Thursday, October 6, 2022

CCRA Newsletter


This Week: October 6, 2022

Editor – Barbara Halpern

Lead Writer – Richard Vaughn

Design/Layout and Writer – Travis Oliver

Writer/Proofreader – Margie Wiener

CCRA Annual Meeting

CCRA’s Annual Meeting was held the evening of September 29 at the Freire School on Chestnut Street.


Keynote speaker Rep. Amen Brown demonstrated his understanding of how quality-of-life issues affect the entire city when he spoke about his work on ghost guns and on mandating stiff penalties and incarceration for individuals with multiple weapons possession charges. 


CCRA President Rick Gross announced the launching of a cultural initiative with the Freire School that will, among other things, sponsor field trips for students to theaters, museums and other Philadelphia institutions. 

Rick also announced that CCRA is committed to working with the Enterprise Fund Capital Corporation to raise $1,000,000 to fund a program to provide below-market capital, otherwise unavailable, for Black/Brown/Women-owned businesses to locate in Center City West.

Additionally, seven members (four incumbents) were elected to the CCRA Board. You can view their bios here.

CCRA News and Events

CCRA Board of Directors Meeting

Tuesday, October 11, 7 pm 

BEX Meeting Facility, 2005 Market Street 

This meeting is open to CCRA members. If you would like to attend, please contact Travis Oliver here. For more information click here.

Trash Collection

In observance of Indigenous Peoples’ Day, no trash will be collected on Monday, October 10. 

Collection will resume on Tuesday, October 11.

Building Friendships in Fitler

Connecting with other people not only feels great, it's also important for our physical, mental, and emotional health. Research shows that there is a growing trend toward isolation and loneliness in the United States. This was the case prior to the pandemic, and social distancing over the past two years has only served to exacerbate the problem. Philadelphia is no different. 

In light of this, a few civic groups in Fitler Square are joining together to tackle this challenge at a local level. Through our community meetings, conversations, and a recent survey, we know that people in the area desire greater connection with their neighbors. So, we are piloting an initiative that will include events and innovative programs intended to help neighbors form stronger bonds and create greater community cohesion. We heard your ideas in our community survey and will be rolling out some new opportunities to connect with others in the neighborhood soon! If you want to get involved or have ideas, email us here.

BFF is a partnership between the Center City Residents Association, Friends of Schuylkill River Park, Fitler Square Neighborhood Association and Friends of Fitler Square.


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 our newest Merchant Partner, none other than the Philadelphia Orchestra!

Arrangement for Orchestra: The Philadelphia Orchestra is Now a CCRA Merchant Partner!

Strike up the Band!

We are most excited to announce that the Philadelphia Orchestra – yes, THE Philadelphia Orchestra – is the newest CCRA Merchant Partner!  (Let that sink in.)


And it’s not just the Orchestra; it’s also events on the Kimmel Cultural Campus, for which CCRA members are entitled to a discount.  As both the Orchestra and the Kimmel need no introduction, all you need to know is in the details below.


For the Orchestra, it’s a 15% discount with a Promo code of POCCRA. Click here for tickets.


For the Kimmel Cultural Campus, it’s a 10% discount with a Promo code of CCRAKCC. Click here for tickets.


Please note that all available concerts are included in their respective links.

See you there!

Clean, Safe and Green

Crimestoppers: Center City District Ups the Ante

What with an increase in both pedestrian sidewalk traffic and violent crime, the Center City District (CCD) is expanding its team of unarmed, uniformed safety ambassadors known as Community Service Representatives (CSRs). CSRs are foot patrols equipped with two-way radios who serve as “eyes and ears” on the street for the police. 


At the same time, the bicycle safety patrol launched and funded by CCD is also expanding.

Starting in September, CCD increased these uniformed bike patrols, which operate seven days per week in two shifts, to more than 45 positions. For more, go here.

Reserve a Loading Zone? Now You Can

Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to reserve a loading-zone parking space while loading or unloading your car? Impossible, you say.

But come October 17 you’ll be able to do just that via the Pebble Driver app when 21 zones on Walnut, Chestnut, and Sansom Streets will become eligible to be reserved for up to $3 per hour.

All the details (including a map) are parked here.

Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion

Celebrate Indigenous Peoples’ Day This Monday

Although Columbus Day is still the name of Monday’s official federal holiday, last year Mayor Kenney via Executive Order  

changed it to Indigenous Peoples’ Day in Philadelphia. Instead of a parade on Monday, come out and experience traditional and contemporary indigenous art, music, dance, and food.  

Find it all at Shackamaxon, also known as Penn Treaty Park, which is within the ancestral territory of the Lenni Lenape peoples. It’s a family-friendly event with unique vendors, presenters, dancers, and artists showcasing and selling their work!

Bring a blanket or chairs. Small suggested donations requested. RSVP here. For performance details, go here.

Sometimes It Takes More Than A Village

With so many new refugees entering our city, this Book Talk could not be better timed. 

Sponsored by The Latvian Society of Philadelphia in association with the German Society of Pennsylvania, listen to the fascinating survival story of Latvian author Dr. Maruta Lietiņš-Ray (Professor Emerita, University of Virginia) speak about her childhood memories from the World War II era, life in the post-war Displaced Persons camp, and her new beginning in the United States. Dr. Lietiņš-Ray will discuss how even through challenging times, with circumstances often dark and foreboding, people displayed a miraculous resiliency and the will to alter their life’s path. Maybe there’s still hope for the American dream? 

Find out in her book, Refugee Girl, A Memoir and her book talk here.

Spice Up your Life - Demystifying The African Diaspora

Let’s cook together and explore the foods of the African Diaspora. Hosted by the Culinary Literacy Center at the Free Library, dig into some new flavors and tastes and get introduced to cooking with palm oil, ancient African grains and spices, and stewing techniques. Educator and Chef Joy Parham of Urban Country Culinary Concepts will give us the down low on some new ingredients and recipes we can add to our weekly repertoire. 

Find details to wake up your palate here.

Community News and Events

Happy Hour Breakfast at Fitler Club

with CCBA October 11

Join Center City Business Association and the Fitler Club Business Networking Club for an in-person Happy Hour Breakfast at the Fitler Club the morning of October 11. You’ll make connections and find resources that will help develop your business.


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.

LOVE Park Murals Encourage the Vote

Wow! How exciting to talk with artists while they’re actually creating their art! And all for a worthy cause! Right now, you can march down to LOVE Park’s lawn for Mural Arts’ “To The Polls” exhibit, which features six freestanding murals that inspire passersby to vote. This project is part of October’s Mural Arts’ Month.  

As the “To The Polls” project curator says, “The artists could do these murals probably in four days. But sometimes it takes them 10 days because they’re having so many conversations with people walking by. Art has a really powerful way of making people feel things. And I think that it’s human nature that we act when we feel.”

So go to LOVE Park now, ask questions, take photos of the art-making process, and spread the word to vote. They’re painting right up to November 4.

Is Jazz Jammin’ Your Jam?

We can’t think of a better way for local jazz fans to spend every second Thursday (i.e., next week) than at the geographically desirable World Cafe Live. Listen to their house band, The Ironman Trio, play a few tunes and then invite a rotating lineup of players to the stage. Instrumentalists and vocalists are welcome to sign up and “sit in” throughout the evening. 

Free admission, but you can guarantee a good seat with dinner reservations. Get your groove on here.

And if you like your jazz alfresco, jive to the rhythm of jazz tunes on Sunday afternoons through 10/30 at Capriccio Café and Bar at Cret Park this Sunday, 4-6 pm. Extra seating on the lawn near the cafe.

More than A Room with a View!

This weekend at Arthaus 12–5 (Saturday and Sunday) the public is invited to tour Philadelphia’s new skyscraper from top to bottom.  CCRA was instrumental in guiding the “powers that be” at Dranoff Properties, helping them create a new tower that fits into the fabric of the neighborhood. Among other changes, the builder agreed to make the Lombard Street facade more pedestrian-friendly at the street level.


What will you see?  Pretty amazing panoramic city views from the 42nd floor, a decorated penthouse by interior designer Jimmy DeLaurentis, five other decorated residences, and two full floors of indoor and outdoor resort amenities that will impress.  Move to Broad and Lombard….? Hmmm.

Get Looped and Spooked

Halloween used to last a night, maybe two (if you count the old Mischief Night).  And… if we really liked it, we’d tag along with our kids as they trick-or-treated.  And maybe a costume party on the weekend. 

But no more! Eastern State Penitentiary’s Halloween Nights is an immersive experience featuring five thrilling haunted houses — plus historic tours, themed bars, live entertainment, and more — all inside the massive, abandoned complex of Eastern State Penitentiary.  Get ready for sinister scares, enchanting entertainment, and unforgettable moments in a truly one-of-a-kind setting. Open through November 12.

Unlock your tickets 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.


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)

Dom's Shoe Repair, 203 S. 20th St (215-972-0098)

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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