Thursday, March 31, 2022

CCRA Newsletter


This Week: March 31, 2022

Editor - Barbara Halpern

Lead Writer - Richard Vaughn

Design/Layout and Writer - Travis Oliver

Guest Photographer - Ben Zuckerman

Fooled Again

So April Fool’s came early this year.

In this space last week we extolled the virtues of Spring and exhorted our readership to Go Explore.


Then what? Snow Squall.

What? What do the words ‘snow squall’ even mean?

Well, apparently they mean single-digit wind chills, punishing winds and yes, snow.


OK, got it. Won’t get fooled again.

Until next time.

CCRA News and Events


Better Health (a)Crosstown?


Councilmember Helen Gym (At Large) spoke to the Philadelphia Crosstown Coalition (PCC) Tuesday night to inform its members about her support of a City Council bill, called the Community Health Act. The PCC is a volunteer civic federation of neighborhood civic groups (including CCRA) which advocates for quality of life issues in the City. 

Ms. Gym stated that the bill’s purpose is to better protect communities against the adverse health effects caused by pollution. The goal of the bill, written in partnership with legal and environmental advocates, is to establish a clearer understanding of how new pollution actually impacts communities, given existing pollution, demographics, and health characteristics. The plan includes creating a community health map of neighborhoods in Philadelphia. The goal is to  prevent concentrated areas from experiencing disproportionate harm from pollution. Questions included whether these new proposed requirements would discourage industrial companies from locating within the City.

Please contact Councilmember at Large, Helen Gym, with your comments.

Construction Next Door? What Do I Need to Know?

Yes, you DO have some rights! Check out this FAQ from the City’s Department of License and Inspection.

The What’s What of the 2022 Primary Elections


First of all, the date: May 17. Last day to register: May 2. Last day to request a mail-in or absentee ballot: May 10. For more – lots more – go here.


CCRA’s Merchant Partner program is a true Win-Win:  It provides smaller local businesses with complimentary advertising and exposure while giving CCRA members generous deals and discounts. This week we spotlight men’s fashion oasis Blue Sole Shoes.


Get Your Happy Feet to Blue Sole Shoes


If you’re a man (or if there’s a man in your life), there’s really only one place to go when it comes to shoes, and that would be Blue Sole Shoes at 18th & Chestnut. 


But be not misled: this isn’t merely a shoe store; au contraire, this is a premier men’s boutique that harkens back to 2007.  And so we’re talking not only fashion-forward shoes here but also stylin’ belts, socks, bags, accessories and yes, gift cards, all delivered with top-notch customer service.


It’s a tough call as to which is more attractive: their website or the store itself, so why not browse both?


Oh, and this: CCRA members receive 10% off regularly-priced merchandise.

Clean, Safe and Green

A Tree Grows in Philly?

Is there room for a street tree near your home? Ask the property owner if they’d be willing to apply for a free street tree! The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society is accepting applications now for the fall planting. Apply here. Those unable to commit to caring for a tree can be assigned a volunteer tree-caregiver. Questions? Email Susan -

The Buzz about the Redbuds


Welcome Redbuds! The Eastern redbud (Cercis canadensis) is a small native understory tree that blooms in early spring before the heart-shaped leaves emerge. The pinkish-purple flowers remain colorful for a two to three week period. The flower clusters, which are borne along the stems, are rich in both nectar and pollen, providing a valuable food source for early bees at a time when food is scarce. Redbuds are also host plants for the larvae of several butterflies and moths. Flat brown seed pods are borne in autumn and are eaten by squirrels and some birds. Want to learn more? Bee informed here.

Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion

Black Women Firefighters Tell Their Stories


An unsung example of progress made by Black women is that of the Philly firefighter.

Their stories are unique and remarkable; five of such can be discovered here.

Philly’s Black Doctors’ Dream Team


Rising above the pack to get black Philadelphians tested, vaccinated and treated for Covid-19, the Black Doctors Consortium’s Center for Health Equity has been awarded $3 Million out of the $1.5 Trillion federal spending bill recently signed by President Biden. This North Philadelphia group of medical providers, led by Dr. Ala Stanford, will use part of the funds to create a new general  treatment center in Germantown. No need to say OUCH when you go here to learn more. 

2022: The Year of Birds at Awbury


Join us for a Spring Bird Hike led by the In Color Birding Club (ICBC), Saturday, April 16th, 8:00-11:00am.

The In Color Birding Club (ICBC) was founded in Spring of 2021 to create pathways and intentional space in nature for Black and Brown folks, specifically birding.

The ICBC welcomes all Black and Brown naturalists as well as those non-BIPOC folks who practice ACTIVE allyship. For more information, visit

Cost: FREE; no registration required.

Location: Meet at 6060 Ardleigh St, Philadelphia, by the Haines Field entrance to Awbury.

Questions? Please contact Nancy at

Community News and Events

Realtors Bugging You to Sell Your Home? Fight Back!


If you’re like nearly everyone else, you’ve been solicited more times than you can count by Realtors looking to help you sell your home.


Annoying, right? Well, the City has launched a Do Not Solicit registry which prohibits agents from soliciting homeowners who would prefer not to be contacted and which is based on the “homeowner protection law” which passed in 2020. Details here.

Rittenhouse Gets Wilder (It’s a Restaurant)


What was once the Philadelphia Academy of Social Dance at 2009-2011 Sansom Street is now a three-story, 150-seat restaurant named Wilder thanks to restauranteur Brett Naylor and his partner and wife Nicole Barrick. 

Wilder features both contemporary and traditional design; its name reflects its free-flowing layout and the fresh menu ingredients. Details here.

Renamed: The Merriam is Now the Miller


What was originally the Shubert and subsequently the Merriam is now the Miller Theater thanks to donor Alan B. Miller, a founding Kimmel Center board member and founder of King of Prussia-based Universal Health Services. Needed renovations to the 104-year-old theater will likely commence in the Summer of 2023.  Details here.

Cyclists: A Lane of Your Own


Our friends at the Bike Coalition tell us a protected bike lane has been added to the newly reopened Chestnut Street Bridge. Check out the photo! 

As for the rest of Chestnut Street- west of the river, the Coalition has the scoop here.


Useful links

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.

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) (TEMPORARILY CLOSED)

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

The Rounds, Use code CCRATHEROUNDS to receive free membership.

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)

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