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  • This is a picture of a girl with an image of how the world will be.

    At age one, she went to Manhattan for the first time. Standing at the edge of Central Park, her parents watched as her little fingers kept folding and unfolding themselves into fists with excitement. Her mother whispered, "She will live here someday; she loves it." The city's energy had already captured her.

    At age seven, she returned. When she was leaving, her mother leaped out of the taxi to buy her a pretzel from a street vendor. The pretzel was bigger than the girl had ever seen before. It was sprinkled with salt and especially doughy. The mother had made a promise to the little girl; the little girl learned that day that promises are never broken.

    The girl visited Manhattan many more times, always keeping inside of her a secret plan. She would one day be that confident, classy, independent businesswoman strutting down the street. She would have the black pumps, the toned calves, the gray pencil skirt and matching blazer. She would have her reddish-brown hair pulled back tightly, secured with purpose. She would smile at the tall towers surrounding her, captivated by the city's magnificence.

    At age sixteen, this girl visited the city again to look at colleges and meet her favorite comedian in Times Square. Only New York City gives these chances, she thought. A family from Manhattan suggested she go to Café Lalo. "This is what us New Yorkers do: we go to a show then go to beautiful cafés for delicious desserts!"

    This is what us New Yorkers do. This is that sparkle that makes Manhattan, Manhattan. This is what the girl will do, when she one day is ready to make the world what she wishes it to be. She made a promise to herself, and promises are never broken.
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