the weekend a 17-year-old riding his skateboard was killed when hit by a
dirt bike rider doing a wheelie. Previously, two young men riding an
ATV were facing leg amputation after running a red light and being hit
by an SUV. All tragic, and all unnecessary.
behavior is illegal. It is both a public safety issue and a quality of
life issue. We sympathize with the Police and are well aware that there
is no simple solution.
But now a young, innocent life has been needlessly lost.
Is what we’re doing about this truly the best we can do?
CCRA News and Events
PORTLAND LOOS REDUX
months ago we reported on a proposed City program to install Portland
Loos – which are manufactured outdoor toilets -- in several locations
throughout Center City. CCRA was invited to a meeting to review the
program, and we expressed concerns about the City’s limited due
diligence on the project. Other cities havereported awful experiences
with the facilities, including increased crime, drug use and great
difficulty maintaining them. San Diego ultimately removed some of their
installed units at a cost many times the original estimates.
city planners did additional research which, unfortunately, they did
not share with CCRA or the Center City Coalition of Center City West
high-rises, offices, restaurants and businesses despite repeated
requests on our part. We have since learned that they are planning for
six such facilities, not just the one demonstration loo they want to put
at the Municipal Services Center.
made a request of the bureaucrats in charge that no Portland Loos be
installed in Center City West without buy-in from CCRA and local
businesses. Logan Square Neighborhood Association joined in this request
for their neighborhood as well. Importantly, anextensive study done on the Loo indicated that neighborhood and local business buy-in was key to the success of the Loo.
of this printing, we have received no response. We want to work with
the City agencies to review their research and to ascertain that hotels,
office buildings and restaurants in the area are contacted and their
opinions considered and to determine if a modified proposal could work
on an experimental basis.
the City’s failure (or inability) to maintain and empty the Big Belly
trash cans throughout our neighborhood, we thought that unemptied human
waste would be even worse! Many of you expressed the same concerns to us
and there was little support for installing them in Center City West.
program is controversial. Having adequate public restroom facilities
for tourists and visitors is desirable. At the same time, having
facilities which invite crime, drug use and attract more people
experiencing homelessness to a recovering post-pandemic city business
area is not.
asking these city employees to play fair. But they seem to have
determined to proceed regardless of the concerns of our residents.
we need our elected political leadership to implement an approval
process for CCRA and LSNA, as well as other communities which want
We will keep you informed. If you have opinions you want to share, please let us know. We’ll pass them on. Depend on it.
Party with the Ladybugs
1988, thanks to the vision and hard work of many CCRA members, the
support of Park Commissioner Ernesta Ballard, the advocacy of landscape
architect John Collins, and funds from the City of Philadelphia and the
Fairmount Park Commission, an area was developed in the beautiful
Schuylkill River Park Community Garden as part of the recently completed
Schuylkill River Park. Now, we all can play with and release our
ladybug friends at their Ladybug Release Party on Monday, May 25 at 5:00
pm. This helps keep the aphids at bay, so local gardeners can grow food
and continue to donate food to PHS’s City Harvest Program.
· Is it important that Center City West be an enjoyable and safe place for you and your family to live and work?
· Would you like to meet interesting and fun neighbors?
Then think about joining the CCRA Board!
is looking to fill several Board seats for our fiscal year beginning
July 1, 2022. Board members generally serve a term of 3 years. The
Board is a working Board. We are seeking CCRA members who have a
passion for living in “CCRAville;” are interested in issues of quality
of life and community service; and are committed to active Board
participation. Successful candidates must serve on at least one
committee and agree to fulfill the responsibilities set forth in our
Board Pledge, which includes devoting at least four hours per month on
CCRA activities, not including time spent attending, and preparing for,
monthly Board meetings. Click for fullBoard Pledge and List of Committees.
members are encouraged to forward a statement of interest that includes
a summary of qualifications, as well as a resume or bio, by Tuesday, May 31 to: firstname.lastname@example.org,
with "Board Candidate" in the subject line. (We also welcome your
suggestion of any individual who resides in CCRAville who you believe
would be an asset to the Board. Be sure to include their email address
and/or phone number.)
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 the
destination Indian restaurantVeda.
Get Your Indian Cuisine On at Veda
there are plenty of choices when it comes to Indian food in Philly, but
there’s really only one smart choice, and that would beVeda at 1920 Chestnut Street.
upscale eatery with a modern vibe (and a large bar), Veda has a wide
and tantalizing menu that will satisfy vegans, carnivores and everything
in-between. Classic Indian dishes and clever new creations, numerous
shareable plates, all presented beautifully. Never to be overlooked are
the dessert and cocktail menus.
The service is gracious and friendly, and lest we forget: Happy Hours run from 5pm to 7pm, seven days a week.
So you really can’t go wrong at Veda, especially if you’re a CCRA member, as CCRA folk receive a 10% discount.
Clean, Safe and Green
Cool It: Tree Canopy Bill Intro’d in City Council
rising temperatures making tree cover and its cooling effects all that
much more important, legislation was introduced in City Council last
week to stem the recent decline in tree canopies.
other things, the proposed bill would increase tree preservation and
planting requirements for developers and eliminate some exemptions to
existing rules, including for parkland. Details here.
Go Take a Hike, or Ten
don’t have to visit the Academy of Natural Sciences to benefit from
their knowledge of Philadelphia’s natural environment. If you’re an
explorer at heart, take a hike on one of their ten suggested walks
through our watershed. Go upstream a bit to these beautiful waterway
hikes for some views like this photo. Take the kiddies, the dog and a
camera. The path is here.
Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion
Online AIDS Memorial Goes Public
in the day, Chris Bartlett co-founded an online database of people lost
to AIDS. Now, the Director of the William Way LGBT Community Center is
spearheading an effort to make the memorialization more public via
“Remembrance”, an alternative memorial which will feature a commissioned
theater production and New Orleans-style funeral procession through the
city. Details here.
Ven Aquí (Go Here!)
live in Center City? Good chance you’re interested in live music, film,
cocktails, and light fare at The Barnes for your Friday night on the
town. On June 3rd, starting around 6 pm, come listen to renowned Cuban
singer/songwriter Daymé Arocena, hailed by NPR as “a magical mash-up of
the Queen of Latin Music, Celia Cruz, and the Queen of Soul, Aretha
Franklin.” The Barnes says….Arocena effortlessly blends traditional
Santerían chant, jazz stylings, contemporary R&B influences and
Afro-Cuban rhythmic complexity. All of the collection galleries will be
open, as well. To learn more, ven aquí.
Thrill to the majesty of 29,000 pipes on June 4
when Peter Richard Conte and Dorothy Papadakos create musical fireworks
on the legendary Wanamaker Organ, all in the perfect hush of a closed
How to Challenge Your Property Tax Assessment
loving your new property tax assessment? We’re shocked, SHOCKED. The
good news is that there are avenues of appeal. That road can start here.
We’re Just Dying to See This!
you haven’t wandered through Laurel Hill Cemetery or taken its unique
tour of this 186-year-old Victorian cemetery, listen up!
Saturday pay five bucks and get a free tour and listen to music (what,
you haven't heard of Mighty Joe Castro & the Gravamen?). Food will
be for sale, or you can BYO and a blanket and enjoy the beautiful
surrounds. And that’s not even the MAIN EVENT
is… a curated collection of unusual antiques, assorted oddities,
vintage items, artwork, and handmade wares at this outdoor market of the
macabre. Victorian, steampunk, and/or gothic attire is encouraged.
Creep hereto learn more and purchase tickets.
Music Worth A Road Trip
a previous edition of CCRA This Week, we announced that the jazz band
Drew Nugent & The Midnight Society would be playing in Rittenhouse
Square beginning May 20. Unfortunately, this information is incorrect
and the band will not be playing in Rittenhouse Square. However, you can
see them at Ft. Mifflin at the Mud Island Hot Jazz Lawn Party on June
18 beginning at 1:00 pm. More information can be found here: Mud Island Hot Jazz Lawn Party 2022 Tickets in Philadelphia, PA, United States (ticketleap.com)
Not to be missed - the Grease Pole Contest,
The pole is 30 feet high, greased with lard, and you will find it at
the 9th & Montrose Piazza. We’re still figuring out how to enter the
contest! Give our best to the “Gravy SEALS”....
It Doesn’t Get Much Better
There’s ice cream, and then there’s lead-me-to-it, I-can’t-wait, and OMG Jeni’s
ice cream at the corner of 19th and Chestnut. Hello Brown Butter Almond
Brittle, Brambleberry Crisp, Peanut Milkiest Chocolate, and at least a
dozen more flavors. You can sample before you invest. A single (two
flavors) is $6.95, a Trio (up to three flavors) is $7.25. The waffle
cone is extra at $1. 50. You can order online atjenis.com.
Visit and soak in the aroma. Recommendations? The Gooey Butter Cake
made with a base of cream cheese with caramel, butterscotch, and vanilla
cake, 200 calories for the single.
Guest Writer: Marian Robinson
Guest Photographer: Ben Zuckerman
An Ethical Lens: Progressive Politics with Helen Gym
Monday, May 23, 7-8:30 PM at the Ethical Society
An Ethical Lens: Progressive Politics with Helen Gym
are the challenges of pursuing a progressive political platform that
focuses on the needs of people and families rather than on corporate
interests? City Councilmember At-Large Helen Gym will talk with Ethical
Society Leader Hugh Taft-Morales about how her background, experience,
and ethical values help sustain her as she tackles issues like fair
education, homelessness, and a living wage. Learn more here.
vaccinated people are invited to this free event which will be filmed
for future broadcast. (At the Ethical Society, 1906 Rittenhouse Square -
please wear a mask!)
Are Thursdays the New Fridays?
to the Center City District, Philadelphia’s diverse network of arts and
culture organizations will be celebrated every Thursday, from 6-7 p.m.
as they perform in Dilworth Park.
Lady Hoofers Tap Ensemble will open the series this Thursday, May 19.
Coming up over the summer: the Philadelphia Ballet, Black Pearl Chamber
Orchestra, Opera Philadelphia and many more. Attendance is free. Seating
on the Greenfield Lawn is limited and guests are encouraged to bring
their own blanket or chair.
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.