How Glow Stored the Higher West Side’s Tech Humming By 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 proprietor of Shine Digital (no “s”) & Personal computer, lately relocated from West 84th Road to 137 West 83rd Street among Columbus and Amsterdam Avenues. He is also the store’s guide technician, who fixes all varieties of digital and laptop goods, such as laptops, cellphones, televisions, fobs, and far more, as well as wi-fi and wired programs in offices and homes.

The store’s identify – “Shine” – is a reference to a psalm that Daniel uncovered inspiring when he initially took the helm of the mend store just about 30 several years back. It’s also an apt description of the man himself and the cheerful countenance he wears as he greets buyers from behind his new higher-top rated counter. But do not miscalculation his gentle methods for deficiency of push. As just one of his loyal buyers, Lloyd, suggests, “Daniel is gutsy…[and] quite resourceful. He requires on issues that he might not know a ton about and gets them accomplished. [He’s] the ultimate American immigrant good results story.”

Hong Min Bag (Daniel’s supplied name) arrived in New York City from South Korea, by yourself, in 1986, with a childhood penchant for dismantling radios (“I broke a ton also!” he laughs), a degree in electrical engineering, additional schooling in the South Korean Navy, and a dream. “Good economics here. Good for perform. A great deal superior than South Korea,” Daniel suggests, conveying his leap into the mysterious. He headed to Flushing, Queens, where there is a substantial Korean group. Irrespective of incredibly constrained English, he soon landed a portion-time occupation in electronics. He enrolled in Queens Faculty at night, having ESL and electronics courses. He turned a accredited technician for Sony and Samsung merchandise.

In his 1st many years in the U.S., Daniel worked — a ton. In his few free hrs on weekends, hunting to connect to a group, he commenced attending Korean church expert services. “I’m not religious but I go and meet up with awesome people… They seemed like they had been my have loved ones.” Soon, he fulfilled the woman who would grow to be his spouse. They married in November, 1998.

One particular part-time occupation led to a further, and with a expanding repertoire of technological capabilities and a by no means-ending hunger to make it in America, Daniel arrived 7 yrs later on the Higher West Side, at DJ Electronics on West 81st Avenue. Within just a subject of many years, via tricky perform and a frugal life-style, he experienced saved plenty of for the organization to become his.

Daniel at work.

By February 2020, Daniel’s model of the American Aspiration was in full bloom. He was his own boss with a increasing list of pleased shoppers, like lawyer David Wander who turned to him for conventional electronics repairs, as very well as laptop-linked components and computer software issues, and details transfer. “He’s a genius. And his charges! So small!“ David exclaims. “We appreciate Daniel. He’s just wonderful.”

Daniel built himself indispensable, arriving for property calls each time his shoppers wanted him. “I go to people’s properties, do significant [sound, lighting, and computer] programs with like, subwoofer, DVD, and common remote,” he states with pleasure. David tends to make it clear the emotion goes both ways. “He takes care of us so we choose treatment of him…He fixes all the stuff in my house business office.” And perhaps, most tellingly, he adds: “He’s the only one particular my wife will let in the apartment.”

Daniel’s household was flourishing as properly. His spouse was overseeing her possess tiny company, a nail salon on East 83rd Street and Lexington Avenue that had been started out by her father. Their daughter was accomplishing properly at Boston University. At any time aware of those all-around him, Daniel was also offering again, refurbishing previous computer systems and electronics to donate to all those in will need in Chisek, Guatemala, via a software he learned about at church.

COVID-19.

COVID’s arrival was an abrupt wakeup simply call from his aspiration. Like the relaxation of New York Town, Glow Electronic was compelled to close in April and Might 2020. Whilst some customers ongoing to ship broken products to Daniel by means of UPS, his profits sank. “It was close to nothing. No a person came down in April even although computers were thought of necessary company.” He was fortunate to obtain two rounds of PPP help – “for a very little utility, salary” – and tried out to negotiate a price cut on his rent but to no avail. With his wife’s enterprise closed as nicely, he dug into his meager cost savings to get by.

Glow hobbled alongside into the summer time. “Business just after June or July was 20-25% down. We were pretty lucky while,” Daniel says. For the housebound and those performing from property, personal computers were being a lifeline. Home phone calls inched up inspite of COVID problems and the will need for safety protocols. “Everyone wanted a personal computer at home and wireless network products and services.”

Perhaps much more challenging for Daniel was observing his spouse struggle at her nail salon. “Very challenging. A whole lot of rent.  A lot of employees. But nonetheless she’s performing it. Landlord gave her a genuinely good offer so she was still able to survive.”

His landlord was not as accommodating, triggering Daniel to relocate nonetheless again just months back, from 84th avenue to his present house on West 83rd. The hire is a little bit bigger, but he likes his new place. It is greater (loads of area for his assistant technician, Min, and him to work), and lately renovated. And with the put up business next doorway and a faculty at the finish of the block, there’s the prospective for a lot more foot targeted visitors after the “Shine Electronic” indication is mounted out entrance (Daniel has never ever advertised, relying on Google queries and word of mouth).

In the meantime, Daniel prefers to switch the spotlight absent from himself to individuals who have been very important to his survival so far. “Three people ended up quite, extremely useful to me,” he claims. “Lester, a law firm. He assisted me with the lease every single time I moved. David Wander, also a law firm, also assisted me with the lease. And Louis Ginsburg, authentic estate dude, assisted me obtain a position.”

Daniel carries on to redirect the conversation. “Please tell audience that I will just take their previous machines for folks in Guatemala. I eliminate all personalized things. Correct up pcs, repair hard travel and software program, and give them away.” His face shines, his smile is shy. And then, quietly, he bows his head, grateful for all that he has been specified so far.

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