Thursday, July 6, 2023

CCRA Newsletter


This Week: July 6, 2023

Editor – Barbara Halpern

Lead Writer – Richard Vaughn

Design/Layout and Writer – Travis Oliver

Spirit of 95

As we go to press on July 6 it’s now been longer that I-95 has been fixed than it was that it was broken.


Remarkable, and what’s also remarkable was the 24/7 level of cooperation displayed between all levels of government and with SEPTA in getting the highway back on its feet. Yes, Gov. Shapiro received the political credit and Yes, he 100% deserved it.


All of which showed once again what can be done when all sides put their differences aside and pitch in for the common good.


More, please.

CCRA News and Events

Party Local!

Building Friends in Fitler (BFF), a collaboration of CCRA and other Fitler Square neighborhood groups is having an open-air meetup night on Wednesday, July 12th at 7pm for neighbors interested in getting more involved in creating community. We’ll meet at the picnic tables in the Markward Playground plaza for light snacks and discussion about BFF activities, goals and new possibilities.

All neighbors are also invited to join with BFF member Friends of Fitler Square Park for a bluegrass band concert in Filter Square Park on Friday, July 14 at 6:30 pm; rain date Friday, July 28.

CCRA Public Zoning Committee

CCRA held its zoning committee meeting on Tuesday, June 27. You can find the meeting on our YouTube Channel if you missed it. To see the report, visit here. Remember to subscribe to our YouTube Channel for quicker notifications when our meetings are published.

Good Things DO Happen in Philadelphia!

Ever wonder why you live in the city? Look no further than here to pat yourself on the back for making such a good decision. And it only takes a few weeks of summer to reinforce the flexibility, creativity, and free style of life which abounds here. Thanks, Board Member and Streets Committee Chair Bill West, for his (and our) perspective.


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 new Merchant Partner Philly Bike Tours!

Learn the Town in Style with New Merchant Partner Philly Bike Tours!

One of the very best ways to get to know a city is to be led around town on a bike by a friendly and knowledgeable tour guide, and when it comes to doing so right here in Philly you simply cannot do better than new Merchant Partner Philly Bike Tours!

Owner-Operators Jonas and Shelly offer four great tours: Classic City Tour, The Fairmount Park Story, Brewerytown and Murals and Art. And, if you prefer… Private Tours! The bike, the helmet, the bottled water? All provided. 

Philly Bike Tours is perfect for newcomers, perfect for visitors and perfect for YOU, as CCRA members receive a full 20% discount on all tours.

Clean, Safe and Green

First Friday at Cherry St Pier Features Walk Around Philadelphia

Ready for both a happy hour and a walk around town? Come to Cherry Street Pier at 5pm on Friday, July 7 for “Walk Around Philadelphia," a citywide public program that has facilitated the exploration of the city in new and unique ways. Details here.

Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion

Overcoming Poverty is… Act of Justice

On July 18 every year, the United Nations marks Nelson Mandela International Day and suggests that we make a difference in our communities. Everyone has the ability and the responsibility to change the world for the better. It’s a day to take action and inspire change.

Community News and Events

Bounceback: Good News re Wages, Jobs, Crime. SEPTA? Maybe not.

The latest report from the Center City District reveals that Center City’s population is now higher than it was pre-pandemic. Philly overall has more jobs since 1990, and crime downtown is 13% lower than 2019. But there are some warning signs re SEPTA, which is being affected by diminished ridership and remote working. All the in-depth details here.

Prim Schoolmistress Meets Slovenly Loner - Movie Time!

Bring your friends, blanket and picnic for a great time watching Father Goose riverside! The free movie will start at sunset, which is around 8:30pm. Get there early to stake out your spot, watch the sunset, or take a riverboat cruise or kayak tour! Just north of the Walnut Street Bridge on the east side of the river.

Renovations Complete, Portrait Gallery Re-Opens

After a year of renovations which brought a new roof and new windows, the Portrait Gallery in the Second National Bank of the U.S, located on Chestnut St. between 4th and 5th, has now re-opened. The Second Bank houses the People of Independence exhibit, which includes a permanent collection of over 150 portraits of 18th and 19th century political leaders, military officers, explorers and scientists, including many by noted artist Charles Willson Peale. Details live on here.

Carpenter’s Hall Re-Opens Following $3M Preservation Project

One Christmas Eve 2022 arson fire and three million restoration dollars later, Carpenter’s Hall successfully re-opened earlier this week. A new temporary exhibition, Artifacts and Architecture, premieres simultaneously with the reopening, and features archeological artifacts uncovered during the preservation project. The re-opening represents the capstone of preparations for the Carpenters’ 300th Anniversary in 2024. Celebrate the details here.

Walnut St. Pop-up Cocktail Garden Shut Down for Code Violations

In the previous edition of CCRA This Week we reported on the opening of Walnut Street Garden, an attractive pop-up cocktail garden at 1708 Walnut Street. Unfortunately, the party is over, at least short-term, as the Garden has been shut down by the City due to code violations. Details can be found here.

It’s Snacktime!

C’mon over to Eakins Oval on weekends this summer to chill at the pop-up beer garden. First concert is Friday, July 7, with festivities from 6:30-10 p.m. Enjoy a free concert headlined by Snacktime, Philly's brass-heavy band that got its start performing on Rittenhouse Square during the pandemic. For the full summer performance schedule, tune in here

New Digs for Grad Hospital Area

YIMBY (Yes in My Back Yard) fans take note: Significant progress has been made in creating Innovator Village, a large mixed-use development rising at 2401 Washington Avenue in the extended Graduate Hospital neighborhood. The multi-building complex will hold 82 total residential units, with a mix of housing types and two different multi-family buildings (one with retail).

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.

Philly Bike Tours, Inquire within (267-521-2150)

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)

12th Street Catering, 3312 Spring Garden St (215-386-8595)

Astral Artists, 1500 Walnut St. (215-735-6999)

Blue Sole Shoes, 1805 Chestnut St (215-496-9244)

City Fitness, 2101 South St & 1819 JFK Blvd (609-254-9048) 

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)

Kimmel Cultural Campus, 300 S. Broad St (215-893-1900)

Liberty Pet Vets, 265 S. 20th St (888-458-8587)

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

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

1600 Spruce St. Home, Design and Gift, 1600 Spruce St. (267-209-3350)

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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