My First New York: Early Adventures in the Big City (As Remembered by Actors, Artists, Athletes, Chefs, Comedians, Filmmakers, Mayors, Models, Moguls, Porn Stars, Rockers, Writers, and Others)

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Overview

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, ...

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Overview

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 Lutèce 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 André 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 Dupré, 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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Editorial Reviews

Booklist
“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.”
Los Angeles Times
“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.”
Pop Matters
“Celebrate[s] all the quirkiness, beauty, creativity, eccentricity, and artistry that is New York City.”
Star
“At time hilarious and heartbreaking, all these stories are inspiring—just like life in NYC.”
New York Post
“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.”
Modern Tonic
“As wacky and wonderful as NYC itself.”
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061963933
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 3/23/2010
  • Pages: 239
  • Product dimensions: 5.20 (w) x 7.20 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

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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