Thursday, January 6, 2022

CCRA Newsletter

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This Week: January 6, 2021

Editor - Barbara Halpern

Lead Writer - Richard Vaughn

Design/Layout and Writer - Travis Oliver

Photo Credits: Benjamin Zuckerman


Devastating.  Tragic.  Horrific. Words, of course, fail.


But the pain is great, the pain is deep, and the heartbreak seems unendurable.


In time we trust we will receive answers to the many questions now swirling our minds.


But for now may the grieving begin, with healing to follow.

For those so inclined, your prayers are welcome.


CCRA News and Events

CCRA Board Meeting

The next board meeting is on Tuesday, January 11, at 7 pm, via Zoom. The meeting is open to our active members. The beginning of the meeting has two presentations: the renaming of Taney Street and Skyplane Ordinances. If you would like to attend, contact Managing Director Travis Oliver, and he will send you the link to the meeting.  

"Sense in the City:" A lunchtime Wednesday virtual discussion series with the Center City Residents Association, led by Hugh Taft- Morales, Philadelphia Ethical Society

Wednesdays, 12 noon–1:30 PM; 1/19, 2/9, 2/23, 3/9, and 3/23

 Join us via Zoom for one or all sessions. 


How can citizens nurture constructive dialogue that respects everyone and helps make our society more equitable and inclusive? How can we live more meaningful, engaged, and responsible lives? Join Hugh Taft-Morales, Leader of the Philadelphia Ethical Society, for a series of guided conversations about community, differences, and justice.


Hugh will offer a humanist perspective about some ethical and personal challenges we confront, followed by whole-group and small-group conversations. Come share what inner resources, spiritual traditions, and behavioral habits help you live more fully and fairly when navigating life in Philadelphia.


January 19, 12:00noon-1:30 PM

Public Spaces and Thoroughfares

In an increasingly privatized world, how can public spaces become welcoming and inclusive oases open to people of all backgrounds and identities? Why are what sociology Prof. Elijah Anderson calls “cosmopolitan canopies” so important? How can thoughtful urban design and lighting improve our town squares? How do pedestrians, bicycles, and cars navigate our shared thoroughfares? Register here.

Other dates and topics:

February 9 - Equity, Public Schools and Democracy

February 23 - Homelessness and Humanity

March 9 – Fear and Street Crime

March 23 - Climate Justice and Economic Justice



CCRA’s Merchant Partner program is a true Win-Win: It provides smaller local businesses with complementary advertising and exposure while giving CCRA members generous deals and discounts. This week we spotlight Rittenhouse culinary legend Di Bruno Bros.

​​Just what would Center City do without Di Bruno’s, anyway? Scary thought, right? Ponder if you will all the stellar dinner parties that would have been subpar minus the killer cuisine of Di Bruno’s. A culinary pioneer for 80 years, Merchant Partner Di Bruno’s is a full-fledged, European-style marketplace.

You name it, they have it: meat, seafood, wine, beer, produce, chef-prepared meals, homemade desserts, and oh, that cheese cave!

Di Bruno’s has consistently saved the bacon of party-givers in more ways than one, and now you can save – 10%! – by becoming a member of CCRA.

Welcome to Penn Center House!

It’s a New Year, and with it comes your January annual High-Rise membership renewal. Or: Join for the first time!  Either way, you win, and this year we’ve made it waaay easy. How easy?

Click here, scroll down, select “Hi-Rise Member”, click “Next” and proceed from there to the Application process. That’s it!  Do it today before you forget!

Looking forward to our continued PCH partnership and collective voice for better Center City living. Contact Travis Oliver if you have any questions.

Historic House in the Hood


The CCRA’s Historic Preservation Task Force has successfully nominated the Love Building at 1523 Chestnut Street to the City of Philadelphia’s Register of Historic Places! This building played an important role in the pioneering efforts of the Red Rose Girls, three avant-garde female artists who paved the way for women to work in American Illustration in the 1890s. The Love Building is one the last surviving buildings from the time when this section of Chestnut Street was the center of Philadelphia's fine arts work at the turn of the century with art galleries and studios, including that of Cecilia Beaux. Next time you walk down Chestnut Street, keep an eye out for this landmark for women and LGBTQ heritage in Philadelphia. To learn more about the Love Building, read the Saturday Evening Post’s article here and the CCRA’s nomination here.

Clean, Safe, and Green

Taking Trash Into Your Own Hands (Well, Not Literally)


Yes, the City has a trash-collection problem that it’s aware of and working on, but that doesn’t mean that you have to wait for a solution to come from City Hall.  There are things you can do yourself; 21 such things, in fact.  Like what?  Like here.

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Destination Dead End?

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The 2000 block of Latimer is a muddle street in the process of raising its game. It's a dead-end that can only be entered from 21st Street. Check out the makeover discovered by our “Streets Maven” Bill West. It’s a perfect walking destination for the Winter/Covid blues. And viewing Belgium Blocks may be the closest thing to foreign travel right now.

Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Justice

Be a Part of the Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service


There are countless ways to celebrate the legacy of Dr. King on Jan. 17, one of which would be to take part in the Greater Philadelphia Martin Luther King Day of Service, the largest King Day event in the nation. Volunteer opportunities abound and can be checked out here.

“Way Home” Program Provides Aid for Homeless in LGBTQ Community


Non-profit partners SELF, Inc. and the William Way LGBT Center jointly manage a rapid rehousing program called “Way Home” that caters specifically for LGBTQ people.

Currently, it pays a portion of rent for one year for 40 Philadelphians who have been experiencing homelessness.  Providing such short-term assistance for a private apartment is now considered a standard, effective and low-cost solution.  Details here.

R.I.P., Visit Phila President and LGBTQ Tourism Pioneer Jeff Guaracino

Visit Philadelphia President and CEO Jeff Guaracino, a pioneer in LGBTQ tourism, died at age 48 on Dec. 28 after a long battle with cancer.  A native Philadelphian with a passionate love for his hometown, he had become internationally known as an advocate for LGBTQ tourism. More details may be found here.

Useful links

Community News and Events

A Warm Welcome to Captain Colleen Billups

Captain Colleen Billups was just promoted to the rank of Captain and assigned here to the 9th Police District. She is a 17-year veteran of the Department working many Districts and Units including Center City Police District (660 Chestnut) as a Sergeant. She grew up not far from the 9th in Northern Liberties and attended Hallahan High School.

Food and Personal Items Collection 


Philadelphia City Institute Library, 1905 Locust, is a drop-off location for the Bebashi Transition to Hope and Sunday Love Project Food Drive. The library will be collecting high-priority food and personal care items (see the list in the photo) in January. Drop off items Mondays through Thursdays, 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. and Fridays 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Annual Martin Luther King, Jr., Tribute Concert 


The Philadelphia Orchestra presents the Annual Martin Luther King, Jr., Tribute Concert in Verizon Hall at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, January 17. Free tickets are available here.

It’s On: “Cone Rangers” vs. “Savesies”


You knew this was inevitable: A vigilante-style backlash against the (illegal) practice of reserving a parking space via placement of an orange cone or lawn chair or underemployed relative. And of course, there’s a word for the practice: it’s a “Savesie”. And it’s nothing new.

Only now, a subreddit-inspired militia dubbing itself the “Cone Rangers” has anointed itself the cavalry in this epic struggle. "Not so fast, Junior," say the Philadelphia Police, (wisely) advising the avengers against taking the law into their own righteous hands in this particular contretemps. Good Luck with that in South Philly, in other words. The story behind the storm can be found here.

It’s Back!  Center City Restaurant Week

Be it indoor seating, outdoor seating or take-out, or delivery on the couch seating, from Jan. 9 through 21 participating Center City restaurants are offering multi-course prix-fixe lunches for $25 and dinners for $40.  Don’t let reasonable pandemic fears prevent you from supporting your favorite local eateries.  Take-out and delivery are King.  Details here.

Mangia! Best New Restaurants in Philly


Not even a two-year pandemic can squelch the Philly foodie scene.

If anything, it’s gotten more innovative and diverse. Much to explore, and you can start here. Don’t forget your vax card!

Streamable: Best TV Shows of 2021


With Winter having arrived and COVID still with us, it’s comforting to know that the year 2021 was another great year for the telly.  The staff of The Beat magazine was kind enough to share their choices for the 15 best shows of the year, and their picks can be found 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.

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)

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)

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

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)

The Rounds, Use code CCRATHEROUNDS to receive free membership

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Center City Residents' Association | 1900 Market St, FL 8, Philadelphia, PA 19103

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