Thursday, April 13, 2023

CCRA Newsletter


This Week: April 13, 2023

Editor – Barbara Halpern

Lead Writer – Richard Vaughn

Design/Layout and Writer – Travis Oliver

Location, Location, Location

“We’d like to come into Center City, but it’s so unsafe.”

“All you hear about Philadelphia is Crime.”

“Is there any city that’s safe?”

We’ve all heard this from our friends in the suburbs, and not unreasonably, as the broad headlines and isolated horror stories are most daunting.

But here, courtesy a new study by the Brookings Institution, are talking points to the contrary:

  • While violent crime is up in Philadelphia as a whole since the pandemic, in Center City it is static.
  • Property crime is actually down in Center City from before the pandemic.
  • Statistics show that crime in other neighborhoods does not bleed into downtown.
  • Owing largely to the sizable residential population, Center City is safer than the downtowns of other cities.

You have your marching orders. Go spread the word.

CCRA News and Events

Save the Date

CCRA Annual Meeting

Thursday, May 11, 2023

Freire Charter School

2027 Chestnut St.

More details to come

(Date subject to change)

Board Approves Slate of Officers for Two-Year Terms

The CCRA Board voted unanimously to approve the following slate of Officers for two-year terms, commencing July 1, 2023:

· President: Rick Gross

· Exec VP: Richard Vaughn

· Vice Pres: Michele Ettinger

· Vice Pres: Kate Federico

· Vice Pres: Barbara Halpern

· Vice Pres: David Rose

· Secretary: Susan Kahn

· Asst. Secy: Charles Robin

· Treasurer: Rick Speizman

· Asst. Treas: Peter Eckstein

Hopefully, you’ll get to meet them all at our upcoming Membership Meeting, where our members will vote in new CCRA Board Members.

SAVE THE DATE: Thursday, May 11, 2023

Clean Sidewalks Ain’t Free

Semi-annually, CCRA asks that ALL residents do their share to keep our sidewalks clean by contributing to our Clean, Safe and Green appeal. Fact is, we now pay $36,000 to keep the non-Center City District part of our neighborhood clean, swept and inviting for a walk with a friend, dog or family. This covers getting our sidewalks swept every week of the year, following trash pick up. Included in your membership fees? Not. 

If you’re not a member yet, no worries. We’ll happily use your contribution to beautify the neighborhood sidewalks. Is it worth an annual tax deductible contribution of $100 bucks/household to have clean sidewalks as you walk to the store, work or exercise? You becha! Pay your share here.

Friday Walks along the Banks

As a member of CCRA, you get an automatic invite to any activities offered by our Fitler Square collaborative, BFF (Building Friendships in Fitler). 

Spring is whispering to us…..”let’s go outside”. If you hear the call, join BFF’s Walking Group. We plan to walk approximately one hour along the Schuylkill River Trail every Friday, starting at 9 am at 25th & Spruce Street in the Park. Afterward, if there is interest, we’ll have coffee at the nearby Rowhome Coffee. Rain cancels. Text John Randolph at 215-360-6603 with any questions.


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 spotlight none other than The Philadelphia Orchestra!

Arrangement for Orchestra: The Philadelphia Orchestra and the Kimmel Cultural Campus Are CCRA Merchant Partners!

Strike up the Band! The Philadelphia Orchestra – yes, your Philadelphia Orchestra – is a CCRA Merchant Partner! (Let that sink in.)

And it’s not just the Orchestra; it’s also events on the Kimmel Cultural Campus as well for which CCRA members are entitled to a discount. As 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 Promocode of POCCRA. Purchase Link here.


For the Kimmel Cultural Campus it’s a 10% discount with a Promocode of CCRAKCC. Purchase Link here.


Please note that all available concerts are included in their respective links. See you there!

Clean, Safe and Green

Meow! Woof! The Strays Are Calling

It’s hard to resist the clarion call of a stray cat or dog, but how best to help? The good news is that there are plenty of options, from adopting to fostering to volunteering with animal rescue agencies. Paw here for “de-tails”.

Yoga in the Garden

Just in time to watch the blooming of the Azaleas, the Fairmount Park Conservancy has reintroduced “Yoga in the Park”. Yes, that means you can connect with your practice most Sunday mornings in the beautiful Azalea Garden behind the Art Museum.

Starting 4/16 at 10am, this one-hour, all-levels class will be led by a rotation of yoga teachers from Tula Yoga. Cost? Donation-based. What to bring?  Your journey starts here. See you on the mat. Namaste. 

April is Earth Day (Week? Month? Lifetime?)

To do your part for Earth Day, here are two local volunteer opps for you and the family: 

  • Sat., 4/15 @ 9 am. Come on down to the Schuylkill Banks trail for Philly Spring Cleanup, a morning of trail beautification projects, including leaf collection, mulching, light pruning, and trash pickup.

  • Sat., 4/22 @ 9:30 am. Celebrate Earth Day by planting street trees in the neighborhood. Meet the CCRA Green Tree Tenders on Saturday, April 22 at 9:30 am at the entrance to the community garden at 25th and Spruce Streets. No experience necessary! For more information, email Susan here.  

Although officially  Earth "Day" is Sat., 4/22, opportunities abound all month….and beyond, to lend a hand for Mother Nature.  For other fun opportunities to engage with the land, dig your shovel in here.

Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion

LGBTQ Films at SpringFest April 14 - 16

The Philadelphia Film Society is hosting a weekend film festival, “SpringFest,” at the Philadelphia Film Center. The program will showcase seventeen titles, many in advance of their forthcoming theatrical releases. Many have themes, actors and directors related to the life and times of the LGBTQ community as well as women’s empowerment. Philadelphia Gay News highlights a few “not to miss”. To see a list of all films visit here. Personally, can’t wait to see “Being Mary Tyler Moore”.

The Southeast Asian Market Returns to FDR Park

This year the Southeast Asian Market will feature roughly 80+ vendors representing different international cuisines. The market has recently incorporated Thai and Indonesian vendors to produce an even wider range of options for visitors.

The market runs every Saturday and Sunday from 10AM to 6PM from April 1st through October 29th. There may be the most vendors May through August, as some vendors celebrate New Year in Lao,Thai and Khmer culture in the spring, and many vendors take their trip back to Southeast Asia in the fall. For more information, visit here.

You’re invited to Fringe Bar’s Grand Opening

FringeArts is thrilled to announce the opening of their new restaurant, Fringe Bar.  Set on the Delaware River waterfront and located inside their historical building, Fringe Bar is Philadelphia's newest experience-forward restaurant.

Celebrate the opening of Philadelphia's newest art-focused, active, fun space April 13-16. This four-day weekend will feature food, fun, and the contemporary performance art FringeArts is best known for.

Join CCRA Now

Community News and Events

Who’s Running for What on May 16th?

As The Philadelphia Citizen suggests, voting on Tues., 4/16, in Philadelphia - the primary election - specifically, the Democratic primary, largely determines who wins in the general election. You’ve probably seen the long list of candidates for Mayor, but there’s a cornucopia of races (City Council, Commissioners, Controller, Judges) up for grabs, and four ballot questions! 

Need help figuring it all out? Go to their Complete Guide to the Primary Election to educate yourself before you enter the voting booth.

“Safe Travels” for the Birds

Lights Out Philly is a voluntary program that involves turning off and/or blocking as many external and internal building lights as possible at night, from midnight to 6 a.m., when bird migration is occurring during the spring and fall.

Volunteers are needed to identify injured bird species, drive injured birds, take photos of buildings, and reach out to building managers to encourage more participation. 

To volunteer for Bird Safe Philly, contact

FlixBus adds Logan Square Stop to Intercity Network

FlixBus, one of the fastest-growing intercity bus services, has added new intercity bus service to the Philadelphia metropolitan area with a new stop in Logan Square.

Philadelphia is one of the most popular stops on FlixBus’ Northeast Corridor network, and the intercity bus carrier offers four other stops in the area including 6th and Market Street, Cherry Hill, Malvern, Philadelphia Bus Station and now Logan Square. Stop here for details.

Get Street-Wise w/ Streets Department

There’s the City of Philadelphia Streets Department, and then there’s Streets Department, an independent outfit that leads monthly curated walks around town which are organized around three themes: public/street art, public space/architecture and independent art spaces. Upcoming events here.

“Parks on Tap” Returns

For the next 25 weeks Parks on Tap will be traveling around the city - popping up at a new location each week.  Whatever the location, Parks on Tap always offers the perfect backdrop to your day and evenings out, while you enjoy the beautiful, warmer weather. For more information and to get your pass, visit here.

Classical Music in a Classic Venue at the Powel House

Hear Johan Hummel’s take on Beethoven’s “Pastoral” Symphony in the sumptuousness of the Powel House this Friday.  It’s all part of the Early Music Series put on by the Philadelphia Society for the Preservation of Landmarks. It’s an evening of Spring-inspired music, and the details play on 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 & 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)

Mr FIX, 413 S. 20th St (215-261-5646)

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)

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 - Temporarily Suspended

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) - Temporarily Suspended

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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