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WHAT'S NEW IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD
A YOUNG MAN'S FANCY TURNS TO URBAN METRICS
Spring, our annual surprise, is upon us. With it arrives this year's State of Center City report published by the Center City District, an event cherished by urbanophiles as others treasure the trellises of cherry blossoms which canopy Crosstown sidewalks. The heart flutters as pages filled with city factoids flip by. How many pedestrians traverse 1700 Walnut at midday?  What is the count of outdoor cafes from Vine to South river to river?  Which haberdashery features a live in bulldog?
 What percentage of residents in our community walks to work?
 How many visitors skated on Dilworth Plaza this winter? And so much more that there is talk about limiting circulation to adults only or at least delivering it in brown wrapping paper.
2000; 369;  Duke & Winston; 71%;  46,000
CCRA HERB BOOTH AT RITT. SQ. FLOWER MARKET: WED, MAY 6 AND THURS, MAY 7, 8:00 AM TO 6:00 PM
The 101st Rittenhouse Square Flower Market for Children's Charities is now just days away and CCRA will again be selling herbs: parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme, as well as basil, chives, cilantro, dill, mint, oregano, and a few others. Please come by and make a purchase to support this worthy cause and pick up information about our Street Scene competition.
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.
CCRA Annual Meeting & RECEPTION, WED, 5/20, 7PM Curtis institute, 1611 locust st
The Association's Annual Meeting will be held at the Curtis Institute's Lenfest Hall, followed by a wine and hors d'oeuvres reception in the gracious public rooms of the Berger & Montague law offices. Following election of the board and officers, Vincent Feldman will discuss his book, City Abandoned, a photographic homage to previously grand, but now abandoned, buildings throughout Philadelphia. Mr. Feldman will be selling and autographing copies of the book as well. Learn about the book Inga Saffron calls "a deeply moving survey of the great civic structures that Philadelphia erected, then neglected."
LADYBUG RELEASE PARTY, THURS, 5/21, 5 PM, SCHUYLKILL RIVER PARK COMMUNITY GARDEN, 25TH & SPRUCE, RAIN OR SHINE
All are invited to attend our Annual Ladybug Release Party which introduces children to the garden via a brief activity, release of the ladybugs, and hot dogs & healthy snacks. The following volunteer opportunities are available:
Provide healthy snacks and/or desserts
Help supervise activities
Interested volunteers or those with additional ideas or services to contribute, please contact Event Chair Jacoba Johnson at email@example.com. Please bring a healthy snack or dessert to share. RSVP required firstname.lastname@example.org by Wednesday May 20.
Event sponsored and food provided by CCRA and SRPCG
WINDOW BOX PREPARATION: SOILS AND DRAINAGE
Good soil makes a good start. If you are reusing a window box from a previous season, replace your soil with a sterile potting mix containing peat, perlite, and other ingredients that improve drainage, aeration, fertility, and water-holding capacity. Do not use regular garden soil. Consider using a water-absorbing polymer to decrease watering frequency. Fill your window box about half full with the potting mix, and add water to moisten the mix if it's dry. You can add more potting mix after you plant the plants, but be sure to leave at least 1 inch at the top so when you water the soil doesn't overflow.
Make sure the box has drainage holes (each about 1/2 inch in diameter, spaced about 6 inches apart). If it doesn't have any, you'll need to drill some. Cover the holes with screening or coffee filters to hold in the soil.
Don't crowd your plants in the window box when you first plant them; they will grow and fill in the empty space. A little patience is necessary in all gardening, including window box gardening.
When picking your plants, read the label or "plant stake" to learn how big the plant can get in height and width, spacing so you'll know how many to get for your window box, and whether the plant does best in sun or shade.
Mulching the soil in a window box helps hold moisture in and gives a finished look to the box. Whatever you use, be sure to thoroughly water the plants before adding the mulch, or the mulch could act as a barrier to the water. Periodically check to be sure that water is getting through to the soil and isn't running off the top of the mulch. Use cocoa shells, finely shredded bark, or moss.
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
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 makes 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. 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.
ACAD OF VOCAL ARTS PRESENTS CHARLES GOUNOD'S "FAUST" SAT, 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.
"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 are $17 per person. For more information, call 215-438-4027 or 215-978-0969.
ALBERT M. GREENFIELD SCHOOL REGISTRATION AND TOUR INFORMATION, TUES 5/14, 9AM
Greenfield School, located at 22nd and Chestnut, serving grades K-8, is now accepting registration for children living within the school's catchment area: the south side of the Ben Franklin Parkway to the north side of Bainbridge St., and from the west side of Broad St. to the Schuylkill River. When registering, bring your child's original birth certificate or passport, his/her vaccination records, your own government issued photo ID, and your original gas and electric bill from the past month as proof of residence. Water or cell phone bills are not accepted as proof of residence. Contact Amy Arcaro if you have any questions at email@example.com visit the Greenfield website at www.greenfieldhsa.org.
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.
Recent mixed media abstract paintings by Philadelphia area artist Tyler Lyke at Twenty-Two Gallery.
"Eclectique is a collection of paintings inspired by a modern urban existence. The paintings reflect a cathartic journey through contemplating the idea of God, dealing with the daily struggle to survive, and a yearning to make something beautiful." - Tyler Lyke
Society Hill House & Garden Tour, Sun, 5/17, 1-5PM
Join the Society Hill Civic Association on a self-guided walking tour of 10 private homes and gardens in historic Society Hill with architectural and interior styles range from the 18th and 19th Century to contemporary. All ticket holders will receive a 15% discount for dinner after the tour at five area restaurants.
Advance ticket purchase suggested. To purchase a ticket, or to get more information, click here, contact Society Hill Civic Association at 215-629-1288, or firstname.lastname@example.org. Day of tour ticket purchase: Old Pine Community Center, 401 Lombard St. Tickets: $30 per ticket in advance, $35 at the door. Group rates available for 5 or more. Complimentary light refreshments; rest rooms available. Comfortable shoes recommended.