Kevin Gallagher '13

It’s pretty interesting what a little bit of true free time can do for you when you need it. This weekend in Atlantic City was a lot different than the previous weekend home. We went to the beach all day long on Saturday and it turned out to be exactly what I needed. The waves were tiny, but technically rideable if you really wanted to go out. I grabbed my board and got a few waves, but there was something different about it. I felt like I was the only person left in the world that day with no need to rush or feel hurried, and each baby, knee-high wave washed away all of the stress built up from the prior week.

My roommate from Holy Cross came down for the night because he ended up being pretty close by in Long Beach Island, and we went out for an amazing night in Atlantic City with all of my good friends from back home. All I need to say is that the house won that round. We went to the beach again on Sunday and then I caught the 7 PM bus back to NYC. When I got back to New York I felt as if my batteries had been completely recharged for the first time in a while. This entire week I’ve been running around like a robot, but last night I got to take it all in while walking around some of the city streets back to my apartment. If you’re ever in the city, do yourself a favor and make sure to look up from time to time.

After surviving the first week, I can safely (and proudly) say that I really like it here. I’m starting to get used to the pace of life, which is the polar opposite of that of Spain, and getting a feel of the different places all around the city. I’ve been able to make it to a few happy hours with some friends from Holy Cross and last night met a good high school friend for a long-overdue dinner. That being said, there have definitely been some ups and downs, as always when moving to an entirely new place. But, time to learn from the downs and look forward to bigger and better things for the rest of the summer!

One of the best parts about this first week has been my role at Part of the Solution. My coworkers have made me feel right at home and are making the time very enjoyable. They’ve been giving me legitimate tasks to do, not just busy work they don’t have time for. So, I’ve been able to learn a ton already. Whether they have me running through Manhattan or Brooklyn by myself, or talking directly with different clients in the Bronx, there’s always something interesting and substantial to do. Already, it’s given me confidence in knowing that I can be trusted to be independent, and take care of these responsibilities without any problems.

Tonight, I made it to the Fool’s Gold Records Artist Series at their shop in Williamsburg, Brooklyn and it was good to see something a little bit different. It was a photography exhibit at their flagship record shop run by the artist A-Trak, and turned out to be a pretty cool night that sparked my creative side. Right now, I’m in the bus back to Atlantic City ready to celebrate my birthday with all of my friends from home.

These past few days have been ridiculously busy. This transition from the vacation lifestyle of Mallorca to this Manhattan lifestyle has been a pretty tiring one, but all totally worth the learning experience so far. The area where I’m living (right off of Canal Street in Chinatown) has tons of things to do and a pretty good scene when it comes to nightlife. It works out that a fabulous spot happens to be about a 5-second walk from my apartment (not sure if this is a great thing or terrible thing just yet).

This week has been great in terms of getting to know the different parts of the city. Yesterday, I went to some public benefits hearings in Brooklyn with an attorney from POTS and afterwards had a nice, big omelet in a local diner with him, while soaking up my new surroundings. After that I ran over to Manhattan and took care of some other matters for the organization, saw about a thousand Justin Bieber fans screaming for him, and then finally made it back to the Bronx to finish up the day. Looking back, it was pretty cool to be able to see three boroughs in one day! I think that my body is finally starting to adjust to the time change after a week of hardly any sleep.

Yesterday might have been one of the most exhausting days of my life, but it was very much worth it. After getting moved in and figuring things out, I now feel very comfortable living in the city so far. Last night I was able to see some familiar faces, which was a really nice thing to have in such a big city and definitely got rid of some of the nervous thoughts I had about not knowing many people here. Navigating the subway system has been a fairly easy task as compared to doing it in Spanish, French, or even Italian during this past year abroad in certain cities in Europe.

Today was my first day at work and it went extremely well! Part of the Solution started out as a small soup kitchen and has grown into an amazing organization while helping the Bronx community. I will be working with some great people this summer in the legal clinic. Tomorrow I’ll be heading to Brooklyn with some of the attorneys from Part of the Solution and am really excited to see that part of the city.

Now its time to celebrate my 21st birthday, I hope Manhattan is ready for this summer.

We made it home from Spain relatively smoothly on Thursday afternoon and aside from running through the airport in Madrid to catch our flight, there were no problems. When I got home on Thursday I started to unpack my luggage and went right to doing errands. It was a pretty big adjustment from going from vacationing to running around all day long, but everything worked out well even though I responded to a worker in a store in Spanish one day! I’ve found the transition from Spain to the US to be a little bit difficult in terms of the language change, as I’ve grown accustomed to dealing with daily activities in Spanish. Luckily I live five minutes from the beach and was able to surf for a little while on Friday while the waves were halfway decent.

This weekend went by WAY too fast, but it was a great one despite waking up every morning at seven from my jet lag. I managed to see the majority of my good friends over the past few days, and we had a great time out in Atlantic City, as always. That being said, I’m on my way up to New York City as I write and am starting to get really excited about this whole new experience. My birthday happens to be tomorrow, which couldn’t be better timing for the summer (finally, 21!). I’ll be moving in today, and then work starts tomorrow. What a whirlwind…

I’m currently seated in a small café next to a plaza full of olive trees watching some businesses close up for their mid-afternoon siesta in Palma de Mallorca, Spain, which is the city I’ve luckily been able to call home for the past year. Less than a week from now I’ll be on the other side of the Atlantic in New York City where I’ve thankfully been given the opportunity to work at the non-profit Part of the Solution as a legal intern for the summer.

For some background information, I grew up in South Jersey right next to Atlantic City, where there was never a dull moment. This summer I’ll be living in Chinatown, Manhattan and commuting to Part of the Solution in the Bronx. I’m very excited to start working and contributing to the organization and even more excited to spend the summer in the city. A pretty good amount of friends from Holy Cross will be in the city working this summer as well as a very good friend from high school, which will definitely make things interesting.

The transition from the Mediterranean lifestyle, where everything will get taken care of “mañana” (if you’re lucky), to the New York lifestyle, where things are expected to be taken care of before you even know about them will be a big adjustment. I’m just excited for another fresh start and new adventure.


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Kevin Gallagher '13

  • Studies: Economics major with a concentration in Latin American and Latino Studies
  • Hometown: Northfield, N.J.
  • Read more about Kevin »
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