One of my first assignments at Columbia, for University Writing, was to sit in Bryant Park for an afternoon and write about my experience there. I hopped on the subway and headed downtown excited, eager to discover some wonderful secret of New York City. However, when I arrived at the park, I was immediately taken aback by the scene of poverty before my eyes. Instead of glamorous fashion or an urban oasis, I found a sick, elderly woman digging for food in a garbage bin, and, underneath a tree, an old veteran desperately shaking a cup in hopes of a few coins. A wonderful secret, indeed.