This Week: February 16, 2023

Editor – Barbara Halpern

Lead Writer – Richard Vaughn

Design/Layout and Writer – Travis Oliver

Writer – Margie Wiener

Moving On

And so now we pivot from the battle to be NFL Champion to the battle to be the next Mayor of Philadelphia, only this time without questionable refereeing.


It goes without saying but is worth saying anyway that this is one important election, as virtually everyone seems to agree that the City needs to proceed in a new and better direction. But which direction, and who best to lead?


There are as many questions as there are candidates. It’s every resident’s responsibility – and that of CCRA This Week – to take the Super Bowl energy and apply it to vetting both the candidates and the issues.


We’re in. You in? Stay tuned.

CCRA News and Events

Casino Night: That’s a Wrap

Over 90 people joined us for Casino Night on Thursday, February 9th. It was quite the reunion from last year’s 75th Anniversary Gala for many of our members. It was great seeing familiar faces, and we all got a chance to meet some newer members. The night was full of fun, laughs, gaming, and hilarious entertainment by Philly’s local drag superstars, Dominique Lee and Ms. Morgan Morgan Morgan. Congratulations to our raffle winners. We hope you enjoy your magnificent prizes - yes, we are jealous. Thanks to all who attended, our sponsor, Bankroll Club - and a special “shout out” to our fabulous Development Committee for putting on an amazing event. 

Stay tuned for upcoming events.

FAMILY MOVIE NIGHT: Matilda the Musical

Building Friends in Fitler and the Trinity Center for Urban Life presents a Family Movie Night at Trinity Memorial Church on Saturday, February 25. Come enjoy Roald Dahl's Matilda the Musical, a 2022 musical fantasy comedy drama film directed by Matthew Warchus. Rotten Tomatoes says: "Roald Dahl's Matilda the Musical brings the classic story back to the screen with a delightful Emma Thompson, dazzling dancing, and a suitably irascible take on the source material".

Doors open at 4:30 pm, movie starts at 5:00pm. Parents (and grands) are invited to BYOB and come along and meet other neighborhood grandparents and parents. FREE TO ATTEND!

Office Closure and Trash Collections

In observance of the President’s Day holiday, CCRA is closed on Monday, February 20. The office will reopen on Tuesday, Feb, 21.  

In addition, no trash or recycling will be collected on Monday, Feb. 20. Collection will resume on the next day.

Sat., May 6: Save the Date

The Fitler Fun Day is Sat., 5/6 , 2-7pm, (rain date Sun., 5/7) The whole BFF community (which includes all members of CCRA) is invited to join the festivities. Activities include live music and dancers, tables and chairs for BYO food and drink, drink and snack sales, face and/or flower pot painting, library book bike, spring plant sale and….Ask the Arborist (Barlett Tree). 

Contact Travis here if you would like to host an activity at Fitler Fun Day.

How Does Your Garden Grow?

It takes more than compost, seeds and soil. Add commitment, and you’ve got yourself some beautiful homegrown tomatoes. Interested in your own plot? This year….or in the future? There are many benefits to CCRA membership. But we represent the entire community, not just our members. Here’s your options:

For non-members, you get to enter into a one-year plot lottery. For details on how to enter (and hopefully win), chance it here

For members, join the wait list now and get a plot to “grow your own” for six years! No lottery necessary; just get on the list and wait your turn. For info on how to join the wait list, dig here. Click here to read more.


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 hardware store extraordinaire Rittenhouse Hardware.

Rittenhouse Hardware is Your Go-To Happy Place

It’s late Sunday afternoon, you’ve been working on that house project all weekend long and now you realize you’re flat out of ten-penny nails. Who ya gonna call? Where ya gonna go?


Inconvenient, impersonal, confusing big-box store? NOOO. CCRA Merchant Partner Rittenhouse Hardware has your back. Truly local at 20th & Pine, they have been saving the bacon of the DIY crowd for over 15 years. They truly get it: they carry everything, are way knowledgeable and happy to help. And….. CCRA members get a 5% discount on all in-store purchases. (CCRA Membership card must be presented.)

Clean, Safe and Green

Festival of Ice at Dilworth on Sat (2/18); 1-7pm

Celebrate the end of winter at Dilworth Park with the Ice Festival. Watch the artists create intricate ice sculptures as they’ll be dueling ice-carving demonstrations as well as a full-size baby grand piano made entirely from ice. You can opt in for ice skating at the Rothman Orthopaedics Ice Rink, or just enjoy an ice dance performance, themed food, and beverages. Melt your ice here for the performance schedule.

Flowers in Feb.?

Witch hazel, winter aconites, and snowdrops are blooming two to three weeks earlier than usual. Winter hazel, winter jasmine, crocuses, hellebores and some daffodils are also blooming early with this warm spell. Why? Last month was Philly’s warmest January in 91 years. And last weekend was a sub-freeze! Will these bloomers survive the rest of Feb? So far, the answer is….Yes.

More worrisome than our early February cold snap is a late Feb freeze after the more delicate spring flowers have started to bloom. The 10-day forecast looks fairly warm….so hold your breath that everything will be coming up roses! Dig here for more details.

Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion

City Institute Concert on Saturday 2/25

On Sat, 2/25 @ 3 pm, The Renaissance Orchestra will present a celebration of Black American musicians from Philadelphia at the Philadelphia City Institute Library on Rittenhouse Square. Although PCI is closed on Saturdays, arrangements have been made to allow audience members to enter the library. 

This free concert highlights the contributions of Philadelphia composers to the rich and varied cultural tradition of Black American Music. The Renaissance Sextet, led by Leon Jordan Sr., will perform live, offer insights on the composers of the music you will hear, and host a brief Q&A after the performance. This concert was made possible by the American Federation of Musicians Local 77 and the Music Performance Trust Fund.

Join CCRA Now

Community News and Events

2/18 Mardi Gras for Kids at Markward

Markward Rec Center is throwing a Mardi Gras party for kids on Saturday, February 18 from 12 - 4 pm.

Activities include mask-making, coloring activities, a "doubloon" coin toss, and yummy treats. Registration is required here.

Can you Function Better with F-45?

Philly Mag tells us that a new F45 Training has landed in Center City West at Broad and South. This fitness brand combines High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), functional movements, and resistance-and cardio-based exercises.

Why “F45”? The F stands for functional training, a mix of circuit and hiit style workouts geared towards everyday movement. 45 is the total amount of time for sweat-dripping, heart-pumping fun (really??). They offer a three-class trial for $30, which you can book here for Grad Hospital venue.

CCD President and CEO to step down.

After 30 years, Center City District President and CEO Paul Levy has announced that he’s stepping down at the end of  2023. CCRA and CCD’s “home turf” overlap a bit, and Paul has always been a thoughtful and creative collaborator. Under Paul’s stellar leadership, we were able to contract with CCD to keep our sidewalks clean each week after trash collection. We expect that the CCD will continue to sweep the sidewalks of the business district and Center City West. But Paul’s creativity and realistic optimism will be missed by all Center City residents.

Hot off the press: He’s staying on in the role of non-executive Chairman of the Board and has a CCD succession plan in place.

Of course he does!  :) 

For more information about Paul and his legacy, read about him here.

Presidents Day – History’s Mysteries at NCC

History Buffs…..your time has arrived! Did you know that Washigton was the only president ever elected unanimously? Learn about this and so much more at the National Constitution Center. It’s FREE on Monday, 2/20, with workshops on presidential trivia, First Amendment, civil rights, and a lecture about new research on Harriet Scott, the female force actually behind the Supreme Court’s abhorred Dred Scott decision (think Taney Street rename).

What’s your Election Selection?

The Short Answer:

  • Check Your Registration Status and register or change, as needed. 
  • If your status is “Yes” for mail-in/absentee ballot, look for the Absentee or Mail-in Ballot Application in your USPS mail this month.
  • If you don’t receive it or want to start voting by mail-in/absentee ballot, fill out the application (online or paper).
  • Scan the QR code below to fill out your Application for Absentee Ballot. 

Now What? The Longer Answer:

Primary Election Day is May 16, 2023. Click here to Check Your Registration Status. If you need to register to vote, or change your registration (e.g., name, party, address), now would be a good time.

To request a mail in/absentee ballot, you must be registered to vote. If your Registration Status is “Yes” for annual mail-in ballot, you should  be mailed an application each February. You still need to complete and return that application each year, or complete the application online, Learn more here

Specific rules and deadlines are available here.

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.

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)

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

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)

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

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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