Thursday, April 21, 2022

CCRA Newsletter


This Week: April 21, 2022

Editor - Barbara Halpern

Lead Writer - Richard Vaughn

Design/Layout and Writer - Travis Oliver


There’s a saying in baseball that goes “a tie is like kissing your sister”. So it is with the mistrial of Councilmember Kenyatta Johnson and his wife Dawn Chavous.


No doubt the prosecution is disappointed, and by all indications the defense has a retrial to look forward to.


As we’re neither judge nor jury, we’re in no position to opine either way. But we do appreciate the service of the men and women on the jury and how a democratic society depends on each of us serving, voting and participating.

The Countdown Has Begun to the 75th Anniversary Celebration

New CCRA 75th Postcard.jpg

Celebrants! Tickets are going fast for our June 1st Anniversary bash, including the private pre-party (aka “Le Prelude”) at the Blatstein house. We don’t want our members to miss the chance to schmooze with the neighbors, rub shoulders with our local politicos, meet our volunteer board members and…… meet your favorite Lead Writer for “CCRA This Week”. Yes, that would be Richard Vaughn, the man who writes the stories you breeze through every week.


To celebrate our community, hear local tales, eat, drink and be merry, wander over here.

CCRA News and Events

Meet the Candidates for Our State House Seat

The Center City Residents Association (CCRA) and the South of South Neighborhood Association (SOSNA) will be hosting 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:


April 28, 2022

5:30 – 7:00 pm


Trinity Memorial Church

2212 Spruce Street

Philadelphia, PA 19103


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 Public Zoning Committee Meeting

Tuesday, April 26, 7pm via zoom

View Agenda here.

Zoom link:

Hole Lotta Greenin' Goin' On This Saturday

Street Tree Planting: Join the CCRA Tree Tenders and neighbor volunteers this Saturday, April 23 at 9:30 a.m. to help plant 15 street trees in the neighborhood.  All tools and instruction will be provided.  All ages and abilities are welcome!  Meet at the entrance to the community garden at 25th and Spruce Streets at 9:30 am.  Email with questions.


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 sustainable delivery service The Rounds.


Making The Rounds Work For You

Bothered by the amount of the simple, sheer physical waste in your life?  Who isn’t? Well, local startup The Rounds is working to do something about it.


The Rounds is in fact built on the “milkman” model in that it delivers products to the customer’s door in reusable packaging (think milk bottles). Then, when the user is done, it retrieves the packaging, rinses and repeats. No waste!


Yes, the idea is to lower the amount of waste from individual, disposable orders.  The Rounds delivers everyday essentials like oats, nuts, toilet paper, soaps, paper products, cleaning products etc. In short it’s green, it’s sustainable, and it’s cheaper.


Intrigued?  Thought so.  For more info and to get started, please visit The Rounds. And know this: Use the code CCRATHEROUNDS in the promo field at signup and your monthly membership will be free for as long as you are a CCRA member.


Clean, Safe and Green

Lights-Out for Tall Buildings Can Prevent Lights-Out for Birds


With Spring comes bird migration season, and with it the risk of our avian friends making their way through town and possibly crashing into buildings.


That’s the concern of Lights Out Philly, which encourages building owners and managers to turn out lights at night, both inside and outside of buildings. Details of the program can be found here.

Branch Out: Celebrate National Trails Day


We know. Because of Covid you’ve had nothing to do BUT go outside.  But now the “ID The Tree” website gives you and the family something new to do while exploring our local trails and outdoor spaces.. And, if you still can’t ID that tree, download iNaturalist on your mobile.  You can just take a tree photo and the app will do the work for you. A great way to Celebrate April 23, which is National Trails Day. Branch out here.

Lanternflies Redux? Yep.  :(


Like guests too clueless to know when to leave, our BFF’s the spotted lanternfly is getting ready to hatch any day now and will soon be once again descending on our fair land. What to do?

Is squishing them underfoot still considered best practice? What are other options? Or are we simply outnumbered? All you need to know about these charming critters can be found here.

Bike Patrols Add Night Shift


As more visitors return to Center City, the Center City District has added an evening shift to the bike patrol program it launched in late 2020.  As part of a larger citywide safety program, a team of 15 unarmed patrol members dressed in black-and-yellow have been cycling through Center City from 11am to 7pm. Details here.

Philly’s Environmental Progress Report


Office of Sustainability Earth Day Event at Cherry Street Pier: Friday, April 22, 5:00 -7:00 pm. 

Join Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney and local community leaders to reflect on the many ways Philadelphians are working towards a more just and environmentally friendly future. This Cherry Street Pier event also features storytelling, interactive activities, vendors and more.

Earth Day Festival 2022: The Future Is In Your Hands


On Friday, April 22 from 4:00 to 8:00 p.m., come celebrate life on Earth and the systems that support it with science programming and conservation conversations. Sip a craft beer or snack on locally sourced treats while you ponder the clean water that went into making them. Meet Academy scientists as well as local sustainability experts from around the city to talk about how to get involved at home and afar.  Focus on the future with solutions-based tips and talking points presented by Academy educators. Earth Day Festival: Friday, April 22 Event Details - The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University.

Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion

Review Set for Black Doctors Row Historic District


Philadelphia’s Historical Commission has finalized its review of SOSNA & Preservation Alliance's nomination of the Christian Street / Black Doctors Row Historic District. Public meetings will be held to consider a proposal to designate a historic district that consists of 154 properties (203 with condominium units) on Christian Street between S. Broad Street and S. 20th Street.

The full district nomination can also be accessed on PHC’s website. For background, go here.

It Happened in Rittenhouse Square - Celebrate this LGBT Anniversary 


According to Wikipedia…..”On April 25, 1965, the first of two historic Sit-ins occurred at the popular Dewey's Restaurant in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It was one of the earliest demonstrations advocating for the LGBT community in United States history. Three unidentified teenagers and approximately 150 supporters walked into the Dewey's location at 219 South 17th Street, refusing to leave in the name of civil rights. This initial sit-in was in response to Dewey's recently implemented discriminatory policy claiming it would not serve “homosexuals,” “masculine women,” “feminine men,” nor “persons wearing nonconformist clothing.” 

To pay your respects, visit the Historic Marker on the sidewalk, on South 17th Street south of Saint James Street.


Community News and Events

Showtime: “The Philadelphia Show” at the Art Museum April 30


If you’re a devotee of antiques, fine art or design, you’ll want to make it over to the Art Museum on April 30, as that’s the date for The Philadelphia Show, where exhibitors offer decorative and fine art from the seventeenth century to the current day. Highlights from the show’s sixty-year history can be seen in this year’s loan exhibit, entitled Zero to Sixty. Details here.

CCRA Merchant Partner Seafood Unlimited is Back!


After a far-too-long pandemic-caused hiatus, our fave seafood eatery is back!

Dave and Judi are happy to announce that Seafood Unlimited at 270 S. 20th is once again up and running and waiting for YOU.  Here’s their website.  And….don’t forget your CCRA card for your discount.

Celebrate Markward Rec Center Reopening


Friends of Schuylkill River Park presents the Spring Opener at Markward Playground. Philly favorite Mister John's music will be leading kids and adults in a sing-along celebration. Then, PHL Good Music LIL’ JAWNS will share the feel good melodies, infectious rhythms, and meaningful messages within Black American Music in an interactive experience for the whole family. Check out the new Markward Community Plan and the reopened Rec Center! Free event open to the public. Details here.

Civics 101 - Get Out and Vote


No need to rely on your friends, mother, or ward leader to get the scoop on the how and when to cast your vote. Thanks to the Philadelphia Citizen, you can learn all you need to know about the upcoming election, the positions up for grabs, and the candidates who are running for each position. Get informed here

They also list important deadlines - “This year, we have two opportunities to have our voices heard—during the primary election on May 17 and the general election on November 8. The last day to register to vote in the primary is May 2 and the last day to apply for a mail-in ballot is May 10.”

Just Opened - Bluestone Cafe on Walnut Street


 As part of the ever growing migration from New York to Philadelphia, Nick Stone’s Bluestone Lane has opened its second cafe in the Rittenhouse Square area. With locations originating in NYC, his newest “Aussie coffee culture cafe” has landed at 2000 Walnut Street. Serving breakfast and lunch (including his classic avocado smash with cherry tomatoes, feta, prosciutto and a sprinkle of chili flakes on multigrain toast), this popular indoor/outdoor hangout is one man’s dream come true.  For the backstory, read here how Mr. Stone created this $20 million business.

Classical Music Fans Listen Up


CAMERATA PHILADELPHIA - ensemble in residence at the Church of the Holy Trinity Rittenhouse Square (1904 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103) continues its 2021/2022 Center City Season on Saturday, April 23 @ 1 PM.

Led by Music Director & cellist Dr. Stephen Framil, the program includes Mendelssohn's Variations Concertantes in D, Op. 17, Zoltán Kodály's Duo for Violin & Cello, Op. 7, and Mendelssohn's Piano Quartet No. 3 in B minor, Op. 3; and features Rowan University violin professor Dr. Timothy Schwartz, international concert violist Sarah Sutton, and The College of New Jersey piano professor Dr. Tomoko Kanamaru.

Open seating. Suggested donations: $20 General, $10 Seniors, $5 Students. For more information: visit, e-mail, or call 610-716-5737.


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.

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.

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)

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

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

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