Customers on Korea Street
April 14, 2003
By Ahn, JoonYong
Korean businesses on 32nd street are welcoming an increasing number
of Asian customers, mainly Chinese. These customers compensate the
damaged Korean business in some way, helping it recover from a prolonging
recession and the war in Iraq.
Stores have experienced a sharp increase in the number of customers,
especially in Korean restaurants, record shops, video/DVD shops,
Gam Mee Ok Restaaurant, known for its famous Sul Long Tang, a white
ox-bone soup, already had been attracting many Japanese, and now
welcomes other Asian customers. An employer mentioned, Chinese
customers love Korean fried pancakes and thin sliced beef as well
as the beef noodle soup. He explained, These dishes
are introduced by Korean international students to their other Asian
friends, and as a result, we have more and more Japanese and Chinese
Won Jo, a restaurant nearby, sees a similar trend. An employer
said, Chinese customers prefer soups with lots of tofu, and
they also enjoy side-dishes.
Just across the street, Oppane, which sells office products and
character merchandise is visited by many Asian students who are
addicted to popular Korean character products.
HyunKwon Yoon, from the store, said, Those characters such
as Mashimaro, Hamster, and Pucca are extremely popular among Chinese
customers. The Korean character industry is leading the related
At AM Music, a record and video/DVD shop, Japanese and other Asians
occupy 60% of the total customers.
Jason Kim, the owner, mentioned, Even some Chinese customers
order Korean pop albums well before their release. It is not unusual
anymore to find Chinese and other Asians who buy Korean pop albums
and go to eat Korean barbeque.
Jerome, a customer at the store said, I became familiar with
Korean pop culture through many Korean friends, and now Im
a big fan of Korean popstars, such as BabyVox and Shinwha.
Translated from Korean by JooYeon Lee
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