By 4:15 AM, the bakers at Hot & Crusty are putting their fresh-baked muffins and croissants on the shelves. If I'm awake and at all hungry, I make a point of stopping by and picking something up.

Which I just did (they're delicious). I thanked the man behind the counter and wished him a good night.

"Good night? It's a brand new day, boss!"

And so it is. I used to be one of those annoying kids in school -- so enamored with the idea of being up past midnight -- that I'd interject every chance I could something like, "technically, it's already tomorrow."

But after these last few rotations through emergency, night and day have lost their special distinctiveness. It doesn't faze me anymore when patients present at wee hours, asking for a "checkup" or inquiring about their monthlong knee pain.

In the city that never sleeps, every moment marks a brand new day, for someone.