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Article

At Porgy & Bass, Fish Specials and Mozart Concertos


Corey Kilgannon, The New York Times Jane Cho, owner of the Porgy & Bass fish shop in Whitestone, Queens, is a Korean immigrant who raised two daughters by herself after her husband died. Music by Mozart fills the shop.

In Whitestone, Queens, there is a tiny fish store that thinks it is a music store.

Its name is Porgy & Bass, and it is owned by a 61-year-old widow named Jane Cho, whose love of Gershwin is obvious.

But her main man is Mozart, and one of his violin concertos filled the cramped shop on Wednesday evening as Ms. Cho was closing and I happened in. I was attracted by the name and the duality of the store. On the handwritten sign offering fish specials, there were musical witticisms.

Fish dumplings were being sold by the "ensemble"; one could buy a "solo" portion or a "chorus" portion. On the shelves, the Old Bay spice shared space with a Mozart biography. Stray display signs¬Stuffed Clams $2.39; Sea Scallops $11.99 -lay next to Pavarotti recordings. A small portrait of Beethoven hangs next to the Board of Health certification.

Ms. Cho, a Korean immigrant, said she opened the place five years ago and named it after the Gershwin opera.

"I really want to run a music store, but I don't have the money to open one," she said. With the fish store, she has an affordable rent and simply has to drive her car in the early morning to the Hunts Point Market in the Bronx. She has two grown daughters.


 

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