Dolce and Gabriella

Little thoughts from the Big Apple

The Five Things You Need for Your First Week in New York

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So, my first week as a New York intern is almost over. So far, the job has been surprisingly doable. Part of that is definitely my boss—she’s so considerate and always makes sure I’m not feeling overwhelmed, and I feel comfortable asking her questions about anything I don’t know. But the other part of it is me! I said “yes” to things I never would have dreamed of doing a year ago. Navigate the subway system in a totally new part of the city to find a teeny tiny glass repair shop for a broken bowl? Sure. Network with twenty industry influencers at a four-course luncheon hosted by celebrity designer Jeremiah Brent? Bring it.

I can’t believe how much I’ve learned since I got here last Friday. New York City is still a puzzle, but at least I’m starting to put the pieces together. Along the way, I’ve made a few invaluable discoveries. I’ll start with the stuff: these are the five items that have helped me the most this week. If you’re coming here for school or an internship, I recommend getting them all!


1. Classic Keds ‘Champion’ sneakers, around $30 on Amazon



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When you cart stuff around the city all day like I do sometimes, you need a pair of shoes that are SUPER comfy. Not kind of comfy…pillow-for-your-feet comfy. These Keds (which I bought in navy) are perfect because they’re so comfortable, but also classy enough to look okay with your work outfits. And they’re easy to smoosh down and stuff in a tote bag if you change into cuter shoes when you get to work.


2. Frozen Mac n’ Cheese from Trader Joe’s, $2.99

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The best, cheapest dinner I’ve found so far. It’s perfect for stove-phobes; all you have to do is plop the carton down on a cookie sheet and stick it in the oven. 20 minutes later, you have a big plate of warm, creamy comfort food. Yesterday, I was absolutely exhausted and famished after work. I devoured a tray of this in bed while watching guilty pleasure #1, Scandal. Side note: don’t get that “reduced guilt” crap. The extra calories in the full-guilt version are so worth it.


3. Mattress Protector, $29 on Amazon


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Okay, this one I found last week. I ordered it on Amazon before I came here because the idea of bed bugs terrifies me. The first thing I did when I moved into my dorm was wipe down the (gross, sagging, nylon-covered) mattress with Lysol wipes and then encase it in this protector. I feel a lot safer now with a sealed barrier between me and the mattress.


4. Culture iced Chai tea, $4.50

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My boyfriend got me totally hooked on chai tea this year at school, and now it’s my favorite morning drink. I find it has just enough caffeine to get me going without making me jumpy like coffee does sometimes. Culture is a super cool little coffee shop close to my office whose chai is the perfect balance of sweet and spicy. If you’re looking for something local, Trader Joe’s chai tea mix is also delicious.


5. Kate Spade wristlet, similar $88 at Nordstrom (and this Fossil one is just as cute for $55)

fossil wristlet

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I bought this wristlet a year ago at the Nordstrom anniversary sale and put it away. I often buy things and then decide to save them for later so I can drag out the enjoyment of wearing new stuff. It’s so stupid because then I don’t get to enjoy the things I get, like this amazing wristlet I got A YEAR AGO!

Whatever, it’s still awesome now. I love this wristlet especially because it’s big enough to fit my money, cards, keys, and phone, plus the neon pink is easy to find in a big bag. When you have to haul tote bags of stuff to work every day, it’s not always practical to carry a purse, too, so a wristlet you can throw in a larger bag is really useful.


Moving to a new place can be overwhelming and scary, especially when that place is New York City. These things are small, but they’ve helped get me through the first few days. Hopefully, they’ll help someone else, too.


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