Robin Hirsch is the author of Last Dance at the Hotel Kempinksi (a memoir), MOSAIC: Fragments of a Jewish Life (a performance cycle), and (with the collaboration and interference of his children) FEG: Stupid Poems for Intelligent Children. He is the owner of the Cornelia Street Cafe in Greenwich Village, which he founded with two other artists in 1977 and which the City of New York proclaimed “a culinary as well as a cultural landmark” in 1987. “Shakespeare” is from a memoir-in-progress, The Whole World Passes Through: Stories from the Cornelia Street Cafe.
I cannot believe it. I get off my bike in the middle of Cornelia Street and stand, staring at the café. It is the height of summer. I am frozen in place.