How Shine Retained the Higher West Side’s Tech Humming By means of the Pandemic

Posted on June 27, 2021 at 8:45 am by Carol Tannenhauser

Daniel Park, American dreamer.

By Susanne Beck

Daniel Park is the owner of Shine Electronic (no “s”) & Laptop, not too long ago relocated from West 84th Street to 137 West 83rd Road amongst Columbus and Amsterdam Avenues. He is also the store’s lead technician, who fixes all sorts of digital and laptop goods, like laptops, cellphones, televisions, remote controls, and far more, as very well as wi-fi and wired programs in offices and homes.

The store’s title – “Shine” – is a reference to a psalm that Daniel uncovered inspiring when he to start with took the helm of the maintenance store nearly 30 a long time in the past. It is also an apt description of the man himself and the cheerful countenance he wears as he greets shoppers from driving his new substantial-top rated counter. But really do not slip-up his mild methods for absence of travel. As one particular of his faithful shoppers, Lloyd, suggests, “Daniel is gutsy…[and] quite resourceful. He will take on matters that he may possibly not know a good deal about and will get them performed. [He’s] the supreme American immigrant accomplishment story.”

Hong Min Bag (Daniel’s presented name) arrived in New York Town from South Korea, by yourself, in 1986, with a childhood penchant for dismantling radios (“I broke a whole lot much too!” he laughs), a diploma in electrical engineering, added education in the South Korean Navy, and a dream. “Good economics right here. Very good for function. Substantially far better than South Korea,” Daniel claims, conveying his leap into the unidentified. He headed to Flushing, Queens, wherever there is a big Korean group. Inspite of extremely limited English, he before long landed a portion-time task in electronics. He enrolled in Queens University at night time, taking ESL and electronics lessons. He became a accredited technician for Sony and Samsung items.

In his to start with yrs in the U.S., Daniel worked — a great deal. In his number of free of charge several hours on weekends, wanting to connect to a local community, he started off attending Korean church providers. “I’m not religious but I go and meet nice people… They seemed like they were being my individual family.” Shortly, he met the woman who would grow to be his spouse. They married in November, 1998.

1 portion-time work led to an additional, and with a expanding repertoire of technological techniques and a never ever-ending hunger to make it in The us, Daniel arrived 7 many years later on the Higher West Facet, at DJ Electronics on West 81st Street. In just a make any difference of many years, through tricky operate and a frugal way of life, he had saved sufficient for the company to develop into his.

Daniel at operate.

By February 2020, Daniel’s edition of the American Desire was in entire bloom. He was his personal boss with a rising checklist of content buyers, like lawyer David Wander who turned to him for common electronics repairs, as perfectly as laptop-related components and software program issues, and facts transfer. “He’s a genius. And his charges! So minimal!“ David exclaims. “We really like Daniel. He’s just good.”

Daniel made himself indispensable, arriving for house calls every time his customers essential him. “I go to people’s houses, do big [sound, lighting, and computer] methods with like, subwoofer, DVD, and common distant,” he states with satisfaction. David would make it distinct the emotion goes each ways. “He will take treatment of us so we just take care of him…He fixes all the things in my residence business office.” And perhaps, most tellingly, he adds: “He’s the only one my wife will make it possible for in the condominium.”

Daniel’s family was thriving as effectively. His spouse was overseeing her own modest enterprise, a nail salon on East 83rd Street and Lexington Avenue that had been started out by her father. Their daughter was carrying out effectively at Boston College. Ever aware of those people about him, Daniel was also giving back again, refurbishing old personal computers and electronics to donate to these in require in Chisek, Guatemala, through a program he acquired about at church.

COVID-19.

COVID’s arrival was an abrupt wakeup phone from his aspiration. Like the rest of New York Metropolis, Glow Electronic was forced to shut in April and May well 2020. While some shoppers ongoing to ship damaged products to Daniel through UPS, his profits sank. “It was shut to nothing. No just one came down in April even while desktops were viewed as necessary services.” He was fortuitous to obtain two rounds of PPP assist – “for a very little utility, salary” – and attempted to negotiate a discounted on his hire but to no avail. With his wife’s business enterprise closed as effectively, he dug into his meager financial savings to get by.

Shine hobbled alongside into the summer season. “Business immediately after June or July was 20-25% down. We have been quite fortunate while,” Daniel claims. For the housebound and those doing the job from property, pcs had been a lifeline. Household calls inched up despite COVID issues and the require for basic safety protocols. “Everyone required a personal computer at household and wi-fi network services.”

Potentially a lot more demanding for Daniel was watching his spouse wrestle at her nail salon. “Very tricky. A good deal of hire.  A great deal of employees. But still she’s carrying out it. Landlord gave her a really very good deal so she was nonetheless equipped to survive.”

His landlord was not as accommodating, creating Daniel to relocate however all over again just weeks back, from 84th street to his existing dwelling on West 83rd. The hire is a little bit greater, but he likes his new area. It’s even larger (plenty of room for his assistant technician, Min, and him to function), and recently renovated. And with the publish business upcoming doorway and a faculty at the conclude of the block, there’s the potential for far more foot targeted traffic at the time the “Shine Electronic” signal is put in out front (Daniel has by no means advertised, relying on Google queries and word of mouth).

In the meantime, Daniel prefers to transform the highlight absent from himself to people who have been critical to his survival so much. “Three people today were being incredibly, pretty valuable to me,” he suggests. “Lester, a attorney. He aided me with the lease each time I moved. David Wander, also a attorney, also aided me with the lease. And Louis Ginsburg, authentic estate male, aided me obtain a position.”

Daniel carries on to redirect the dialogue. “Please notify visitors that I will acquire their previous machines for people today in Guatemala. I clear away all personal things. Correct up personal computers, take care of tricky drive and software package, and give them away.” His experience shines, his smile is shy. And then, quietly, he bows his head, grateful for all that he has been presented so far.

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