Thursday, May 25, 2023

CCRA Newsletter


This Week: May 25, 2023

Editor – Barbara Halpern

Lead Writer – Richard Vaughn

Design/Layout and Writer – Travis Oliver

Pass the Chill Pill, Pls

So we’re coming up on Memorial Day Weekend, aka the official unofficial Start of Summer. It’s an excellent time to slow down, chill out and get away for awhile.


The City’s been through a lot of late, so it wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world to see other places, think other thoughts, explore other attitudes and latitudes, all in the name of coming back with a fresh and renewed perspective toward what the Fall will bring.


Happy Summer!

CCRA News and Events

CCRA This Week Schedule Change

For the summer, we will again be making some changes to the distribution schedule for our newsletter. Starting today, we are publishing bi-weekly until at least after Labor Day. Moving to a bi-weekly schedule will allow us to put even more care and attention into each summer newsletter, and take our well deserved vacations.

Community Events in the Fitler Area

Our BFF partner, Trinity Memorial Church, is offering an old-styled community based sidewalk sale and meditation classes (small fee). We hope you find peace and your treasure….maybe they’re the same?

Here’s two flyers to guide you down whichever path you choose…..

CCRA Public Zoning Committee Meeting

CCRA held its zoning committee meeting on Tuesday, May 23. If you missed it, you can watch it on our Youtube Channel. To view the report, go here. The next meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, June 27.

The Passing of A Neighborhood Leader

CCRA sends its condolences to the friends and family of Lenore Millhollen, who passed recently. Lenore was a co-founder of the Preservation Coalition, which merged into the Preservation Alliance in 1996. She was also a board member of Friends of Fitler Square Park and a past president of CCRA. Our thoughts and prayers are with those who loved her. We all benefited from her passion for community.


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 new Merchant Partner Sandcastle Fun Co!

New Merchant Partner Sandcastle Fun Co. Brings the Fun!

Have you seen the groups of young children in Rittenhouse Square being led in music and games by enthusiastic teachers and wonder what that was? Wonder no more, as that was none other than our newest Merchant Partner, the Sandcastle Fun Co.!


Sandcastle Fun Co. is a dynamic collective of performing artists – many with BFA’s from the University of the Arts -- providing educational and entertaining programs for children from infancy through six years old. Their innovative classes – outdoors in the Square and indoors at the Ethical Society -- create fun and educational experiences that inspire young minds to learn, grow, and create unforgettable memories. They even offer fabulous customizable birthday party packages for children and families to enjoy.


And, for CCRA members: After taking a free demo class, any CCRA member who presents proof of membership will receive 15% off their first purchase of a bundle of classes and will be eligible for 10% off their birthday party or private event!


So whether the little ones in your life are children, grandchildren or beyond, let Sandcastle Fun Co. bring the fun to YOU!

Clean, Safe and Green

Friday Eves at Rodin’s Garden Bar

Looking for a unique and relaxing way to spend a summer’s eve in the city? Look no further than the outdoor pop-up garden bar at the Rodin Museum on the Parkway. It’s open Fridays evenings from May 26 through August 25 and offers refreshing drinks and light bites amongst the fountain and the flowers.

Sip on a craft beer or a refreshing cocktail as you take in the beauty of the garden and the museum's stunning architecture. If you’re brave enough to pass through the Gates of Hell, you’ll find heaven…and a bathroom, inside the museum (pay as you wish).

Downward Facing Dog....with your Dog?

Could anything be better than yoga outdoors, donation-based, and on the Schuylkill Banks? Yeah….you can bring your kid or your dog! Here’s what they’re tellin’ us:

Yoga on the Banks classes are accessible to all levels of students – even if this is your very first yoga class! Bring a friend, bring your child, even bring your well-behaved dog. Because we practice outside in the warmer months, we suggest you bring your own mat or towel to practice on, sunglasses and sunscreen, and water bottle. There is a free public water fountain on site, and a public restroom. Class sizes are limited, and registration is required for all classes. In the event of rain, class will be cancelled (announced on Facebook and Instagram at least one hour before class time) and donations will be refunded promptly.

Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion

Do Odunde

Yup…the second Sunday in June is approaching. Which means it’s time for the ODUNDE festival. Right here….around the corner. It’s known throughout the world as one of the original models for African-American festivals, hosting many internationally renowned African and Caribbean performers, dignitaries, folk artists and cultural leaders.You’ll enjoy live entertainment on two stages and over 100 arts, crafts, and food vendors. ODUNDE has become a national model for African and Caribbean cultural street festivals.

Hop into the excitement at 23rd and South Street, or multiple places east of 23rd, along the South Street corridor. Free! Details here.

Bosses Wanted! 

We all talk about providing meaningful opportunities to youth as a way to reduce poverty and crime in Philadelphia. Here's an opportunity to act upon it. If the below social justice mentorship interests you, let Travis know and we can answer your questions or connect you. 

The 9th Police District, working with Philadelphia Youth Network, is sponsoring a six-week paid summer internship program for at-risk youth ages 12 to 24. The program is designed to provide meaningful exposure to potential careers. And the interns will be paid through the Philadelphia Youth Network so there is no financial commitment needed from the sponsoring business or organization.


You can help make this program a success!

Can you provide a meaningful internship opportunity? Do you know others who could provide this opportunity?

Community News and Events

TONIGHT - 5/25 - Stories and Bach’s music at Society Hill area Hill-Physick House

Ever been to the Hill-Physick House at 321 S. 4th Street? It’s a stunning 18th-century mansion, located in the heart of Society Hill. See the house, stay to listen to stories and hear music by Bach in this beautiful home. Geoffrey Burgess will present readings from his novel based on the life of a musician who worked closely with Johann Sebastian Bach, accompanied by music for oboe and harpsichord played by Geoffery with Leon Schelhase. Click here for more information.

Reforming Philadelphia? How the Past Can Guide Us

Ok…you live in the city, you vote, you pay your taxes, right? Things should get better, then, right? On June 6, at 5:30 pm, come kvetch with author Richardson Dilworth (no, that mayor has passed… but must be his son… or grandson??).  

Right down the street at the City Institute (our library on Rittenhouse Square), you can hear this author of Reforming Philadelphia talk about the ‘rage and fury’ of insurgents trying to reform this city for the last 350 years. Does it all ‘signify nothing’? No! Some actually created new purposes for the city or reshaped it. 

Walk away with a new framework for understanding the evolving relationship between national politics and local, city politics. And a signed book, if you care to. Free event. No registration required.

Celebrate Memorial Day Here, and Here, and Here

If you’re headed down the shore, great; have a blast. If not, then have a blast in the City. Which won’t be hard to do, because you’ve got options.


First off, at the waterfront there’s the Memorial Day Weekend Dance Party and Fireworks starting 10 on Saturday (details here). Then there’s free admission at the National Constitution Center Saturday through Monday, which takes a closer look at famous memorials and monuments, and uncovers the complexities of how a nation remembers (details here).

Finally, From Saturday through Mondays at the Betsy Ross House there’s “Once Upon a Nation”, where Historic Philadelphia, Inc. shares stories and secrets from America's past through its award-winning “Once Upon A Nation” storytelling program (details here).

Make Some Magic at the Garden

If you have been to Isaiah Zagar’s Magic Garden on South Street, you want to go back for this event. If you haven’t yet been captivated, be prepared to be awed. Here’s a chance to spend Twilight in the Garden, hang out with friends, enjoy lively and enthralling performances, and explore your own creativity with artistic activities. This monthly event is happening every fourth Friday in May-October from 7:00 -10:00, starting May 26. It’s BYOBBS (Bring your own booze, blanket and snacks) Low chairs permitted, as well. The Magic starts here

Had Enough of Modern Times? Escape to the Renaissance Faire

Contemporary life got you down? Too much, too fast, too 24/7? Hankering for a simpler time?


We’ve all been there, and now you can go there in the form of Philly Faire, the three-day, holiday-weekend-long Renaissance Fair at Fort Mifflin. There’s food, there’s drink, there’s live music and yes, there’s ax-throwing and fire-eating. Doesn’t get much more analog than those last two, now does it? Harken back for details here.

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.

Sandcastle Fun Co., Inquire within (267-462-1680)

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 at Di Bruno Bros.,1730 Chestnut St - 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)

Loews Hotel Philadelphia, 1200 Market St (215-627-1200)

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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