From The World Journal
August 16th, 2003
Because of the power failure, Chinatown businessmen
were unable to do business for a day and half. Because they had
to depend on
refrigerators to keep food fresh, restaurants and fish and meat
stores lost the most during the black out.
The owner of a seafood
and meat store on Canal Street said that the power failure, more
so than 9/11, left him ‘without
a return on investing capital’ — existing stocks
valuing over $100,000 were all finished off in one day.
Tan Shi-Hao, storeowner
of M&F Fish & Meat Food Market,
Inc. at 214 Canal Street, hurried back to the store on Friday
at 6 a.m. to check the conditions of the fish and meat. However,
he opened the door and smelled an offensive odor, he knew things
were far from good.
Tan said that before the power failure on
Thursday, he had just stocked the store with goods worth more
than $100,000 for the
coming weekend, never thinking a black out would come at 4 p.m.
After the power failure, he closed the store immediately
and stopped doing business. Although he had already spent about
ice yesterday trying to save fish and meat, most went bad after
Thursday night in the store.
According to Tan, he has been in
the fish and meat business for around 20 years, but he has never
encountered such a heavy loss
before. September 11 only caused him to be unable to open the
store on the first day of the attack and on the following day.
time, when the weather was hot and the refrigerator was not working,
he couldn’t find a way to store the fish and meat, and
could only watch them rot one after another.
Learning from this
experience, he said he is considering buying a generator in the
future to prevent a similar situation from
One fish and meat store at East Broadway lowered
its prices on Friday morning to reduce the loss. For seafood originally
from $4 to $5, the price was changed to $2; or, if originally
sold from $2 to $3, the price became $1. According to the storeowner,
if these goods were not sold out in the morning, they would all
turn bad in the afternoon. Loss from cheap-selling would still
be better than throwing the goods away.
No Chinatown restaurant
could do business yesterday. Some restaurant owners and workers
have sat waiting outside their restaurants
for electricity to come back since Friday morning.
They said that
after the power failure on Thursday, some foods were already discarded,
and the rest were put in the most freezing
refrigerator. Thereafter, as to avoid losing cool air, they have
been afraid to open the refrigerator. They believed if electricity
had still not been restored on Friday night, all food would be
They said they would wait until the electricity came back
to reopen the refrigerators so they could check the food to see
be kept and what has to be dumped out. Only then they could account
for their losses.
Since yesterday morning, in order to lessen
loss, some restaurants and food stores have been using gas stove
to cook goods that
been turned bad to sell. Even Japanese restaurants lowered Sushi’s
price for sale — for Sushi usually sell $8 to $9, they
now sold $4 to $5.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
. . . .
Translated from Chinese by Michael Huang