Celebs Share Their First NYC Memories

Every New Yorker has their own story about when they first arrived to New York (we remember a particularly grody run-in with street meat). From closet-sized apartments to disastrous first jobs, unless you're a trust fund brat, NYC virgins always have a rough hazing. Celebs (they're just like us!) are no exception. From James Franco to Naomi Campbell, even the world's most suave super-people had a rocky (or hilarious) start. New York Magazine captured many of these tales in a hugely popular article on famous New Yorkers' first experiences in the city. To cash in on the response, the magazine's editors just came out with a larger collection in book form, appropriately titled My First New York: Early Adventures In The Big City. The tome includes stories from more than fifty remarkable New Yorkers, including artists, athletes, mayors, and porn stars, who all came to New York trying to make it big. Like the city itself, this collection of narratives is exquisitely diverse, a bit dirty, definitely frenetic, and always crazy-town. No matter when you arrived, there's sure to be something in My First New York that will trigger a reaction.
To get you started, here are a few of our favorite quotes from the book that are way more New York than Carrie Bradshaw doing brunch:
chloe-sevigny-my-first-nyChloë Sevigny, actress
Arrived: 1991
"By the time I was a junior, I think my parents were a little nervous. Sometimes I'd lie and say I was at a friend's house in Greenwich. They would not have been happy if they knew that I was at a rave all night long and then sleeping in the park. But not like a homeless person—like a teenager."
james-franco-my-first-nyJames Franco, actor and student
Arrived: 2008
"I'd never really taken the subway before. I love it! The one thing is, I used to listen to a lot of audiobooks in my car in L.A., and now I don't have that."
lauren-hutton-my-first-nyLauren Hutton, model and actress
Arrived: 1964
"I came to New York for two things: to get to Africa and to find LSD."
andy-samberg-my-first-nyAndy Samberg, comedian
Arrived: 1998
"California nature is lovely. New York nature is disgusting. At first, I was really grossed out by it, but by summertime, I remember lying on my couch watching TV with a water gun, and every time a mouse would run out from behind the TV, I would just spray it."
cindy-sherman-my-first-nyCindy Sherman, artist
Arrived: 1977 "The first place I lived in was a sublet from an artist friend on Gold and Fulton Streets. It was just one room with a toilet down the hall and a shower that hooked up to the sink in the room. My kitchen was just a fridge, two hot plates, and a toaster oven. I think we were all there illegally, because sometimes people would make really elaborate systems of hiding the bed and the kitchen."
naomi-campbell-my-first-nyNaomi Campbell, model
Arrived: 1986
"At 16 years old, I was summoned by Anna Wintour to work for American Vogue and was put on the British Airways Concorde. As we were leaving the airport I told the driver, "I want to go on the Graffiti Train." I had seen The Warriors. All I'd ever seen of New York was the movies."
What were your early days like in The Big City? Tell us your best stories (the good, the bad, and the ugly) below in the comments section.