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 by New York Magazine
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
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 conditioning in the stuffy little studio, moving every box just the two of us and how filthy it was.
When he left to go get his office keys and I lay on the bed, listening to the city. In particular I listened to the noise made by the nearby bookstore's sidewalk lift (not sure what else to call it -- but it's a way to get goods into the basement without traipsing through the store -- most grocery stores there seem to have them too). I couldn't figure out what the sound was as it sounds like a high school class change bell, and it wasn't until I had moved there and seen the lift in action (and heard its associated sound at the same time) did it click. A mini mystery that eventually I solved.
After a shower I put on my black interview dress and killer heels and took the subway to Rockefeller Center. I had a job interview on the day I helped Shawn move to New York. It was at a PR firm, and I had a few other interviews during my first few months in residence, but nothing ever panned out. (The closest I came to an offer was in the Bronx, and I just couldn't face going from no commute to 1 hour-plus each day.)
Anyway, on my first day in New York, although I'm still a visitor at this point I know it's where I'm going to be living within a few months, I find myself across the street from Rockefeller Center, among the hustle and bustle and business of midtown. I felt so grown up, and it was more than a little surreal. I don't know that I really loved it or just the idea of it -- probably looking back clouds my memory because I've been able to morph my initial misgivings into a romanticized fondness for the place I truly became a Mrs.
The bedbugs and space issues came later, and they're part of my New York story too. But I like to think my First New York is more about wide eyed wonderment, empowerment and a choice to move to the best city on earth with my passion.