Wednesday, November 30, 2011

HOLLY MADISON SKATES 'WINTER IN VENICE'

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THE LAS VEGAS GOSSIP
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Always Stunning Holly Madison


Holly Madison Skates Up



It was a "Holly Jolly Christmas" as Holly Madison laced up her skates and took a spin on the outdoor ice skating rink at Winter in Venice at The Venetian Las Vegas. Dressed in a pink sweater and festive scarf, the PEEPSHOW star glided along the ice while fans gathered around the rink, located at Doge's Palace adjacent to the outdoor gondolas. After showing off her skating skills, Madison mingled with holiday characters and enjoyed a chocolate gelato.

The majestic ice skating rink is just one of the many ways guests can experience Winter in Venice at The Venetian and The Palazzo this holiday season, taking place now through Jan. 8. Winter in Venice is the first true celebration of the winter season on the Las Vegas Strip, with 49 days of holiday festivities throughout both resorts, including strolling carolers, candy cane stilt walkers, puppets, jugglers, magicians, the Nightly Spectacular holiday show and an awe-inspiring 65-foot LED holiday tree.


Photos By: Scott Harrison/Retna


REAL NUMBERS BEHIND CHRISTMAS SPENDING

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THE CHICAGO GOSSIP

Story By: Kathy Posner
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Presents Under Kathy Posner's Christmas Tree



According to Marilyn Vos Savant’s column in Parade Magazine, total consumer spending accounts for about 70% of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). This spending includes housing, transportation, food clothing, etc. In 2008, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average household expenditure was approximately $50,486.


The National Retail Federation reports that consumers spent an average of $508 on holiday gifts last year. If we play with the numbers, that means that only .74% (¾ of one percent) of the economy is represented by holiday spending.


I am confused!


If holiday spending is such an infinitesimal part of the GDP, why does the media make such a big deal about Black Friday and holiday shopping expenditures? Why are every retailer’s cash register sales closely scrutinized, and online spending analyzed ad nauseum? The numbers prove that holiday spending has virtually no impact on our economy, yet the media wants us to believe otherwise. We are being “scared” into shopping, afraid if we don’t buy that extra teddy bear for little Jimmy’s stocking, the country’s economy will collapse.


We are bombarded with useless information. For example, a Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey reports that with less than two weeks to go before Christmas Day, 60% of Americans have at least started their holiday shopping. Also, thirty-eight percent (38%) of adults say they have not yet started shopping. Just one-out-of-five Americans (21%) have finished their holiday shopping, while 75% still have shopping to do.


Oh, no! Seventy-five percent of people still have not done their holiday shopping!? These people are smart. The closer to Christmas that people wait, the better the bargains become. The smartest shopper does his holiday buying on January 2nd and saves the presents for the following Christmas.


The statistic that annoys me the most is the one that reports that, when they are out shopping, 72% of people prefer to see signs wishing them a “Merry Christmas” rather than ones that say "Happy Holidays." Why should it matter what a sign has printed on it? All that matters for this or for any season is that we are all healthy. Wealthy and wise wouldn’t hurt either!


Read More From Planet Posner Here....


James Edstrom's Note: I agree with these numbers. I also agree with the fact that you can find better deals other times of the year from retailers. I checked out Black Friday and Cyber Monday and found very little of any kind of deal. I see better offers during the winter time. Black Friday is a farce. I remember one year I went all the way to Brooklyn to Target for a great deal on a TV and they were out, even know I was there early. I grabbed some store manager and he said they only had 6 in stock of the sale item in the first place. It's all about getting you excited for nothing. They brainwash you and you think you are getting a deal.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

MARY J. BLIGE TALKS TO THE NEW YORK TIMES

Mary J. Blige


Jon Pareles With Mary J. Blige



The New York Times Talks with singing legend Mary J. Blige at The Times Center in New York City.


Photos By: Walter McBride / WM Photography / Retna Ltd.

2012 FILM INDEPENDENT SPIRIT NOMINATIONS

Kate Beckinsale


Anthony Mackie



The 2012 Film Independent Spirit Awards Nominations were held at The London West Hollywood Hotel in West Hollywood, California today. They will be presented Feb. 25, 2012 in Santa Monica, California.




The 2012 Film Independent Spirit Awards Nominations Are:




Best Feature: 50/50; Beginners; Drive; Take Shelter; The Artist; The Descendants.


Director: Mike Mills, Beginners; Nicholas Winding Refn, Drive; Jeff Nichols, Take Shelter; Michel Hazanavicius, The Artist; Alexander Payne, The Descendants.


International film: A Separation (Iran); Melancholia (Denmark, Sweden, France, Germany); Shame (United Kingdom); The Kid With a Bike (Belgium, France, Italy); Tyrannosaur (United Kingdom).


Male Lead: Demian Bichir, A Better Life; Jean Dujardin, The Artist; Ryan Gosling, Drive; Woody Harrelson, Rampart; Michael Shannon, Take Shelter.


Female Lead: Lauren Ambrose, Think of Me; Rachel Harris, Natural Selection; Adepero Oduye, Pariah; Elizabeth Olsen, Martha Marcy May Marlene; Michelle Williams, My Week with Marilyn.


Supporting male: Albert Brooks, Drive; John Hawkes, Martha Marcy May Marlene; Christopher Plummer, Beginners; John C. Reilly, Cedar Rapids; Corey Stoll, Midnight in Paris.


Supporting female: Jessica Chastain, Take Shelter; Anjelica Huston, 50/50; Janet McTeer, Albert Nobbs; Harmony Santana, Gun Hill Road; Shailene Woodley, The Descendants.


Documentary: An African Selection; Bill Cunningham New York; The Interrupters; The Redemption of General Butt Naked; We Were Here.


Screenplay: Joseph Cedar, Footnote; Michel Hazanavicius, The Artist; Tom McCarthy, Win Win; Mike Mills, Beginners; Alexander Payne, Nat Faxon and Jim Rash, The Descendants.


First Screenplay: Mike Cahill and Brit Marling, Another Earth; J.C. Chandor, Margin Call; Patrick Dewitt, Terri; Phil Johnston, Cedar Rapids; Will Reiser, 50/50.


Cinematography: Joel Hodge, Bellflower; Benjamin Kasulke, The Off Hours; Darius Khondji, Midnight in Paris; Guillaume Schiffman, The Artist; Jeffrey Waldron, The Dynamiter.


John Cassavetes Award (films made for under $500,000): Bellflower; Circumstance; Hello Lonesome; Pariah; The Dynamiter.


Best First Feature: Another Earth; In The Family; Margin Call; Martha Marcy May Marlene; Natural Selection.


Robert Altman Award for best ensemble cast: Margin Call


Photos By: RD / Orchon / Retna Digital

BOB BARKER & PAMELA ANDERSON GO POSTAL

Pamela Anderson And Bob Barker


Bob Barker


Pamela Anderson



PETA Goes Postal: Bob Barker and Pamela Anderson Unveiled the Vegetarian Icons Postage Sheet held at the Hollywood Post Office in Los Angeles, California today.


Photos By: RD / Orchon / Retna Digital

Monday, November 28, 2011

THE ANNUAL HOLLYWOOD CHRISTMAS PARADE

Tara Fowler With Montell Williams


Francia Raisa


Ashlee Keating


Laura McKenzie


Erik Estrada


Stefanie Scott


Kenton Duty


Olivia Holt


Vivica A. Fox


Lea Thompson


Marie Osmond


Heather Tom


Sasha Pieterse


Ashley Argota


Nicole Anderson


Quinton Aaron


Ted McGinley With Gigi Rice


Caroline Sunshine


La Toya Jackson With Santa



The 80th Annual Hollywood Christmas Parade was held at the Hollywood Boulevard in Los Angeles, California. Many stars showed up to help celebrate the holiday season.


Photos By: RD / Orchon / Retna Digital

SPIDER-MAN CELEBRATES YEAR ON BROADWAY

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WALTER MCBRIDE
ON
BROADWAY
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Reeve Carney


Michael Buble


Reeve Carney With Michael Buble And Patrick Page



Michael Buble visited Reeve Carney & Patrick Page Backstage at 'SPIDER-MAN Turn Off The Dark' at the Foxwoods Theatre in New York City. The famed show also celebrated their one year anniversary.



Photos By: Walter McBride / WM Photography / Retna Ltd.

BARNEY FRANK WILL NOT SEEK REELECTION

Barney Frank



We are very sad to hear Barney Frank is not running for re-election. We really like this guy, he has worked so hard for this country.

I remember one weekend a few years ago sitting at Langans Bar And Restaurant across the street from Fox News with Barney Frank, having a beer. He was talking about his DVD "Lets Get Frank". We talked about many things, but I really liked this guy. Barney defended gay rights, when no one else in Washington would. He was not afraid to stand up to anyone or anything. This guy was and is a legend.

As I sat next to Barney Frank, I realized how smart and tough this guy was. I also realized what a fun and exciting person I was sitting with. He had a sense of humor and he saw everything like it really was. I thought to myself, how different the country would be if all our elected officials in Washington were like Barney. Barney Frank cares for America and he can never be replaced!



STATEMENT FROM BARNEY FRANK



I will not be a candidate for reelection to the House of Representatives in 2012.



I began to think about retirement last year, as we were completing passage of the financial reform bill. I have enjoyed--indeed been enormously honored--by the chance to represent others in Congress and the State Legislature, but there are other things I hope to do before my career ends. Specifically, I have for several years been thinking about writing, and while there are people who are able to combine serious writing with full-time jobs, my susceptibility to distraction when faced with a blank screen makes that impossible.



In 2010, after the bill was signed into law, I had tentatively decided to make this my last term. The end of next year will mark 40 years during which time I have held elected office and a period of 45 years since I first went to work in government full time as an aide to Mayor Kevin White in late 1967.



But with the election of a conservative majority in the House, I decided that my commitment to the public policies for which I have fought for 45 years required me to run for one more term. I was--and am--concerned about right-wing assaults on the financial reform bill, especially since we are now in a very critical period when the bill is in the process of implementation. In addition, recognizing that there is a need for us to do long-term deficit reduction, I was--and am--determined to do everything possible to make sure that substantial reduction in our excessive overseas military commitments forms a significant part of the savings over the next 10 years.



But, my concern for these two issues today cuts very much in the opposite direction--namely, in favor of forgoing a year-long full-time election campaign and instead focusing the next year on those two issues in Congress.



Two factors lead me to this view. The newly configured district contains approximately 325,000 new constituents, many of them in a region of the state that is wholly new to me as a Member of Congress. A significant number of others are in the area along our east-west border with Rhode Island which I have not represented for 20 years. This means that running for reelection will require--appropriately in our democracy--a significant commitment of my time and energy, introducing myself to hundreds of thousands of new constituents, learning about the regional and local issues of concern to them and, not least importantly, raising an additional 1.5 to 2 million dollars.



This would compete with two other obligations which I neither want to nor can avoid. First, I will continue to represent hundreds of thousands of people in the current 4th District to whom I am committed as the person they voted for a year ago. I have acquired a strong attachment to many of the people and causes I have worked with here. The Congressional redistricting removes from the district I represent virtually the entire fishing industry of Southeastern Massachusetts. It very substantially reduces the number of Azorean-Americans I will represent, and again removes almost completely people of Cape Verdean ancestry. Introducing myself and learning about the new area while continuing to give the existing area the full representation it deserves would make demands of my time that would detract from my focus on the national issues.



There is another, equally important consequence of the fact that so many of the people in this district would be new constituents that help persuade me to announce my retirement. The obligation of a Member of Congress to work as an advocate for the people he represents on local and regional issues that require or involve Federal government response are of paramount importance. And I am proud of the work I have done in that regard for the people I have been privileged to represent over these years. But as in almost every case, where there were significant local or regional issues involving environmental matters, transportation matters, housing matters etc., it took more than two years to resolve them. The relevance is that running again for one more term, I would be asking 325,000 new constituents to give me the mandate to be their advocate with the federal government for only two years. Starting on a series of projects only to be passing them along in various stages of in completion to a successor two years later is not a responsible way to act.



There is one other factor that influenced my decision as I went through this year. Our politics has evolved in a way that makes it harder to get anything done at the federal level. I believe that I have been effective as a Member of Congress working inside the process to influence public policy in the ways that I think are important. But I now believe that there is more to be done trying to change things from outside than by working within. I am announcing today my retirement from elected office after 40 years but not my retirement from public policy advocacy and given the nature of our current situation, in some ways I believe I may have more impact speaking, writing and in other ways advocating for the changes that I think are necessary than trying to bring them about inside our constricting political process.



In summary, I am required to choose. I have to choose between fulfilling my obligation as a ranking member of the Financial Services Committee on behalf of financial reform and my responsibility to continue to be a full representative of the people who voted for me in 2010, and on the other hand to engage in a full-fledged Congressional campaign in a district which is very different than the current one. I am also required to choose between concentrating my efforts on trying to change the political equation in the country over the next year and doing the best I can within the conflicts and restrictions of the current set of forces. Given this, I am going to do what Massachusetts politicians often do, quote a former President from Massachusetts, although not the one usually cited. I do not choose to run for reelection in 2012.


Photo By: Walter McBride/Retna

OCEAN DUNES EXTENDS THE HOLIDAY SEASON

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TIMES SQUARE GOSSIP TRAVEL

Ocean Dunes - 379 Bluff Road - Amagansett, NY 11930

Tel: 631-267-8121
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Ocean Dunes Boardwalk Through The Dunes



Ocean Dunes is Distinctive Management’s newest exclusive oceanfront escape located on four tranquil acres in the charming village of Amagansett, one of the most sophisticated small towns in America. Nightly rentals have just been extended until December 31st, 2011, so you can now enjoy the breath-taking beauty Ocean Dunes has to offer through the holiday season. With 65 units—comprised of one- and two-bedrooms—this is the perfect location for a second home or relaxing getaway. Bolstering Distinctive Management’s reputation for providing luxurious, comfortable residences, this idyllic vacation spot at Ocean Dunes is a terrific investment opportunity and includes amenities such as private balconies, an outdoor heated swimming pool, daily housekeeping service, a stunning abundance of natural beauty, and a professional front desk staff to take care of any need. Explore the forever-wild dunes and preserved oceanfront property during a private walk on the beach, or take a delightful stroll to Main Street in the heart of Amagansett with your loved ones. Ocean Dunes is this season’s best vacation spot. Click Here to visit their website.



JOIN THE NEW YORK CHELSEA MODERN FAMILY

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TIMES SQUARE GOSSIP REAL ESTATE

Chelsea Modern

447 West 18th Street
New York, NY 10011
(212) 645-4447
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Penthouse Dining Room and Kitchen



One of New York’s award-winning buildings, Chelsea Modern offers luxury real-estate in the city’s finest neighborhood. With its last few remaining units—including duplexes and penthouses—on sale in an eager international market, Chelsea Modern could be a great investment. The hottest place to live in New York has already received wide recognition for its innovative design and it was recently ranked second on Carter Horsley’s Top 10 glass-clad Manhattan buildings. The structure, developed by Robert Gladstone and hailed as one of architect Audrey Matlock’s best, manages to stand out even in an area that is known as the world’s leading site for modern art. The twelve-story condominium located at 447 West 18th Street features an eye-catching glass fa├žade in a revolutionary shifting zigzag pattern that has artists and celebrities flocking to live in one of the last of Chelsea Modern’s 47 designer apartments.


Penthouse Living Room



The building boasts indulgent amenities such as a fitness center complete with showers and steam rooms, a 24-hour fully staffed lobby, cold storage and package rooms, and a private outdoor garden with a reflecting pool, fountain, and rock garden, making it a modern New Yorker’s paradise. Aside from its one- and two-bedroom residences, Chelsea Modern offers unique gallery three-bedroom duplex lofts, which start at $2.4 million and include private street level entrances and gardens—an ideal location for live/work professionals such as artists and gallerists, and exclusive three-bedroom floor-through penthouses with private rooftop terraces starting at just under $4 million. Luxury amenities for the apartments include individually designed kitchens, in-residence washers and dryers, Sub-Zero stainless steel refrigerators, individually controlled heating and cooling systems, private terraces and balconies, and specially designed cabinetry.



Since its creation, the building has received wide recognition and praise, winning a number of awards including the AIA’s Excellence in Architecture award in 2005, the SARA NY Design Award of Honor in 2006, and the CNBC NY Times’ Best Condo in NY, Best High Rise Development in New York, and Best High Rise Architecture in U.S. awards in 2008; as well as housing creative personalities such as fashion designer Christian Cota. The condominium building is within walking distance from the Avenues World School, The High Line Park, and is surrounded by an abundance of chic restaurants, nightlife, and galleries, making Chelsea Modern the ideal residence for the quintessential stylish New Yorker.



The last remaining apartments on sale include the following:



4 Bedroom, 4.5 Bath — $8,190,000

3 Bedroom, 3 Bath — $4,350,000

3 Bedroom, 3 Bath — $4,195,000

3 Bedroom, 3 Bath — $3,995,000

1 Bedroom, 2 Bath — $2,400,000





For more information on Chelsea Modern, including a full list of services and amenities, please visit www.chelsea-modern.com.



Photos by: Matt Vacca

MARIO BATALI WARMS UP WINTER IN VENICE

Mario Batali



As part of the Winter in Venice celebrations at The Venetian and The Palazzo, the resorts welcomed world-renowned chef Mario Batali for a live cooking demo at the exterior of The Venetian by the outdoor gondolas. Joking that his signature orange Crocs can't ever come off, Batali stepped on to the ice skating rink and posed for photos with the holiday characters and guests before heading over to the wood burning oven situated on the sidewalk. The large crowd gathered and enjoyed slices of his signature pizza while he gave his cooking tips, including dough should be slowly stretched instead of tossed. Executive chef Zach Allen from Batali's restaurants inside The Venetian and The Palazzo (Otto Enoteca Pizzeria, B&B Ristorante, and Carnevino Italian Steakhouse) was also on hand to help Batali prepare the pizza and interact with the crowd. Batali also signed copies of his cookbook, "Molto Batali: Simple Family Meals from My Home to Yours," for lucky meet and greet winners.



Batali told the audience, "The quality of your meal is decided when you leave the store and pack your groceries in the back of the car. Fundamentally what distinguishes really great Italian food from mediocre food is the quality of the ingredients. Find stores that will let you taste the salt, the oil and the tomatoes so you can find the food that best suits your particular palate."


Photo Courtesy Of: Michael Hewitt / ImagesOfVegas.com.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

LAUPER TO PRISCILLA QUEEN OF THE DESERT

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THE WEB GOSSIP
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Jennifer Lopez



DAYME AND BASTONE -- Our pick-to-click of the year Dayme has officially joined with producer/re mixer Freddy Bastone. As a matter of fact, at this very moment the two are in Bastone’s NYC studio working on several tracks. Bastone first made his mark on the music scene as one of the premiere producers/remixes in the halcyon 80’s; of late he’s worked with Justin Timberlake; Jennifer Lopez; and Jill Scott, and is about to embark on a production project with Nina Hagen. The two signed their agreement last week at the Palm in midtown. Dayme has impressed us with her originality and vivaciousness; she is terrifically compelling. We'll keep you posted.


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Cyndi Lauper



LAUPER LOVE -- Cyndi Lauper is wrapping up a rather terrific year. She just finished a sold-out national tour with Dr. John; her latest CD, To Memphis With Love, received rave critical praise, and thousands of theatre-goers every week are singing along with her songs in the Broadway smash Priscilla Queen of the Desert. Each night Nick Adams, Tony Sheldon, and Will Swenson, the leads, belt out their versions of Cyndi’s hits “Girls Just Want To Have Fun” and, her terrific “True Colors.” Although the popular show at the Palace Theatre has run since March, the artist has not been able to see the show yet; but that will change soon as Cyndi is making plans to see the show before Christmas and cast is looking forward to officially welcoming her. Additionally, Lauper is prepping for her benefit concert, Cyndi Lauper & Friends: Home for Holidays: December 4th at the Beacon Theatre, to benefit Homeless LGBT Youth. Joining her for this special performance will be Norah Jones; Amy Lee; Cassandra Wilson; Rosie O’Donnell; Wanda Sykes; John Secada; Carson Kressley; Lou Reed; Vanessa Carlton; Harvey Fierstein; Debbie Harry; Clay Aitken; and Alan Cumming.


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Mickey Rourke



A PBA XMAS -- Saturday, December 10 is the date for this year’s annual PBA holiday Widow’s and Children’s event at the sumptuous Bridgewater’s at South Street. Though the event has been going on for years (spearheaded by the PBA’s Patrick Lynch), it essentially began as an event to honor the men and women (and, their families) who served at 9/11. Back then, many of the kids were much younger; and, in some cases, had just been born. Seeing these kids today, having grown into fine and honorable people, is terrifically moving. Some of the bold-faced names that have shown, include; LL Cool J; Harvey Keitel; Micky Dolenz; Robert Funaro; Skip Sudduth (Third Watch); Mickey Rourke; Vincent Curatola; Lon Van Eaton; Burt Young; author Mark Bego; as well as Improper editor Keith Girard and PR-pasha David Salidor. This is one to be at for sure! Our friends there Al O’Leary and Mary Grant help everyone out there .... and do, a splendid job!


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The Muppets Miss Piggy



MOVIE MONEY -- This long-weekend’s movie giants are … The Muppets, with an estimated $42 mil for their just-out holiday release, while the latest Twilight installment in nearing $500 mil worldwide. Who says there’s no money left out there in movie-land?

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Poppy Montgomery



UNFORGETTABLE IS JUST THAT -- We've already praised the new CBS hit Unforgettable, with the lovely Poppy Montgomery and Dylan Walsh, but what a nice surprise to tune into their show Tuesday last, with an episode called Trajectories, and see none other than our old friend Robert Funaro, in a startlingly good turn as a police officer who by accident, gets involved in their crime-of-the-week. Funaro, via The Sopranos and American Gangster, turned in one emotive and compelling performance. A stand-out for sure!



Photos By: Sara De Boer/RD/Kirkland/Walter McBride/Retna


Saturday, November 26, 2011

HOLLY MADISON FEEDS THANKSGIVING NEEDY

Holly Madison



Holly Madison helped feed the needy on Thanksgiving at the Hard Rock Cafe in Las Vegas, Nevada.


Photo By: Scott Harrison / Retna Ltd.

BROOKE BURKE CHARVET'S PERFECT HOLIDAY

The Charvet Family


Brooke Burke Charvet With Santa



Brooke Burke Charvet and Family celebrated Microsoft Windows picture perfect holiday providing free Santa photos to people around the country held at the Century City Mall in Century City, California.


Photos By: RD / Orchon / Retna Digital

ANNE DOUGLAS CENTER'S THANKSGIVING MEAL

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STARS WITH A HEART
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Anne Douglas


Antonio Villaraigosa


Jennifer Love Hewitt With Kim Kardashian And Zoe Saldana


Kurt Douglas With Kim Kardashian


Zoe Saldana



Zoe Saldana along with Kurt Douglas, Anne Douglas, Antonio Villaraigosa, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Kim Kardashian and others, attended The Los Angeles Mission and Anne Douglas Center's Thanksgiving Meal for the Homeless, was held at the Los Angeles Mission in Los Angeles, California.
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