The Day Everyone in New York City Moved SMASHED MIRRORS, MAIMED SOFAS, AND MISSING BED-SCREWS
Our Well-Traveled Senior Associate! Meet Amilia Chen
Amilia Chen’s journey to Kevin Patrick Law was a long one. In fact, she has traveled all the way around the world to help us win personal injury cases for our clients! Amilia was born and raised in China, where she went to school at East China University of Political Science and Law. There, she earned her Bachelor of Law degree alongside a degree in English literature. After graduation, when it came time to choose a graduate program, Amilia set her sights on the United States. “I wanted to experience a new life in a different country,” she says. “Plus, the Chinese legal system and the American legal system are very different, and I wanted to see how things worked here.” Law school at Emory University was tough for Amilia because she was operating in her second language. Every day, she read many cases in English, which she said was different from the version of English she’d learned back home. Still, she persevered, mastering the workload and graduating in the summer of 2019. A classmate told her about Kevin Patrick Law and, as they say, the rest is history. Today, Amilia operates as Kevin’s right hand. She assists with his cases; communicates with clients, hospitals, and insurance companies; and files court documents. “I’m enjoying my work right now,” Amilia says. “I had two previous internships back home before I came to America for graduate study. They were with two different companies. One was related to intellectual property law, which is very different from what I’m working on now. The other did contract drafting. I think I’m always on my way to find something new or experience something different from what I’ve done before. Right now, personal injury feels real to me. I get to meet a lot more clients than before and see whole cases through. That’s what I want to learn here.”
Moving is the worst. The costs of hiring a moving company and the sheer amount of time it takes to physically move everything make the whole affair an aggravating mess. And if you thought moving just one house on your street was terrible, imagine the chaos that would ensue if everyone in your whole city moved on the same day. That’s exactly what happened in New York City for nearly two centuries. From Colonial times until the end of World War II, May 1 was Moving Day in New York. On that day, every lease in the city ended, and pandemonium reigned in the streets as everyone scurried to their new homes. Eyewitness accounts of Moving Day describe the tradition as sheer mayhem. An English writer said Moving Day looked like “a population flying from the plague,” and frontiersman Davy Crockett called it an “awful calamity” when he discovered the event in 1834. Still, some people loved Moving Day. Long Island farmers took their carts into the city on May 1 and charged as much as a week’s wages to move desperate tenants’ belongings to their new homes, which was a tidy sum in those days. Children were also fond of Moving Day because they got the day off school to help their families navigate the tumultuous time. A few prominent theories have emerged about the origins of this tradition. Some posit that May 1 coincided with the English celebration of May Day. Others say it morphed out of an event where servants would look for new employers. The most well-known explanation, however, is the May 1 move commemorated the day Dutch colonizers “moved” to Manhattan in the first place. The Moving Day tradition began vanishing in the early 20th century because many cartmen and housing builders were drafted during World War I, leaving fewer movers and less available housing. Additionally, the construction of the New York City subway gave other tenants rapid access to more housing options outside Manhattan. Finally, after many cartmen were again drafted in WWII, the tradition officially ended in 1945.
When she isn’t working, Amilia loves to travel across the U.S. and beyond. Last Christmas, she even took a trip to Puerto Rico.
“I came here alone, but I’ve made a lot of new friends here,” she says.
Amilia, we’re so glad to have you here at Kevin Patrick Law. Thank you for all you do!
You can always reach Kevin directly at 404.566.8964 or Kevin@PatrickTrialLaw.com. (If you ever need it, his cell phone is 404.409.3160.)
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