This Week: August 17, 2023

Editor – Barbara Halpern

Lead Writer – Richard Vaughn

Design/Layout and Writer – Travis Oliver

Writer – Marc Werlinksky

A Kinder, Gentler Philly?

Because Life is a Metaphor for Sports….


Philadelphia is waaaay more of a football town than a futbol town. And yet: Here were thousands of locals showing the love in person for soccer great Lionel Messi.


And then there’s Trea Turner, the Phillies’ megabuck shortstop who has been a huge flop since his arrival this year, and yet who comes home after a dreadful road trip and is greeted with… a standing ovation?


Philadelphia is known for being hard on its professional athletes; could a softening be in the offing here?

CCRA News and Events

A Step Down

The Philadelphia Art Museum has a new acquisition - a roughly 50’x50’ “portrait” of Blue Beetle, from the eponymously titled film, to be released this week. The museum is displaying this paradigm of early 21st century photorealism free of charge to the public on the Eakins Oval steps (a/k/a the “Rocky steps”)


We can only hope that the PMA will continue supporting and featuring contemporary photorealistic works, with exhibits featuring bus wraps, big belly posters, highway billboards, and lighting displays from East Market. 


Setting snark aside, where is the historic commission? Or the art commission? The art museum steps are city property. Who signed off on this? And what’s next? The first time it’s fun and lighthearted. But how long till it’s hemorrhoid cream and toenail fungus ads?


Center City Philadelphia is a neighborhood of elegant brick row homes and towering skyscrapers. Could we have some respite from incessant commercial messaging, especially on municipal property? Does every available surface need to be adorned with advertising? Enough already!

Chuck Goodwin, Past President, CCRA.

And the Beat Starts…in Fitler Square

Summer concerts in the park! The heavens provided perfect weather for this week’s concert in Fitler Square, organized by the Friends of Fitler Square Park. Center City Residents' Association sponsored this concert, as well as the upcoming concert by Elegance Quartet. 

On Thursday., 8/31, at 6:30pm, Elegance will perform a wide array of both traditional and electric strings, enhanced with effects pedals, live rhythm, and vocals. Check out their tunes here. Performance details here.

A New Look for CCRA - starting with the website

In the upcoming days, you will notice a different looking CCRA website. While modifying the site, certain pages may be offline or you may not be able to renew your membership. If you are having trouble, please contact Travis Oliver and he can process your renewal. Please be patient; we’ll be working out the bugs during the change.

Trash Talk in Fitler Square

If you want to know the opinions of our neighbors, just ask them.  That’s what we did at the conclusion of the Reduce Sidewalk Litter Pilot Program….and answer they did!  

Here’s a summary of the survey results:

The placing of 12 additional trash cans in the Fitler Square neighborhood, under a joint CCRA and FSNA pilot program to reduce sidewalk litter that ended in July, had a positive impact on the area, according to 71% of survey responders. While just 52% felt the program reduced litter, most of the responders said they used the cans or saw others doing so. The program can be improved, according to 80%, with more frequent trash can emptying.

Now that the results are in, the organizations will work with the city sanitation department to try to improve trash collection in Fitler Square. Stay tuned for results. 

CCRA Public Zoning Committee Meeting

CCRA public zoning committee meeting is on Tuesday, August 22 at 7 pm via Zoom. Read the agenda here. To join the meeting, click here.

Office Closure - Holiday and Summer Break

In observance of the Labor Day holiday and our Managing Director going on vacation, CCRA will be closed from Monday, August 28 until Wednesday, September 6. 

If your Trash Day is Monday, September 4, please remember that collection is delayed and will be picked up on Tuesday, September 5, due to the Labor Day holiday.


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 sustainable delivery service The Rounds.

Making The Rounds Work For You

Bothered by the amount of the simple, sheer physical waste in your life? Who isn’t? Well, local delivery outfit The Rounds is working to do something about it.


The Rounds is in fact built on the “milkman” model in that it delivers products to the customer’s door in reusable packaging (think milk bottles). Then, when the user is done, it retrieves the packaging, rinses and repeats. No waste!


Yes, the idea is to lower the amount of waste from individual, disposable orders. The Rounds delivers everyday essentials like oats, nuts, toilet paper, soaps, paper products, cleaning products etc. In short: it’s green, it’s sustainable, and it’s cheaper.


Intrigued?  Thought so. For more info and to get started, please visit The Rounds.

And know this: Use the code THEROUNDSCCRA in the promo field at signup and your first month of membership will be free -- plus a $15 product credit.

Clean, Safe and Green

Lace ‘em Up for The Philly 10K

Whether doing it for fun or fame, you can go toe-to-toe with one of the country’s most passionate community of runners at the 10th Annual Philly 10K, kicking off Sunday, August 27, 7:30 a.m., at 8th and South Sts., and ending at 5th and South Sts. by 10 a.m. Click here for registration information.

The race will traverse the boundary of South Philadelphia down to Snyder Ave., so expect road closures between 13th St. and East Moyamensing Ave. Our State Rep., Ben Waxman, has provided us with details on affected roads and timing of closures. Check here to be in the know before you go.

Time for a Digital Detox Hike?

Calling all nature ramblers: want to know what bird is chirping or what type of tree has fallen in your path? Yeah,,,,there’s an app for that, but some day you may want to get away from it all and walk into the “dead zone”, beyond cell service. Solution? A Bill Bryson-type Walk in the Woods with a real naturalist from the

Wissahickon Environmental Center.

Where? At the Treehouse

Tree ID: 8/23 @ 1pm 

Bird ID by Ear: 8/24 @ 1pm

Row, Row, Row….Gently Down the Schuylkill

From our friends at the Schuylkill River Development Corporation:

Tours of the Tidal Schuylkill

Additional kayak tours have been added to the schedule for August 20 at 12pm and 3pm, August 31 at 6:45pm, and September 7 at 6:45pm. Prefer to sit back and relax while taking in the river views? Riverboat tours are on August 20 at 3pm, August 24 at 7:15pm, September 10 at 1pm and 3pm, and September 24 at 1pm and 3pm. Get more details and tickets here.

Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion

Tubman Statue Narrowed Down to a Final Five

It’s now down to the final five designs, from which the permanent Harriet Tubman statue will be chosen for display at City Hall. If you’ve missed the big “reveal” so far, go here to see the five competitive designs and have a look; go here to vote for your fave.

Digging up History: Philly’s Black Bottom

In West Philly there lies a historic neighborhood known as Black Bottom. This predominantly African-American community flourished in the early 1900s until it was forcibly displaced in the mid-20th century as a result of urban renewal projects. Recently, there has been a renewed interest in the history of Black Bottom and efforts to excavate and preserve its legacy. The Digging Up Philly project aims to uncover the stories and artifacts of this once-thriving neighborhood through archaeological digs and community engagement. Read more about it here.

Community News and Events

It’s Back (and Front): Philly Naked Bike Ride

Ready or not, the Philly Naked Bike Ride is set for Saturday, Aug. 26. Launched locally in 2009, the Ride has grown in both attendance and length over time. Last year’s romp started at Lemon Hill in Fairmount Park and ran for 12 miles before ending up at the Fillmore Philadelphia for the after-party. This year’s starting location and route remains clothed at the moment; both will be revealed 24 hours prior to the event. Bike here for details.

New Shops and Restaurants A-Blooming in Center City

Because you can’t keep a great town down, over 30 new shops and restaurants have opened in Center City of late. Shops include candles, clothing, furniture and jewelry; among the eateries are a bagelry featuring Oreo bagels, a Stephen Starr hard by the Comcast building and a joint named after restaurateur Marc Vetri’s father Salvy. All the details here.

Center City Philly’s Restaurant Week

Center City's Restaurant Week is back for food lovers and enthusiasts alike. It's a two-week-long celebration of culinary delights where participating restaurants offer prix-fixe menus at affordable prices. This year, Philly's Restaurant Week is happening from September 10 to September 23. Over 100 restaurants are participating, offering their signature dishes and specialties. From Italian to Chinese, from seafood to steak, there's something for everyone's taste buds. Find the participating restaurants here.

Working up a Sweat at PHL

Want to cut excess baggage at Philadelphia International Airport? Then head over to ROAM fitness, the airport’s first (and only) gym, located in Terminal F. The 1,500 square-foot facility is fully equipped with free weights and state-of the-art machines. Don’t have gym clothes?  No worry, as you can rent workout apparel. While waiting for your flight, don’t sit, get fit. Click here for more information.

Peace Day Philly 2023 Benefit Concert

Philadelphia Ethical Society

1906 S. Rittenhouse Square

Sunday, September 17, 7:00 p.m

The historic Philadelphia Ethical Society building on Rittenhouse Square is an unassuming gem, used by its members and the community for thought-provoking activities, raising awareness and funds for humanist causes, ethical actions and so much more. On 9/17 at 7pm, they’re hosting a benefit concert for the Nationalities Service Center and their Victim Services Center, which supports victims of domestic violence, torture, and human trafficking. 

Soothe your soul and enjoy performances by pianists Annette and Regina diMedio, flutist Robert Cart, string Quartet (Philip Kates and Luigi Mazzocchi on violin; David Giles on viola; Patricia Daniels on cello), bassoonist Peter Schoenbach, and soprano Marta Zaliznyak, with works by Leonard Bernstein, Cesar Franck, Valerie Coleman and Florence Price.

Suggested contribution: $15.

History Buffs and StarTalk Fans Unite!

If you were lucky enough to be in a clear, dark sky location this last weekend and gazed into the night sky, you may have been dazzled by the annual Perseid meteor shower. You wouldn’t be the first one. Check out David Rittenhouse’s (yes, that Rittenhouse Sq. guy) letter to Ben Franklin, featured in the American Philosophical Society’s digital library, written in December of 1780. Rittenhouse wrote Franklin in some detail about a "remarkable meteor" he observed. 

For Star Talk junkies, check out the Rittenhouse Astronomical Society for resources and local (and road trip) sky-gazing events.

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.

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)

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

Mr FIX, 413 S. 20th St (215-261-5646)

Eazy Computers & iPhone Repair 2005 Chestnut St (215-609-4446)

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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