Thursday, March 17, 2022

CCRA Newsletter


This Week: March 17, 2022

Editor - Barbara Halpern

Lead Writer - Richard Vaughn

Design/Layout and Writer - Travis Oliver

Guest Photographer: Ben Zuckerman

Guest Writer: Marian Robinson

On the Calendar

Dates of note this week...

· “Pi Day”: Reminds us of the power (and mystery) of Mathematics

· St. Patrick’s Day: Reminds us of the joys of celebration

· Ides of March. If only someone had advised Vladimir Putin to “Beware the Ides of March”

Where’s a good Brutus when you need one?

CCRA News and Events

CCRA Board Welcomes Amy Lent


At its February board meeting, CCRA voted unanimously to accept Amy Lent as a new board member, filling a vacant slot. A warm welcome to Amy; we all look forward to working with her.

Here’s Something About Amy:

Amy Lent has decades of experience as a leader in the museum field, following a successful early career in marketing and operations in the retail sector. She and her husband Bill grew up in north Jersey, lived for many years in Doylestown, and retired to Philly a year ago after living in Maine for 14 years. They have a son living in NYC. Amy loves everything about Philly – its friendliness, diversity, cultural offerings, parks, restaurants, and architecture. She looks forward to working with the CCRA to make the city as vibrant and thriving as it can be.

Sense in the City - Climate Justice and Economic Justice

The fifth Sense in The City discussion will be on Climate Justice and Economic Justice on Wednesday, March 23, 12:00noon-1:30PM.

Climate Justice and Economic Justice Description:  

How are different groups affected by the struggle for sensible climate policy and the high demand for well-paying jobs? How can environmentalism and racial justice efforts overlap and support each other?


Please register 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 pet wellness center Liberty Vet Pets.


Sick Puppy, Flitty Kitty? Go to Liberty Vet Pets

Because pets are family, it is critical to get it right when choosing a veterinarian. Well, dither no more. The right choice in Center City is Liberty Vet Pets on 20th Street, just off the Square.

Liberty is both a veterinarian’s office and an animal hospital (and they have a lab). Both its kind and caring Veterinarian and Associate Veterinarian are UPenn grads.  

At Liberty they do it all and more:

Preventive care, dental, vaccinations, general surgery and nutrition. And get this: They make house calls.  For real.


What else? CCRA members enjoy 10% off services and boutique items (excluding food; CCRA membership cards must be presented).


So the next time a four-legged family member needs a little TLC (or more), go straight to the good folks at Liberty Vet Pets.

Clean, Safe and Green

Pedestrian Crosswalk at Rittenhouse

As CCRA has an ongoing relationship with the Department of Streets, we have received the following notice. If you have any questions or concerns about the project or the location of the new device, please email Travis Oliver at CCRA's office. We’ll take it from there. 


“The Department of Streets Traffic Division retained contractor Carr & Duff, who recently began work on the RRFB (Rectangular Rapid Flash Pedestrian Beacons) project using ARLE (Automated Red-Light Enforcement] funds.  

One of the project locations is at 20th Street and Rittenhouse Square at the crosswalk between St. Patrick's and the wine shop.  This particular location was selected based on community requests and volumes of traffic and pedestrians crossing 20th Street at Rittenhouse Square. 

Department of Streets strives to incorporate safety improvements that are foremost geared toward protecting the City's most vulnerable users.  The RRFB program provides safer pedestrian crossings by enabling the pedestrian to activate a rapid flashing yellow beacon on either side of an otherwise uncontrolled crosswalk. 

Based on studies over many years throughout the country, these rapid flash beacons have been found to induce better yielding behavior by drivers for pedestrians in these crosswalks.  Drivers are required by law to yield to pedestrians in crosswalks in Pennsylvania. We're expecting the 20th/Rittenhouse RRFB to be completed later this month or early April.”


News From Medicare: Less Covid, More Free Tests

Good news on two fronts. One, the rates of Covid infections remain low and two, starting this week, if you already ordered four free at-home COVID-19 tests from, you can now get four more free at-home tests shipped to your home. 

Visit again to place your second order. As before, just enter your name and mailing address (you can also give your email address if you want status updates on your order).

If you haven't yet ordered any at-home tests, you can get a total of 8 tests shipped to your home. You'll just have to place two separate orders — each order equals four tests. As for Covid…..where did it go?

A Missive from Friends of the Wissahickon: Celebrate the Olmsted Legacy in Chestnut Hill

CCRA Survey for Blog.jpg

Regarded as the founder of American landscape architecture, Frederick Law Olmsted (1822–1903) is best known for designing the grounds of New York City's Central Park, the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., the Biltmore Estate in North Carolina and the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago. Learn more and get tickets here.

Schuylkill Banks Clean Up

The 15th Annual Philly Spring Cleanup is set for Saturday, April 2nd from 9AM to 1PM! Join your neighbors on the Trail, under the Walnut St. Bridge for a morning of trail beautification projects, including leaf collection, mulching, light pruning, and trash pickup. Gloves, tools, and water will be provided. Help make a big impact on this citywide day of cleanups, organized by the Streets Department! For details and to register, dig here.

clean up.jpeg

Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion

New Luxury Apartments in North Philly near The Met: Progress or Gentrification?


Historic changes have been underway in North Philly for 5-10 years, with mixed opinions from long-time residents. Now, the latest new development under zoning submission is a luxury apartment complex at the now shuttered Jimmy G’s Steaks, with two other large buildings under consideration. They’ll be joining The Met, Cicala at Divine Lorraine, and two apartment towers. Dig here for details. Pointedly, the effects on a Black neighborhood are multifaceted and mixed (property values increase, but so do real estate taxes and rents for residents and local businesses). Urban life: it’s complicated!

City Approves Permanent Harriet Tubman Statue


Following on the heels of the temporary installation of “The Journey to Freedom” statue outside City Hall, the City will permanently honor Harriet Tubman with a statue by the same artist who created the temporary piece to recognize her legacy as a woman who went from being enslaved to rescuing people who were themselves enslaved.  Details here.

Meet the Women Behind West Philly’s Ethiopian/Eritrean Eatery Scene


A too-well-kept secret is the Ethiopian and Eritrean food scene that stretches across West Philadelphia and much of which is run by women. It all started in the early 1980’s and includes restaurants, wine bars and local convenience stores. Details here.

Community News and Events

Live Auction Supporting Greenfield Elementary School


From Greenfield’s Home and School Association:

Our 2022 Greenfield HSA Auction Will Be In-Person This Year!


We have a beautiful outdoor space at the Garden at Cherry Street Pier.

Please save the date for Thursday, May 19 from 6PM-10PM and the rain date of May 26th. Start booking your babysitter because we are going to have a fun night out for a great cause!

You Want Crypto With That House?


Because anyone can have a wine cellar, a house for sale in the Belmont section of West Philly comes equipped with a crypto currency miner, designed to generate passive income for the homeowner. The Helium miner is currently said to net $80 per month at present value.

Who Would Steal Insects, and Why?


You may recall back in 2018 when about 7,000 insects were stolen from the Insectarium and Butterfly Pavilion in Northeast Philadelphia.  How can such a thing happen, and who was behind it?


Well, now it can be told via the documentary “Bug Out” to be shown this Friday on the free streaming service IMDB TV.  Details here, trailer here.

Extreme Deep: Mission to the Abyss Takes Off


And who amongst us isn’t ready to escape the abyss of winter weather and the lockdown? Just in time, The Academy of Natural Sciences is opening an escape route for us: Extreme Deep: Mission to the Abyss. 

Think water, oceans……and life that survives without sunshine (like winter in Philly?). You’ll be able to explore the mysteries of the deep sea, encounter recently discovered creatures and experience the technology that allows scientists to travel to the bottom of the ocean. There’s a cool machine to fly, robots to manipulate, and bubbling thermal ocean vents to investigate. Jump here for details. .  

Get Mystified at Philly’s New Museum of Illusion


Wake up the little kid inside you and teleport yourself to 4th and Market to see 60+ visual creations: holograms, stereograms, optical illusions, immersion rooms and other unique displays, curated by local Philly guy Rob Cooper. How does he conjure up these mirages? Beam yourself here.

Local Museums Support Ukraine

Well-known sites in Philadelphia’s historic district, the birthplace of democracy, are partnering to support democratic ideals in Ukraine and around the world. On Saturday, March 19, the African American Museum in Philadelphia, the Betsy Ross House, Carpenters’ Hall, Franklin Square, Independence Visitor Center, the Museum of the American Revolution and the National Constitution Center will donate 100 percent of all admissions proceeds from that day to UNICEF, to support its efforts to deliver aid to the hundreds of thousands of children and families suffering from the effects of the war in Ukraine. For details, travel here.


Theatergoers’ Delight

Guest Writer: Marian Robinson


Theatre Philadelphia presents Philly Theatre Week., April 1- 10. Have a seat! The celebration features 85 events across the region, and more good news is the cost: free, to $15 or $30 tickets. Events include unique live and virtual performances, readings, audio plays and more. Philly Theatre tickets are sold through Eventbrite. For more information visit The kickoff celebration is March 30th featuring preview performances by participating artists and organizations.

Take Us to the Bridge: Chestnut St. Span Re-opens


After over two years of construction and repair, the Chestnut St. bridge will reopen this weekend. Connecting Center City with University City, the span has been offline since August 2019 while crews repaired the steel superstructure, added a concrete deck, enlarged sidewalks and added a parking-protected bike lane. Just in time for Spring, the details live 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.

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)

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

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

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

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