Welcome to the fourth installment of this year’s Picnic Basket Banter for Diner en Blanc Philadelphia, a weekly series profiling Philadelphians who are participating in Dîner en Blanc Philadelphia 2013. This series puts volunteers and attendees of our event into the spotlight, asking a series of questions about their ideal picnic, favorite places in our amazing city and, of course, what they will be packing in their picnic baskets.
Kory Aversa is the CEO/President of Aversa PR & Events. He is an award-winning public relations pro and social media guru with 15+ years of experience in the nonprofit and small business sector. We are so happy to have Kory returning to do the PR for Dîner en Blanc Philadelphia for a second year. His hard work was instrumental in spreading the word about our event last year. Kory continues to build our DEB audience with his enthusiasm, passion, and tireless tweeting.
Dîner en Blanc Philadelphia: What is your favorite spot to picnic in Philadelphia?
KA: Without a doubt, Independence Mall! Every July 4th I have a tradition with my friends to picnic in front of Independence Hall during Peter Nero and the Philly Pops free concert. Some years we’ve expanded to three to four picnic blankets and everyone makes or brings something.
Dîner en Blanc Philadelphia: What’s your perfect picnic beverage?
KA: It’s a toss-up between Summer Sangria with fresh strawberries and blueberries – or Strawberry Lemonade with tart fresh lemons, simple syrup, strawberries and Marilyn Monroe Strawberry Vodka.
Dîner en Blanc Philadelphia: Who would be the most interesting person- living or dead- you’d like to share a picnic with?
KA: Betty White. I watch Golden Girls every day, sometimes 2-3 times per day. She still makes me laugh on Hot in Cleveland. She has such a wit about her, and so many stories to share, she’d have me in stitches.
Dîner en Blanc Philadelphia: Do you have a favorite picnic memory?
KA: I remember growing up enjoying time with my grandmother (Babci) as we ate and picnicked in the backyard. She would always make Strawberry Shortcake, corn on the cob and delicious salads.
Dîner en Blanc Philadelphia: If you needed to put together a picnic basket for two in less than 30 minutes, what would you make or buy?
KA: I would head over to South Philadelphia and East Passyunk to fill the basket with delicious cupcakes, macarons and other sweets. I am all about desserts for any meal! Then, I’d grab some roasted veggies and prepared dishes from Plenty, pair them with some cheese from Mancuso & Son Cheese.
Dîner en Blanc Philadelphia: What non-food items are always included in your picnic basket?
KA: Not sure if this fits your criteria, but I am a condiment person. Sometimes I will bring more condiments then I have food for. So outside of food and drink, my basket would be loaded with delicious mustards, sriracha, buffalo sauce, fruit chutney, and anything else that paired with my food. I’d also bring my mobile charger for my iPhone so I can Instragram and Tweet about my picnic basket without worry of running out of battery life. Haha.
Dîner en Blanc Philadelphia: If you were planning this year’s Dîner en Blanc Philadelphia where would it be?
KA: Franklin Square is one of my favorite spots in all of Philadelphia. It has a retro, throwback charm, with some fun twists that appeal to the kid in me. Plus it’s a beautiful and unexpected mecca nestled in between highways, the mouth of the Ben Franklin and several large neighborhoods. It’s a hidden gem!
Dîner en Blanc Philadelphia: What was your favorite thing about last year’s Diner en Blanc?
KA: I remember I had chills going up my spine as I was so excited to watch the event unfold in the beginning. One by one, guests arrived and had complete looks of awe, enchantment, surprise and excitement as they realized the final destination was the beautiful Logan Circle and Swann Memorial Fountain. At that very moment I knew I was at a once in a lifetime event and part of this grand event that would become an amazing Philadelphia tradition.
Dîner en Blanc Philadelphia: What was the one thing that surprised you the most about last year’s Diner en Blanc?
KA: I was truly surprised that no one – not the media, not those on twitter, not the blogosphere – guessed the location. It was truly a surprise for everyone involved. This is also part of what made last year so special. I can’t wait to feel that again this year!
Dîner en Blanc Philadelphia: What are you most looking forward to about this year’s event?
KA: I can’t wait to find out the location. I haven’t even thought about it or guessed as I want to be totally surprised. I also am looking forward to seeing the clever, elegant and creative tablescapes. I think after year one, participants will come back with new ideas from last year and blow us away.
Dîner en Blanc Philadelphia: What’s your favorite thing about Philadelphia?
KA: The city is so rich with great people, amazing experiences and such amazing opportunities. It is a world-class city with the finest restaurants, clubs, museums, theaters, historic attractions. I find there’s something for everyone in every corner of the city. There’s also opportunity for success hiding under every rock in every neighborhood of town. For those that love to be challenged and take life by the hand, this is the city for you.
Dîner en Blanc Philadelphia: If you were to plan “the perfect day” of things to do for someone visiting Philadelphia for the first time, what would their day look like from start to finish?
KA: I try to make it a perfect day for anyone that visits me, so this is easy. First we’d grab coffee and sip it in front of the Singing Fountain on East Passyunk Avenue. We’d then jump in the car and drive to the Philadelphia Art Museum to walk the steps and see the view of the city. We’d exit and do a drive down Kelly Drive and also check out Boat House Row. If time allowed, we’d definitely try to swing by a museum along the Parkway for a casual walk through, like the Franklin Institute or the Academy of Natural Sciences. Lunch is at Reading Terminal where we can get chicken and waffles, or smothered turkey sandwiches, with pudding for dessert from AJ Pickle Patch. Fuel up, because then we’re off to the Comcast Center to watch the movie in the lobby, a stop to see the pipe organ and Eagle at Macy’s and an adventure to the top of City Hall. The day would wind down in Old City for a walking tour around some of the historic attractions, followed by milkshakes and burgers at PYT in Northern Liberties. It sounds like an ambitious day, but ask some of my friends visiting from out of town…I’ve definitely tried to spring this “perfect day” on them!