Favorite Spot: Chapterhouse Cafe and Gallery
Address: 620 S 9th St, Philadelphia, PA 19147
Neighborhood: Bella Vista
I am: A perpetual teacher, student, and traveler, now helping others looking for tefl certification in Philadelphia.
My Love Note
To the Back Room at Chapterhouse Café and Gallery:
I was looking at the flowers outside of your back windows when I found out my father died.
I was petting the dog that I’ve since learned lives there.
I had never made such a quick escape in my life as I did that day, but I’ve never made so much of a place that isn’t entirely mine—
I was only in Philadelphia for the summer, but now when I visit, I’m more likely to go get a Mexican Mocha from you than to go to the Liberty Bell.
I’ve never been to the Liberty Bell.
I think I sat at the table by the back door every day that summer. The economy was good so I had a summer job, but I lived in lukewarm fear of losing it. I spent my fresh inheritance on enough coffee to inspire focus on the memoir I was writing. Everyone else appeared to be a medical student.
I fancied myself a poet at the time. I hid at every Chapter and Verse reading that summer. I wrote more at Chapterhouse than I have since, even though I fancy myself a freelance writer.
Chapterhouse, I like that you are quiet and somewhat serious.
I like that I could have a pet dog that didn’t know my name.
I like that the baristas didn’t try to get to know me, though made my drinks quickly.
When I come to Philadelphia, I write beneath your high ceilings to feel alone, and it feels personal–
Chapterhouse, you are usually thousands of miles away from my room, but I always think of you when I fail to focus. Before I left that summer, I bought a print of a two-headed woman off your wall because I couldn’t bring your coffee or quiet back to college with me, or to Korea. I have lived in many cities since that summer. My life has changed by many deaths since my father’s. It’s more than just the coffee—you have remained constant.