why isn't this working?

I have a database connection established yadda yadda...
but when i try to grab the name of a user like this

PHP Code:
= @mysql_query('SELECT user_firstname FROM people WHERE id=1');
  if (!
$user) {
'<p>Problem with Query: ' .
mysql_error() . '</p>');
and echo it like so

PHP Code:
Hey <?php echo $user ?>
i end up with this

Hey Resource id #4

What I want to end up with is Hey Casey

my database looks like this

table --> people

id ------------------ 1
user_firstname --- Casey