Thanksgiving cards are ultimately wimpy. Sending a Thanksgiving card is a convenient way to gently nudge Christmas out of the picture.
Because, let's face it: Thanksgiving now marks the official beginning of the Christmas season. So, the day after Thanksgiving is the time to get your card list in shape and get to work. Every Christian on your list should receive a Christmas card. If you're not sure if the person is Christian or exactly how observant the person is, send him or her a holiday card - just as you would send to non-Christians.
And yes, real greeting cards received in the mail are still a nice way to show you care.
But please, please, please skip the Thanksgiving cards!

Checkin On Chima

Brazilian steak houses seem to be all the rage right now.
So, we dropped in at one of Philly's newest, Chima, to check out the scene.
Chima Steakhouse is named after chimarrao, a traditional drink of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil, that symbolizes hospitality and friendship.
Like most of these eateries Chima features a huge soup, salad, etc. bar and gauchos who bring 16 types of poultry, meat and fish to the table -- all on skewers.
The meat, poultry and fish are sliced directly in front of you and you can have as much or as little as you want. Each diner has a small disc alongside his or her plate. When you want more, you turn the disc up and a color shows (in this case, burnt orange) signaling your request. When you want to pause or stop, you turn the disc over (in this case to black).
The gauchos fly back and forth through the large dining room hopping from table to table fulfilling requests.
The salads were wonderful: hearts of palm, wedges of iceberg lettuce, big fresh tomato slices, various pasta salads, plentiful fresh romaine and lots more. The bar also featured creamy vegetable soup and black beans. At the table we found cheese puffs and miniature meatballs along with crusty fresh bread.
Among the meats and fishes we tried barbecued ribs, chicken, ribeye flank steak and swordfish.
One price covers everything (as much as you want) except coffee and dessert. Dinner will run you $40 per person.
Here's the bottom line: If you like to eat a lot and if you enjoy second and even third servings this should probably be on your list. But be forewarned: The place can get very hectic, crowded and extremely noisy. When it's at capacity it feels more like a diner than a fine restaurant. So, you want get hushed service. And, you better decide what you want from the skewers as the gauchos are not in the habit of lingering.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

We Won! VI Day!

On this November 22, 2008, join us and in observing Victory in Iraq Day. Let us honor the sacrifice, dedication and sheer determination of American, coalition and Iraqi troops who have brought freedom to the nation and people of Iraq. Although our governments have chosen to not name any official day marking the end of this war, we the people have taken it upon ourselves to commemorate November 22, 2008 as the day of victory over the forces of tyranny, oppression and terror in Iraq. Join fellow bloggers and other members of the public in this virtual ticker-tape parade for our brave troops, to celebrate their success, to remember the fallen, and to declare, in the words of President John F. Kennedy (RIP):
"Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival and the success of liberty."

Visit the official Victory In Iraq Day site by clicking here.

Following is a list of just some of the blogs from throughout the world that are celebrating Victory In Iraq Day and thanking our President George W. Bush and our brave men and women in our armed forces for making this possible. God Bless America!

Gateway Pundit Blackfive Little Green Footballs Rantburg sisu Because No One Asked Dog Opus Blog Oh No, Another Conservative Blog Who Is John Galt? Gathering of Eagles (national) Gathering of Eagles New York Gathering of Eagles North Carolina Stop the ACLU The Surfing Conservative Civilian Irregular Information Defense Group The Wide Awake Cafe The Foxhole Lighthouse on the Right Arming Liberty Uncle Sam Ate My Baby Down Is Up Foreign and Domestic WOT Daily The Blog of Record Serr8d's Cutting Edge Army Wife: Rants from Ft. Livingroom Hamilton, Madison, and Jay Rochester Conservative The Daily Blogster I Call BS! Macker's World Something should go here, maybe later Nice Deb The Bronze Blog AZresident The Irascible Chef Sharp Right Turn TigerHawk Tman In Tennessee Thunder Pig Sith by Sithwest OutOfTheBlue Anti-CAIR Marooned in Marin Thoughts Enroute More Weight Anti-Strib The Jack Knows Red State Rumblings High Plains Blogger Air Force Pundit Fallback LGF Liberty for USA Diary of a Madman The Rumbler Report D.C. Thornton Lock and Load Fat Angie Gegenkritik Oedipal Beatdown Conservative Action Network A Herd of Turtles Penny's Potpurri Sayyad al Wahabiyya Brain-Surgery With Spoons American Syndicalist Party Broadsides Public Secrets Freedomplow Toxic Taxation Berman Post HumbleInfidel The Inquisition Pax Parabellum CrossFit Camp Pendleton Freedom Watch American Truths Destination OBX Fearless Dream Theodore's World The Cool Blue Blog Life With Monkeys Woody's Place Wild Weazel The Atheist Conservative King's Right Site We are the Grizzwolds redc1c4 Hourglass1941 E3 gazette Zirkumflex GunTrash's Multifarious Blog mama winger's potluck the "silent" majority no more! The Working File
Instapundit Confederate Yankee The Jawa Report Ed Driscoll Facebook group for Victory in Iraq Day Barking Moonbat Early Warning System Exurban League Noblesse Oblige Protein Wisdom Pub Black & Right Johnson County Republican Party Winefred's Well Still Unbounded The Liberty Boys Atlanta ROFTers This is Scooter Country The Crescent Moon From My Position...On the Way! Letters to a Dying Dream Blogs for Victory RealChoice EagleSpeak HXC Conservative Diggs zomblog Erica Marceau Pirate's Cove Let's Get It Right Cmblake6's Weblog What Bubba Knows RightwingSparkle NavyWife Psycmeister's Ice Palace! Stable of Zionist Hore #2 Conservative in Seattle Right Side News Karridine Delivers LifeoftheMind ahavafriend Zim's View I Am, Therefore I Think Patriot Missive USS Neverdock Dan Cirucci The Conservative Contessa The Four Rs Wake up America The C-Square Sarge Charlie Red-Hot Right Echoes in Eternity American Infidel buckferkeley supporting the troops One Model Place The Dumber Ox The Lightning News BackyardConservative 2nd Exposure DailyAviator Lindy's Blog: Where Mom is Always Right Comics Pundit No Clever Pseudonym Free Frank Warner The Digital Hairshirt The Blue Pelican Krigsblogg Nothing But the Facts Gegenstimme Environmental Republican Irons in the Fire no blood for sauerkraut! The Individualizer TechnoChitlins Nebulous Continuum Take Our Country Back The Conservative Radical Zion Beckons Antihippies Soldiers' Angels Germany Paul Ibrahim jweaks on Squidoo Marie's Two Cents The Other Club The Anchoress Beyond the Veil Michigan Taxes Too Much Once More Into the Breach Stix Blog

Mall's Giant Leap!

Cherry Hill Township Mayor Bernie Platt and PREIT's Joe Coradino break through a Linkceremonial banner while riding in a Bentley at Cherry Hill Mall's Parking Deck Opening. Friday, November 21, 2008.

What a grand day it was yesterday at the beautiful "new" Cherry Hill Mall as Pennsylvania Real Estate Investment Trust's Joe Coradino and Cherry Hill Mayor Bernie Platt road in an open luxury convertible to officially open the Mall's new parking deck as uniformed parking attendants stood by. Just behind the deck in the dramatic new Nordstrom store set to open on March 29. Of course the parking facility connects directly with Nordstrom and into the new Mall addition now taking shape. Next to the parking one can see the beginnings of the new free-standing Capital Grille restaurant which will open at the Mall.
The three-level parking deck is two acres of covered parking with state-of-art security cameras, bright lighting throughout, emergency panels, and a Precision Parking System – installed in 2009 – featuring LED signs displaying the number of available parking spaces at each level. When the new Nordstrom opens, guests will be able to gain access directly into the department store and new retail wing from the parking facility without battling weather conditions.
The parking deck is part of a $200 million redevelopment that includes not just the new Nordstrom but up to seven new fine dining restaurants, an upscale retail wing, a redesigned and relocated food court and extensive interior and exterior renovations.
A luxury car showcase, sponsored by FC Kerbeck and Sons at the entrance to the parking deck featured the following brands--Aston Martin, Bentley, Lamborghini, Roll Royce and Maserati. The Cherry Hill Mall Parking Garage Band performed jazz music in the facility throughout the afternoon.
Among the restaurants that will open soon are California Pizza Kitchen (CPK), Maggiano's Little Italy, Season's 52 and The Capitale Grill.
I've been over the the Mall several times during this growth period and I marvel at the progress that has been made. The continuing transformation is astonishing considering that the Mall has been open during the entire expansion.
Get over the Mall this holiday season and take a look at all of the new and exciting changes. Delight in the fresh, bright, spacious, airy atmosphere that's being created at the region's foremost fashion destination.
And imagine: This is only the beginning!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Nick Brings Cheer!

Are you among those who could use some cheer as we approach the holiday season?
Or, do you know someone who needs some cheering up?
Nick is the answer.
Nick is a wonderful plush toy available for a limited time from the Republican National Committee (RNC).
Embroidered with the official logo of the RNC, and wearing a Santa cap and scarf, Nick will make a great stocking stuffer or gift for those special right-thinking people in your life. And Nick is sure to be snapped up quickly.
Nick is available with your special contribution of at least $35 to the RNC.
Your contribution will immediately be put to work. The RNC is leading the charge to rebuild the Grand Old Party from the grassroots up and provide the resources Republicans need to move forward.
And for a very limited time, you can even get all six Republican collectibles -- Nick, Max, Maxine, Patrick, Victor and Sam -- with your special contribution of $150 to the RNC. Click here to order today.
Make the holidays cheery for someone and do good at the same time!
BTW: It's true that children of all ages adore elephants - one of the most beloved creatures on the face of the earth. Those in the other party may have a bit to crow about these days but they're still stuck with that dumb jackass as a mascot. The rest of us remain in Pachyderm Paradise! Now that's really something to celebrate!

Enchanting Styer's Terrain

While hopping around Chester County (Pa.) and environs we dropped in on the new Terrain at Styer's on Baltimore Pike in Glen Mills.
There is only one word to describe this place: "Enchanting!"
Terrain at Styer's is a Garden Center, Greenhouse Cafe, Home Decor Shop and Landscaping Service all combined in a beguiling atmosphere that soothes your jangled nerves and gives you hope for a aesthetically sensitive world.
Styer's likes to say that they've been bringing people and plants together since 1890 when Jacob Styer opened a flower stand alongside Route 1 in Philadelphia. Over the years Styer's has emerged as one of the country's most respected names in gardening with a 10 acre treasure trove of trees, shrubs, perennials and other plants. All of that is still intact.
But now, there is so much more.
Styer's has combined with Terrain to produce a one-stop destination that is a veritable year-round feast for the senses.
Terrain has picked through barns and bazaars to collect unique garden and home artifacts. Everyone promise unusual items but this place delivers. Their selection includes designs by American, European, and Asian artisans - things you will find nowhere else.
Of course the live and simulated plants and flowers defy description and it's often difficult to distinguish what's real and what isn't.
Right now Terrain at Styer's is a testament to understated Christmas beauty, proving that over the holidays less can truly be more. Simple, whimsical decorative items present the season of joy in a totally new light - calmer, purer and easier on the eyes.
And the cafe offers a simple lunch, brunch and dinner menu in a greenhouse atmosphere that is charming and nostalgic. Plus, a special Chef's Dinner is offered on the third Thursday of every month.
Here's the bottom line on this place: It simply must be experienced!

Thank You!

A great big "thank you" this Thanksgiving to someone who deserves the thanks and appreciation of everyone who truly loves America!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Napolitano: Good Choice!

We support the expected appointment of Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano as Homeland Seurity Secretary.
Governor Napolitano is a moderate, practical, common-sense Democrat who has her wits about her. She's a hard working, no-nonsense public official who is not easily fooled. She has an impressive bio and a proven track record.
We last featured Napolitano on this site back in February when we lauded her as a fresh face and said she might make a good running mate for Obama. Instead, Obama picked beat up old liberal Joe Biden.
We might add that we're almost sorry Obama hasn't chosen Napolitano as Attorney General.
But maybe Obama is afraid to put that much power into the hands of someone who's so obviously, smart, tough and independent. It's a shame to have to say this but we see precious little evidence that Obama enjoys the company of (or seeks out) really smart, self-made, independent minded women.
So, the expected Napolitano appointment is refreshing.
And it's nice to finally have a non-Washington, non-Clintonista appointment of note.
Message to Governor Napolitano: Stand your ground. Continue your record of fine service. Uphold the law and the highest standards. Don't be seduced by the Washington crowd. Tell the truth. Take whatever measures are necessary to protect us.

Still Very Red

Look at this map. The map shows all 50 states, county-by-county.
Red is Republican. Blue is Democrat.
At first glance you might be thinking you are looking at a map showing the results of the 2000 or the 2004 election. But you're not.
You're looking at a map showing the results of the 2008 presidential election. Red counties voted for John McCain. Blue counties votes for Barack Obama.
Look at it. America is still a red country. It's overwhelmingly red.
There's a message here for Barack Obama: More of America is red than blue. Nearly half the people voted against you, Mr. President-Elect. This is still a center-right country.
Don't forget it.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Corzine The Grinch

Joisey's grumpy, wacky, socially-challenged Governor Jon (Where's the 'h' in my name?) Corzine can now add a
new title to his growing list of monikers: The Grinch.
First Corzine announced that he will probably have to dump Joisey's property tax rebate program effectively raising homeowners' property taxes yet again. Now, Corzine has apparently killed a plan that would have halved the state sales tax during the Christmas holiday season to spur slagging retail sales and give hard-pressed consumers an added break.
This is typical tac and spend Dumbocrat thinking, refusing to recognize that lowering taxes actually increases tax revenue.
Here's the full story from NJAR's Pulse:
Even as one major retailer after another files for bankruptcy, New Jersey Democrats have killed an innovative proposal that was designed to spur economic activity, put more money in New Jersey residents pockets and save jobs going into the new year.Fearing that New Jersey could be facing one of the worst holiday shopping seasons in decades for local retailers and hoping to do something to jumpstart the state’s economy at this critical time, Assembly Republicans announced in October a proposal to cut the state sales tax in half during the holiday shopping season.“Given the current economic turmoil there is real concern that consumers will spend less this holiday season further eroding our state’s economic well being,” Assembly Republican Leader Alex DeCroce said at the time. “Cutting the sales tax in half will encourage more economic activity in the state, both by helping consumers, who will pay less for merchandise, and businesses, who should see an increase in their sales.”Assemblyman Vince Polistina and Assemblywoman Caroline Casagrande formally introduced the legislation which called for cutting the state sales tax in half from 7 percent to 3.5 percent statewide, and from 3.5 percent to 1.75 percent in existing Urban Enterprise Zones, from Thanksgiving to January 4, 2009. . . . The proposal initially resulted in a wave of support for the proposal both from the public and members of the New Jersey business community. Polls showed overwhelming public support and representatives from the New Jersey Restaurant Association, the National Federation of Independent Business, the Commerce and Industry Association of New Jersey, and the New Jersey Retail Merchants Association today held a news conference announcing their support for the plan.Despite this initial strong support, the proposal was almost immediately panned by Governor Jon Corzine who said he would not advocate for the proposal, and just this week Democrats in the Legislature voted down a legislative initiative to enact the sales tax holiday. With just one week to go until Thanksgiving, it appears that time has run out to implement the sales tax holiday this year.
Yet another effective, common-sense, innovative idea shot down by this grumpy old crow.
And still the people keep looking to this clueless meanie to solve Josiey's horrendous financial problems. It's like asking The Grinch to bring Christmas joy.
Will they ever learn?

O: Kick In Inaugural $$

The District of Columbia govern
ment is deeply concerned about the crush of people into the district for the historic Obama Inaugural on January 20.

Some estimates say that as many as two to three million people may attempt to attend Inaugural festivities - way, way beyond the typical 200 to 300 thousand who turn out for the quadrennial event.
This means that additional venues will have to be opened up all over the metro Washington region to accommodate the crowds. Places such as Nationals Park, JFK Stadium and The Verizon Center may have to be pressed into service.
The cost to the federal government and the district will be staggering.
Here's where the Obama campaign can help. O & Co. still have millions and millions (probably even tens of millions) of dollars from the campaign. Some of this money needs to be released pronto to help defray costs.
The taxpayers cannot and should not assume the bulk of these added governmental and government-related costs.
Here's the full story from Leah Fabel at the DC Examiner:
Soaring costs expected to accompany huge crowds in town for the Jan. 20 inauguration of Barack Obama could stick cash-strapped Washington, D.C., with a record-breaking bill for services.
Security and capacity measures recommended by the District’s congressional delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton and others will almost certainly surpass the $15 million the federal government gives to the District each year to defray the cost of events, Norton said.
In 2005, with an estimated 300,000 in attendance, the second inauguration of President Bush cost the city more than $17 million, some of which was reimbursed with federal funds. This year, officials estimate nearly five times that many people for the swearing in of President-elect Barack Obama.
Police Chief Cathy Lanier expects to use an additional 4,000 police officers from all over the country in addition to her 4,000-member force, she said earlier this month. The city’s inaugural budget allows for only 3,000 extra uniformed officers.
“There will be an additional amount necessary to handle the unprecedented crowds, and I am now working with my colleagues to deal with that amount,” Norton said, adding “it’s an outrage to have costs incurred for federal events.”
Norton recommended to the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies the opening of private sites off the Mall, such as the Verizon Center and Nationals Park, to accommodate visitors without a ticket to the official events.
“There will not be even standing-room-only space on the Mall,” she said. “We have to throw away the old book on organizing the inauguration.”
Use of the Chinatown’s 23,000-seat Verizon Center could cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, according to Tasha Rios, a contracts manager for Plano, Texas-based Women of Faith. Rios’ group used the facility in July for a more than 12,000-person conference.
Basic rent, she said, cost her organization about $200,000. But it varies by group size, she said, and does not include expenses for staff, security, medical services, insurance and add-ons like the use of giant display-screens that would be needed in the event of an inaugural broadcast.
Verizon Center has blocked off Jan. 18-21 for “inauguration-related activities,” said spokeswoman Sheila Francis. She declined to offer details.
Northeast’s 45,000-seat RFK Stadium and the 10,000-capacity D.C. Armory have discussed a variety of events “mostly with third-party organizations,” said spokeswoman Teri Washington. In the past, the venue has hosted inaugural balls.
A spokeswoman for Nationals Park said no calls have yet come in requesting use of the stadium.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Moving Forward? Or Back?

This is a fact: Thus far, 31 of 47 high level appointees to the Obama Administration are Clintonistas. They are loyal to and/or served in the Clinton Administration (1992 - 2000.)
Remember - President Clinton has been out of office for nearly a decade!
Still, 66% (fully two-thirds) of the Obama Administration is composed of Clinton loyalists - two out of every three appointees.
This is what Obama & Co. call "new." This is wwhat they call "change."
It's sort of like taking one step forward and then two steps back.
These are the people whop ran commercials showing Republicans seeing the world through rear view mirrors.
Well, now who's looking in the rear-view mirror? Who's trying to move ahead by moving backward now?

Battleground: Georgia

The Democrats are trying to take a Senate seat away from victorious Senator Saxbe Chambliss in Georgia. This is happening while they are also trying to steal a seat from Senator Norm Coleman in Minnesota. And, they're still seeking that disputed Senate seat in Alaska.
Fillibuster-proof control of the Senate is at stake. This is serious business.
It ain't over till it's over, folks!

Victory Is Ours!

Saturday, November 22!

We won. The Iraq War is over!

November 22, 2008 is "Victory in Iraq Day." (Hereafter known as "VI Day.") Thousands of blogs across America are joining with in the celebration of this day.
By every measure, The United States and coalition forces have conclusively defeated all enemies in Iraq, pacified the country, deposed the previous regime, successfully helped to establish a new functioning democratic government, and suppressed any lingering insurgencies. The war has come to an end. And we won. What more indication do you need? An announcement from the outgoing Bush administration? It's not gonna happen. An announcement from the incoming Obama administration? That's really not gonna happen. A declaration of victory by the media? Please. Don't make us laugh. A concession of surrender by what few remaining insurgents remain in hiding? Forget about it.

The moment has come to acknowledge the obvious. To overtly declare a fact that has already been true for quite some time now. Let me repeat:


Devaluing Journalism

From Charles Cooper at CNET News:

With newspapers cutting back and predictions of even worse times ahead, Rupert Murdoch said the profession may still have a bright future if it can shake free of reporters and editors who he said have forfeited the trust and loyalty of their readers.
"My summary of the way some of the established media has responded to the internet is this: it's not newspapers that might become obsolete. It's some of the editors, reporters, and proprietors who are forgetting a newspaper's most precious asset: the bond with its readers," said Murdoch, the chairman and chief executive officer of News Corp. He made his remarks as part of a lecture series sponsored by the Australian Broadcast Corporation.
Murdoch, whose company's holdings also include MySpace and the Wall Street Journal, criticized what he described as
a culture of "complacency and condescension" in some newsrooms.
"The complacency stems from having enjoyed a monopoly--and now finding they have to compete for an audience they once took for granted. The condescension that many show their readers is an even bigger problem. It takes no special genius to point out that if you are contemptuous of your customers, you are going to have a hard time getting them to buy your product. Newspapers are no exception."

The 77-year-old Murdoch, recalling a long career in newspapers that began when his father's death forced him to take over the Adelaide News in 1952, said the profession has failed to creatively respond to changes wrought by technology.
"It used to be that a handful of editors could decide what was news-and what was not. They acted as sort of demigods. If they ran a story, it became news. If they ignored an event, it never happened. Today editors are losing this power. The Internet, for example, provides access to thousands of new sources that cover things an editor might ignore. And if you aren't satisfied with that, you can start up your own blog and cover and comment on the news yourself.
Journalists like to think of themselves as watchdogs, but they haven't always responded well when the public calls them to account."
To make his point, Murdoch criticized the media reaction after bloggers
debunked a "60 Minutes" report by former CBS anchor, Dan Rather, that President Bush had evaded service during his days in the National Guard.
"Far from celebrating this citizen journalism, the establishment media reacted defensively. During an appearance on Fox News, a CBS executive attacked the bloggers in a statement that will go down in the annals of arrogance. '60 Minutes,' he said, was a professional organization with 'multiple layers of checks and balances.' By contrast, he dismissed the blogger as 'a guy sitting in his living room in his pajamas writing.' But eventually it was the guys sitting in their pajamas who forced Mr. Rather and his producer to resign.
"Mr. Rather and his defenders are not alone," he continued.
"A recent American study reported that many editors and reporters simply do not trust their readers to make good decisions. Let's be clear about what this means. This is a polite way of saying that these editors and reporters think their readers are too stupid to think for themselves."
Murdoch's comments come at a time when the media landscape looks increasingly bleak both for print-based and online news organizations. A recent
report by Goldman Sachs predicted that advertising pressure will continue because of the declines in the auto and financial industries. Online outlets are also feeling the impact. On Friday, shut its San Francisco office
Despite the blemishes, however, Murdoch said newspapers can still count on circulation gains "if papers provide readers with news they can trust." He added they will also need to embrace technology advances like RSS feeds and targeted e-mails. The challenge, according to Murdoch, will be to "use a newspaper's brand while allowing readers to personalize the news for themselves-and then deliver it in the ways that they want."
"The newspaper, or a very close electronic cousin, will always be around. It may not be thrown on your front doorstep the way it is today. But the thud it makes as it lands will continue to echo around society and the world," he said.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Lisa, Triumphant!

We had a great time at the Philadel-
phia Public Relations Associa-
tion Gold Medal Luncheon honoring best-selling author Lisa Scottoline.
It was great to see Lisa again and to chat with her about her life, her career and her many interests.
Lisa Scottoline is now a worldwide phenomenon. Indeed, she has sold 20 million books and her 15 novels have been translated into dozens of languages.
All of Lisa's novels are set in Philadelphia and feature gutsy and resilient female characters and Lisa has thrilled and entertained readers with page-turning action and her trademark wit and humor. USA Today hails her writing as "sharp, intelligent, funny, and hip" and says that she "gives fans of thrillers a good, twisty plot, lively characters, and an all-around fun read."
This Philadelphia lawyer told us that her stories and her characters come from real life and she never knows when another idea for a novel is going to arrive in the form of a person, place or event - sometimes a combination of all three.
Having known Lisa for quite some time I can attest to the fact that her keen eye is always on the lookout for vivid characters and memorable events. As a creative person she sees the bigger moments and the drama in everyday life.
But here is the important message that Lisa conveyed to the public relations community today:
First, as a wordsmith she feels a common bond with PR people. She respects us and admires our work and finds that both novelists and PR people are in the business of selling stories and ideas. She feels this is an honorable -- indeed, a noble business because ideas are powerful things. If you can tell a good story and/or sell an idea you can inspire others and you can really change the world.
And second, Lisa said she feels that instead of bailing out General Motors and other big business enterprises, maybe we ought to be bailing out the written word. She's worried about the future of the written word. She's worried that newspapers and publishing houses are in trouble. And she feels we should be worried as well. She feels we need to honor and support the written word.
"There's a reason why the First Amendment is in the Constitution; and why it's first," Lisa said. "It's because thoughts and words and ideas are important. Free speech is important."
Lisa also told of her love for Philadelphia and related family tales and stories of growing up in South Philly. Her tales of her Italian grandparents and the journey that her family has made reflected her pride in her Italian heritage and in America itself.
I'm glad that everyone at the luncheon had the chance to witness what I've always known: Success hasn't changed Lisa Scottoline. She's a genuine, funny, smart and winning personality. She hasn't forgotten where she came from; she understands who she is and she certainly knows where she's going.

Not So Bad After All

Q. Who said this about the economy:
"I think ... part of the way to think about it is things could be worse. I mean, we could have seen a lot more bank failures over the last several months."
"We could have seen an even more rapid deterioration of the economy - even a bigger drop in the stock market. So part of what we have to measure against is what didn't happen and not just what has happened."

You'd make a lot of sense if you guessed President George W. Bush or Secretary Paulson.
Q. Who said this about spending and the deficit:
"We're going to have to spend money now to stimulate the economy."
"And we shouldn't worry about the deficit next year or even the year after."

Again, Bush or Paulson or any of those currently in power would sound about right.
But you'd be wrong, wrong, wrong.
But that's understandable.
Because the same man who said these things last night also said just a couple of weeks ago that we were in dire straits; that the economy couldn't get much worse; that it was as bad as the Great Depression and that we needed to get the deficit under control and stop mortgaging our children's futures.
But that's what Barack Obama said before the election.
And what you've just read above is what Obama says now (on 60 Minutes last night) after the election: Don't worry. The economy ain't so bad. It could have been worse. Much worse. We have to spend, spend, spend even if it increases the deficit further.
What a difference a couple of weeks makes!
Hey, this guy's got more quick changes than a runway star.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Don't Worry, Be Happy!

A lot of us are still recovering from the presidential election. OK, so we supported U.S. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz. And we were prepared for a long, tough campaign. We didn't mind that.
But what a lot of us did mind was the "inevitable" thing -- this notion that there was some sort of bigger destiny, some sort of larger plan that would propel The One into the White House no matter what. I have to admit it really started to get to me.
In denial
Even before the election was over, people were accusing me of being in denial. For whatever reason, they wanted me to recognize the reality of the situation. Friends urged me to "get real" and prepare myself so that I'd be OK "after the fall." Some of them even spoke in hushed tones, telling me they were "worried about me.". . .

To read the rest of my column from today's Courier-Post click here.

Winning 'Audition'

I'm not very far into Barbara Walters' big autobiography, Audition but I can already report to you that it is one of the most astonishing reads I've ever encountered.
If you haven't gotten your hands on this book, don't delay.
Audition is an incredible story - a story that you will hardly believe.
But it certainly has the ring of truth on page after page after page. And it most assuredly is a page turner. You will find yourself engrossed as the chapters roll along.
I rarely talk about a book before I've finished reading it and I almost never post anything here about a book until then.
But this is no ordinary bio.
This is obviously the story - the whole story - that Barbara has been saving all these years.
The back cover of the book shows Barbara taking a bow, apparently at the Emmy Awards.
She takes a bow in this book as well. But it's not the usual, quick, cosmetic bow of a performer. It's an honest, open and complete bow with everything right out there; everything laid on the line. It's a bow in the name of endurance.
This is gutsy, real, compelling. Don't miss it!
BTW: Barbara Walter's birth year is variously listed as 1929 or 1931. In her book, the exact year of her birth is one of the things she does not reveal. Sorry!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Forward, Onward, Upward!

When a thing is done, it's done. Don't look back.
Look forward to your next objective.
-George C. Marshall


Since November 4 we have had rainy or cloudy weather here for four out of every five days.
Over the last several days the rain has been overwhelming - torrents of wind, and rain: buckets of rain; heavy rain; misty rain and all pervasive dampness.
The sky is so dark in the middle of the day that you can hardly tell the difference between day and night.
Now, whole areas are becoming flooded. The weekend has been pretty much washed out.
For Monday they're actually calling for SNOW!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Cozy, Lively Cactus!

Last night we journeyed to nearby Manayunk for the opening of the new Cactus Bar and Restaurant on Main Street.
We had a wonderful time sampling margaritas and tasty Mex treats.
Cactus is long and cozy with a spacious bar and upstairs venue that gives it an open, welcoming feeling. The staff is youthful, friendly and very helpful.
The place was teeming last night but everyone managed to be accommodated.
Cactus' menu features seasonal offerings to take advantage of the freshest ingredients available, and to ensure that there is always something new and exciting for guests to enjoy. All salsas, sauces, soups, and moles featured are made fresh in-house daily.
Cactus brings to you the flavors and scents of the Southwest in a warm, casual cantina environment with exposed brick and plaster walls, time worn wooden floors, and a custom stone and granite bar which evokes the hues and subtle maize colors of the desert.
It's hard not to imagine you're at a far off fiesta while sipping away on one of our handcrafted signature margaritas.
We enjoyed soft tacos filled with pulled pork and other specialties. Prices are very reasonable and the menu and bar regularly feature many specials.
Everything was yummy!

Joisey After Speeders!

Be forewarned: Joisey State Police are on a speeding ticket frenzy to raise $$$$$ for the state.
Also, fines will be raised for a wide variety of nominal offenses to replenish the state coffers since the tax 'n spend gang in Trenton still hasn't learned to go on a fiscal diet.
So, poor commuting suckers will foot the bill. That means YOU!
Yes, New Jersey will launch a 30-day speeding ticket frenzy.
The state estimates that 9 million dollars will be generated in speeding tickets. One million dollars will go to pay state troopers over-time. There will be 50 state troopers on duty at all times patrolling the 9 main intersections and highways as follows:
I-295 North and South,
I-95 Jersey Turnpike North and South
I-80 East and West
I-287 North and South
I-78 East and West
I-195 East and West
I-280 East and West
Route 130 - North and South
Garden State Parkway - North and South
5 MPH above the limit can justify a ticket and every state trooper is supposed to pull a car over and write a ticket every 10 to 20 minutes.
They have issued 30 brand new unmarked Crown Victoria cruisers and are bringing in all of their part-timers on full time. If you work in NJ, NY DE or CT, you will probably be on one> of these highways. So, please be on guard and drive safely.
Starting August 15 the price of a violation to show your driver's license, registration or insurance card at the time you are stopped will increase from $44.00 to $173.00. (Keep these documents in your car)
The fine for not having all three documents is $519.00!
The fine for hand-held cell phone use while driving will be going up to $180.00.
You can thank our wacky Governor and the State Legislature for this!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

King George Rules!

George Strait wowed the crowd in his stylish black coat as he debuted his new single 'River of Love' at the 42nd Annual CMA Awards Show broadcast on ABC last night.
In addition to debuting his new single, Strait was honored with the CMA's Single of the Year Award for his mega hit 'I Saw God Today' and the CMA Album of the Year Award for 'Troubadour'.
Strait not only received two trophies for the two awards, but also picked up two additional trophies as the co-producer with Tony Brown. It was a big night for Strait who thanked his records label and radio for his success. In addition, Strait said 'Everybody always says they have the greatest fans.....but I really do'.
George Strait now has a total of 75 CMA nominations and has received a historic high of 22 awards.
Country stars come and go but George Strait keeps producing Albums of the Year and Songs of the Year year after year after year.
That's why we, his loyal subjects, gleefully honor King George!

'Let Them Go Their Way'

"Since our last meeting we have been through a disastrous election. It is easy for us to be discouraged, as pundits hail that election as a repudiation of our philosophy and even as a mandate of some kind or other. But the significance of the election was not registered by those who voted, but by those who stayed home. . . .
"Bitter as it is to accept the results of the November election, we should have reason for some optimism. For many years now we have preached 'the gospel,' in opposition to the philosophy of so-called liberalism which was, in truth, a call to collectivism.
"Now, it is possible we have been persuasive to a greater degree than we had ever realized. "Few, if any, Democratic party candidates in the last election ran as liberals.

"Listening to them I had the eerie feeling we were hearing reruns of Goldwater speeches. I even thought I heard a few of my own.
"Bureaucracy was assailed and fiscal responsibility hailed. . . .

"Americans are hungry to feel once again a sense of mission and greatness.
"I don't know about you, but I am impatient with those Republicans who after the last election rushed into print saying, 'We must broaden the base of our party' when what they meant was to fuzz up and blur even more the differences between ourselves and our opponents.
"It was a feeling that there was not a sufficient difference now between the parties that kept a majority of the voters away from the polls. When have we ever advocated a closed-door policy? Who has ever been barred from participating?
"Our people look for a cause to believe in. Is it a third party we need, or is it a new and revitalized second party, raising a banner of no pale pastels, but bold colors which make it unmistakably clear where we stand on all of the issues troubling the people?

"A political party cannot be all things to all people. It must represent certain fundamental beliefs which must not be compromised to political expediency, or simply to swell its numbers.
"I do not believe I have proposed anything that is contrary to what has been considered Republican principle. It is at the same time the very basis of conservatism. It is time to reassert that principle and raise it to full view. And if there are those who cannot subscribe to these principles, then let them go their way."

-Ronald Reagan
March 1, 1975.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Catch Lisa Monday!

On Monday (September 17) at noon in the Ballroom of the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Philadelphia the Philadelphia Public Relations Association will honor best-selling author and Philadelphia Lawyer Lisa Scottoline with its highest award - the Gold Medal.
We will be there - and you should, too.
We've known Lisa for years and for all her success she remains a true Philadelphian - direct, genuine, funny, engaging and irrepressibly human.
You can still order tickets for this great event and even get a signed copy of Lisa's latest novel (a great holiday gift!).
Here are the details:







11:30 A.M. TO 1:30 P.M.




$65 FOR PPRA MEMBERS ($80 to include a copy of Lady Killer)
$75 FOR NON-PPRA MEMBERS ($90 to include a copy of Lady Killer)
$800 FOR TABLE OF 10 (to include copies of Lady Killer for all guests)

Learn from the source how a Philadelphia lawyer turned in her briefcase to become one of the nation's most-read and most sought-after mystery writers. As a true believer that you should write what you know, Lisa features strong, sexy, smart women from Philadelphia in all fifteen of her books.

The PPRA Gold Medal Award honors individuals and organizations whose accomplishments leave a lasting impact on our community and bring national recognition to Philadelphia.

Lisa Scottoline focused the national spotlight to Philadelphia through her books, but we also honor her for her tireless contribution to Philadelphia libraries and the local Italian-American community.

Please join us in honoring Lisa Scottoline at a special event you will not want to miss!

Click here to register online for the Gold Medal Luncheon.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


Speaking of Chihuly, I highly recommend artist Dale Chihuly's beautiful web site.
No doubt we have now all been exposed to Chihuly glass at multiple installations in museums and many, many public spaces. His work is ravishing.
Dale Chihuly is most frequently lauded for revolutionizing the Studio Glass movement by expanding its original premise of the solitary artist working in a studio environment to encompass the notion of collaborative teams and a division of labor within the creative process. However, Chihuly's contribution extends well beyond the boundaries both of this movement and even the field of glass: his achievements have influenced contemporary art in general. Chihuly’s practice of using teams has led to the development of complex, multipart sculptures of dramatic beauty that place him in the leadership role of moving blown glass out of the confines of the small, precious object and into the realm of large-scale contemporary sculpture. This is what has made his work so ubiquitous and, at the same time, nonethelss unique.
In fact, Chihuly deserves credit for establishing the blown glass form as an accepted vehicle for installation and environmental art beginning in the late twentieth century and continuing today.
An artist whose work balances content with an investigation of the material's properties of translucency and transparency, Chihuly began working with glass at a time when reverence for the medium and for technique was paramount.
A student of interior design and architecture in the early 1960s, by 1965 he had become captivated by the process of glassblowing. He enrolled in the University of Wisconsin's hot glass program, the first of its kind in the United States, established by Studio Glass movement founder Harvey K. Littleton. After receiving a degree in sculpture, Chihuly was admitted to the ceramics program at the Rhode Island School of Design, only to establish its renowned glass program, turning out a generation of recognized artists.
Influenced by an environment that fostered the blurring of boundaries separating all the arts, as early as 1967 Chihuly was using neon, argon, and blown glass forms to create room-sized installations of organic, freestanding, plantlike imagery. He brought this interdisciplinary approach to the arts to the legendary Pilchuck School in Stanwood, Washington, which he cofounded in 1971 and served as its first artistic director until 1989.
Under Chihuly's guidance, Pilchuck has become a gathering place for international artists with diverse backgrounds. Over the years his studios, which include an old racing shell factory in Seattle called The Boathouse and now buildings in the Ballard section of the city and Tacoma, have become a mecca for artists, collectors, and museum professionals involved in all media.
Stylistically over the past forty years, Chihuly's sculptures in glass have explored color, line, and assemblage. Although his work ranges from the single vessel to indoor/outdoor site-specific installations, he is best known for his multipart blown compositions. These works fall into the categories of mini-environments designed for the tabletop as well as large, often serialized forms that are innovatively displayed in groupings on a wide variety of surfaces ranging from pedestals to bodies of natural water. Masses of these blown forms also have been affixed to specially engineered structures that dominate large exterior or interior spaces.
Is it a craft or an art? Chihuly answers the question so that there is no doubt.
His work is nothing less than dazzling!

Blue Water

On Sunday evening we joined friends for dinner at Blue Water, the new seafood restaurant on Route 70 in Cherry Hill.
This new eatery uses the chemical sign for water (H-2-0) combined with the word "blue" to announce itself as Blue-2-0. It sits on the site that was once The Greenbrier restaurant and later was home to Porterhouse.
Blue Water is tranquil and somewhat new age inside with subdued lighting and vivid Chihuly glass. The large, continuous round bar is dominated by a huge silo of light that slowly changes pastels. The dining room is intimate with quite a few booths clustered in the center.
The space is characterized by plenty of natural stone, reflective glass and a welcoming water wall.
The menu features grilled seafood cooked over a hardwood fire grill, plus steaks and chops that are seared at 1,500 degrees.
We enjoyed maple bourbon salmon, crab cakes with mango pienapple pico and pretzel crusted grouper. All of the entrees were tasty and included salads and sides. Prices range from $23 to $28.
Blue Water is an inviting, more sophisticated addition to the local seafood scene.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Veterans Day

Scoop On Mall Eateries

We can now report exclusively on two more reataurants that are coming to the Cherry Hill Mall.
In addition to Maggiano's Little Italy the mall will soon welcome California Pizza Kitchen (CPK) and Seasons 52.
Maggiano's is expected to open in time for the holidays. The rest will follow.
California Pizza Kitchen is a leader in authentic California-style cuisine with a recognized consumer brand, an established, loyal customer base and more than 240 restaurants.
CPK has introduced pizza flavors and tastes from around the world, from Thai to Jamaican Jerk…all on a pizza. All of the innovative pizzas are creatively designed on a delicious crust, and hearth-baked to perfection. Also served are distinctive pastas, salads, soups, appetizers and desserts, including our Chicken-Tequila Fettucine, BBQ Chicken Chopped Salad, Tortilla Spring Rolls and Key Lime Pie.
Seasons 52 is a casually sophisticated grill and wine bar that invites you to discover the sensational flavors of a seasonally changing menu. Seasons 52 is new to the Philadelphia areas. Currently the Seasons 52 restaurants are located in Florida and Georgia (Boca Raton, Palm Beach, Buckhead, et. al.) The restaurant's passion is to serve highly flavored meals that are healthy and focus on the best of each season. They use natural cooking techniques such as grilling over open fires to give our food exceptional taste with fewer calories than similar restaurant meals. To complement the flavor and aroma of the meal, Seasons 52 offers an adventurous international wine list of more than 120 outstanding wines, with 60 available by the glass.
Seasons 52 says it offers a warm and welcoming adult atmosphere that you'll want to return to often.
CPK will be closest to Macy's and facing Route 38. Next in the row fronting Route 38 will be Maggiano's, Bahama Breeze and Seasons 52. At least three other new restaurants are also on the way. Stay tuned!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Don't Miss This!





11:30 A.M. TO 1:30 P.M.



($80 to include a copy of Lady Killer)
($90 to include a copy of Lady Killer)
$800 FOR TABLE OF 10 (to include copies of Lady Killer for all guests)

Learn from the source how a Philadelphia lawyer turned in her briefcase to become one of the nation's most-read and most sought-after mystery writers. As a true believer that you shouldwrite what you know, Lisa features strong, sexy, smart women from Philadelphia
in all fifteen of her books.

The PPRA Gold Medal Award honors individuals and organizations whose accomplishments leave a lasting impact on our community and bring national recognition to Philadelphia.

As a Gold Medal recipient, Lisa joins Walter Annenberg, Governor Edward G. Rendell and nearly 60 other prominent individuals and organizations
in the Philadelphia area in receiving this award.

Lisa Scottoline focused the national spotlight to Philadelphia through her books, but we also honor her for her tireless contribution to Philadelphia libraries and the local Italian-American community. Please join us in honoring Lisa Scottoline at a
special event you will not want to miss!

Click here to register online for the Gold Medal Luncheon.

Bleak, Gloomy

It's been bleak and gloomy here ever since Election Day when the sun disappeared, not to return.
Honest. I'm not kidding.
The forecast didn't call for rain today but it rained anyway.
And it's raining now. A lot.
Almost five days now: cloudy, dank, damp, gloomy, rainy.
Not exactly the kind of weather that one would expect to usher in a Bright New Age.
Unless I'm missing something.