Oh, but for the Coronavirus—I would be in Hawaii right this minute, celebrating my father's 85th birthday! Oh well. Happy Birthday, Dad!
Having fathered me, my dad—Jim Jung—is by default the grand-father of LEO Design. But he played a role in its inception, too. Spool-back to the hot and humid summer of 1995. My family was returning from their summer holiday in Europe—specifically France and Switzerland—and they had planned to stay with me in Manhattan for a few days before returning to Kauai. Although LEO Design (as a concept) was in-the-works, the lease was signed—and I received the store key—the day they landed at JFK. Thus, conveniently, I had a helpful (and free) cleaning crew staying in my apartment. We all spent a couple of days cleaning the empty store space, followed by a couple of days of visiting museums, parks and Katz's Deli. I'll never forget my little brother, Ian, blackened by the dirt in my newly-rented (and filthy) store space; he looked more like a coal miner than a 16 year old high school student—the whites of his eyes blinking as we headed home to a hot shower. My dad helped with the demolition and early carpentry work.
My "little brother" is now a lawyer and father of three. My stepmother is no longer with us. And, after 23 years in Greenwich Village, LEO Design has moved West to Pittsburgh, PA. But my dad is still going-strong at 85! He's an active volunteer, highly-involved grandparent, and he still helps me with great advice about all my carpentry questions.
Happy Birthday, Dad!
Though our Greenwich Village store is now permanently closed, LEO Design is still alive and well! Please visit our on-line store where we continue to sell Handsome Gifts (www.LEOdesignNYC.com).
We also can be found in Pittsburgh's historic "Strip District" at Mahla & Co. Antiques (www.mahlaantiques.com) or in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania at The Antique Center of Strabane (www.antiquecenterofstrabane.com).
Or call to arrange to visit our Pittsburgh showroom (by private appointment only). 917-446-4248