She bent over the pot outside the restaurant. Delicious. Simply delicious, fresh and new. The woman smiled. How it reminds me of the better days—my better days. Her mind travelled back 16 years. The days when I had breakfast at the Stanhope Hotel I can see it now—a sprig of mint on my butter plate, my Villeroy & Bock flowered butter plate. I was in Heaven then. I had just arrived in Manhattan and everything was lovely. Succeed. I thought I would succeed by my own efforts, doing what I truly loved. The Stanhope Hotel was my home, my safe haven. I had friends there. I couldn’t wait to see them when I got up in the morning. It wasn’t the classy, 5th Avenue Gold Coast atmosphere or the Metropolitan Museum of Art across the street. It was the people—the friendly, visible people. She shrugged. That’s all gone now. I miss that and I miss the lifestyle it represented. I didn’t know what I had. It will never return. She crossed the street when the light turned green.