Book Review: My First New York: Early Adventures in the Big City by New York Magazine

My First New York: Early Adventures in the Big City
by New York Magazine

Publication date: March 23rd 2010
Publisher: Ecco
Pages: 239


From the staff of New York Magazine comes the perfect gift for the Manhattanite in all of us. My First New York is a glorious collection of recollections and reminiscences as fifty of the city’s most famous residents recapture the kicks and thrills of first arriving in the Big Apple. Actors and athletes, rock stars and porn stars, writers, artists, and politicos—from Yogi Berra to Liza Minnelli, from Chloe Sevigny to Andy Samberg to Diane Von Furstenberg—they all share their hilarious, touching, frightening, amazing early big city adventures in My First New York.

Source: Goodreads


I’ve just read the whole of “My First New York” on the plane journey to my own first trip to New York. It’s not a complicated read, it’s not long and detailed, it’s short snippets of stories told by famous faces about how they first came to be in the city.

There’s politics, comedy, romance, fame, poverty and crime, something for everyone. I found I would have liked to delve deeper into some of them and heard a little less from others. Some were more interesting than others. This book didn’t wow me and I think part of that was because I don’t know who a lot of the authors are, some names I recognised but others I’d really never heard of. But does that really matter? Perhaps I’ll write something about my first encounter here (“hey lady, I just don’t understand white guys, you know”) and add it to the final pages.

Overall rating: 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…

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