came the Metaverse (i.e., Virtual Reality), and now comes ChatGPT, the
latest and most mind-boggling iteration yet of Artificial
Intelligence. Like it or not – or know it or not – we are hurtling
headlong into a new and different future at a breathtaking speed, and
there’s no turning back.
advances in AI are especially notable. Before long its capabilities
will be seen and felt in nearly all aspects of daily life. It is truly
the Next Big Thing. Good luck to those who don’t keep up. (Take a test
especially applies to Philadelphia as it relates to a new Mayor and
City Council. We need new thinking and new attitudes to adapt to this
new societal and technological future. The old same-old, same-old isn’t
going to cut it anymore, if only because it can’t. The people won’t stand for it, nor should they.
However harshly, Darwin put it best: Adapt or Die. Seen any dinosaurs lately?
CCRA News and Events
Sprinkler Retrofit Bill Update
of us have been paying close attention to Bill No. 220299 introduced in
City Council last March by Councilman Mark Squilla. It would require
all residential and commercial buildings in the city more than 75 feet
tall to be retrofitted with sprinkler systems in each unit if they do
not have them.
is a bill that has generated substantial controversy and which raises a
number of concerns. CCRA recently met with Councilman Squilla to
discuss the bill’s progress. Councilman Squilla responded that the bill
was effectively on hold pending further investigation of the relevant
recently, Council President Darrell Clarke addressed the bill at CCRA’s
Board of Directors meeting on March 14. He indicated that he would not
vote for this bill in its current iteration because of the many issues
it raises, and he affirmed that detailed studies of its requirements,
costs, pros and cons need to be done before Council would consider it, a
process that will not be completed this year.
We will keep you updated on this issue as developments occur.
WANTED NOW: BOARD MEMBER CANDIDATES
is looking to fill several Board seats for our fiscal year beginning
July 1, 2023. Board members generally serve a term of 3 years. The Board
is a working Board. We are seeking CCRA members who have a passion for
living in “CCRAville;” are interested in issues of quality of life and
community service; and are committed to active Board
participation. Successful candidates must serve on at least one
committee and agree to fulfill the responsibilities set forth in our
Board Pledge, which includes devoting at least four hours per month on
CCRA activities, not including time spent attending, and preparing for,
monthly Board meetings. See website for full Pledge and list of committees (go to “About CCRA” Toolbar and click on Board of Directors and Committees).
members are encouraged to forward a resume or statement of interest
that includes a summary of qualifications by Monday, March 27 here,
with "Board Candidate" in the subject line. (We also welcome your
suggestion of any individual who resides in CCRAville who you believe
would be an asset to the Board. Be sure to include their email address
and/or phone number.)
Parking, Traffic to be Affected by Apple TV Film Shoot
it’s great that Apple Studios has chosen our neighborhood to shoot
scenes for its new show “Catamount”, Spoiler Alert: it does not come
without some downsides regarding parking and traffic. Not exactly a
surprise ending. The what, where and when is here.
Crosstown Traffic: Mayor Debate Set for March 28
@ Penn’s Houston Hall
basketball isn’t the only flavor of March Madness competition these
days. There’s also the Mayor’s race, which on March 28 lands at UPenn’s
Houston Hall, all put on by the Crosstown Coalition, of which CCRA is a
CCRA MERCHANT PARTNER SPOTLIGHT
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 spotlight Licensed Opticians and Doctors of Optometry, Eye Candy Vision.
The Eyes Have It at Eye Candy Vision
do people look for in an eyeglass emporium? They want it all, of
course: Regular glasses, progressives, contact lenses, sunglasses.Great
Selection, great Style, great Service. How about an on-premises Optician
Eye Candy Vision
on S. 20th St. just off Rittenhouse has all that and more. Their
display window alone is to die for. (Disbelieve? Just ask Yelp.) What
could be better? Well, how’s this: CCRA members receive a 20% discount.
(Discount cannot be combined with other sales, discounts or insurance programs.)
Clean, Safe and Green
MLK Bridge Closure Beginning March 27
Martin Luther King Drive Bridge, located between MLK Drive and Eakins
Oval will be closed starting March 27. The bridge is closed to vehicular
traffic. The closure is expected to last until Spring 2025.
Schuylkill River trail under the bridge will remain open during stages
of construction. When construction is happening over the trail, the
trail will close for several months. A trail detour will be posted
directing travelers around the work area. The Bicycle Coalition has
proposed an alternate bike trail which is currently under consideration
by the city. To access the full Press Release, click here.
It’s That Time of Year Again: Philly Spring Cleanup
year, city government, residents, and organizations partner to kick off
the spring season by cleaning and beautifying Philadelphia’s
neighborhoods through Philly Spring Cleanup.
This Department of Streets
event takes place at hundreds of locations across the city. Residents
and organizations can register as volunteers or submit projects,
including park and neighborhood cleanups. Registration is now open here.
Civilians Hired by City to Help Police
No one has to tell us that crime and safety are two of the
biggest challenges facing the city right now. In a move aimed at
improving public safety and reducing the workload of law enforcement
officers, a new team (125 civilians) of Public Safety Enforcement
Officers has been hired by the city and tasked with removing some
burdensome activities previously handled exclusively by police:
enforcing traffic rules, directing traffic, writing tickets and ordering
abandoned vehicles removed from city streets. The goal? Freeing up
police officers to focus on more serious crimes. Hopefully, it will also
reduce tensions between law enforcement and members of the public.
some have expressed concerns that the introduction of Public Safety
Enforcement Officers could lead to confusion about the roles and
responsibilities of different law enforcement agencies. There are also
concerns that the officers may not be adequately trained to deal with
certain situations, such as violent or dangerous incidents. It’s wait
and see….but our fingers are crossed, hoping for success. Details here.
Volunteers Needed for “Lights Out Philly”
sponsored by Bird Safe Philly, will have buildings shut off their
lights from midnight to 6 a.m. every night between April 1 and May 31,
and Aug. 15 and Nov. 15 to protect millions of migratory birds flying
Out needs volunteer monitors who can identify the bird species that
populate Philadelphia. Volunteers should be available to monitor one day
a week downtown throughout the spring and/or fall migration seasons.
There are also opportunities for volunteer drivers to transport injured
birds found during monitoring to the Schuylkill Center for Environmental
Education's Wildlife Rehabilitation Clinic in Roxborough. Drivers,
using their own vehicles, should be available to transport injured birds
one day a week between 7:00 and 8:00 a.m. during the spring and fall
migration seasons. Anyone interested in volunteering in any capacity
should contact Keith Russell, Program Manager, Urban Conservation, Audubon Mid-Atlantic.
Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion
EgoPo Theater Presents ‘Plum Bun’
Come to Old City to enjoy the EgoPo Classic Theater’s production of “Plum Bun”.
on the 1928 novel by Jessie Redmon Fauset, it tells the story of a
young light-skinned Black woman who faces the headwinds of racism and
sexism in 1920s Philadelphia in the form of a sprawling period-piece
with a dynamic staging and an 18-person cast. Tickets and info here.
Honoring Philadelphia's Rich Black Music History by Inspiring Today's Creatives
Music City, a collaboration of Philadelphia public music radio stations
WXPN and WRTI and REC Philly, recognizes and honors the influence of
Philadelphia Black music history by awarding grants for new creative
awarding $100,000 in grants to over 40 recipients in 2022, Black Music
City returns for the third year, when 30 recipients will have the chance
to apply for grants from $1,500 -$5,000. Details here.
part of its Concerts at the College series, on Sunday, March 26, 2023
at 3 pm, The College of Physicians of Philadelphia, (which also houses
the Mutter Museum) will host a roster of distinguished Curtis Institute
and Philadelphia Orchestra artists on behalf of the musician-led
initiative, Music for Food.
concert will benefit the life-changing work of The Sunday Love Project,
whose founder and executive director, Margaux Murphy, just received the
prestigious Philadelphia Award (often referred to as the “Nobel Prize
of Philadelphia”), highlighting her passion for helping others and
making a lasting, profound impact on the community. Listen to the beat
of the music, the beat of your heart, and beat it over here for tickets.
20 Artists, 2 Museums, 1 Exhibition
Two historic museums come together for a transformative exhibition of contemporary art.
Join the African American Museum in Philadelphia and the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts for Rising Sun: Artists in an Uncertain America,
an exhibition of new works examining the provocative and timely
question: “Is the sun rising or setting on the experiment of American
democracy?” Tickets and info here.
Don’t Beat This Drum Slowly
with your family over to the Kimmel this Sunday (3/19 from 10am-noon)
to ignite their imaginations with an array of enchanting performances
and hands-on activities.
will be introduced to the culture and music of Brazil through the
Samba, Bossa Nova and Lambada styles of Brazilian music as the unique
dance rhythms and culture of this Portuguese-speaking country are
explored. Drum up the details here.
A New Crosstown (North to South) Bike Route
City West cyclists know how crucial the 22nd St bike lane is to travel
to points north. The City has taken note, and is proposing another bike
through-lane for Mid-City, on the 13th St. corridor. When finalized
(OTIS is currently getting neighborhood and business input), the
proposal calls for a protected bike lane on the left side of the street
from South St. to Spring Garden.
street will be repaved; parking and loading will be moved to the right
side of the street. Street parking issues (yes, spaces will be lost) are
still being negotiated. Anticipated start date: July or August, this
year. Stay tuned…..and check out the city’s plan here.
Support Our Greenfield Neighborhood School
on out and celebrate our neighborhood’s Greenfield School and raise
money to ensure its students continue to thrive and receive an
exceptional education. This year's Auction is being held on May 18 at Craft Hall from 6 - 10PM. It’s going to be an incredible night of eating, drinking, dancing and IN PERSON BIDDING! GET YOUR TICKETSHERE!
The school is also collecting items and experiences for bidding! Email here if you have questions or an item or experience to offer.
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.