As for her father, whom I saw several times during that summer, he often sat up far into the night in Malbin's or some other restaurant, talking "parcels." He had become so absorbed in his real-estate speculations that he was rarely seen at Yampolsky's café these days.
Altogether, Tevkin seemed to be accounted one of the "has-beens" of the Ghetto One of the bits of information I squeezed out of the librarian was that Tevkin was a passionate frequenter of Yampolsky's café, a well-known gathering-place of the East Side Bohème I had heard a good deal about the resort.
The next time I saw him, on an afternoon at Yampolsky's café again, there was an elusive deference in his demeanor. He seemed to me more reserved and ill at ease than he had been on the previous occasion. Finally he said, "I had no idea you were David Levinsky, the cloak-manufacturer." My vanity was so flattered that I was unable to restrain my face from betraying it.
I knew that many or most of its patrons were Socialists or anarchists or some other kind of "ists." After my experience at the Cooper Institute meeting, Yampolsky's café seemed to be the last place in the world for me to visit. But I was drawn to it as a butterfly is to a flame, and finally the temptation got the better of me
I learned from Tevkin that many of Yampolsky's patrons were poor working-men and that some of these were poets, writers of stories, or thinkers, but that the café was also frequented by some professional and business men. At this he directed my attention to a "Talmud-faced" man whom he described as a liquor-dealer who "would be a celebrated writer if he were not worth half a million."