My First New York

My First New York

3.61 (680 ratings by Goodreads)
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Who doesn't know someone who moved on a lark to New York - or plans to someday move there - and remembers or dreams of their own first, halcyon days in the big city? New York has always been the destination of choice for the tired, the poor, the hungry - as well as for the rich, the famous, and the well-fed. As the Census Bureau recently reported, even in these days of recession New York is gaining more residents than any city in America. Based on the hugely popular recent New York magazine cover story, "My First New York" features memorable and moving accounts of early adventures in the city by some of the legions of remarkable people who have called it home, including: Actress Lauren Hutton on jumping into a cab without a destination that first day in 1964 and saying the only New York place that came to mind: 'Tiffany's!'
; Artist Chuck Close on days and nights at Andy Warhol's nightclub, The Factory, in 1967; Chef Padma Lakshmi on arriving on Halloween night in 1974; "Saturday Night Live" producer Lorne Michaels on immediately buying what he deemed essential to wear in New York in 1975: a green corduroy jacket; Restaurateur Danny Meyer on arriving the night John Lennon was shot in 1980; Comedian Andy Samberg on shooting mice with a water gun in his first apartment in 1998; and, Actor James Franco on learning to take the subway in 2008.
Other contributors include: David Dinkins, former mayor, 1933; Lorin Maazel, conductor, 1939; Yogi Berra, baseball player, 1946; Chita Rivera, actress, 1948; Jonas Mekas, filmmaker, 1949; Dan Rather, journalist, 1956; Larry Kramer, playwright, 1957; Tommy Tune, director and choreographer, 1957; Daniel Libeskind, architect, 1959; Liza Minnelli, singer, 1961; Nora Ephron, filmmaker, 1962; Tom Wolfe, writer, 1962; Judy Collins, singer, 1963; Bill Cosby, comedian, 1963; Danny DeVito, actor, 1963; Lauren Hutton, actress, 1964; Chuck Close, artist, 1967; Andre Aciman, writer, 1968; Mary Boone, art gallerist, 1969; Diane Von Furstenberg, designer, 1970; Padma Lakshmi, host of "Top Chef", 1974; and, Lorne Michaels, executive producer of "Saturday Night Live", 1975.
It also includes contributors such as: Cindy Sherman, artist, 1977; Jann Wenner, editor and publisher of "Rolling Stone", 1977; Gary Shteyngart, writer, 1979; Danny Meyer, resturateur, 1980; Susanne Bartsch, party promoter, 1981; Colum McCann, writer, 1982; David Rakoff, writer, 1982; Harold Evans, editor-at-large of "The Week", 1983; Keith Hernandez, baseball player, 1983; Ira Glass, radio host of "This American Life", 1984; Naomi Campbell, model, 1986; Audra McDonald, actress, 1988; Mike Myers, comedian, 1988; Chloe Sevigny, actress, 1991; Amy Sedaris, comedienne, 1993; Rufus Wainwright, musician, 1994; Maggie Gyllenhaal, actress, 1995; Michael Lucas, porn star, 1997; Albert Hammond Jr., musician, 1998; Andy Samberg, comedian, 1998; David Chang, chef, 1999; Michel Gondry, filmmaker, 2001; Nick Denton, publisher of Gawker, 2002; Ashley Dupre, former escort, 2004; Aygness Deyn, model, 2006; James Franco, actor, 2008; and, TK, new arrival, 2009.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 256 pages
  • 132.08 x 182.88 x 33.02mm | 294.83g
  • HarperCollins Publishers Inc
  • Ecco Press
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • New
  • 0061963933
  • 9780061963933
  • 330,946

Review quote

"These small, glittering essays make a reader feel that the sheer force of all these dreams, this persistence, might in fact rub off on you." -- Los Angeles Times "No matter how rich and famous they become, newcomers generally suffer through the most absurd living conditions as a rite of passage to becoming New Yorkers. It's proven by the boldfaced contributors to My First New York." -- New York Post "A breezy celebration of the city... 50 famous residents describe their first days in the city-days variously exhilarating, overwhelming, terrifying, or inspiring, but invariably unforgettable." -- Booklist "As wacky and wonderful as NYC itself." -- Modern Tonic "At time hilarious and heartbreaking, all these stories are inspiring-just like life in NYC." -- Star "Celebrate[s] all the quirkiness, beauty, creativity, eccentricity, and artistry that is New York City." -- Pop Matters
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Back cover copy

A book as effervescent and alive as the city itself.

My First New York features candid accounts of coming to New York by more than fifty of the most remarkable people who have called the city home. Here are true stories of long nights out and wild nights in, of first dates and lost loves, of memorable meals and miserable jobs, of slow walks up Broadway and fast subway rides downtown.

The contributors--a mix of actors, artists, comedians, entrepreneurs, musicians, politicians, sports stars, writers, and others--reflect an enormous variety of experiences: few have arrived with less than filmmaker Jonas Mekas, a concentration-camp survivor on a UN refugee ship; few have swanned in with more than designer Diane von Furstenberg, a princess. And an extraordinary number managed to land in New York just as something historic was happening--the artist Cindy Sherman arrived in the middle of the Summer of Sam; restaurateur Danny Meyer came on the day John Lennon was shot.

Arranged chronologically, these moving and memorable stories combine to form an impressionistic history of New York since the Great Depression. They also provide an accidental encyclopedia of New York hotspots through the ages: from the Cedar Tavern and the Gaslight to Lutece and Elaine's, from Max's Kansas City and the Mudd Club to the Odeon and Bungalow 8, they're all here, dots on the unbroken line of the Next Next things.

Taken together, My First New York is a collection of fifty-six testaments to a larger revelation, one that new arrivals of all stripes and all eras have experienced again and again in New York, regardless of how the city proceeds to treat them: what the songwriter Rufus Wain-wright calls "having cracked the code of living life to the fullest."

Contributors include Andre Aciman, Susanne Bartsch, Yogi Berra, Mary Boone, Naomi Campbell, Graydon Carter, David Chang, Chuck Close, Judy Collins, Nick Denton, Danny DeVito, Agnes Deyn, David Dinkins, Ashley Dupre, Nora Ephron, Harold Evans, James Franco, Ira Glass, Michel Gondry, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Albert Hammond Jr., Keith Hernandez, Lauren Hutton, Jenny Joslin, Zoe Kazan, Larry Kramer, Padma Lakshmi, Daniel Libeskind, Michael Lucas, Lorin Maazel, Colum McCann, Audra McDonald, Jonas Mekas, Danny Meyer, Lorne Michaels, Liza Minnelli, Mike Myers, Parker Posey, David Rakoff, Dan Rather, Chita Rivera, James Rosenquist, Andy Samberg, Amy Sedaris, Chloe Sevigny, Cindy Sherman, Gary Shteyngart, Nate Silver, Liz Smith, Paul Taylor, Tommy Tune, Diane von Furstenberg, Rufus Wainwright, Kara Walker, Jann Wenner, and Tom Wolfe
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About New York Magazine

Founded in 1968, New York magazine covers, analyzes, and defines the news, culture, and personalities that make New York City the capital of almost everything.
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Rating details

680 ratings
3.61 out of 5 stars
5 19% (126)
4 36% (248)
3 34% (233)
2 9% (63)
1 1% (10)
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