Thursday, May 4, 2023

CCRA Newsletter


This Week: May 4, 2023

Editor – Barbara Halpern

Lead Writer – Richard Vaughn

Design/Layout and Writer – Travis Oliver

CCRA News and Events




We are fast approaching a consequential election in Philadelphia…a new mayor (or shall we say, an actual mayor) and a slew of new City Council Members will be elected. It is an axiom of politics to say that “Every Vote Counts”, but this year, with the races polling within the margin of error, that certainly must be true. EXCEPT WHEN IT ISN’T! Case in point…the 5th District Council seat, currently held by Darrell Clarke who represents about half of Center City West. As the system had it, while 7 candidates took out petitions to replace Clarke, challenges funded by a variety of competing political interests disqualified 6 of the potential candidates. That leaves Jeffery Young, a former Clarke staffer and current zoning lawyer, as the only candidate on the ballot for either party. Whether or not you vote for him, Young will replace Clarke in the 5th District.

Most of our members don’t know Jeffery Young but we have a plan to fix that. He will attend CCRA’s Annual Meeting on May 11th at 7pm at the Freire Charter School at 2027 Chestnut Street. Young will be interviewed by an experienced political reporter and you will have the opportunity to ask questions. In addition, Rep. Ben Waxman, who actually did receive the most votes to represent the 182nd Legislative District in Harrisburg, will also be on hand to discuss the goings on there. And if that wasn’t enough to entice you, dessert will be served.

Please register at the link here and join us next Thursday to meet your elected -- and soon to be elected -- representatives.


In addition to our discussion, CCRA members will elect our new board class. You can see their bios here. Looking forward to seeing you on May 11.

Voting in Person? Check for Changes Here

Since redistricting in 2022, your voting place may have been adjusted. To check on where you vote in person on Tues., May 16th, enter your address into this city site for your polling place. It also gives whoever asks, public info (way too much??) about your property. 


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 Rittenhouse pet wellness center Liberty Vet Pets.

Sick Puppy, Flitty Kitty? Go to Liberty Vet Pets

Because pets are family, it is critical to get it right when choosing a veterinarian. Well, dither no more. The right choice in Center City is Liberty Vet Pets on 20th Street, just off the Square.


Liberty is both a veterinarian’s office and an animal hospital (and they have a lab). Both its kind and caring Veterinarian and Associate Veterinarian are UPenn grads.  


At Liberty they do it all and more: Preventive care, dental, vaccinations, general surgery and nutrition. And get this: They make house calls. For real.


What else? CCRA members enjoy 10% off services and boutique items (excluding food; CCRA membership card must be presented).

Clean, Safe and Green

Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion

National Heritage Month Events in May

It’s May, the month that our nation celebrates the unique heritage of Jews and Asian American/Pacific Islanders (AAPI), as their cultural histories are acknowledged as National Heritage months. Get ready for more than just wonton/miso or matzo ball soup!

Franklin Institute celebrates AAPI Heritage Month on 5/20 with Asian stories, science achievements, art and dance; Weitzman Museum starts the action TONIGHT with a kickoff Klezmer Brass Band (in person and livestreamed), a high-energy band, joined by the soulful melodies of African-American gospel music combined with traditional Jewish lyrics of Joshua Nelson and the Kosher Gospel Singers. Now that’s bigger than your bubby’s matzo balls!

Have Coffee and Conversations with the Class of 2023 at the Freire School

On Tuesday, May 9, from 8-9:30am, have a conversation with the graduating Class of 2023 at the Freire High School, 2027 Chestnut St. and learn about:

  • Highlights from their time at Freire High and TECH
  • Freire Senior projects and end-of-year activities at their Philly campuses
  • College plans and these incredible students’ future aspirations

Support the seniors and help build their future. Answer their questions and share some of your life's wisdom with them. 

For more info and to register, visit here

Join CCRA Now

Community News and Events

Mother’s Day is Coming!

Ok kiddos, remember all those times mom was there for you – whether it was public embarrassment, doing your laundry, or feeding you? It’s now time to return that love. Moms deserve that much after putting up with us. So, instead of calling her once a year, splurge a little on mom, or even a “fremily” mother figure, and take her somewhere. Need help with some ideas? Here’s a guide for things to do this Mother’s Day. And remember, if you don’t do anything, she’ll remind you, sooner or later.  :)

Spring is in the Fests!

As April showers turn to May flowers, get ready for festivals galore downtown, and beyond. Just to name a few, we’ve got Rittenhouse Row Street Festival (May 6); Rittenhouse Square Fine Craft Fair (May 12-14); Fitler Square Fun (May 6); Manayunk’s Sing Us Home Festival on Venice Island (May 5-6); South Street Festival and Block Party (May 6) and the 9th Street Italian Market Street Fest (5/20-21).

Fingers crossed that some of Philly’s spring sunshine outflanks the rainy weekend weather pattern we endured last weekend.

Is the Plastic Bag Ban Working?

Who says you can’t teach an old dog new tricks? Dig it! With the plastic bag ban in effect, people and retailers are listening, giving us hope that new policies can encourage long-term changes in consumer behavior, resulting in  substantial impact. So says an independent report publicized by Green Philly, We have almost doubled our use of reusable bags since the ban, and almost 200 million “disposable” plastic bags avoided landing in the city of brotherly love over the past year.

To read the full report, reuse this link

Now….if we can only train people to stop leaving their “doggie do” plastic bags in the “tree pits”  along the sidewalk.

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

Yes, it was Ugly (still is). But the gas station at 22nd and Walnut was such a convenience to those of us living in Center City West.

And after losing our Rite Aid at 23rd and Walnut as well, we experienced The Bad of not being able to walk to the store that pretty much had it all. The Good will hopefully come soon, as both sites are in the process of being “beautified” with new, hopefully aesthetically pleasing buildings. Stay tuned for CCRA updates as plans are unveiled. 

Meanwhile, need gas? Try the Exxon at Broad and Bainbridge if you’re going south, the Gulf at Spring Garden near Ridge if your headed north, or type “gas station near me” in Google Maps. It gives you the current prices, as well. 

The only thing constant is change. (Heraclitus)

“Hittin’ Season” Phillies Tailgate by BillyPenn

During the past few weeks, the Phillies have given us high blood pressure. Now that Bryce Harper is back, it’s time to celebrate. Join BillyPenn for a good ol’ Free Tailgate at Citizens Bank Park on Saturday, May 6 starting at 3PM. There will be free hoagies, pizza, and beer, plus a chance to be on the Hittin’ Season podcast. Reserve your spot 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.

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)

Eye Candy Vision, 218 S. 20th St (215-568-3937)

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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