Thursday, April 27, 2023

CCRA Newsletter


This Week: April 27, 2023

Editor – Barbara Halpern

Lead Writer – Richard Vaughn

Design/Layout and Writer – Travis Oliver

Teaming Up for The Greater Good

You’ve likely noted with dismay the unsightly, empty-lot eyesore at the 1706 Walnut St. location between Doc Martens and a trendy new sleep shop.


Well, thanks to the efforts of both CCRA and the Preservation Alliance, that eyesore will be bygone, as the site will eventually house a residential building with retail space on the street.


But what about now, you ask? It’s ugly now, and in the middle of Spring, no less. No worries; the short-term solution is to create a popup beer garden courtesy of local restaurateur Avram Hornik. Latest ETA on the beer garden? Sometime this summer, we’re told.


As our local sports teams have shown, a little teamwork and creativity can go a long way.

CCRA News and Events

How Our Garden Grows!

CCRA Green Tenders is partnering with Penn State Extension Master Watershed Stewards to plant scores of shrubs and trees along the banks of the Schuylkill River near Center City. The new plants will provide habitat and improve water quality by controlling erosion and prevent pollutants from entering the river. The planting is part of Keystone 10 million, an initiative that is working to plant 10 million trees in Pennsylvania by the end of 2025.

CCRA Public Zoning Committee Meeting

On Tuesday, April 25, CCRA held its Zoning Committee meeting. You can watch the meeting on our YouTube Channel. 

Check our website to review the report when it's ready.

The next meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, May 23.

Zoning Committee is Looking for New Members

Do you love this neighborhood? Do you care what it develops into? 

Join fellow Center City residents on the Zoning Committee to address this. Responsibilities include meeting once a month and reviewing zoning cases. A background in design, preservation, law, or development is helpful, but not required. What is required is a true interest in Center City's built environment and a willingness to engage in productive, focused discussions. We provide training on zoning (i.e., what the Committee can and cannot address). To apply, please send your resume and why you are interested to We look forward to hearing from you.


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 Merchant Partner, the Loews Philadelphia Hotel, at 12th and Market Sts.

Everyone Who Knows Goes… to the Loews

Home to an architectural landmark and Philadelphia Savings Fund Society (PSFS) building, the Four-Diamond Loews Philadelphia Hotel is a true classic and one of the nation’s first modern skyscrapers, all within walking distance of Reading Terminal Market, Independence Hall, Philadelphia Museum of Art, and the Barnes Foundation.


But it’s more than just drop-dead gorgeous. At Loews Hotels, the community is as much a part of their family as their team members. It’s beyond mere camaraderie – we’re talking friendship, familiarity, goodwill and kindness, one local business helping another, all of which translates to a wonderful experience for their guests.


And… yes, there’s more: As a CCRA member, you are eligible for up to a 20% discount not only for yourself, but for family, friends, colleagues… pretty sweet! (Discount is subject to availability at time of booking.)


So what are you (and your friends) waiting for? Go here, then GO!

Clean, Safe and Green

Wissahickon Trail Classic Run Returns

Celebrating its 14th anniversary – and after a 3-year hiatus – the Wissahickon Trail Classic returns June 3 at Wissahickon Valley Park. It’s a unique race experience that will see hundreds of trail runners from around the region. Registration is limited as capacity is expected, so be sure to sign up early here.

SOS: Night Owl Photographers Needed

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, to prevent birds from colliding with buildings.

Volunteer amateur photographers are needed to take photos of buildings during Lights Out season to identify those buildings with lights out and lights on, label the photographs, and send them to Keith Russell at

Schuylkill River Park Love your Park Day!

Saturday, May 13th, 2023 from 9am to 1pm.

We will plant, sweep, weed, and tackle some projects at the Markward Rec Center. Bring your kids! The Free Library is bringing the book bike and will hold a story time at 11am.

Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion

Spring: Clean Out that Closet for Good

Through May 15th, Suit Drive Challenge is collecting gently-used suits, ties, jackets, shirts, pants, polo shirts, slacks, khakis, belts, and shoes to provide a professional wardrobe to unemployed and low-income individuals – from laid-off workers to recovering substance abusers, veterans, and returning citizens.  Suits go to The Wardrobe, a Philadelphia-based nonprofit organization providing clothing to anyone experiencing clothing insecurity, to overcome this barrier to advancement. 


In our neighborhood, suits are being collected at 1701 Spruce Street and 1818 Market St., Suite 3232.

Pride Concert Set for June 3 @ Verizon Hall

Celebrate Pride with the Philadelphia Orchestra June 3 at Verizon Hall as Conductor Marin Alsop leads the Orchestra, the ANNA Crusis Feminist Choir and the Philadelphia Gay Men’s Chorus in performances of Copland, Tchaikovsky and yes, Lady Gaga.

Admission is free, but tickets are required. All info here.

Join CCRA Now

Community News and Events

Springing Back: Center City Pedestrian Activity

The return of Center City pedestrian traffic remains a continuing trend according to a recent survey by the Center City District.  Pedestrian traffic now reports at 78% of pre-pandemic levels from  Feb. of 2019.


Salient data points comparing April 2020 vs. February 2023:

  • There were 38.6K visitors as of April 2020; in Feb. of 2023, 190.5K
  • Non-resident workers: 25.8K in Apr. 2020; 87.9K in Feb. 2023
  • Office workers: 11% of Feb. 2019 levels in Apr. 2020; in Feb. 2023, 48%


While there is still a way to go, the bounce-back is undeniable, and you can help. To keep it going, invite friends and family into the City! (Details of CCD report here.)

Don’t be Awkward – Party at Markward!

June 3 is the date, 7pm is the time and the newly-renovated Markward Plaza is the place for “Party in the Park”, an evening of food, drink and live music from Panama Street’s Panamaniacs. Plus: All proceeds go toward park maintenance for the playground, dog park, tree care, multi-purpose courts, Markward Rec Center and O'Connor Pool. So what’s not to like? Early bird tickets are $50 each until May 3. Sponsorships available. Details rock here.

Philly’s “Walk of Fame” Honors 2023 Inductees

We’ve all walked down Broad Street and reviewed the beloved musical names on the Philadelphia Music Alliance's bronze plaques adorning the sidewalk. The good news is that there’s room for more, as the 2023 inductees were honored recently along the Avenue of the Arts. Honorees were: the Bacon Brothers (Kevin and Michael), DJs Patty Jackson and John DiBella, “Hamilton” Star Leslie Odom Jr., vocal group The Tymes and conductor James dePreist. Groove to the details here.

Bird’s Eye View of the Broad Street Run

This year marks the return of spectators to the Broad Street Run, happening this Sunday, April 30, starting at 8am. Yes, there will be the usual street closures (stop here for details), but hell, we’re into the spirit of things returning, post-pandemic. That “spirit” doesn’t require you to train, sweat or hit the wall - we’ve got the perfect locations for “cheer squads” to shout out from some great sideline spots..  Some even have live music or D.J.’s. 

Hate crowds, but curious? We’ve even found the introverts ideal viewspot - your very own TV or mobile device - stream it on NBC10 or T62.

Rooftop Dining is Here!

Outdoor dining season is here, and that includes….. rooftops. Whether you want to eat or grab a drink, it’s all about that Rooftop experience. Click here to see the latest bars and restaurants that offer either patio or rooftop dining. Share your pics with CCRA and we’ll post them on our social media pages.

Real Life and Fantasy Voting

If you’re like us, you’ve had more than enough opps to meet the Mayoral Candidates…..but the ballot is chock-full of other positions and ballot questions. If you’ve ordered your mail-in ballot, it should be arriving soon. Want to, but didn’t, yet? No worries; the deadline hasn’t expired.

For Absentee or Mail-in info, walk here.

To check on your Mail-in ballot, worry here.

For all voting-related deadlines, run here.

To see your specific sample ballot, enter your address here. To hide until after the election, turn off your TV and ignore your “snail” mail. Works! 

Played Fantasy Football? Now, try Fantasy Mayor, using the Committee of Seventy’s ranked-choice voting system. Shows you the impact that ranked-choice voting could have if implemented in Pennsylvania. We tried it. It’s fascinating!

Make Way for the “Ride of Silence”

An international ride that honors bicyclists killed or injured by motor vehicles, the 19th Annual “Ride of Silence” will be held Wednesday, May 17, from 6:45 – 8 pm. This ride will start at the North Apron of City Hall with a short memorial ceremony and slow bike ride that will travel an 8-mile route at 9.5 miles per hour through Center City before ending at the Art Museum for a memorial bike lift. Lift the 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.

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

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

Excursions from the Square, (215-732-8487, 215-738-4500)

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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