Thursday, March 3, 2022

CCRA Newsletter


This Week: March 3, 2022

Editor - Barbara Halpern

Lead Writer - Richard Vaughn

Design/Layout and Writer - Travis Oliver


While the world looks on in horror and distress at the pictures coming out of Ukraine, the tenacity and courage of the Ukrainian people remain something to behold.


Vladimir Putin has clearly underestimated Ukraine’s resistance and resolve, and may have overestimated the effectiveness of his own military as well.


Nevertheless, Ukranians are suffering mightily. Please give serious consideration to helping any way you can. A good place to start is here.


Vladimir Putin may yet prevail, and Volodymyr Zelensky’s future may well be that of a martyr, but the Ukrainian people have shown the world what it means to fight for freedom, and for that they richly deserve our help.

CCRA News and Events


A New Mural for Center City West?

Jane Golden, Executive Director of Mural Arts Philadelphia, will be joining us at the March 8th CCRA Board meeting  (7 pm) to discuss a possible new project in the neighborhood. She will also detail new works created by Mural Arts and discuss potential new partnerships.  All members are invited to hear the presentation.  The meeting will be in person and on zoom. The meeting location is at WeWork, 1900 Market St, 8th Floor.  If you would like to attend in person or via Zoom, please contact Travis Oliver. Mask-wearing is optional, but you must bring your proof of vaccination.


"Industrious Light: Baldwin Locomotive Works" at 20th near Hamilton

Sense in the City - Fear and Crime

The next Sense in the City conversation is scheduled via Zoom for March 9th at 12 noon, and it focuses on Fear and Street Crime. Questions for discussion: How do we strike the right balance between building up safer neighborhoods and cracking down on crime? What should the average citizen do? How are different groups in Philadelphia impacted by guns and drugs?  What are some constructive individual and cooperative responses to this challenge? 

It is free and open to all. For more info or to register, navigate here.

All Clear! City Ends its Indoor Mask Mandate

Philadelphia's indoor mask requirement was lifted on Wednesday, at least for the time being, after federal health officials suggested that people in locations with metrics like Philly no longer need to wear masks. Click here to read the details of the good news.

Health officials have stated that if a new variation appears or Philadelphia has another surge, requirements such as the mask requirement and proof of vaccination to eat indoors may be reinstated.

Businesses can still impose COVID safeguards, such as requiring proof of vaccination or mask use.

School Days with Masks Optional?

Seems like the School District is leaning toward making the mask mandate optional, as of March 9. For updated information about the mandate and to find out how to get more free Covid tests delivered to your home, 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 feature Rittenhouse stalwart Bakeshop on 20th.

Something’s Always Cooking at the Bakeshop

Why is Bakeshop on 20th always so crowded?

Well, why do you think?

Could it be the smell of the baking of pastries such as scones, muffins, sticky buns, chocolate babkas, fudge brownies, and cookies as they’re pulled from the ovens?

Could it be the made-to-order breakfast sandwiches, the hand-sliced smoked salmon and avocado toast served on your choice of artisanal English muffins, croissants or wraps?

Center City residents aren’t stupid; the Bakeshop is packed for a reason.

Why not see for yourself?  And while you’re there, mention CCRA and you’ll get an extra little goodie to accompany the treat you just purchased.

Clean, Safe and Green

​​​​Rimmed Out: Markward Needs Hoops


The beloved basketball courts at Markward Park are badly in need of some TLC. In the spirit of James Harden, won’t you help?

For the month of March, the Friends of Schuylkill River Park is raising funds to replace all backboard and rims, and will match all funds raised until the “goal” is reached.

Donate here.

Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion

Ukraine Crisis Relief


Photos and news reports have shown us the agony of those thrust into sudden refugee status as the Ukraine attempts to fend off the Russian bear. Last month, we highlighted how to help Afghan refugees here in Philadelphia. As we count our blessings, this month we ask you to consider donating items or funds to help those struggling in or who have fled the Ukraine. Click here for places to donate funds. Go here to pack up a box of necessities for Ukrainian families.

Women’s History Month: Keepin’ It Local


To state the obvious, there are countless ways to celebrate Women’s History Month. The events truly span the globe. 

But why not closer to home?  From museum exhibits to film screenings to special events, Philly is going all out. 

Check out the details here.

Community News and Events

ABC Orders Pilot for New Philly-Based Show


Following on the heels of “Abbott Elementary”, ABC has ordered a pilot for a drama series about a therapy practice in Philadelphia. As yet untitled, the series would be written by Kay Oyegun (“This Is Us”) and would follow five therapists who find creative ways to treat their patients while dealing with their own personal issues. 

Details here.

Loud ‘n’ Proud?  It Might Cost Ya


Under a bill proposed by Councilmember Mark Squilla, a summons could be issued

for a motor vehicle blasting its music beyond certain decibel levels. Effectively, if someone can hear noise from a vehicle 25 feet away, that vehicle would be in violation.

Pending approval from the full Council, the City will be looking for vendors to provide sound-measuring devices. Details here.

To see the bill itself, go here.



The current development boom brings many benefits to the city, but one unfortunate side-effect of the demolishing and rehabbing is an increase in the number of infestations of rats.

In response, a bill passed last week by City Council requires property owners to prepare and execute a rat abatement plan for all property demolitions, excavations and new developments.

Details here.

Pictures Worth a Thousand Words


Migration, either by choice or forced, continues to define the experiences of thousands of people each year. We read the news, but the individual stories behind the headlines often go untold. Penn Live (and virtually) offers several films that delve into the individual stories, giving us depth and meaning behind the headlines. Click here for titles, descriptions and dates.

Back on the Boards: Philly’s Live Theater


If you’ve been holding off on a night at the theater your time might be now, what with pandemic restrictions being lifted and a surfeit of quality theater in town.

To name but a few: the Tony-winning “Choir Boy”, Marsha Norman’s “’Night, Mother” and yes, a Golden Girls Murder Mystery. For all that and more, attend here.

Exploring 18 Reasons to Read Ulysses


To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield. Obviously, Tennyson explored 18 Reasons to Read Ulysses. Click here to follow in his footsteps to the Rosenbach Museum’s (on Delancey Place) Bloomsday Festival and its supporting events.

City Opts for ‘Hybrid’ Design for Washington Avenue

After much study and a last-minute reversal, the City’s Office of Transportation, Infrastructure and Sustainability (OTIS) has selected a hybrid plan for the stretch of Washington Ave. running from Grays Ferry Ave. to 4th Street.


According to the plan, four blocks will remain at their current width of five lanes, eight blocks will narrow to four lanes and ten blocks will narrow to three lanes. Crossing distances will shrink from their current 50 feet to either 33 or 40 feet.


Construction could begin as early as this summer. Details here.


Whither Center City Retail?


Two full years into the era of remote work, is Center City retail rebounding, or is it on the verge of collapse? The numbers are not encouraging.


According to the Center City District, foot traffic in Center City is down fully 38% from 2019. This is almost entirely due to workers going remote, a trend which is clearly here to stay, and one which has been challenging to much downtown retail. Anecdotally, a stroll down the 1700 block of shopping mecca Walnut Street reveals quite a few currently unoccupied storefronts. 


Whether the current status quo is here to stay is open to debate.  Much discussion and detail can be found in the online magazine Slate 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.

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) (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)

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

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