New York City

I make my way down the crowded streets, inhaling but not getting a deep breath. The air here is not fresh or green, but instead filled with taxi exhaust and cigarette smoke. It fills my lungs and leaves a smoky taste in my mouth; I don't mind. This is only one of the great ways my senses are stimulated here.

I enter a small pizza shop and request a single slice. It's huge, dripping tantalizing grease off the edge of a paper plate. The cheese lies in piles atop the perfectly crisp crust. It burns me as my index finger trespasses past its fatty barrier. I wince and grimace; the tall man behind the counter takes my money and snickers. Nothing in this city gets me down, though.

After filling my stomach with more grub than necessary, I amble down the street, hoping to walk off some calories. On either side of me are tiny boutiques of all kinds and natures: booths filled with hats, closets of purses (mostly fake), bookstores, music stores, and Internet cafes. Nothing gets left out of the pot. This community is a stew of refrigerator leftovers.

I walk past a few hippies playing bongos and a homeless man chanting for peace on earth. He yells in my ear as I pass him; I give a smile and nod combination. Deciding to upgrade from my current location, I'm heading to the center of it all. There, people don't walk, they pile, floundering on top of one another, just for a foothold on the cement. I dare not wear opened-toed shoes for fear that I may lose one, or a whole foot.

Reaching my destination, I enter a cheery tourist favorite. Youth and happiness greet me from every direction. Chimes of nursery rhymes fill my ears as I walk past a child with an electronic reading teacher. He's got a mess of curly blonde locks that I am dying to tussle, but I must keep on track. Her giant house lies only a few feet away.

I come in through a pristine white doorway and arrive in a world of pink corvettes and plastic accessories. Her perfect, curvy body and toothy grin welcome me and strangely, I feel right at home. Shelves stack high up to the ceiling, filled with friends from all countries of the world, model homes for any economic class, and outfits that appear straight off the runway. What a lucky girl, she is.

I'm jealous, but I must keep my head up. The day is not over yet. One more locale to visit before the sun sets. Using public transportation instead of my own two tired feet, I appear at the base of her skirt. She dwarves me, but I am not intimidated. I prepare for a long journey.

Panting as I climb to her crown, I presume my reward will be well earned. Finally, getting a chance to look out over her brim, I sigh a heavy sigh of contentment. Pulling out my camera, I get every panoramic shot possible. Twilight is trying to push the sun below, so I must hurry. Stars begin to twinkle and a cool breeze sifts through my hair.

It's been a long day. It's time to leave my favorite place and return home to a warm bath, a footrest, and a bit of shut-eye.