Intellectual Affairs

Intellectual Affairs
February 15, 2005
Scott McLemee takes a look at something more often practiced than theorized.
February 3, 2005

"You're too young to know about the cafeterias," said Julius Jacobson.

"The cafeterias were wonderful," said Phyllis Jacobson. "There's nothing like them today."

"The cafeterias and the automats were the center of New York intellectual life back then," they continued. Each one finishing the other's thought, as old couples often will. "You'd buy a sandwich or a piece of pie, both if you could afford it, but what you really went there to do was talk."

They talked. And I listened, hoping, as ever, to be transported into their past, at least for a while.

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