Thursday, May 26, 2022

CCRA Newsletter


This Week: May 26, 2022

Editor - Barbara Halpern

Lead Writer - Richard Vaughn

Design/Layout and Writer - Travis Oliver

Memorial Day 2022

And so just like that… it’s Memorial Day.

After a Spring season of two, maybe three truly Spring-like weather days, the official unofficial beginning of Summer is upon us.


So Get Out. Enjoy the great outdoors.

And patronize our hard-hit businesses, be it here in town or down the Shore.


And of course, recall the fallen on Memorial Day.

We all may complain a lot, and often with good cause.

But let’s never forget those who made the ultimate sacrifice.

CCRA News and Events


For the past ten months or so a group of dog owners in our neighborhood has decided that they do not need to comply with the requirement that dogs in Rittenhouse Square need to be leashed. The problem this poses is threefold: unleashed dogs in a pack tear up the grass wherever they congregate; the owners are unable to monitor where the dogs poop and thus cannot pick up after them; and the dogs bark and yelp while playing and disturb the neighbors in the high-rises around the square. CCRA and the Friends of Rittenhouse Square have made repeated efforts to explain to the group why they should comply with the rule. New signs were posted making the leash-law clear. All of these efforts failed to change the scofflaw behavior, which was often met with rude and hostile responses from owners. No amount of reasoning with these people could achieve voluntary compliance, even though there is an off-leash park only five blocks east at the river.

At a recent meeting of the Rittenhouse Square Noise Task Force, organized by CCRA, the issue was discussed thoroughly. In attendance were representatives from nearly all the high-rise buildings around the square along with Police Community Relations Officer Jesse O’Shea and Animal Control Officer Rachel Schumacher. The Philadelphia Animal Care and Control Team is authorized to ticket owners who violate leash laws. Officer Schumacher agreed to begin a regular patrol of the square during the mornings when this activity is prevalent in the nice weather and to warn the owners to comply. Non-compliant owners will be issued tickets, which start at $100 and double and triple for repeat violations.

On her first morning in the Square, Officer Schumacher warned 16 owners to leash their dogs. There was some grumbling, but she achieved 100% compliance. Officer O’Shea provided backup, and the enforcement strategy started off well. She will return regularly and issue tickets to repeat offenders. We hope that isn’t necessary. What these people fail to understand is that the Square belongs to everyone, and their selfish behavior deprives many people of their rightful enjoyment of it. We hope this approach will work. 

If you see unleashed dogs in the square, you may report that to the ACCT at 267-385-3100. Ext. 1. Also, sending pictures of people with unleashed dogs to Officer Schumacher’s attention will aid in her enforcement efforts. We hope this problem can be resolved…there are much more serious situations that deserve our attention, but this one annoys a great deal of our members.

Members Want Input on Loo Decision

Thanks to all our members who wrote to us expressing their concern about the installation of the Portland Loo public toilets in our neighborhood. All of the responses were supportive of our further discussions and engagement  with the City over their proposed installation, maintenance and location in Center City West. We’ll keep you posted.

CCRA Zoning Committee Meeting

On Tuesday, May 24, CCRA held its public zoning committee meeting. You can watch the meeting here. The decisions from the Zoning Committee can be found here. The next meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, June 28, via Zoom.

Office Closure and Trash Collection

In observance of the Memorial Day Holiday, CCRA is closed on Monday, May 30.  The office will reopen on Tuesday, May 31. 

Reminder: no trash will be collected on Monday, May 30.  Collection will resume on Tuesday, May 31.

Less News, More Beach for your CCRA Team

Your News Team at CCRA is slowing down for the summer, since we want to go down the shore like everyone else. We’ll be publishing every two weeks for the summer.  

Look for your next issue on June 9. We will resume weekly distribution beginning in September. See you on the beach! 

Barbara, Richard and Travis


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 Alimentari, the restaurant atop the legendary Di Bruno Brothers.


“Alimentari, My Dear Watson”

It quite simply is the most logical of deductions to conclude that a restaurant version of the esteemed food store Di Bruno’s could only be superb.  And so it is.


The word “alimentary” actually means “to nourish”, and do they ever, with small plates, cheese, charcuterie and Pizza alla Roma, all served in a unique, classy and minimalistic cafe with wooden tones, small plants, and natural lighting, all perfect for sharing, nibbling and sipping beer, wine and cocktails.


And, as with the Di Bruno’s store itself, CCRA members receive 10% off their food bill.

See you there!


Clean, Safe and Green

Bike Cops Added to Make Bike Lanes More Bike-Only


Most agree that bike lanes are a boon to Center City traffic. Problem is, cars and trucks too often park in bike lanes, forcing bikers

into traffic, where accidents happen.

In response, the PPA is adding eight bike lane enforcement officers who will target vehicles illegally parked in bike lanes. Details here.

From Forfeit to Field Sprint

Thanks to D.A. Larry Krasner, money forfeited to the D.A.’s office has now been repurposed to help increase the capacity of three local biking groups focused on the young’uns. The hope is that kids owning, riding and fixing up their bikes will give them a creative outlet and reduce idle hands…..and we all know where that leads! 

For details, pedal here.


Ritta Robinson and Grace Poles try out Philly Pumptrack in Fairmount Park. (Tom MacDonald/WHYY News), Courtesy of WHYY

Protect our Waterways! Help us Mark Storm Drains!


As rainwater washes over our sidewalks and streets, it picks up pollutants and trash that ends up in storm drains. Stormwater carries with it pollutants such as grease, oil, pet waste, fertilizer, pesticides, and trash as it flows directly into the Delaware and Schuylkill Rivers, the source of our drinking water. Help remind people that only rain belongs in the drain! If you have an hour or so to mark storm drains in Center City in the next few weeks, email Susan Kahn here

Time for Fresh Air?


We all have time to listen to Terry Gross. But then there’s the real air…..that crappy stuff we breathe. Our air quality regulation of toxins needs to be updated (1981 was the last time). Imagine what’s in it! 

Have an opinion about what should and should not be permitted? To demand public hearings and community input, click here before the June 1 deadline. 

To get the facts, go here.

Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion

Philly PRIDE Festival Tries a Reboot Following Discord


Following accusations of racism and transphobia, the Philly Pride Festival did not happen last year. This year?  They’re looking to revive it and move forward.

Details in their podcast here.

Select City Workers Get a Leg Up on Workforce Housing


A bill passed last week in City Council provides certain municipal workers a competitive advantage when at least 1,000 workforce housing units become available as par of the Neighborhood Preservation Initiative, the effort aimed at increasing the city’s stock of affordable housing. 

Details here.

Comcast: Women Business Owners - Call Us. Really!

Comcast has expanded its support for women-owned businesses through a program called “Comcast Rise” and wants women to call on them for help. In spite of any prior experiences with asking Comcast for help, let’s give this one a try.  

If you need help with marketing consultations, media placements, commercial creative production services, or technology services, go here to apply.

And please let us know how it works for you.

Community News and Events

Now That’s Elegant

An invite from the folks at Fitler Square Park:

Kick off summer with a concert in the park! Enjoy the sweet sounds of Elegance Quartet on Tuesday, June 7, from 6-7:30 p.m. (RAIN DATE: Thursday, June 9, 6-7:30 p.m.)


Bring a picnic dinner and enjoy a night under the stars in the park. Elegance Quartet, an electric string band, will perform your favorite songs with their signature style. The Quartet has performed with some of the biggest names in the music industry (Idina Menzel, Michael Bublé, Trans-Siberian Orchestra, to name a few!) and we're lucky to have them in Fitler Square. Check out Elegance Quartet online to learn more.


Local Outdoor Events - Sunshine Requested

What a neighborhood. These three outdoor events remind us of why we live here. Check out these upcoming festivals, now that spring has finally sprung.


Rittenhouse Square Fine Art Show, Friday, June 3, 11 am to 7 pm, Saturday, June 4, 11 am to 7 pm, Sunday, June 5, 11 am to 6 pm


Odunde Festival, 2300 South Street (15 city blocks), June 8-12.


Bloomsday Festival, The Rosenbach, Outdoors, 2008-10 Delancey Place,Thursday, June 16, Day-long public reading by literati, artists, public figures,and familiar personalities along with musical performances.

Post-Pandemic Recovery Facing Turning Point


The city is facing a turning point in its post-pandemic recovery, and a new report suggests that as little as 70,000 new jobs could mean the difference between rebound or flat-lining.  Details of the report from the Pew Charitable Trusts can be found here.

FORE!  Mini Golf in Center City? That’s Not a Typo


A tech-infused, 26,000-square-foot miniature golf facility that includes four competitive courses along with a bar and restaurant?   Where else but in Center City? Introducing Puttshack, coming next year to the Shops at Liberty Place on Chestnut Street.

Drive for the details here.

Dredging Up the Past

New hope for making the Schuylkill River near Boathouse Row safer for boaters. While the last dredging contract still languishes in court proceedings,  Sen. Bob Casey and other local honchos announced  $13M in new infrastructure  funding for the restoration of the the waterway near Boathouse Row, which is home to some of the region's most anticipated annual regattas. Work is anticipated to start in July…of this year!

For the dirt, go here.



Help Needed at Fitler Square Farmers’ Market - Saturdays!


We are looking for a few individuals to help at our busy Saturday morning market stand! Persons should be energetic, outgoing, must be able to lift 40 lbs, be able to take direction, and work well with others in a fast-paced environment. A love for good food and local produce is a big plus! The job includes loading and unloading produce, making displays, checking quality of produce, recording inventory, greeting and helping customers, and cleaning up.  Our market is at Fitler Square Saturday mornings, the shift would be from 8AM-2:30PM. If you think you may be a good fit or have interest, we would love to hear from you!   Please contact by emailing Mary:  and let us know why you think you would be a good fit!

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.

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. & 1819 JFK Blvd. (609-254-9048) 

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)

PhotoLounge, 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)

CCRA assumes no responsibility, and makes no representations or warranties, regarding any product and/or services sold by any Merchant Partner.

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

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