Posted on June 27, 2021 at 8:45 am by Carol Tannenhauser
By Susanne Beck
Daniel Park is the owner of Shine Electronic (no “s”) & Computer, recently relocated from West 84th Street to 137 West 83rd Street between Columbus and Amsterdam Avenues. He is also the store’s senior technician, who repairs all forms of electronic and computer products including laptops, cellphones, televisions, remote controls, etc., as well as wireless and wired systems in offices. and houses.
The name of the store – “Shine” – refers to a psalm Daniel found inspiring when he took charge of the repair shop almost 30 years ago. It’s also an apt description of the man himself and the cheerful face he sports as he greets customers behind his new high-end counter. But don’t confuse his gentle manners with lack of training. As one of his loyal customers, Lloyd, says, “Daniel is brave…[and] very resourceful. He takes things that he may not know much about and has them done. [He’s] the ultimate success story of American immigrants.
Hong Min Bag (Daniel’s first name) arrived in New York from South Korea, alone, in 1986, with a childhood penchant for dismantling radios (“I broke a lot too!” He laughs) , an electrical engineering diploma, further training in the South Korean Navy, and a dream. “Good economy here. Good for the job. Much better than South Korea, ”says Daniel, explaining his leap into the unknown. He headed for Flushing, Queens, where there is a large Korean community. Despite very limited English, he quickly landed a part-time job in electronics. He enrolled in Queens College overnight, taking ESL and electronics classes. He became a certified technician for Sony and Samsung products.
During his early years in the United States, Daniel did a lot of work. In his few free hours on weekends, seeking to connect with a community, he began attending Korean church services. “I’m not religious but I’m going to meet some nice people… They looked like they were my own family. Soon he meets the woman who will become his wife. They married in November 1998.
One part-time job led to another, and with a growing repertoire of technical skills and an endless thirst for success in America, Daniel arrived seven years later on the Upper West Side, at DJ Electronics on West 81st Street. Within a few years, through hard work and a frugal lifestyle, he had saved enough to make the business his own.
As of February 2020, Daniel’s version of the American Dream was in full bloom. He was his own boss with a growing list of satisfied clients, such as attorney David Wander who turned to him for traditional electronic repairs, as well as computer hardware and software issues, and handover. data. ” He’s a genius. And its prices! So low! David exclaims. “We love Daniel. He is simply great.
Daniel made himself indispensable, coming home whenever his clients needed him. “I go to people, I do big [sound, lighting, and computer] with similar systems, a subwoofer, a DVD and a universal remote, ”he says with satisfaction. David points out that the feeling goes both ways. “He takes care of us, so we take care of him… He fixes everything in my home office. And perhaps the most revealing, he adds: “It’s the only one my wife allows in the apartment.
Daniel’s family was also prosperous. His wife oversaw his own small business, a nail salon on East 83rd Street and Lexington Avenue that had been started by his father. Their daughter was doing well at Boston University. Always mindful of those around him, Daniel also gave back, refurbishing old computers and electronics for donation to those in need in Chisek, Guatemala, through a program he learned in church. .
The arrival of COVID was a sudden awakening from his dream. Like the rest of New York City, Shine Electronic was forced to shut down in April and May 2020. While some customers continued to ship broken items to Daniel via UPS, its revenue plummeted. “It was almost nothing. No one broke down in April even though computers were considered an essential service. He was fortunate enough to receive two rounds of PPP support – “for a small utility, a salary” – and tried to negotiate a discount on his rent, but to no avail. His wife’s business was also closed, so he used his meager savings to get by.
Shine hobbled until summer. “Business after June or July was down 20-25%. We were lucky though, ”says Daniel. For people confined to the home and those working from home, computers were a lifeline. Home calls have escalated despite concerns over COVID and the need for security protocols. “Everyone needed a home computer and wireless network services. “
Perhaps the hardest part for Daniel was watching his wife struggle in her nail salon. “Very difficult. Lots of rent. Lots of employees. But she does it anyway. The landlord gave her a really good deal so she can still survive.
His landlord was not so accommodating, which prompted Daniel to relocate again just a few weeks ago from 84th Street to his current home on 83rd West. The rent is a bit higher, but he likes his new space. It’s bigger (plenty of room for his tech assistant, Min, and him to work), and recently refurbished. And with the post office next door and a school at the end of the block, there is potential for pedestrian traffic once the “Shine Electronic” sign is installed up front (Daniel never advertised , relying on Google searches and word of mouth).
In the meantime, Daniel prefers to shift the spotlight from himself to those who have been essential to his survival so far. “Three people were very, very helpful to me,” he says. “Lester, a lawyer. He helped me with the lease every time I moved. David Wander, also a lawyer, also helped me with the lease. And Louis Ginsburg, the real estate agent, helped me find a job.
Daniel continues to redirect the conversation. “Please tell the readers that I will take their old equipment for the people in Guatemala. I delete all personal stuff. Fix computers, fix hard drive and software, and donate them. Her face shines, her smile is shy. And then, quietly, he nods his head, grateful for everything he’s received so far.