The Adelphia House

For the duration of the mid-Aughts, Mike Land lived at the Adelphia House at 13th and Chestnut, here shown. The point of interest: what Mike was exposed to was a neighborhood which had no specific name; was, in fact, the absolute center of Center City Philadelphia. The center-of-the-center vibe was interesting: Mike's window looked down, from the seventh floor, at Chestnut Street; and what he would see, even at one, two, or three in the morning, was a constant fracas. Directly across the street was the liquor store from 1488; a few blocks away was Woody's, Philly's el primo gay bar, where the Free School pack would sometimes hang out. Yet Mike's window square was about a neighborhood and an intersection that never slept. Logan Square was relatively quiet at night, as was West Philadelphia. It is from the Adelphia House that we planned Free School moves like Poetry Incarnation '05, and the various shows we did at the Highwire Gallery. Incidentally, the Highwire Gallery, on Cherry Street between Broad and 13th Street, a few blocks from Mike (and in a neighborhood which, as of '19, has been partially re-zoned), was another center-of-the-center edifice, even as the vibe was slightly less of a fracas than the Adelphia House. By Cherry Street, Broad is turning into North Broad; yet from the Gilbert Building steps, the view of Philadelphia City Hall was stunning. From the Adelphia House windows, which faced south, no dice. What Mike had going, at the center-of-the-center, which Mary & I did not, is the sense of Philadelphia as a great raging beast, constantly churning, constantly in motion; and Mike's life at the time was a ricochet of the same energies.