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Mateo Bolado

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My name is Mateo Bolado and I am from Berkeley California. I am currently on a gap year and found out about CityGap when I moved to New York City. This program has provided me with the best possible Gap Year experience in light of this pandemic. I was able to find a newfound appreciation and interest in a number of topics that I previously lacked exposure to, the history of New York City, Architecture, Urban Planning, Public Housing, and Transportation being among them.


Additionally I was able to hone skills and work on projects that will be of great service in the future from writing professional emails to recording my very own podcast on transportation!  I can not say enough good things about CityGap and I would recommend it to any curious and engaged young person.

The question of how restaurants function during the pandemic is critically important. As long as this pandemic lasts, local restaurants will be in danger of closing.

Pelumi Oloyede


My name is Pelumi Oloyede, and I am live in Far Rockaway, New York. I am a part of the program CityGAP because I am drawn to CityGAP’s commitment to using New York City as a classroom. The city is a melting pot of diverse parts, people, minds, art, music, and cultures, being able to engage with it directly and interactively is enthralling.


I am grateful to have stumbled upon a program that provides me with enriching intellectual, physical, and emotional growth during my gap semester from college in these unexpected times. I find that it is especially important to try to return to some sense of normalcy and hope to wholly devote myself to benefiting in those key points throughout this program. 

In exploring the challenges that restaurants face, we discovered many inspiring stories of innovative  responses to the pandemic. The owners, managers, city officials and workers we spoke to have shown us how to be nimble and creative in the face of challenges. 

Julian Van Biema 

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I’m Julian Van Biema, a rising first-year at Kenyon College. I live in Manhattan, New York City, and I am taking a gap year to spend more time with the City before I move to attend college. I chose CityGap because it is a great way to gain a deeper understanding of how New York functions (and sometimes doesn’t function.) 


The hospitality industry provides jobs to thousands of New Yorkers. Understanding how restaurants can work around this obstacle is crucial to the City’s health, as well as the lives of many city residents.


During the work on this project, we discovered that restaurants in NYC receive far less support from the City government than we expected. In terms of support and funding to make it through the pandemic, local restaurants really can only rely on deliveries, takeout, and the rare local restaurant coalition or business improvement district. New policies on winterization, distancing, and indoor dining are constantly being rolled out, but there is little to no financial support coming from the direction of the policy-makers.

Thank You To All of the Partners Who Collaborated With Us!

Kate Bedford, RA

Leroy Street Studio

Frank YT Chen

Leroy Street Studio

Patrick Belli 

Urban Design Coordinator 

Lower East Side Partnership

Pam Belluck 

Health and Science Writer

New York Times

Wellington Z. Chen

Executive Director

Chinatown BID/Partnership

華埠商業改進區 / 華埠共同發展機構

Marti Gould Allen Cummings

NYC Council Candidate

District 7

Kyle Gorman

Senior Program Manager, Public Space

NYC Department of Transportation

Ryan Hardy 

Chef | Partner 

Delicious Restaurant Group

Lauren Lynch 

Co-Owner and Manager 

Harlem Public, At The Wallace, Honeywell

Maddie Meyers

Artistic Associate 

The Mercury Store

Lindsey Nelson 

Interdisciplinary Designer & Creative Strategist

Andrew Ronan

Assistant Director, Community Partnerships

New York City Department of Transportation

Marco Saavedra


La Morada Restaurant

Assembly Member Al Taylor

Assembly District 71

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