A black sedan parked under the Ben Franklin Bridge Friday morning did not look so good, what with the bullet holes in the hood and side windows blown out.

Wires ran from the trunk into the dashboard.

Just as police prepared to close the street and call for reinforcements, a security guard walked over to explain that it was a movie prop.

Safe, an action thriller starring Jason Statham, wrapped its six-week Philly shoot the night before, and the crew had not yet towed the Audi off.

Safe was the source of the mock gun battles on JFK Boulevard and in front of the Bellevue as Statham's character takes on Russian and Chinese gangsters (and crooked New York cops) who are pursuing an 11-year-old math genius who holds the combination to a safe stuffed with cash. The film, directed by Boaz Yakin and produced by Lawrence Bender, features a staggering body count. IMDb.com shows an Aug. 11 release date.

Media notes

Center City ad agency the Neiman Group sprung an Oprah on its 68 employees on Friday. During its holiday party - a cruise on the Spirit of Philadelphia - everyone got a free iPad. (The 32G Wi-Fi model, if you're asking.)

The plug was pulled Thursday on the Philly version of the Brooklyn-bred urban-development blog Brownstoner.com after eight months. Editor Gabby Warshawer, who had relocated, is going back to area code 718. She deferred questions to founder Jonathan Butler, who said the enterprise had lost $75,000. "I suppose it was unrealistic that advertisers would be showing up on my doorstep," Butler said.

Philadelphia City Paper is editor-hunting as Brian Howard, in the seat since February 2008, resigned to edit local magazines Cowbell (on music) and Grid (on sustainability). Howard called it a "unique confluence of two things I'm passionate about." A search for his replacement is under way.

A Christmas gift

MaryBeth Emerich

of West Lawn, Pa., near Reading, said she didn't quite know what to expect when producers of the CBS show

The Talk

flew her to California on Thursday. Emerich, 42, who works in IT for First Energy, surmised (correctly) that it was related to her five sons - three of whom have autism. Cohost

Holly Robinson Peete

surprised Emerich with many necessities, including construction of a "sensory room" in her basement to help calm down her 10-year-old twins




and youngest son,


, 6; evaluations from docs at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia; the creation of a trust; a security system; iPads and special apps; toys; and a nine-day family cruise to Bermuda.

Peete, whose son R.J., 13, was diagnosed with autism at age 3, says she and her husband, Rodney, had enlisted Variety Club, the Please Touch Museum, and Eagles owners Christina and Jeffrey Lurie to work on the surprises. "This was my best day on the show yet," Peete says, who told Emerich backstage that she'd pay for Variety Club camp next summer as well.

"This is beyond words," Emerich said later, pointing out that her primary health insurance does not cover anything related to autism.

The circuit


Carlos Melendez

, who owns Coyote Crossing in Conshohocken, turned up last week on Bravo's

Millionaire Matchmaker

, where he was set up with Long Island caterer

Andrea Correale

. Didn't go anywhere, said Melendez, 42, who said they're still friends.

Sigma Sound Studios was a bit of a madhouse Thursday as 100 or so women attended what sponsor WPHI-FM (The Beat, 100.3) billed as "A Ladies' Day" with singer Trey Songz. Women were allowed to pose for photos with him in front of a backdrop (which fell several times after being bumped), and more than a dozen had to be pried off him.

Philly's Rennie Harris Puremovement will tour Egypt, Israel, the Palestinian territories, and Jordan under the State Department's DanceMotion USA. Three other dance companies will tour as well.

Tim Gunn of Project Runway fame toured the Cleopatra exhibition at the Franklin Institute on Friday, in the name of research. His date was author Ada Calhoun. The two are writing a book about costume design, and they told museum officials that they've traced the industry's origins to Egypt.

Ryan Howard and Jimmy Rollins, DeSean Jackson, and Vivica A. Fox watched Friday's Sixers-Lakers game. With two minutes left in the third quarter, Michael Vick walked in to a standing ovation and chants of "MVP" before he sat courtside.

Jamie Foxx was heard singing in the elevator before dinner Friday at R2L on the 37th floor of Two Liberty Place. He and Fox were among celebs in town for the Joy to the World Festival, a weekend-long charity benefit organized by Penn grad Tyrone L. Gilliams Jr.

Sports notes

New Phillies hire

Cliff Lee

, seeking summertime shelter, toured the 17th-floor Center City apartment still owned by former Phillie

Pat Burrell

last week. Lee didn't take it.

Thursday's foul weather delayed the arrival of Kobe Bryant and his L.A. Lakers teammates from the dedication of the gym in his honor at Lower Merion High. Bryant missed a VIP dinner. The miffed ticket-holders were offered tickets to Friday's Sixers-Lakers game to compensate. The snow did keep away expected celebrities, with the exception of Phillies shortstop Jimmy Rollins.

A veritable press box full of sportswriters/pundits will talk and hawk books at 7 p.m. Wednesday at the Barnes & Noble in Willow Grove, including Reuben Frank, Mark Eckel, Glen Macnow, Ray Didinger, Anthony Gargano, Jayson Stark, Randy Miller, Greg Cosell, Todd Zolecki, and Sal Paolantonio.

Eagles center Jamaal Jackson blocks for a living. When the 6-foot-4, 325-pounder attended the Usher concert at the Wells Fargo Center on Thursday in the 11th row, he felt he was obstructing the views of too many people. He asked to be relocated and was seated in a club box.