Thursday, September 29, 2022

CCRA Newsletter


This Week: September 29, 2022

Editor – Barbara Halpern

Lead Writer – Richard Vaughn

Design/Layout and Writer – Travis Oliver

Guest Photographer  Ben Zuckerman

Greatness, With a Side of Class

The sporting world – as well as the entire world – took notice this weekend as Roger Federer concluded his remarkable tennis career in London. Closer to home, New York Yankees slugger Aaron Judge tied Roger Maris’ iconic record of 61 home runs.


While their athletic feats border on the miraculous, what was noticeable was their lack of grandstanding, boorishness or poor sportsmanship. Both men comported themselves in the most gracious of manners, behaving humbly and deflecting the justified praise onto their respective teams.


In an era when being a bad sport has become the norm, it was refreshing to see.

Such comportment should be encouraged -- win or lose -- not only in daily life but also in arenas both athletic and political.

CCRA News and Events

Tonight! CCRA Annual Meeting

CCRA’s Annual Meeting is tonight, Thursday, Sept 29th, at the Freire School Auditorium at 2027 Chestnut Street at 7 pm.


In addition to electing new Directors, keynote speaker State Representative Amen Brown will discuss his successful efforts to allow the seizure of off-road vehicles and other ways Harrisburg can help us with quality-of-life issues.  Also on the agenda is our announcement of a significant new initiative in our efforts to seek Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion in Center City West.


This is a members-only event.  All members should register in advance.  Each member is permitted to bring one guest.


Click here to see the board member nominee bios. Register here.


Refreshments are provided by 12th Street Caterers.

CCRA Public Zoning Committee Meeting

CCRA’s zoning committee held its monthly public meeting on Tuesday, September 27th. Three properties were presented to the committee. If you would like to view the meeting, click here. If you would like to see the report, click here.

The next scheduled meeting is Tuesday, October 25th, at 7 pm.

Team CCRA Crushes Foes at Philly Quizzo Trivia Throwdown

It didn’t figure to be close, and it wasn’t.

Team CCRA never trailed at the Billy Penn Philly Quizzo trivia competition on Tuesday evening, September 27th, as its collective smarts outpaced all comers in a convincing, end-to-end victory at the Sidecar Bar & Grille at 22nd and Christian Streets. To top it off, the $100 first prize conveniently pretty much paid for dinner and drinks, with Rick Speizman graciously picking up the rest of the tab. The victors: Barbara Halpern, Gordon Henderson, Maggie Mund, Rick Speizman, Richard Vaughn, and Irena Wight.

Did someone say “Jeopardy!?”


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 Dom’s Shoe Repair.

Dom’s Shoe Repair: A Shoe-In


Ever have a beloved pair of shoes you wore to death and which pained you to toss? Or a pair of boots to die for that simply went the way of all flesh? Or sandals, too? We’ve all been there. It’s painful.

The next time that happens, you need to march that footwear to Dom’s Shoe Repair at 203 S. 20th Street.  The man may not quite be a miracle worker, but he’s close.  Stories abound about how he’s taken lost causes and restored them to their former glory.


And no, it’s not just about the shoes (nor boots, nor sandals).  Dom’s has been known to resuscitate handbags in dire straits.  There are even urban legends about him making watchbands as good as new!

All of which are done with honesty, humor and hospitality.

Clean, Safe and Green

Stay In Your Lane: Bus Lane Crackdown Coming

Anyone who thinks he or she is clever by blocking or driving in a bus lane better think twice now, because a new enforcement initiative plans to crack down on offending vehicles on Chestnut Street, Market Street, and JFK Boulevard. 

Be warned here.

Some Fall Plants & Flowers That Will Spice Up Your Window Boxes

Now that summer's over and fall is gaining momentum, many of us are gravitating towards the rich, warm tones and cooler temperatures of autumn. 

If you’re wondering which fall flowers and plants to add to your fall window box arrangements, click here to view a few suggestions that will add color to your window displays.

Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion

South Street Fest this Saturday: Where? South Street!

South Street and environs is the place to be this weekend for not one but two reasons.

First is the 14th Annual South Street Oktoberfest, an all-day street-fest complete with live Oompah music, German dancers, and a Liter Lift Competition… you may even see lederhosen!

And because even that’s not enough, the 17th Annual Philly AIDS Thrift Block Party is back with a bang, featuring live music, food trucks, celebrity dunk tank, carnival games, and craft/vintage vendors. Come one, come all, as they say.

All details here.


We thought gay life in Philly had already reached heavenly heights, but on Sunday, October 2nd, 12 - 8 pm, Love City Brewing is flying the rainbow flag to a new zenith - hosting THE FIRST EVER all-day QUEERtoberfest, with a not-to-be-missed lineup of drinks, food, and entertainment. Are you ready for a German-centered day of drag queen opera, a burlesque show extravaganza, and a yodeling contest (think Bavarian Alps)? 

Don’t miss the traditional Köln-style service of a light, hoppy, Sure Shot Kölsch and other Lovefest Oktoberfest beers! All are welcome!

Click here to buy tickets.

Community News and Events

Go Outward Bound in Fairmount Park

Ziplining, canoeing and rock climbing… all in Philadelphia?

Yes, at Discovery Fest at The Discovery Center in East Fairmount Park this coming Saturday, October 1st. This year Discovery Fest celebrates Philadelphia Outward Bound School’s 30th Anniversary of service to Philadelphia youth and communities.  

Discovery Fest is an all-day, family-friendly festival that will offer attendees the chance to experience Outward Bound the way the Outward Bound School’s students do. 

Did we mention that admission and all activities are FREE?

Scale the heights here.

Loo Poo: Portland Loo Coming to 15th & Arch Next Year

It’s all part of a public restroom pilot the City is leading which is slated to introduce a total of six ADA-accessible standalone toilets across different neighborhoods over the next five years. The toilets will be maintained by employees from the Department of Public Health’s Substance Use and Harm Reduction division.

Full disclosure here: CCRA is not a fan. Considering the City’s failure (or inability) to maintain and empty the Big Belly trash cans throughout our neighborhood, we believe that unemptied human waste will prove even more problematic. 

We have surveyed our members, and they are unanimously in agreement with the concerns we have raised and which have not been addressed by City planners. We are actively engaged with City Council President Darrell Clarke in attempting to make the Registered Community Organization's (RCO’s) consent to any location of a Portland Loo in their jurisdiction a requirement in order for the City to proceed.

Details of the Portland Loo plan here.

What to Know About the November 8th Election

Just because you’re inundated with election entreaties about the November 8th election doesn’t mean that you know all you need to know about it. 

You can cut through the haze with this election guide here.

Going Up: Laurel Nears Completion

You’ve seen (and heard) the construction of the Laurel Rittenhouse at 1911 Walnut Street for some time already, and now the time is nigh for completion. Some fast facts: 599 feet tall, 48 stories, the ninth-tallest skyscraper in town, the tallest residential building in Center City, 185 rental units, and 64 luxury condominiums. 

Take a closer look here.

Now That’s a Mug!

With airfare sky-high, forget about going to Germany this year for Oktoberfest.  Of course, it’s pretty much finished over there by the time Philly launches this annual drinking event. 

Got FOMO (Fear of Missing Out)? 

One of the best ways to sort-of experience an “authentic” Oktoberfest is right here…in the ‘hood, of all places.

Now the consummate party place, the 23rd Street Armory is hosting a not-to-be-missed, weekend-long (Friday, October 7th at 7:30 pm - Saturday, October 8th at 11:30 pm) extravaganza, with “tented ceilings, original biergarten benches from Munich, live German Oompah music, authentic German dance performances, original festival food, and of course plenty of German beer served in 1-Liter Masskrug!” 

Wanna go?  Get your tickets NOW.  In “PC” (uh…Pre-Covid) days, they always sold out. 

Drink in the details here.

Suburban Envy No More!

Some things just don’t translate from suburban to urban. Apparently, that’s not true for the traditional fall harvest farm festivals held throughout Bucks, Montgomery and Delaware County because (nah nah) we got our own! Leave it to Center City District to create a hay maze on the Greenfield Lawn featuring pumpkin painting and scarecrow stilt walkers right here on Dilworth Plaza along the western side of City Hall. 

And we even one-upped our commuter friends. Knowing our urban propensity for dynamic partying, the city has added a Made in Philadelphia Fall Market right next to the lawn, replete with bands, DJs, and, of course, booze for the adults. The fun continues all weekend long.

Hay maze: Friday, September 30, 9 am - 9 pm, Dilworth Plaza

Harvest Weekend, featuring Made in Philadelphia: Friday, September 7 - Sunday, October 9, Dilworth Plaza

Crafty Creations in the Park

Just in time for some early holiday shopping (okay, spank us for saying that), the Pennsylvania Guild of Craftsmen’s Fine Craft Fair returns to Rittenhouse Square, Friday through Sunday, October 7th - 9th, with more than 150 crafters from all around the country.

Come out and support traditional and contemporary artists. Ogle their original, hand-crafted works of contemporary furniture, functional and decorative pottery, designer clothing, fine jewelry, and blown glass.

Jefferson Health President Bruce Meyer to Speak at CCBA Event October 6th

Join Jefferson Health Senior Executive VP Bruce Meyer on Thursday, October 6th at the Pyramid Club for a lunchtime discussion about issues affecting the healthcare industry.  It’s all part of the Center City Business Association’s ongoing signature series of seminars and panel discussions, which CCRA members can attend for a reduced rate (promo code CCRA). 

Event details here.

Try Try Again?

Kenyatta Johnson represents a significant portion of our neighborhood in City Council. His first federal trial on bribery charges resulted in a hung jury and was declared a mistrial by a federal judge. His second trial commences this week. 

Details 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.


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)

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)

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