I took my first trip to Manhattan in the winter of 2003. Everything about the city was enchanting. I hardly noticed the freezing temperatures because I was utterly amazed by the people, towering buildings, and fast pace of Manhattan. Around every corner was something new and exciting. The city was a forest of buildings and I did not mind being lost in it. I inhaled everything that I could. Every morning I would walk from my hotel on 50th Street between Lexington Avenue and 3rd Avenue, to Ess-A-Bagel on the corner of 51st Street and 3rd Avenue.
As I emerged from the revolving doors of the hotel lobby, gusts of cold air brushed past my face. Fastening my coat and wrapping my scarf snuggly around my neck, I prepared myself for the otherwise unbearable cold. I stopped outside of my hotel for only a second to light my cigarette. I could see my every breath exhale in front of my face, making it impossible to differentiate the smoke from my own breath.
My nose and cheeks got redder and colder with every step I would take. The only thing that I heard was the taxis honking and my boots tapping on the sidewalk as I walked toward my destination. Every step gave me a feeling of euphoria.
Every so often, however, I would hear a pedestrian and a cabby yelling at each other about who had the right of way. Entertained and fascinated by the big city way of life, I would nonchalantly eaves drop on the argument. I looked at these people, whom I had never even spoken to, with admiration. They were not phony and superficial like so many of the people that I had met in Tucson. They were not scared to be rude and show their...