Thursday, May 11, 2023

CCRA Newsletter


This Week: May 11, 2023

Editor – Barbara Halpern

Lead Writer – Richard Vaughn

Design/Layout and Writer – Travis Oliver

It Takes A City

Well, it’s pretty much all over but the shouting, as the 2023 Mayoral Election – aka the Democratic Primary – arrives this coming Tuesday.


If your candidate wins, great. Good for you. If your candidate does not win, please accept defeat graciously.


Philly’s a great town that now needs everybody to line up behind a competent and motivated leader. If there’s one thing we can all agree on, it’s that there needs to be positive change. The old same-old, same-old just won’t cut it anymore.


May the best candidate win.

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 tonight.


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 fave Rittenhouse eatery Seafood Unlimited.

People in the Know go to Seafood Unlimited

With all the great dining options in Center City it can be difficult to know which to choose. But if you’re looking for great seafood, it’s a no-brainer: Seafood Unlimited located at 270 S. 20th St.


For over 45 years Seafood Unlimited has served both locals and out-of-towners in their sleek, casual setting.  Their fresh, delivered-daily fare is from everywhere: we’re talking sea scallops, jumbo shrimp, ahi tuna, branzino, crab cakes, lobsters and arctic char.  And do NOT forget to leave room for the home-made desserts: key lime pie, chocolate mousse and carrot cake.


Co-owner Judi Einhorn puts their philosophy this way: “Understand the neighborhood and you’ll understand the product you need to provide”.  Well, they can check that box. And speaking of the neighborhood, CCRA members receive a complimentary tasting of their stellar gazpacho.


So the next time you get a hankering for something from under the sea, sail on over to Seafood Unlimited.

Clean, Safe and Green

How Green is our Valley?

The Schuylkill Valley is greener now, for sure. Wondering who’s responsible for that lovely new plot between the two dog runs at the Schuylkill River Park? The answer is our neighbor, Ed Bogucki. Ed envisions the plot as a “wildlife snackbar” of shrubs, plants and trees that sustain pollinators and birds. 

Recently he led the planting of three lovely trees that he generously donated, one of which is a Sugar Time Crabapple, shown here with Ed. He has plans to add some pollinator-friendly flowering perennials on Love Your Park Day on Saturday, May 13th. Come out and lend a hand! 

Actually, they need a few more hands this Saturday (9am-1pm), to plant, sweep, weed, and tackle some projects at the Markward Rec Center. You can bring the kids, too. The Free Library is bringing the book bike and will hold a story time at 11am. Dig here to register.

Bike with our Elected Reps

If your workout needs a spring push, here’s the perfect event to get those wheels a-rollin’. Come ride with and meet a few of our “electeds” (State Senator Saval and Rep. Kenyatta) and board members from the Bike Coalition. You’ll have a captive audience if you ride at their speed. 

Choose one of three local starting points for this ride on May 19th at 8am; all three converge at Dilworth Plaza around 9 am. Be present for a press conference about Vision Zero and creating safer streets for bicyclists and pedestrians in the city. Pedal here to register (free event). 

If we miss you on the trail, we’ll watch y’all on the local news at 6pm!

Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion

Help Close the Digital Divide

PHLDonateTech is a City initiative calling on residents and businesses to donate, recycle, and provide computers to families and people in need across Philadelphia.

Through PHLDonateTech’s new partnership with nonprofit tech refurbisher PCs for People, retired tech devices like laptops, desktops, and tablets, will be refurbished and provided at no or low cost to low-income households.

Help make it possible by donating your old tech! Learn how here.  

Bingo with a Twist

This is not your grandma’s bingo….unless it is! GayBINGO is the fabulous, irreverent, campy, wildly popular monthly event that has been entertaining Philadelphians for over 20 years. Starting the season on Saturday, May 13th at its new location on Broad Street at Congregation Rodeph Shalom. According to their website, GayBingo asks no questions….other than “Who are you wearing”? Details? Number 34 - ask for more, here.

It’s all for a good cause. This nonprofit educates about, and increases public awareness of, HIV/AIDS and provides emergency financial assistance to people living with HIV disease and organizations providing HIV services in our communities.

Calling All Shred-Heads

No, we’re not talking six-pack abs or guitar licks here.

The Hopkinson House is having a shred event whereby folks can bring up to two boxes of paper for shredding free of charge. Don’t forget: Shredding sensitive documents is one way to reduce your risk of becoming an identity theft victim. Details here.

Join CCRA Now

Community News and Events

Techie Election Day or Use the Drop-Off Boxes?

To allow for quicker, more accurate voter check-ins on Election Day, the Philadelphia City Commissioners will use a new electronic poll book system starting with the 2023 Primary on May 16.

Voters can expect a smoother, faster check-in process at their polling locations. When voters enter their polling location, they’ll notice that poll workers will be working off of tablets instead of paper poll books. These tablets are the new, electronic version of poll books.

For voters, the sign-in and voting process will be the same as it has been in past elections. Learn more about what to expect on Election Day in Philadelphia below. 

And…if you’re opting for “mail-in” you can use any of the Mail In Election Drop-Off Boxes listed here. Of course, there’s always the  good old fashioned USPS mail boxes!

Celebrate Death and Life at Mt. Moriah

The largest cemetery in Pennsylvania and home to some of our city’s finest grave architecture, Mt. Moriah has the feel of a lost city in the jungle. You can join tour guide John Vidumsky on June 4, as he points out tomb styles from Egyptian Revival to Art Noveau. Details buried here.

Author Talk: Jim Murphy - Real Philly History, Real Fast

On Tues., May 30th at 5:30pm, saunter on over to our local City Institute (library at 19th and Locust) to meet longtime Philadelphia resident and author Jim Murphy. He’ll talk about his book, Real Philly History, Real Fast: Fascinating Facts and Interesting Oddities about the City’s Heroes and Historic Sites. Take this original “book tour” of our city, at this event, sponsored by City Institute and Friends in the City. It’s free, open to the public, and you need not register in advance.

Not only does he cover the known highlights, he also includes some of its quirky history. Did you know that Philadelphia was home to the country’s first quarantine station or that one of the city’s clocks has a face larger than Big Ben? This is Philly history in bites that are as digestible as a soft pretzel with mustard.

Copies of the book will be available for purchase.

Gardens of Society Hill Tour

Join the Society Hill Civic Association for a delightful, self-guided walking tour of approximately 18 gardens, in beautiful, historic Society Hill. Step into lush urban gardens and outdoor spaces often not in view from the street.

This tour is SHCA's annual fundraiser. All proceeds benefit Society Hill neighborhood improvements and beautification. Tickets will go on sale on May 1. 

Saturday, June 3, 1 - 4pm & Sunday, June 4, 1 - 4pm

Click here for more info or contact Martha at or Linda at

Good Vibes Only w/ Vibe-a-Delphia on the Parkway

What’s more mellow than the sounds of a vibraphone? A cool cocktail to go with it under a café’s shaded outdoor patio. Join local jazz ensemble Vibe-A-Delphia on Summer Sunday afternoons at Cret Park as part of the Jazz on the Parkway series. Swing here for details.

Useful links

Merchant Partners "Deals and Discounts" Program

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.

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)

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

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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