Thursday, August 25, 2022

CCRA Newsletter



CCRA Annual Meeting

CCRA’s Annual Meeting will take place on Thursday, September 29th, at the Freire School Auditorium, at 2027 Chestnut, at 7 pm. In addition to electing new Directors, we will have an exciting keynote speaker and announce a significant new initiative in our efforts to seek Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion in Center City West. Refreshments will be catered by 12th Street Caterers, who wowed us with their food at the 75th Anniversary Gala. Please mark your calendars and join us. Be sure to sign up for upcoming issues of CCRA This Week.

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Vivian Seltzer

It is with a heavy heart that we announce the passing of Dr. Vivian Seltzer.  Vivian passed away on Saturday, August 20.  She was a longtime CCRA member as well as a CCRA President.  She is survived by her husband, William Seltzer, and her three children.  The staff and board send our deepest condolences to the family.  You can read her obituary and write your condolences here

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

Thursday, August 18, 2022

CCRA Newsletter


This Week: August 18, 2022

Editor - Barbara Halpern

Lead Writer - Richard Vaughn

Design/Layout and Writer - Travis Oliver

Guest Photographer - Ben Zuckerman

As Summer Ends

It’s an eternal mystery as to why summer seems endless when you’re a kid but goes by like that! when you’re an adult.


But the end of summer it is, and before long it’ll be warm days, cool nights and back-to-school.


And back, quite possibly, to the playoffs for the Phillies for the first time since (gulp) 2011.

Believe it; October baseball could be a thing here.


And the Eagles? Our Birds are widely considered to have had the NFL’s best off-season.

Say hello to A.J. Brown, Jordan Davis and Temple’s own Haasan Reddick, among others.


So what’s your favorite Sports Bar? 

Tell us. We’d like to know.

CCRA News and Events

CCRA & CCBA: Perfect Together

CCRA and the Center City Business Association (CCBA) share more than a set of initials; together we share a deep passion to see our city revitalized in the wake of the pandemic, and we look forward to many joint collaborations (think Diversity, Equity & Inclusion) to benefit both our members and the community at large.


So who and what is the CCBA? In short, it serves as a chamber of commerce for all businesses located in or doing business in Center City. It is known for its signature series of seminars and panel discussions (details here), which CCRA members can attend for a reduced rate.

Details on the Center City Business Association at their website here.

The Grass Turns Blue Tonight at Fitler Square

Are you a hipbilly urbanite? Tonight’s your night!


Come out to Fitler Square, 6:30-8:30 pm and bring your blanket, friends, kids and dogs to listen to a bluegrass concert with The Lewis Brothers, sponsored, of course, by CCRA. This concert (free of charge)

offers a mix of traditional, folk, country and rock-and-roll and is being presented by our local Friends of Fitler Square Park.

Fiddle over here for concert info. 

The Lewis Brothers  have shared the stage with greats like Dailey and Vincent, J.D.Crowe and the New South and have played at the Philadelphia Folk Festival (which is this weekend, folkies, in Schwenksville).

Office Closed for Summer Break – part 2

To give our staff member a break and in observance of the Labor Day holiday, CCRA is closed from Monday, August 29, and will reopen on Tuesday, Sept 6. Any messages received will be returned starting on Tuesday. There will be limited editions of CCRA This Week during this period.

Zoning Meeting Canceled

The CCRA Zoning Committee has canceled its meeting on August 23 as there are no hearings that are ready for presentation. The next meeting will be on Tuesday, September 27.


‘Branzino’ is Italian for… Delicious.

Every week we spotlight a member of the CCRA Merchant Partner ‘Deals & Discount’ Program, which helps local Mom and Pop businesses get back on their post-pandemic feet by providing complimentary valuable advertising and exposure by encouraging support from CCRA’s highly-engaged (and growing) membership. This week we feature the Rittenhouse BYOB Branzino.


Located in the heart of Rittenhouse on 17th below Locust, CCRA Merchant Partner Branzino offers sumptuous modern Italian cuisine in an expansive Center City townhouse that features a lovely private garden in the outdoor patio out back. The BYOB’s food is flavorful and exquisitely presented by the warm and accommodating staff. And, as a CCRA Merchant Partner, Branzino offers 10% off for both indoor and outdoor garden dining and pickup for orders directly telephoned into the restaurant.

(Note: The discount does not apply to third-party delivery services.)

10% off and a BYOB? What are you waiting for?

Clean, Safe and Green

Peace for More than a Day

Peace Day Philly promotes and encourages programs related to personal, local and/or global peace, on and around the United Nations International Day of Peace (“Peace Day”), which is on SEPTEMBER 21. Our good neighbor, The Ethical Society, is playing host to a number of events. One that captured our eye is laugh-out-loud Mission: Joy, a documentary focused on the unique relationship between His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the late Archbishop Desmond Tutu. Filmed at the Dalai Lama’s residence in Dharamsala, the film invites viewers to join these luminaries behind the scenes as they recount stories from their lives, each having lived through periods of incredible difficulty and strife.

For the full schedule of events, meditate here.

E-bikes: Time to Regulate?

Are you one of the many new e-bike owners? Are you one of the many pedestrians who are a bit scared when they fly by you on Philly’s walking trails? Speak up…’s the time. Read PA’s Dept. of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) draft policy on the use of e-bikes on bike trails found in state parks and forests that are managed by DCNR.

The Philadelphia Bicycle Coalition has analyzed and commented upon these proposed new policies; read their comments here. The Coalition invites you to submit  some or all of their pre-written comments to amplify their voice. Pedal over to here to add your own comments and/or read and submit theirs.

Take Back the Streets

At least for one day – Saturday, October 15, some major Philly streets will belong to pedestrians and cyclists again.

Grab the clan and take a car-free bike ride through historic Philadelphia. This ride’s for everyone, three and up. Pedal along 20 car-free miles filled with Philly’s historical sites, beautiful views, local music and photo-op stops. The reward for your healthy lifestyle? A post-ride festival by the iconic steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, with music, food trucks, fun-filled activities, and giveaways. Tickets are available now, here.

Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion

The AAMP Moves to Center Stage

Hot off the Press: The African American Museum in Philadelphia (AAMP) will relocate to the Benjamin Franklin Parkway as part of the redevelopment of 1801 Vine and 1901 Wood Streets. AAMP is the first institution built by a major United States city to house and interpret the life and work of African Americans. 

Four development teams have been selected for the opportunity to reimagine the site. Seems like a win/win and everybody’s happy. This unique museum deserves to be featured along with our other great museums on the future Parkway. But why wait years to see it? On Sat. 9/24, you can visit the exhibitions at the museum AND stop by Franklin Square where the museum plays host to a lineup of local and visiting musicians, griots, lyricists, community leaders, teaching artists, and more. March here for details.

Community News and Events

The Ball of Them All at Rittenhouse

You most certainly want to Save the Date for this one!

It’s the Ball on the Square, a spectacular, upscale party with a unique combination of ambiance, entertainment and society.

It’s a culinary and spirits tasting experience like no other, set for September 14 under the stars in Rittenhouse Square.  Put on by our pals at Friends of Rittenhouse Square, proceeds will support the operations and maintenance of Rittenhouse Square, and a portion of the proceeds this year will be donated to Project Home.

You don’t want to miss this, so go here now.

Ready for the “Otherworld”?

40,000 square feet. 55 rooms and large-scale installations.

Over 100 artists.

Sounds like another world, right? Well, close. It’s “Otherworld”, an immersive, interactive, 3-D art experience coming to Philadelphia this winter.

For the likes of this, only seeing is believing; trip over here.

Celebrate Fall with Restaurant Week

Autumn will soon be upon us, and what better way to ring it in than to partake of Center City District Restaurant Week?

The details: 9/12-9/24. Prix-fixe pricing at more than 60 participating locations, including three-course dinners for $40 per person, and select lunches for $25 per person.

New this year: “Dinner and a Show,” a brand-new promotion that offers discounted tickets to some of the city’s most beloved arts and culture venues. Bring your appetite here.

Whiskey River Ain’t Gonna Run Dry at Whiskey Fest

A Whiskey and Fine Spirits Festival, at Lincoln Financial Field no less? Are we dreaming?

Nope, it’s for real.  On Thursday, October 13 Philadelphia magazine hosts what it’s calling the “ultimate tasting event”, and who are we to disagree when we’re talking over 250 premium distilled spirits including whiskey, scotch, vodka, gin, rum, tequila, cordials and handcrafted cocktails. 

Plus over 40 wines to taste and bites from Philly’s favorite restaurants. Cheers here.

Fringe Benefits: Festival Starts Sept. 8

If extreme times call for extreme measures, what better times than these to make a few dates with the Fringe Festival?

FringeArts is Philadelphia’s home for contemporary, outside-the-box performances that often defy expectations, and it all starts Sept. 8. Get your Fringe on here.

Take the Kids to the Revolution

Over Labor Day weekend admission to the American Revolutionary Museum is free for kids aged 12 and under.

For the rest of us Revolutionary War buffs, you can see Washington’s original tent he slept in (did he sleep everywhere?), learn about how critical France was in our success, and see the research-based artwork of nationally renowned historical artist Don Troiani.

You’ll experience costumed living history interpreters, discovery carts, pop-up talks and hands-on crafts, all detailed here. 

And….it’s air conditioned!

Art in the Park

Unless you're new to Center City West, you know the excitement of taking a stroll around Rittenhouse Square during  one of their spectacular art shows. Having passed the test of time, this exhibition boasts 95 years of supporting artists and our local community, with visitors aplenty. Carve out space on your calendar from Sept. 16-19 to gawk at the art, the prices, chat with the artists and hopefully, find that special piece you just can’t live without.

For details, go canvassing here.

Kimmel’s Free Fall Art Fest

We checked this out last year, and it was a magical afternoon, so this year head to The Kimmel on Sept. 17th for a diverse sampling of FREE, live performances from its world-renowned resident companies: a sampling of what’s in store for us in this year’s season.

Plus, get the down low from other local arts organizations about their own programs for the upcoming season. Details and registration 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.

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)

The River Boat Tours, Receive 10% off a riverboat tour of the tidal Schuylkill by calling (215-309-5523)

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.

12th Street Catering, 3312 Spring Garden St. (215-386-8595)

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