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Dan Gross: DeSean da man to be in such demand

It seems DeSean Jackson is having better luck catching ladies than footballs.

It seems DeSean Jackson is having better luck catching ladies than footballs.

On consecutive nights, Jackson was seen out with video vixen Esther Baxter and R&B singer Mya.

On Sunday night Baxter, who's been seen in hip-hop and R&B videos, in a few movies and as a model for King and other mags, was seen looking quite cozy with DeSean Jackson at the Eagles wide receiver's birthday party at G Lounge (111 S. 17th). But on Monday, Mya, a former "Dancing with the Stars" contestant, accompanied Jackson to the Philadelphia Sports Fans Choice Awards at the Radisson Warwick.

Baxter's rep confirmed that she was at the party, also attended by Draya of VH1's "Basketball Wives" and local boxer/fashion designer Simon "One Punch" Carr, but said she was unaware of a romantic connection between Baxter and Jackson.

"She was there. They are definitely friends," said Baxter's manager, Jennifer Horton.

"No comment," said Jackson spokesman Bobby McRae when asked if Jackson was dating either or both women. We were unable to reach Mya yesterday.

Jackson hosted a birthday party for the singer in October at a Miami nightclub.

Phanatic cruising

The Phillie Phanatic has just visited the Galapagos Islands, near Ecuador, because he wanted to see his birthplace. Or so he is telling fellow travelers. The Phanatic, accompanied by his best friend, Tom Burgoyne, last week cruised the islands, which are famous for its giant tortoises.

New spot names chef

Matt Levin, formerly of Adsum (5th & Bainbridge) and Lacroix at the Rittenhouse, will be chef of the restaurant that'll be taking over for Marathon Grill (10th & Walnut) early next year, says Barry Gutin, partner in GuestCounts Hospitality, which is running the restaurant in conjunction with Bernard and Murray Spain. We reported yesterday that the Spains won control of that Marathon location as part of a legal settlement reached from their June lawsuit against the Borish family, which owns two-thirds of the popular chain. The Spains had owned the other third, but are no longer involved with Marathon.

Levin, Gutin, partner Larry Cohen and the Spains are still developing a name and concept for the new spot.

Power play

Daily News Sexy Single Arthur Kade will be seen on the Biography Channel at 10 tomorrow night as a commentator on a special called "Never Satisfied: Why Powerful Men Cheat." Kade, who conducted one of the last-known interviews with comedian Patrice O'Neal, who died last week, discusses philanderers such as Jesse James, Anthony Weiner, Brett Favre, Tony Parker and Ted Haggard.

Charitable birds

Eagles fullback Owen Schmitt performs at 7 tonight with students from the School of Rock at Chickie's & Pete's (11000 Roosevelt Blvd). Schmitt, who plays guitar, performed with the students at two shows around Thanksgiving.

Now the students are giving him thanks since he accompanied some of them on Sunday to Roxy Guitar (7026 Ridge) in Roxborough and bought musical equipment for the school.

* Eagles running back LeSean McCoy delivered gifts at a private party at Dave and Buster's (325 N. Columbus) the other day to more than 100 children who are battling cancer. For the party, hosted by the Kisses for Kyle Foundation. McCoy stocked up on toys at the Toys R' Us on Aramingo Avenue. Despite having a swollen foot and toe injury, he spent three hours meeting with the kids. For more info, visit

'Help' feed hungry

About 15 local libraries are collecting nonperishable food items for Feeding America between now and Friday. The food will be given to Philabundance, the local food charity. Dreamworks Pictures will match the first $10,000 donated to Feeding America, the nation's leading domestic hunger-relief charity, through the site, in conjunction with the DVD/Blu-Ray release of "The Help."