How Glow Retained the Higher West Side’s Tech Humming As a result 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 proprietor of Glow Digital (no “s”) & Computer, lately relocated from West 84th Avenue to 137 West 83rd Road amongst Columbus and Amsterdam Avenues. He is also the store’s direct technician, who fixes all varieties of digital and computer system goods, which includes laptops, cellphones, televisions, remote controls, and far more, as properly as wi-fi and wired units in offices and homes.

The store’s name – “Shine” – is a reference to a psalm that Daniel found inspiring when he initial took the helm of the repair shop almost 30 yrs back. It’s also an apt description of the man himself and the cheerful countenance he wears as he greets shoppers from behind his new significant-leading counter. But really do not miscalculation his light means for deficiency of drive. As one of his loyal shoppers, Lloyd, says, “Daniel is gutsy…[and] really resourceful. He will take on things that he may perhaps not know a large amount about and gets them done. [He’s] the top American immigrant achievement story.”

Hong Min Bag (Daniel’s specified name) arrived in New York City from South Korea, on your own, in 1986, with a childhood penchant for dismantling radios (“I broke a lot way too!” he laughs), a degree in electrical engineering, extra instruction in the South Korean Navy, and a aspiration. “Good economics here. Fantastic for get the job done. A lot far better than South Korea,” Daniel claims, conveying his leap into the unidentified. He headed to Flushing, Queens, wherever there is a significant Korean neighborhood. Irrespective of really confined English, he shortly landed a part-time occupation in electronics. He enrolled in Queens Faculty at night, getting ESL and electronics classes. He became a licensed technician for Sony and Samsung products and solutions.

In his 1st many years in the U.S., Daniel worked — a whole lot. In his number of free several hours on weekends, seeking to join to a local community, he started out attending Korean church companies. “I’m not spiritual but I go and meet nice people… They looked like they were being my possess household.” Before long, he satisfied the lady who would grow to be his spouse. They married in November, 1998.

A single aspect-time career led to a different, and with a increasing repertoire of technical expertise and a never-ending starvation to make it in The united states, Daniel arrived 7 yrs afterwards on the Higher West Aspect, at DJ Electronics on West 81st Avenue. Within just a subject of yrs, via hard function and a frugal lifestyle, he had saved more than enough for the business enterprise to turn into his.

Daniel at get the job done.

By February 2020, Daniel’s variation of the American Aspiration was in total bloom. He was his individual manager with a escalating record of pleased buyers, like attorney David Wander who turned to him for traditional electronics repairs, as effectively as personal computer-associated components and program troubles, and info transfer. “He’s a genius. And his selling prices! So minimal!“ David exclaims. “We really like Daniel. He’s just terrific.”

Daniel made himself indispensable, arriving for home phone calls each time his shoppers wanted him. “I go to people’s houses, do big [sound, lighting, and computer] programs with like, subwoofer, DVD, and universal remote,” he states with pleasure. David helps make it apparent the sensation goes both ways. “He will take care of us so we consider treatment of him…He fixes all the stuff in my household place of work.” And potentially, most tellingly, he adds: “He’s the only just one my wife will enable in the condominium.”

Daniel’s spouse and children was flourishing as very well. His wife was overseeing her own compact small business, a nail salon on East 83rd Road and Lexington Avenue that had been begun by her father. Their daughter was accomplishing properly at Boston University. Ever aware of all those close to him, Daniel was also supplying again, refurbishing aged computers and electronics to donate to these in want in Chisek, Guatemala, by way of a application he discovered about at church.

COVID-19.

COVID’s arrival was an abrupt wakeup get in touch with from his desire. Like the rest of New York Metropolis, Shine Digital was forced to shut in April and May possibly 2020. Even though some purchasers continued to ship damaged goods to Daniel by using UPS, his profits sank. “It was close to almost nothing. No just one arrived down in April even even though personal computers have been thought of essential assistance.” He was privileged to obtain two rounds of PPP help – “for a little utility, salary” – and tried using to negotiate a discount on his lease but to no avail. With his wife’s enterprise shut as perfectly, he dug into his meager personal savings to get by.

Glow hobbled together into the summer time. “Business right after June or July was 20-25% down. We have been quite blessed however,” Daniel claims. For the housebound and people operating from home, personal computers ended up a lifeline. Dwelling calls inched up despite COVID worries and the will need for security protocols. “Everyone wanted a computer system at household and wireless community providers.”

Maybe additional demanding for Daniel was viewing his wife battle at her nail salon. “Very tough. A lot of hire.  A great deal of staff members. But nonetheless she’s undertaking it. Landlord gave her a really superior deal so she was however equipped to endure.”

His landlord was not as accommodating, creating Daniel to relocate nevertheless once more just months back, from 84th street to his current home on West 83rd. The rent is a bit larger, but he likes his new house. It’s larger (a lot of room for his assistant technician, Min, and him to function), and a short while ago renovated. And with the write-up business up coming doorway and a school at the conclude of the block, there is the likely for more foot targeted traffic after the “Shine Electronic” sign is installed out front (Daniel has hardly ever advertised, relying on Google queries and term of mouth).

In the meantime, Daniel prefers to convert the spotlight absent from himself to individuals who have been critical to his survival so much. “Three persons ended up incredibly, pretty useful to me,” he suggests. “Lester, a lawyer. He aided me with the lease each and every time I moved. David Wander, also a law firm, also served me with the lease. And Louis Ginsburg, actual estate male, served me find a spot.”

Daniel continues to redirect the dialogue. “Please tell viewers that I will acquire their aged devices for folks in Guatemala. I take out all own things. Repair up computers, correct tricky drive and software program, and give them absent.” His deal with 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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