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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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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)

3.64  ·  Rating details ·  777 ratings  ·  109 reviews
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
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ebook, 256 pages
Published April 30th 2013 by Ecco (first published March 23rd 2010)
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3.64  · 
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 ·  777 ratings  ·  109 reviews


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Katie
May 26, 2010 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Wow. This book is TERRIBLE. Annoying, boring, trite, poorly written 'tales' of first encounters with the city. Even celebrities and writers I admire have shameful contributions of mere crap in this book. I feel the fault must be in the editors and/or how they approached the contributors on how to write their pieces. I am a huge fan of about-new-york literature and memoir, and thought this could be a great gift for people new to the city. It is, however, junk, and no one should ever buy it. {Alth ...more
Satia
My First New York: Early Adventures in the Big City from the editors of New York Magazine is a collection of short recollections from a variety of people about their coming to New York for the first time. However, for those not familiar with New York ideology it should be clarified that the memories are focused solely on Manhattan. Anyone who comes from the tri-state area knows that when you say New York City you mean Manhattan but others may not get it.

In some ways, these stories all read like
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Mandie
Feb 18, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have a mad crush on the city of New York. The entire city. Of all of the places in the world that I would love to visit, New York City is always at the top of my list. I constantly read books, and watch movies and TV shows that are set in the city, imagining what it would be like to be me, only living there. Alas, it is an unrequited crush, New York has no idea that I even exist.

"My First New York: Early Adventures in the Big City (As Remembered by Actors, Artists, Athletes, Chefs, Comedians,
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Jana
Dec 23, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Purchased at The Strand and started in NYC. 56 short chapters spanning 1933 to 2009. All were good. Some of my favorites were Amy Sedaris, who used to throw used tea bags into her spare bedroom and watch them freeze. David Rakoff, whose goal was to resemble one of the many characters in MANHATTAN...in other words, be a New Yorker! Gary Shteyngart's story was wonderful. He wrote about his move from the Soviet Union to New York in 1979. It was "equivalent to stumbling off a monochromatic cliff and ...more
Allan
Aug 17, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
One of the books that I picked up on my trip to NYC last Christmas - an enjoyable anthology of coming to New York stories as told to New York magazine by famous people, and arranged chronologically to give a definite sense of the changing city. A quick and enjoyable read, if a little light content wise in places in comparison to some similar titles that I've read.
Alec Rigdon
Aug 13, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
You couldn't ask for a better selection of stories to read if you are still starry-eyed and hopeful about living in or moving to New York. You can almost feel the memories come flooding back to the story tellers as they recall the good times and the bad with very rose colored lenses.
Hazel
Nov 29, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I just had to cherish every little story in this book. I wanted to sort of read it when I'm feeling depressed or tired or sad...

I love New York. In fact, I am in LOVE with New York. Everything I read in this book just brings me back to MY FIRST New York. No, I do not live in New York, never have. New York has been that place in my dreams - where my favorite movies took place, where my favorite stories & characters are from.

I can tell a something I'm watching was shot in New York even though
...more
Megan
Dec 18, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Have never been to New York, never seen it with my own eyes, but have always wanted to live there since I was about ten years old, which is when I realized that life and this world is bigger than the limits of my rinky - dinky town.

Although this book is not the best piece of literature to exist, it was very good and really makes you feel like you're the one strolling the sidewalks of the city, visiting the shops and clubs, etc. Some stories sort of don't have much meat to them or make sense, oc
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Linda
Mar 15, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I identified with every written testimony. Moving into NYC in the 80’s...it was a different city than it is today.
Lena
Sep 18, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction, 2015
Fun collection of New York memoires that make me very excited to create my own.
Bethany
Nov 24, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Such a quick, fantastic read.
Rachel Jenkins
This was a quick and easy read. Perfect for the subway as I navigated around the city explained in its pages. While there was nothing life changing about this book it is interesting to read of so many different experiences. Everyone remembers their first time in New York. I sure do, and how I immediately fell in love with the city. Some people are eloquent and descriptive in their memories, while others are short and to the point. I may not know who many of the people are, but, in some weird way ...more
Sue M. Pienciak
Nov 24, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting

Not exactly what I was expecting, but an enjoyable read. I grew up in Jersey, 10 minutes from the outskirts of NYC. Haven't been there in a while, & miss it terribly. As I read, realized I fit into the category of tourist, not a true New Yorker. Would certainly be interesting to live there for a while, though I'm too old & wornout at this point. Good to read what it was like to actually live there.
Radhika Meganathan
A bunch of short and sweet essays, or rather reminiscences of prominent New Yorkers on how they came to live in the Big Apple. It was inspiring to boot, because you keep reading about these poor and often desperate people who land up in the one of the biggest, ruthless city in the world and they make it, all thansk to their gumption and hard work. Must read for anybody visiting NYC shortly, or having even the lightest interest in New York city.
Rebecca
This book isn’t going to stick in your mind forever, but I’m not sure it needs to. As a collection of short accounts, The New York Times have put together and interesting peek into the city over the years. Now it’s time to explore the city for myself…

Read my short and sweet review on my blog: https://whatrebeccasread.wordpress.co...
Ivelisse Estrada
I was quite looking forward to reading this book, but once I started the stories didn't leave me wanting more. I kept reading thinking I would find something exciting and memorable but nothing happened.
Khalia
Oct 20, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fun book but extremely short. I thought the chapters would have breadth. One or two pages are the limit for the vignettes. If someone gets easily bored, they could enjoy the piece. It almost feels shallow to see such brevity.
monicadear

Heartwarming tales of New Yorkers first arriving, from 1933 (David Dinkins) to 2009 (Jenny Joslin). Easy read - grew out of a recurring magazine feature in the New York magazine.
Diane
May 09, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fun, light reading in small bites.
Cindy
Jul 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Really enjoyed this book. Very quick, fun read.
Vinod Kurup
Some of the stories were interesting, some weren't but it was the perfect thing to read on a return visit to NYC.
Mari
Dec 21, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A birthday gift from my mother-in-law. I put the book on my Amazon wish list once I read about it on The Noisiest Passenger blog. Basically a collection of New York magazine essays by famous people about when they first moved to New York.

I don't remember as clearly when I moved to New York in November 2007, probably because I was working to be vague about my living situation and I can even fool myself. But I have distinct memories of moving Shawn there that August. The heat without the air condi
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Kara
Sep 15, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A compilation of light readings based on candid accounts of New Yorkers from different walks of life, true stories of those who came to the big city to be a part of its own whimsical pulse. A living thing. A common theme across all accounts is the energy that New York seems to promise and always delivers in one way or another. I'm glad to find intimate encounters of people that I absolutely adore: Zoe Kazan and Andy Samberg and read how their first days went by. My relationship with the cities I ...more
Shani
Jun 11, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I loved the stories, or "early adventures," in this memoir of New York. I'm tempted to write my own after reading this...remembering my first trips to NYC as a kid in the 80s with my family. If you have ever lived in NY or thought about it, this is a book for you! It would be great if NY Magazine did a follow up with some "regular" folks instead of just celebrities.

Here are some memorable quotes that I think many a New Yorker can relate to...

"This city makes even the experimenters sentimental."
...more
Alea
Feb 26, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-for-review
My First New York is a lot like the city itself, dirty, glamorous, lonely, bizarre and full of wonder. Together these stories really paint a picture of a bunch of different facets of New York City. If you've never been you'll want to go and if you have, you'll recognize something from your own memory of the city.

There is something so uplifting reading about people's first experiences in the city instead of say a random memory, people go there with so much hope and promise and to see if the city
...more
Robyn
Mar 02, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads
Another Goodreads FirstReads win...and another ARC. I'm always happy to read something before it comes out :).

This book was fun--I found it really interesting to see what famous people's first impressions were of New York. Not being a New Yorker myself, but as someone who has spent quite a lot of time there (and who lived there for a summer) I found myself remembering some of my first impressions of the city. I also found myself trying to place exactly where some of these stars had some of their
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Timothy Neesam
Jul 26, 2014 rated it liked it
In chronological appearance of arrival, individuals from a variety of occupations and backgrounds explain, each in the space of a couple of pages, how they came to New York and how they fared when they arrived. Themes develop (arriving penniless, isolation is busy place yet friendliness in big city, mostly how perseverance pays off). Few people are crushed by the Big Apple, and most have reasons for adoring the city. There's a bit of variety in occupations but most people are in the entertainmen ...more
Julie Laporte
Wish I could give this 3.5 stars. If you know me, you know I love The Big Apple, and it was quite amusing to read these short little essays about first experiences in NYC. Aside from references to places and events I've experienced there, I enjoyed most watching the development of the city through the decades. The entries are arranged in chronological order and as a reader you are drawn through the Art Nouveau, the musical eras, the downturns (cue cockroaches and rats), to the NY I know and love ...more
Erin
Mar 02, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I love travel books - I love being transported to another place, another culture, another way of life. I love reading about the energy and the people and really getting a sense for a place. I was thrilled to win this book of collected stories about New York in a Goodreads giveaway. However, the majority of the stories in this collection left me cold and empty.

While some of the stories are fascinating and written in such a way that left me with a better understanding of the time period, the loca
...more
Tara
Oct 15, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A fun, quick read, this is a collection of short essays describing the impressions of famous people upon moving to New York. Here’s a bit from Nora Ephron: “I’d known since I was 5, when my parents forced me to move to California, that I was going to live in New York eventually and that everything in between was just a horrible intermission. I’d spent those sixteen years imagining what New York was going to be like. I thought it was going to be the most exciting, magical, fraught-with-possibilit ...more
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