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 remarkable people who have called the city home. 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 true stories combine to form an impressionistic history of New York since the Great Depression. Taken together, their stories are 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 Wainwright calls having cracked the code of living life to the fullest.