This Week: October 27, 2022

Editor – Barbara Halpern

Lead Writer – Richard Vaughn

Design/Layout and Writer – Travis Oliver

Writer – Margie Wiener

                                         GO PHILLIES                                        

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CCRA News and Events

CCRA Partners with Local School

As part of its mission to make Center City a better place to live, work and play, CCRA has partnered with Freire High School, a Philadelphia Charter School. Located at 20th and Chestnut, it offers a rigorous academic program, mainly to underserved students of color. Field trips to our neighborhood cultural institutions are an integral part of the school’s philosophy and curriculum. In support of this, CCRA has budgeted $5,000 to sponsor cultural immersion activities for Freire students.

In late October, 35 students will attend The Royale, a play dramatizing the life of Jack Johnson, the first African-American heavyweight world boxing champion, and arrangements are being made for the entire school to attend Romeo and Juliet in the spring. Additional outings may include The Franklin Institute, Eastern State Penitentiary, or the Barnes Foundation. Stay tuned to hear about volunteer activities for our members to help out at the school as well.

CCRA Meet & Greet

Registration is full. However, we have started a waiting list!


Please join us for a member 'Thank You' on Tuesday, November 1, 5:30-7:30 pm at DiBruno’s Alimentari Restaurant.


Come “Meet & Greet” with fellow CCRA members and enjoy complimentary food and wine. If you would like to join the waiting list, email Travis Oliver here.

Public Meeting on 14-30 S. 21st St. Hi-Rise Project

CCRA hosted a public meeting regarding The Parkway Corporation plans to construct a new 390,000 square-foot residential high-rise at the corner of 21st and Ludlow Streets. The project is “by right” under the Philadelphia zoning code. Almost 50 people attended and had input on the project as part of the Philadelphia City Planning Civic Design Review process. 

Visit our Youtube Channel to see the presentation and hear questions asked - such as security concerns and other useful information.

CCRA Public Zoning Committee Meeting

On Tuesday, October 25, CCRA held its zoning committee meeting via Zoom. Click here to watch the meeting. Click here to see the report.  

The next meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, November 22.

Fun, Fest and Friends at Fitler Square

There’s no better time to scare up some new friends than this Saturday, 10/29, from 3-5 pm at Halloween Fun Fest on Fitler Square. For kids, there’ll be a costume parade, crafts, games, and snacks. For “grown ups” (are any of us really?) there’s raffles with prizes from local businesses and restaurants.  

And….most exciting of all, you’ll be able to meet some local folks who are starting up a collaborative of Fitler Square civic groups, including CCRA. The goal? Fostering  connections among neighbors through innovative activities and small hobby-based gatherings.  Interested? Stop by the Building Friendships in Fitler (BFF) table at the Fest.


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 Rittenhouse go-to Nature’s Gallery Florist.   

Nature’s Gallery’s Got Your Flower Power Right Here

Philadelphia is not typically known as the Flower Capital of the Universe, but you’d never know it by Nature’s Gallery Florist at 2124 Walnut. This remarkable florist offers fresh and imported flowers, elegant orchids, succulent plants and much, much more.


Tell them what you want, and they’ll make it happen. Not sure what you want? No worries. Avail yourself of their considerable expertise.


They do weddings, bar/bat mitzvahs, graduations and much, much more. One couple decide to elope and needed flowers fast. Done! 

Result? A very satisfied couple.


So next time it’s Flower Time, see the good folks at Nature’s Gallery. And don’t forget: CCRA members receive a 5% discount.

Clean, Safe and Green

Here to Stay: Sidewalk Cafes and Streeteries

Improvised during the pandemic, streeteries are now a way of urban life. Accordingly, the City has now announced both regulations and an application process for permanent status. The program distinguishes between Sidewalk Cafes and Streeteries.

Public info sessions will be held on Oct. 31 and Nov. 21. All details can be found here.

Spruce up Your Streetscape

A leisurely walk around town reveals some spectacular Halloween window boxes.  Good intentions aside….oops, you missed the chance to create your own. But no need to flagellate yourself. Let’s move on to season next: winter. Say it ain’t so, but you can make a “deflowered” window box that will make someone else feel guilty.

Not crafty? Here’s some local ideas to get you off your…..front step. Check out the photos from around Rittenhouse Square, and if you know this woman’s mother, thank her for the inspiration.

Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion

A Night at The Barnes for Culture Vultures

Assuming, quite rightly, that we’ll take the World Series by Game 5, set aside Friday night, Nov. 4 for live music, art, cocktails and mingling at The Barnes. In partnership with the Asian Art Initiative, be entertained by the sounds of Shinjoo Cho and her playmates as they perform on the Bandoneon and the Janggu (yes, we had to look them up, too…hint; one of them is a drum.) AND…’s a great chance to see the Modigliani Up Close exhibit, which is included with your ticket. 

Of course, if we lose by Game 5, we can cry in our Yuengling there instead.

Celebrate a Civil Rights Pioneer’s Legacy

Celebrate the amazing legacy of Judge A. Leon Higginbotham, Jr., a Philadelphia civil rights pioneer, historian, presidential adviser, and federal court judge. 

Come to the Judge A. Leon Higginbotham Breakfast and Mural Dedication on Wednesday, November 2 at the Fitler Club in Fitler Square. In partnership with the Higginbotham family, The Philadelphia Citizen, Mural Arts, and Penn Carey Law are sponsoring this fascinating program featuring Ken Frazier, Chairman and former CEO at Merck & Co., and Sherrilyn Ifill, past president of NAACP Legal Defense Fund. 

Right after breakfast, you are invited to the unveiling and dedication of the Higginbotham mural at 46th and Chestnut Streets.

Join CCRA Now

Community News and Events

Is Democracy in Danger?

TONIGHT! The Free Library is convening a panel of four of Philadelphia’s best informed and most thoughtful community leaders to discuss debate and analyze one key idea: Is Our Democracy in Danger? The panel?  

  • William Marrazzo, the President & CEO of WHYY
  • Al Schmidt, President of the Committee of 70
  • James Greenwood, former Republican congressman from Bucks County
  • Julia Terruso, a 10-yr journalist focusing on politics for The Inquirer

All are invited to attend this free program, but tickets are required. Get your ticket here. If you prefer to attend virtually, register on Zoom for a link to their livestream of the event.

Rittenhouse Square: The Movie

You may recall Nick Nolte sightings reported last year in and around Rittenhouse Square.

Well, that movie, entitled “Rittenhouse Square” is making its world premiere Oct. 30 as part of the Philadelphia Film Festival. Directed by Brandon Eric Kamin, it’s a story of a friendship between a teenage boy and a homeless veteran. 

Tickets here.

Wanna Swap and Shop?

Saturday, November 5 is your chance to clean out your closets! Come to the Kids Community Clothing Swap at the Markward Recreation Center in Schuylkill River Park on Saturday, November 5 from 10 am-2 pm. Swap and Shop enables parents and caregivers to bring in outgrown, unused, or no-longer-wanted kids' items and swap them for items they can use. What’s acceptable? Gently used kids' clothing, small toys, and books in good usable condition. 

Nothing to swap? Come anyway. All items are free, and everything remaining will be donated. If you can’t join the swap but want to donate, bring your items to Markward Rec Center between 5:30 and 8:30 pm on Thursday or Friday, November 3 and 4. Or between 9 and noon on the day of the swap. Can't make this drop-off time frame? Email here to coordinate. 

Volunteers are needed to help sort items. Email here if you can help Friday night or Saturday morning. Bonus for volunteers is your opportunity to Pre-Shop!

Fall Staples Return to Midtown and the Schuylkill

The post-pandemic rebound continues, as both the Midtown Village Fall Festival and the Head of the Schuylkill Regatta return this weekend. 

The Fall Festival celebrates local independent businesses and features live music, food from local restaurants and numerous vendors and crafters. Details here.

The Head of the Schuylkill Regatta continues the spirit and tradition of fall racing that began over fifty years ago. 

Race for the details here.

Walk in the Steps of Jazz Giants

Philly’s robust jazz history is well-known, but where are the rooms where it happened?

Now you can know when you join local jazz historian Jack McCarthy as he gives a walking tour of the Philadelphia jazz legacy, this Saturday from 1pm to 3pm. 

It starts at 11th & Market (site of the Earle Theatre) and goes from there. Tickets and info jamming here.

Fest with the Best…Food Trucks!

Are you a fan of food truck fare? Then you don’t want to miss this inaugural Philadelphia Street Food Festival at Xfinity Live! on Nov. 19th. All items from 20+ vendors are under $5.

Of course, you can’t have street food and run! Stay for the axe-throwing, an indoor beer hall, mechanical bull riding, free hard seltzer sampling, crazy eating challenges, family-friendly activities & more. And you can have fries with that. Get your tickets soon. Likely to be a sellout.

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.


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

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

Nature's Gallery Florist, 2124 Walnut St (215-563-5554)

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

Ursula Hobson Fine Art Framing, 1528 Waverly St (215-546-7889)

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

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)

Branzino Italian BYOB, 261 S. 17th St (215-790-0103)

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

Di Bruno Bros., 1730 Chestnut St (215-665-9220)

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 and 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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