What is your ideal office?
I don’t believe there is an “ideal” office. I can turn any place into a workable space, no matter how inhospitable it may appear to be. Give me an unpaved dirt road and I will turn that into an office. If you found a magic treasure chest, what contents would you wish to find inside? A panacea for the world’s problems: hunger, disease, conflict… Everything that would negate the “evils” of the world.
What, in the whole world, is as good as gold?
World peace, and the contents of my treasure chest would be worth far more than gold.
When was the time you screamed?
I am a very calm and cerebral person, and it would not be in character to raise my voice on any occasion. It naturally follows that I cannot recall any past incidents where I have screamed.
What makes you feel safe?
I believe in Guanyin, the Chinese goddess of mercy, and find assurance in prayer whenever I run into rough patches, both short-term and long. In the end, God, or a god, will protect and bless me.
What is a ‘hidden gem’ that you go to in Chinatown?
All of Chinatown is hidden gems, the fish markets, the hole-in-the-wall restaurants. If people were only willing to dip their high heels into the “muck” of this low-prestige area they could get high quality food and produce—and jewelry!—for insanely low prices, courtesy of hardworking immigrant labor.
Fame or fortune?
I really like both, though I’d like to mention that the health and well-being of my family is worth far more than either.
Is there a song that makes you smile?
Canal Street by A$AP Rocky. That song is an indirect shoutout to our store.
Does your outfit matter to you?
Yes. Personal presentation is a matter of much importance.
When was the happiest you’ve ever been?
A few years ago my mother got very sick, with intestinal ulcers and hemorrhaging. During her treatment at Maimonides hospital, the doctors told me that the damage was irreversible—that my mother would be bedridden and weak for the remainder of her life, and that it wasn’t reasonable to expend resources on someone who did not have much will to live. She was placed on hospice care immediately after discharge. I refused to give up on my mother, and had her drink Chinese medicine made from snakefish and ginger broth. Within three months, my mother was able to walk again with assistance. She’s as healthy as a 96-year-old lady can be; I find great happiness and exuberance in the fact that I healed my mother. As well, I enjoy immensely when I meet and befriend important people— government officials, musicians, artists, etc.
Would you want to live forever?
What is familly?
Everybody is family, regardless of the level of familiarity I share with them. It also does not matter what their skin color or social status- I accept them. Even the street corner beggar is a member of family.
Where might we find you on a Friday night?
Popular Jewelry—or if it’s even later, at home. It has been the status quo for the past 30 years and will be for another 30, God willing.