Thursday, April 14, 2022

CCRA Newsletter


This Week: April 14, 2022

Editor - Barbara Halpern

Lead Writer - Richard Vaughn

Design/Layout and Writer - Travis Oliver

Toxic Mask-ulinity

“Boy, I sure wish we would go back to the indoor mask mandate”, said no one, ever.


Yeah, well, but here we are. Back in the soup.


Two choices, then.

Complain, complain, complain. 



Hey, it could be worse.

It’s not like we don’t have vaccines (and boosters), and it’s not like this is happening in November and we’re barreling straight into the dead of winter.

And it’s not like the restaurants, bars and museums are shut down, either.


So pass on the whine. And pass the wine.

Philly’s Music Scene - Then and Now

The Spirit of 75: A Celebration of Center City Living


Did I Mention Billie Holiday, John Coltrane, Ethel Waters and Dizzy Gillespie?


What do these jazz greats have in common? Philly, of course! And Billie Holliday was born right at 15th and Lombard. Others chose Philly as their hometown, including noted jazz musician and bebop pioneer Dizzy Gillespie. That’s one reason we’re showcasing jazz at Spirit of 75: A Celebration of Center City Living on Wednesday, June 1. While you’re dining on sumptuous refreshments provided by Philly’s culinary artists 12th Street Catering, enjoy your favorite jazz tunes by saxophonist Mark Brown. Send in your requests here and we’ll put them on Mark’s playlist. But Philly folks don’t live by jazz alone….


Despite having the classical “world at his fingertips”, The Philadelphia Orchestra’s Maestro Yannick Nézet-Séguin, has chosen Center City West as his home.  Hear about him, and from him, at The Celebration, and you’ll see why he’s earning our award as “Citizen of the Decade”.


Come celebrate CCRA's 75th Anniversary with music, food and a whole lotta hoopla. To join us, go here.

Mark Brown.jpg

CCRA News and Events

Our PA House Seat is Up for Grabs

Join CCRA and SOSNA for a public forum spotlighting the candidates running for the 182nd state house district, which includes most of CCRA’s catchment. This will be your chance to hear from the candidates and have them answer questions that you submit! The public forum will occur on April 28, 2022 at Trinity Memorial Church (22nd and Spruce) from 5:30-7pm. 

To register for the event (its free!) please go to this link: Please send any questions you would like asked at the forum to

We look forward to seeing you at this important event on April 28th—and most importantly do not forget to vote on May 17, 2022.


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 new Merchant Partner City Fitness.

Work it, Baby: Such a Deal at New Merchant Partner City Fitness

Your clothes will love you as will your pocketbook when you take advantage of the discounts and wellness opportunities offered by newest CCRA Merchant Partner City Fitness.


CCRA is very excited to announce that we are launching a Wellness partnership with City Fitness, which was recently voted Best Gym in the City, and it’s clear to see why.


They have the best of everything in meticulously maintained spaces: state of the art machines, exercise bikes, steam rooms, saunas, hydro-massage… you name it.


And the discounted $34.99 bi-weekly rate includes unlimited yoga, spin and burn classes, all amenities, city wide access to all six locations, with no long-term commitment: you can stop anytime.  And, for members of a certain age, City Fitness is a full participant in the Silver Sneakers program.


Seem too good to be true?  Yes, it does. But it’s true nonetheless.  Details here.


Clean, Safe and Green

Think Globally, Celebrate Locally: Earth Day 2022


Recycling, festivals, sustainability, storytime… When it comes to celebrating Earth Day 2022 around town, you’re certainly not short of options.  For details on all that and more, please go here.

Increase Our Green Canopy


Come out on Saturday, April 23 and help the CCRA Green Tree Tenders plant street trees in the neighborhood! We have 15 trees to plant and can use all the help we can get - no experience necessary! Volunteers must provide proof of vaccination. We will meet at the entrance to the community garden at 25th and Spruce Streets at 9:30 am and will finish up before noon. Please register here:

1. Click on the link above. 

2. Create an account (if you don’t have one yet) by clicking on “Create Account”

3. Click “Sign Up” and sign into your account.

4. Complete registration.

Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion

Enterprise Center to Launch SBIC for Minority and Women-Owned Businesses


The Enterprise Center has announced its intent to launch a Small Business Investment Company (SBIC) whose purpose would be to provide growth equity capital to regional “standout” minority- and women-owned businesses.  The SBIC has already raised $14 million from regional companies, institutions and banks in the region. Details here.

"An Ethical Lens" series at the Ethical Society

Surviving Incarceration and Reentry

We turn an Ethical Lens on “Surviving Incarceration and Reentry.” What are the personal, spiritual, social and civic resources needed for people to remain whole when they end up in prison? How can people best make it through our retributive system, reset their lives, and reenter a society where they can flourish? What can be done to humanize our justice system so that it nurtures the best in human personality, personal responsibility, and community support?

Community Organizer, activist, founder and Executive Director of The Center for Returning Citizens, J. Jondhi Harrell, joins the Philadelphia Ethical Society in conversation on April 18, 2022. He has played prominent roles in numerous local organizations including the Philadelphia Reentry Coalition, #215EndCashBail, Beyond the Bars, and the Free Meek Mill Movement. To participate, go here..


Man Up, Guys


Open Hearts Cafe is open every Tuesday and Sunday 4-6pm and helps folks in need with a meal, clothes and essential hygiene items. It is run by The Church of the Holy Trinity on Rittenhouse Square. 

We are always looking for any donations. AND right now especially for mens clothes: jackets and coats, jeans, sweatpants, sweatshirts, shoes and sneakers.

Sizes L and above are especially needed. For further info, go here

Drop off your donation Tuesdays and Sundays 4-6pm.

The Church of the Holy Trinity

1904 Walnut St, Philadelphia, PA 19103

Community News and Events

Painted Bride Sold, Zagar Mosaic Intact


After considerable legal wrangling, the Painted Bride Art Center has been sold, most notably with its iconic Isaiah Zagar mosaic intact.


Atrium Design Group purchased the 14,000-sq-ft Old City building with plans to incorporate the 7,000-sq-ft Zagar mural into the development of an apartment building with ground-floor commercial space.  Details here.

Eight New Trails In and Around the City?  Get Out!


Though it might not always seem it, Spring is indeed here, and with this year’s iteration come eight new and/or improved trails throughout town.  Whether your jam is walking, biking or just getting lost, there’s a trail out there with your name on it. Find your Happy Trails here.

Tai chi.jpg

‘Tis the Season: Ramadan, Passover, Easter


It’s not often that major Muslim, Jewish and Christian holidays fall in the same month – about once every 33 years, in fact – but in 2022 they all fall in the month of April, and these three holidays have more in common than you might think.  Details can be found here, courtesy Lees-McRae College.

Philly History Buffs - This One’s for You


Save the date for the last two lectures of the “Building Philadelphia 2022 Spring Speaker Series” hosted by the Preservation Alliance for Greater Philadelphia! On April 19th, Elizabeth Browne will speak on The Early History of Philadelphia’s Black Community and on April 26th, Domenic Vitiello will present Engineering the Metropolis: The Sellers Family and the Rise and Fall of Industrial Philadelphia. Learn something new about our great city’s diverse history! Tickets 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.

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)

City Fitness, 2101 South St. (215-545-4114)

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)

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

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