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WHAT'S NEW IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD
BUILDING PERMIT APPROVED FOR BOYD THEATRE SITE
Since Pearl Properties purchased the Boyd Theatre in October, giving it ownership of the entire eastern half of the south side of the 1900 block of Chestnut St., we have made many efforts to find out what its intentions are. Did it intend to honor the commitment of the prior owner to retain the Chestnut St. façade and entrance for a deluxe 8-screen multiplex movie theater? Did it intend to use its now expanded footprint to build its previous proposed high rise at the SW corner of 19 th and Chestnut, but without the need for legislative rezoning? Even as demolition of the Theatre auditorium was about to commence, our efforts yielded no more than a "wait and you'll see." Well, as reported in Wednesday's Philadelphia Inquirer, Pearl has received a building permit for the entire site, and intends to erect a project that will require neither legislative rezoning or variances from the Zoning Board of Adjustment. The permit indicates the following: a 27-story tower with more than 200 apartments; 66 underground parking spaces; 3 stories of retail fronting on Chestnut; and loading docks (and the entry/exit to the parking) on Sansom St. Also, instead of being massed at the corner of 19th and Chestnut, the high rise is now situated mostly behind 1920 Chestnut (La Castagne restaurant), though the pedestrian entrance is on 19th St. And the plans contain no suggestion of any movie theaters. CCRA still has not heard anything substantive from the developer, however, due to the size of the proposed structure, even if it does not need any zoning variances, it must go through Civic Design Review (advisory only), which means it will be subject to a CCRA Community Meeting, and receive our formal input at the Planning Commission. We will keep you posted.
"UNCANNY VALLEY" 90 MILES OFF BROADWAY, 90 TIMES BETTER
For Philadelphia playgoers who select productions because of the actors, a must see is any performance by Frank X, currently in Interact Theater's "Uncanny Valley". Hurry, the performances at 2035 Sansom Street close this weekend. The production raises NYC - Philadelphia balance of trade issues. This year Broadway has brought us Glenn Close, a personal fav, who repeatedly flubbed lines in A Delicate Balance, Albee's dated and improbable drama. On the other hand, Bill Nighy (Love Actually, Marigold Hotel) knocks it out of the park in Skylight salvaging a forgettable script played on a set bringing to mind a well crafted and innovative middle school production. And all this at prices that would choke the Koch Brothers, well maybe not both of them at once. On Sansom Street, Uncanny Valley raises timeless and haunting questions - What is human? Are there limits to science and to love? It is presented on a nifty set. Frank X's mastery is such that a production without his presence is unthinkable. And for Philadelphia playgoers who select plays because of their actors, there's one more to add to a growing list - Sally Mercer - who performs opposite Frank X in this two person production.
PUBLIC MEETING WITH THE OFFICE OF EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT, MON, 4/27, 7PM, TRINITY CENTER FOR URBAN LIFE, 2212 SPRUCE ST
In response to a CCRA request, Samantha Phillips, Director of Philadelphia's Office of Emergency Management, will explain the City's plans and procedures for emergencies, including a possible rail-related accident on the Schuylkill tracks. Following a brief presentation, there will be a monitored discussion with audience members. Please submit questions to the Center City office at firstname.lastname@example.org. And please keep in mind that freight rail traffic is regulated by the Federal Department of Transportation (DOT); the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, the City government and CCRA do not have regulatory authority over CSX or its rights of way. Attached is a brief information piece (drafted by our Treasurer, Walter Spencer) that you may find helpful.
This event is being co-sponsored by Penn's Village and Logan Square Neighborhood Association.
CCRA HERB BOOTH AT RITT. SQ. FLOWER MARKET - 5/6 AND 5/7 - AND CALL FOR VOLUNTEERS
The 101st Rittenhouse Square Flower Market for Children's Charities is just around the corner and CCRA will again be selling herbs: parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme, as well as basil, chives, cilantro, dill, mint, oregano, and others. Come by and make a purchase to support this worthy cause. We still need a few more volunteers - a great way to socialize with other CCRA members, as well as random friends traversing the Square. There are 3 people per shift. Openings: Wednesday, May 6 for 11:00 am to 1:15 pm; and 3:30 pm to 6:00; Thursday, May 7: 11:00 am to 1:15 pm; and 1:15 pm to 3:30 pm. Please email your date/shift preference to CCRA with "Flower Market" in the subject line, and include a telephone number.
STREET SCENE URBAN GARDEN AND PHOTOGRAPHY COMPETITION WINDOW BOX PLANTING WORKSHOP, SAT, 5/9, 10AM , GARDEN, 25th & SPRUCE
CCRA's Street Scene urban garden and PHOTOGRAPHY (new this year) returns, bigger and better than ever. Garden entries are due by June 30, and photography entries are due by August 15. There will be a window box planting workshop on May 9 at 10 am with Grace Wicks of Graceful Gardens at the Schuylkill River Park Community Garden. A photography workshop is planned for later in the summer. The CCRA Street Scene web page and entry forms will be available on May 4, 2015. But it's never too early to start dreaming! Which is why, each week from now through October 31, the CCRA e-newsletter will contain a gardening tip to help you plan, plant and maintain your most fantastic Street Scene entry yet!
A big thank you to our sponsors, Reinhold Residential, Pam Rosser Thistle, REALTOR, and Friends in the City.
Window Box Selection and Location
Window boxes, of course, are just containers attached to the house. They're easy to plant. Here are some key points to keep in mind to help you choose, plant, and care for a window box:
Select a style that matches your house. Treated softwood or hardwood boxes are easy to paint or stain to blend in beautifully with their surroundings. Plastic, metal, terra-cotta, or concrete boxes can work too, but are harder work with.
A big window needs a bold window box. Don't skimp on the size of your window box if you have a wide or a tall window. And be sure to plant the container fully so the plant material matches in height and scale the size of the window and the window box doesn't get overshadowed by the size of the window.
Pay attention to size. A window box looks best if its length is within a couple of inches of the size of the window, although slight differences - long or short - won't hurt. Plants need room to grow and soil that doesn't dry out too fast - boxes should be at least 8 inches wide to provide room for top growth and 8 inches deep for the roots.
Go for a sunny exposure to please the most plants. This, though, increases your watering chores. Remember that some window boxes are protected from rains, so you need to check regularly for dryness. Don't worry if there's shade. Many excellent shade plants thrive in partial or full shade.
Position the box below the window by a few inches. If you happen to have a window that opens outward, you have to lower the box. Safety first. The window boxes are heavy when watered, and you'll have to water often during hot, sunny weather. Secure them to the window ledge, or house wall, rather than just balancing the box on the window ledge. Use steel brackets every 18 inches or so and fasten them into the siding or masonry with the proper screws. Rest the box on the supports and screw the bottom to the brackets. Always mount the box before you plant.
CCRA MERCHANT MEMBERS DISCOUNT PROGRAM
Support our local merchants and save money too. These local merchants will provide a discount (described here) to any member who shows a current CCRA membership card (Di Bruno Bros. has its own CCRA card) and personal identification.
Uber - Limo service Uber provides $20 off a first ride, Good for new users only. Members use code CCRA14.
Philly Foodworks - Use the code "CCRA" when signing up for home delivery and receive a $20 discount on delivery charges.
NEIGHBORHOOD NEWS AND EVENTS
JUMBO JUMBLE SALE AND ELECTRONICS RECYCLING TRINITY CHURCH, 22ND & SPRUCE , Sat., 4/25, 10 AM - 3 PM
Donations may be dropped off Monday, April 20 to Thursday, April 23, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. Preview sale on Friday April 24, 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. For more information,click here.
ACAD OF VOCAL ARTS PRESENTS CHARLES GOUNOD'S "FAUST" 4/25, 4/28 4/30, and 5/2, 7:30 PM, 1920 SPRUCE ST
A classic tale of sin and redemption. Dr. Faust in despair and near suicide, his passions reawakened by the sound of young men and women outside his window, he curses God and summons Satan. The Devil, Méphistophélès, appears and producing the beguiling vision of a young village girl, Marguerite, convinces Faust to exchange his soul for the chance to revisit youth and desire. Ticket
Prices: $60 Adults / $50 Seniors / $25 30 & Under / $10 Students. For more information, click here.
FREE WALKING TOURS OF CENTER CITY AND BEYOND, 5/1-5/3
What's the secret history of corner stores or the nine lives of our bank buildings? What qualities make a neighborhood walkable? Is it possible to time travel around Rittenhouse? Can Philadelphians walk on water? Join PlanPhilly as it presents Jane's Walk, a weekend of free walks taking place May 1-3 that rewards curiosity as people explore the city in dialogue together. The walks are intended to be roving conversations led by volunteers, with professional and citizen experts sharing ideas, observations, and thinking out loud about our city. All walks are free and open to anyone. They're occasions to learn from one another as we discuss what we appreciate in our city, how our neighborhoods change, and our hopes for making Philly a more livable city for all.
Jane's Walk is a global event of locally led walks inspired by the legacy of urban activist and writer Jane Jacobs. Jane's Walk started in Toronto in 2007 and volunteers present hundreds of walks in more than 100 cities around the globe. The walk roster is still growing online - so check the Jane's Walk Philadelphia site for more information, including a list of walks, dates, and starting times.
"INSOMNIA" AND "WHITMAN PORTRAIT" CLASSICAL MUSIC BY ARTSONG REPERTORY THEATER COMPANY, SAT, 5/2, 8PM, FIRST UNITARIUM CHUCH, 2125 CHESTNUT ST.
ARTCy will be showing two new works by composers Tom Cipullo (winner of the 2012 Guggenheim fellowship) and Philadelphia-favorite, acclaimed composer Jeremy Gill. For more information, click here.
Tickets are $20 at the door or online with $10 student tickets available with valid ID at the door only.
THE WISTER QUARTET CONCERT AT ACAD OF VOCAL ARTS, MON, 5/11, 7:30PM, 1920 SPRUCE ST
Hear the Wister Quartet as they perform Sketch Based Indian Themes. Tickets ate $17 per person. For more information, call 215-438-4027 or 215-978-0969.
ART EXHIBITION AT THE TWENTY-TWO GALLERY THRU THURS 5/14, 236 S. 22ND ST.
"Portrait of Dorian Gray #1" (detail); acrylic on canvas; by Tyler Lyke.