Thursday, September 30, 2021

CCRA Newsletter

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This Week: Sept 30, 2021

Editor - Barbara Halpern

Lead Writer - Richard Vaughn

Design/Layout and Writer - Travis Oliver

Exit Summer, Enter Magnificence

Well, we made it.

After the hottest, humidest, miserablest summer in recent (any?) memory, autumn arrived en masse last weekend and promptly kicked that long hot summer straight to the curb.

The days these days? Warm.

The nights? Cool.

The air? Delicious! You could slurp it with a spoon.

And the sunlight? OMG.

We were fortunate to have dinner al fresco along Rittenhouse Sq. early Friday evening, and around about dessert, the last of the pre-sunset sunlight bathed the street in breathtaking golden glory. It was beyond beauty. Even our Marin County-living guest had to admit she was impressed.

So…our Rx? Forget the summer, the floods, the tornadoes, all of it.

Go out, get out, and Drink. It. In.

CCRA News and Events

CCRA Zoning Committee Meeting

On Tuesday, September 28, CCRA held its public zoning committee meeting. There were four items on the agenda, including the "Bankroll" Project located at 19th and Chestnut St.

You can watch the meeting on our YouTube Channel.

The renderings of the Bankroll project will be on our website shortly.

CCRA Survey Gives Thumbs-Up to Loading Zone Idea

No one needs to be reminded of the parking difficulties in Center City, especially on weekdays when most deliveries are made and parking space is at a premium.

One suggestion for increasing access to the CCRA area during the day is to create one, maybe two loading zone spaces per block. The loading zones would be in operation during the day, then revert to regular spaces in the evening.

CCRA conducted a survey regarding this notion, and 83% of respondents replied affirmatively to the idea. Survey details and results can be found here.

For its part, CCRA will reach out to the City’s Office of Transportation and Infrastructure (OTIS) and recommend that a loading zone pilot be part of the enforcement pilot.

Some sample comments from the survey:

  • “Unfortunately, people will probably just park in the loading zones… but worth a try!”
  • “Please don’t create loading zones at the expense of accessible parking spots.”
  • “It is what it is.”

To view all comments, go here.

Outdoor Dining Permanent? Stay Tuned

A major unexpected side-effect of the pandemic has been the proliferation of outdoor dining. These so-called “streeteries” have proved very popular, but the temporary ordinance permitting them expires at the end of the year 2021. With an eye toward making them permanent, Councilmember Allan Domb has introduced legislation that will do just that: make them permanent. Domb looks to get the bill through committee and up for a full vote soon. The bill would then need to be signed by Mayor Kenney. While CCRA members are generally supportive of outdoor dining, should you have any concerns please let us know by emailing CCRA Managing Director Travis Oliver at Details on the bill can be found here.


Parc Restaurant, Rittenhouse Sq.

The Development Committee is looking for new members 


The CCRA Development Committee is looking for a few CCRA members to join us in planning a couple of big events this fiscal year. We’re looking for fun, energetic, go-getters that know how to “throw a party.” Our first meeting is Monday, October 4, at 10 am. If you’re interested, let Travis Oliver know and he will send you the link to the zoom meeting.

Further update from the Schuylkill River Park Community Garden

In the aftermath of Hurricane Ida, the garden as well as the surrounding area was flooded by the Schuylkill River that overflowed its banks. It was not a sewage pipe that backed up into the garden, as reported. Rather, the flood and possible contamination happened because our section of the City is served by an outdated combined stormwater and sewage system. Upriver from our neighborhood, this system was overwhelmed by the volume of stormwater which caused sewage to spill into the river. To determine what remedial steps should be taken, the garden steering committee is consulting with experts from the City, the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society, and Penn State Extension. The garden season was cut short, but gardeners had already donated over 700 pounds of produce to City Harvest before the flood. 

Giving Circles Panel Discussion to be Held Oct. 7

We know that CCRA members give generously to charity. If you'd like to engage in local philanthropy through a Giving Circle -- which collects dollars from a group of people and gives the donors a say in where the funds go to better the community -- check out this free program on Oct. 7 at 2 pm to learn more about some Philadelphia-area Giving Circles.

Giving circles are a growing movement in philanthropy across the country and one of the most significant ways people participate in charitable giving. In this panel discussion, presented by the Cosmopolitan Club of Philadelphia, three leaders from Philadelphia area giving circles will share their perspectives on the power of collective giving.

To register, go here. To learn more about the Cosmopolitan Club of Philadelphia Giving Circle, go here.

Merchant Partner of the Week

Every week we spotlight a member of the CCRA Merchant Partner ‘Deals & Discount’ Program, which helps local Mom and Pop businesses get back on their post-pandemic feet by providing complimentary valuable advertising and exposure by encouraging support from CCRA’s highly-engaged (and growing) membership. This week we feature Rittenhouse's go-to Nature’s Gallery Florist.


Nature’s Gallery’s Got Your Flower Power Right Here


Philadelphia is not typically known as the Flower Capital of the Universe, but you’d never know it by Nature’s Gallery Florist at 2124 Walnut. This remarkable florist offers fresh and imported flowers, elegant orchids, succulent plants, and much, much more.


Tell them what you want, and they’ll make it happen.

Not sure what you want? No worries. Avail yourself of their considerable expertise.


They do weddings, bar/bat mitzvahs, graduations, and much, much more. One couple decide to elope and needed flowers fast. Done! 

Result? A very satisfied couple.


So next time it’s Flower Time, see the good folks at Nature’s Gallery. And don’t forget: CCRA members receive a 5% discount.

Useful links

Community News and Events

Wawa’s Got a Brand New Bag

To comply with the single-use plastic bag ban going into effect Oct. 1, stores throughout the City will be transitioning to reusable bags. To make it easier on customers, Wawa is launching a “Skip the Bag for Good” initiative whereby starting TOMORROW, Oct. 1 the store will be giving away 1,000 of the reusable bags (with purchase, while supplies last). Details here.

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More info

Get Out, Stay Out: Phila Flower Show in 2022

Citing too many uncertainties and unknowns due to the pandemic, the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society has announced that the Philadelphia Flower Show will once again be held outdoors at FDR Park. Entitled “In Full Bloom”, the Show will run from June 11 through 19 and will spotlight the healing and therapeutic qualities of flowers and gardening. For all the details, dig here


Gone for Good: One Liberty Observation Deck

Ugh, another unfortunate victim of the Covid-19 pandemic: The One Liberty Observation Deck, a favorite of locals and tourists alike for its 57th-floor birds-eye views of the City since its opening in November 2015. Citing a drastic decrease in day-trippers, group tour bookings, and overseas tourists, One Liberty has announced that the Observation Deck will be closed for good. For more, go here.

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October 8 - October 10

More info

Fun Facts About the William Penn Statue

Did you know?

  • William Penn’s statue was sculpted in 1886 and built and completed in 1892.
  • Then, the statue was disassembled in October of 1894.
  • On Thanksgiving Day, November 29, 1894, the head was lifted off the ground and reattached, finishing the project.

For more fun facts about the statue, go here.   

Merchant Partners "Deals and Discounts" Program

Would you please support our local merchants and save money too? These local merchants will provide a deal or discount to any member who shows a current CCRA membership card and personal identification.

Eye Candy Vision, 218 S. 20th St (215-568-3937)

Frameworks Studio and Gallery, 2103 Walnut St, (215-567-6800)

Good Karma Cafe, 331 S. 22nd St, (215-546-1479)

Koresh Dance Company, 2002 Rittenhouse Sq St. (267-687-1769)

Liberty Pet Vets, 265 S. 20th St (888-458-8587

Mlkmn, - Use code CCRAMlkmn to receive free membership

Nature's Gallery Florist, 2124 Walnut St (215-563-5554)

Photo Lounge, 130 S.17th St. (267-322-6651)

Rittenhouse Hardware, 2001 Pine St. (215-735-6311)

Seafood Unlimited, 270 S. 20th St (215-732-3663)

The Bake Shop on 20th, 269 S. 20th St. (215-644-9714)

Ursula Hobson Fine Art Framing, 1528 Waverly St (215-546-7889)

Veda Modern Indian Bistro, 1920 Chestnut St, (267-519-2001)

William Schwartz Jewelry, 1831 Chestnut St (215-665-8115)

Alimentari Restaurant at Di Bruno Bros., 1730 Chestnut St, 2nd Floor

Astral Artists - Use promo code "CCRA" to receive a $10 flat rate on all tickets to their virtual concerts.

Blue Sole Shoes, 1805 Chestnut St, (215-496-9244)

Branzino Italian BYOB, 261 S. 17th St (215-790-0103)

Di Bruno Bros., 1730 Chestnut St. (215-665-9220)

Dom's Shoe Repair, 203 S. 20th St (215-972-0098)

Excursions from the Square (215-732-8487, 215-738-4500)

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