Thursday, February 2, 2023

CCRA Newsletter


This Week: February 2, 2023

Editor – Barbara Halpern

Lead Writer – Richard Vaughn

Design/Layout and Writer – Travis Oliver

Writer – Margie Wiener

History on the Make

Philadelphia is nothing if not a historical town, and history was indeed in the making over the weekend.


On Saturday a packed cathedral and the City at large bid its final adieu to Jerry Blavat, the Geator with the Heater. Very few Philadelphians remember a time without the Geator. Truly the end of a remarkable era.


The following day our Eagles made history in a much different way, dispatching the San Francisco 49ers and in so doing punching their ticket to the Super Bowl two weeks hence. It wasn’t “purdy”, but it’s a Win. #GoBirds.


A big loss one day, a big win the next. Sounds like life.

Must be a Philly Thing.

CCRA News and Events

Last Call: Get lucky at Casino Night

Get your tickets now for Casino Night. Learn to play popular Casino games and have a chance to win fantastic prizes! Stay and meet fabulous Superstars Dominique Lee and your current reigning Miss Gay Philadelphia, Miss Morgan Morgan Morgan. Click here to buy tickets.

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Casino Night Tickets

Save the (March 8) Date for

“Connect with the Candidates”

We are proud to partner with the Center City Business Association to bring you a special event: Meet the Next Mayor: Connect with the Candidates on Wednesday, March 8, 2023, from 5 PM to 8 PM. 

The event will be In-Person at WHYY-TV, Philadelphia (150 N. 6th Street). After clicking “Register Now”, select the Guest option and after filling in your information, enter code 20off to apply the discount. For info and to register, go here.


CCRA’s Merchant Partner program is a true Win-Win: It provides 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 diBruno’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 diBruno’s store itself, CCRA members receive 10% off their food bill. See you there!

Clean, Safe and Green

Black Leaders and Legends Honored

at Smith Playground

Now here’s a trip to the park that will please local families, even in the dead of February. Come visit Smith Playground during Black History Month and pay tribute to local Black leaders and legends, many of whom were alive during your lifetime (that can’t be history, right?).

On Feb 4th at 12 noon, hear remarks by Mayor Kenney, elected reps and select honorees. And don’t forget to take a ride down that incredible iconic 44-ft wooden sliding board! The playground and playhouse will be open afterwards. This exhibit will be on view until Feb. 28th.

Rescuing Our Green Canopy

Neighbors: Take pride in our “wounded warrior”, aka the Arboretum at Schuylkill River Park. Thanks to all of our members for donating sufficient dollars to CCRA so that we could help establish an Arboretum at our doorsteps.  But are the trees we “inherited” right for today’s park conditions?  Will your favorites need to be tended, moved, or replaced?

Dig in here to read more about the challenges of inheriting, maintaining and fostering our inner-city oasis and increasing the lifespan of our local urban greenwoods. Want to volunteer to actually “dig in”? Email Susan here.

Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion

Celebrating Black History Month

February marks Black History Month, and as you can imagine there are a dizzying array of options regarding how to observe and celebrate. Fortunately, the good folks at Visit Philly have sussed the choices out for you; the results are here.

Beards on Ice Can Heat Up Your Night

Yeah, we’re all used to the “hipster” beards…full, long, and combined with a conservative haircut…..think lumberjack! But the Bearded Ladies use their brains instead of their brawn to create unique shows that blend drag, cabaret, pop art and storytelling. And this month, they’ll do all that and more, while skating at Blue Cross River Rink. Expect comedy, camp, and sultry costumes.

Après the show, join in the fun by donning your own pair of skates. Adult shows at night. Family-friendly shows in the afternoons. Catch this iceberg of a performance here before it melts away.

Black Composer Margaret Bonds’ “Credo” to be Performed This Weekend

Margaret Bonds had a successful and prolific career as a pianist and composer, and this weekend her composition “Credo” will be performed by Opera Philadelphia. “Credo” is based on a prose poem by W.E.B. DuBois published in 1904, in which the writer lays out nine points of personal belief towards racial equality.

It’s all part of the Opera’s “Sounds of America: Price and Bonds,” a two-year initiative to highlight the work of both Margaret Bonds, Florence Price and their circle of colleagues. Details and tickets available here.

Join CCRA Now

Community News and Events

Tickle the Ivories at Trinity

Ready for your five minutes of fame? Right here in Fitler!! Come perform in a low-key, welcoming environment with exceptional support and encouragement coming your way. Or, are you a melophile, just looking to enjoy classical music with others?  

Saturday, 2/18 @ 4pm, come on over to Trinity Center for Urban Life for an opp offered by Aurora Classical, a non profit whose mission is to provide classical music without all the perceived pretense. So….no posers!

Hear Yannick Nezet-Seguin Play – Not Conduct – in an Intimate Setting

It’s always a thrill to hear Music Director Yannick Nezet-Seguin conduct the Philadelphia Orchestra, but how often do you get a chance to watch and hear him play piano, in an intimate setting no less??


Well, you do tomorrow evening at historic Mitchell Hall at The College of Physicians of Philadelphia — home of the Mütter Museum. The program includes works from Samuel Coleridge-Taylor and Johannes Brahms. The one-hour concert is followed by a reception with complimentary beer, wine and light bites from 8-9 p.m. Tickets and info available here.

Duuuuude: A “Stoner’s” Guide to Philly Murals

As Philadelphia is home to over 4,000 works of painted public art – aka murals – it only makes sense that a number are fairly psychedelic in nature. The good news here is that you don’t have to go on a long, strange trip to go find them, as our compadres at Billy Penn have hopped on their VW microbus and done the spadework for us. Trip over to their results here. As for chemically enhancing the experience? We’re not here to judge. Happy Trails.

At 100, Disney Magic Comes to Town

Kids of ALL ages are going to want to attend the 100-year celebration of Walt Disney that starts Feb. 18 at the Franklin Institute. This World Premiere exhibition opens Disney’s vault of treasures, showcasing more than 250 of its “Crown Jewels,” rarely seen original artworks and artifacts, costumes and props, and other memorabilia. Who doesn’t love Disney, and who doesn’t want to see this? Find the magic here.

Calling an Audible: Where to Watch the Game?

Well, the hard part is over: We are in the Super Bowl! Whoo-Hoo! GO BIRDS!


But now the question becomes: Where to watch the game? The good news is that there are more awesome options than you can shake a Lombardi Trophy at. Or more options than, well, the Niners had at Quarterback. Sorry, not Sorry.


So Game On! #GoBirds! Stuff your Game Face here.

Think You Want a Red Hot Lover?

Well, it helps to get one if you are one! No such luck for protagonist Barney Cashman in this late 1960’s Neil Simon comedy about a “typical” happily married, overweight middle-aged man, living a decent, but boring life in NYC. Neil Simon’s Last of the Red Hot Lovers examines what it means to grow older, and asks the question, “What do you do when it seems as if your life hasn’t been fully lived?” Laugh, cry and, most of all, look to comedy to help everything finally make sense.  

The Walnut St. Theater is offering 50% off limited tickets through the close of the show, on Sunday.

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, internet only

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, 1500 Walnut St. (215-735-6999)

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

Blue Sole Shoes, 1805 Chestnut St (215-496-9244)

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 & Gallery, 2103 Walnut St (215-567-6800)

Loews Hotel Philadelphia, 1200 Market St (215-627-1200)

Kimmel Cultural Campus, 300 S. Broad St (215-893-1900)

Liberty Pet Vets, 265 S. 20th St (888-458-8587)

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 Philadelphia Orchestra, One S. Broad St (215-893-1955)

The River Boat Tours, Schuylkill River & Walnut St (215-309-5523)

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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