Signs of life have returned to Sunset Park, but businesses are struggling and racism and hate crimes have made things worse. “The neighborhood hasn’t recovered,” a restaurant manager said.
First came the virus, which John Chan said cost his restaurant hundreds of thousands of dollars in lost sales. Then came the surge in anti-Asian hate crimes, which has made some people jittery and kept them at home and away from the restaurant, further hurting business. “It’s like the heavens are playing tricks on us,” said Mr. Chan, a community leader in Brooklyn’s Chinatown and the owner of the Golden Imperial Palace, a cavernous dining hall there. More than a year after the pandemic first swept through New York, the streets of Sunset Park in southern Brooklyn reflect the pandemic’s deep and unhealed wounds intertwined with signs of a neighborhood trying to slowly edge back to life.