Water tower power 

Four-story, one-bedroom West End home

In a warehouse district in the West End, Mitch Cherry has set up house in a water tower. The aqua green structure he rents ($1,000 a month) looks more like a lighthouse with yellow and red horizontal stripes and poles jutting out the top. He lives in the four-story circular bohemian pad with his two dogs: Honey Bear and Honey Bear Jr.

CL: This is a pretty incredible place you got here -- the spiral staircase leading to each floor and how every floor is its own unique room. The bedroom set-up is like a scene from Arabian Nights or something.

Mitch Cherry:Yeah, it's my harem room. It's round, you know, like "I Dream of Jeannie." Before I met the perfect woman, I had visions of, like, 20 chicks at a time in here. This place has an amazing echo effect because it's round. It was built in the '30s, you know, and I think there are still two water tanks up there.

So what is it you do?

I'm an artist. I do visual art, sculpture, film and TV, and I DJ under the name SoFly. Just done all sorts of stuff really. I lived in London for three years and studied jewelry over there. I got real big into the rave scene there before it was called the rave scene. When I got back, I left all the three-dimensional art behind and got into the music scene. I got my own warehouse with a dream of doing a crazy rave scene (it wasn't called that back then), and a cable-access show called "The Bus Stop."

[I see something hanging by the closet reminiscent of the "Technicolor Dream Coat" -- black, red and yellow with glitter, words and a patchwork design. Maybe something out of a Harlem fairy tale.] Do you wear that funk cape when you DJ?

Yeah, man. Actually I do, sometimes. This was originally made for George Clinton, the man himself, but he couldn't afford it at the last minute, and I got a sweet deal on it. So now it's a part of my "SoFly" wardrobe. If you look over here, I've got pictures from Burning Man, which is a huge artist's convention I go to every year out in the Nevada desert. It's like Halloween every day out there.

I noticed a warehouse space next door. Do you have something planned there as well?

It's going to be an art gallery. I want a new scene. I want to leave behind the rave scene and have gallery openings and art shows and spoken word and all that stuff. I have a vision of a sort of artistic collective -- I just don't have the collective yet. The West End is a tough place to get a scene going. It's like the final frontier or something.

I do all the restoring here myself, as I'm experienced in carpentry as well. I've already had a show in here, of a guy named Panorama Ray. I was a big fan and a friend of Panorama Ray's, but he's passed on now.

[A large ditch is present in the front yard.] You looking to irrigate here?

No man, I'm going to build a little moat type thing there, and put some Japanese fish in. Not sure what they're called though. Those gold ones with the big lips, I think. Something nice and relaxing, you know what I mean? I think it'll be cool to come out and see those suckers every morning.


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