Lessons Learned in NYC #1

Lessons Learned in NYC #1

NYC Lessons #1 - Retro Flame - Erika Fox

Today marks the end of September and also the end of my first month here in New York. Where on earth did that month go!? So much has happened in such a short space of time, so I wanted to do a little recap here on Retro Flame & also share the lessons I’ve learned so far here in this crazy, but amazing city. I’ve added a new section in the ‘Categories’ area above called ‘New York’ (very original, I know) so all my NYC-related posts can be found there from here on. So just incase you ever miss a post, just come straight to and then click into that section. It will be so fun to have all the posts/photos in one section to look back at at the end of the year. As well as my usual outfit posts (more coming later this week), I’m also going to be sharing a lot more lifestyle posts. I’ll be sharing photos & info about my favourite cafes, shops, parks, hidden gems and also a look into the work I’m doing here in the city. It’s going to be a really fun year here on Retro Flame and it’s so cool to be able to share the experience with you guys too.

NYC Lessons #1 - Retro Flame - Erika Fox

Anyway, back to the purpose of the post. After a full month here, I have learned A LOT. Every now and again throughout the next year, I’m going to share some general NYC thoughts & lessons learned, so hopefully you’ll enjoy this type of post. Here are my top 10 lessons so far:

1. Avoid Times Square at all costs. So busy….ALL. THE. TIME.

2. Sunglasses will be your new best friend here. They cover up your (permanently) tired eyes and more importantly, they avoid making creepy eye-contact with fellow subway passengers.

3. Prepare to always be broke. This is the city where all of your money will just magically disappear. Pro Tip: avoid ordering ‘sides’. Last week, I went to a diner for waffles & maple syrup. I tried to make it a little healthier and asked for some strawberries on the side and ended up paying $5.95 (!!!) for 3 chopped up strawberries. Yes, I learned that one the hard way

NYC Lessons #1 - Retro Flame - Erika Fox

4. Everyone here is like you. Everyone here has the same ambitions, the same drive. We all moved here to ‘follow our dreams’ and chase after every single opportunity that comes our way. It’s always inspiring to meet and talk to people who are similar to you in so many way. Those kind of people that you can chat to for hours & hours on end. Those kind of people who just ‘get you’. It’s my very favourite part about being here.

5. New Yorkers are utterly obsessed with Kale & Avocado. They add it to absolutely everything (I now do too).

6. It’s good to get lost. Although google maps will be your right hand man here in New York, there will be times that it WILL let you down. If you’re in a rush (which is more often that not the case) it’s a disaster, but if you’re not, it’s the perfect time to find all the hidden gems this city has to offer. There’s nothing I love more than wandering around the city, there is ALWAYS something new to discover.

7. Sleep is useless here. No matter how many hours a night you get, you will still ALWAYS be tired. If you don’t drink coffee, you need to start…Now!

8. You need to learn how to walk fast. VERY fast. New Yorkers will literally push you out of the way.

NYC Lessons #1 - Retro Flame - Erika Fox

9. There will be BOTH good and bad days here. I know it’s the same everywhere you go, but the bad days in New York can be pretty damn BAD. Prepare to cry in public, have several mini breakdowns throughout the week and from time to time, question why exactly you moved to this mad city!? Yes, each of these three things have happened to me already. But once you’re prepared for it and realize that everyone here is in the exact same boat, it makes it a lot easier.

10. And lastly…I’ve learned that, as cringey as it sounds, this is the city where absolutely ANYTHING can happen. You never know who you are talking to (that girl next to you in Starbucks could be the CEO of a company you want to work for), you never know what amazing opportunity is around the corner and most exciting of all, you never know what madness tomorrow will bring. For me, it’s the most exciting place I’ve ever lived & it’s a city which literally makes me want to jump out of bed every single morning. New York, you have my heart.

NYC Lessons #1 - Retro Flame - Erika Fox

All photos are from my @retroflame Instagram
“Once you have lived in New York and made it your home, no place else is good enough.”

New York is the kind of place which will constantly test you and it will always look a lot more glamorous than it actually is. But at the end of the day, it’s NEW YORK CITY and I thank my lucky stars every single day that I’m actually here.

Keep up to date on all my adventures through my Instagram, Twitter, Facebook & Snapchat (retroflame1).

Hope you’ve all had a lovely Tuesday!

Stylishly Yours,

Erika x


  1. Ayisha Ogbara

    30 September

    Wow, I simply can’t wait to move to New York City in a couple of years! These posts will prove extremely helpful so thank you!

  2. Alex

    30 September

    I’m heading over to the US on the graduate visa on my own at the end of October and I’m spending 5 nights in New York, have to admit I’m really nervous about going on my own and not being completely lost and having mini breakdowns like you mentioned! These are such handy tips though, especially number one, I’ll have to make sure I stay no where near Times Square! Looking forward to more of your NYC recommendations, I’ve ever been before so I’m all ears when it comes to any must see places to see or eat x

  3. Elizabeth

    30 September

    I love your advice!! Hope you are having fun in the city!!

  4. Fiona Horgan

    1 October

    Great article Erika and all of us New York groupies adore the city for all the same reasons it can bug us – TIMES SQUARE for sure!!!! heading over next week for a wedding & won’t have many shopping hours – what’s hot for a one stop shopping splurge that won’t bankrupt me? boots & coats especially! thnx sweety from Fiona across the pond in Ardfert! xxx

  5. Fiona Bradley

    1 October

    Beautiful post Erika! I will never complain about the price of ordering a side dish here in Ireland ever again :) X



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