From the American Scene: Utopia on Columbia Street
Herrick’s cafe—then situated on Division Street at the junction of Canal and East Broadway—was, in the last days of the 19th and the early years of the 20th centuries, the gathering place of the East Side “intelligentsia” and literati. There the various factions—and they were legion—and the fractions of factions, met nightly at the round tables with their red and black checkered cloths, smoked Russian cigarettes, downed oceans of Chinese tea, and consumed pounds of Hungarian strudel. With loud argument each one tried to outshout the other, and by strenuous gesticulation they strove to settle the political and economic evils of the world, each in his own way.
It was into this atmosphere of smoke and general discord that the young lawyer timidly entered. A recent graduate of night law school, and broke, he was making the rounds of landsman associations and Jewish labor unions, seeking clients. Seeing three individuals at one of the tables arguing loudly, he went over and meekly inquired if they needed a lawyer.
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