A Hopeful Little Tree & a Reopening in Windsor Terrace

May 25th, 2008 · 1 Comment

There is hopeful news from Windsor Terrace and Eden Cleaners, which was the site of the murder of a beloved neighborhood business person last week. A memorial tree has been quietly planted, the slain owner’s son reopened the store yesterday morning and says he intends to carry on the business. A memorial fund has been started by resident Brenna Beirne and her neighbors in Kyung-Sook Woo’s honor. First, the news about the tree via an email we received: It was planted this morning outside Eden Dry Cleaners. A sapling in line with a series of older, mature trees along that street. No fanfare or ceremony. They just put it in and people started noticing that it was there. A neighbor spoke with Mrs. Woo’s son who spoke of the family’s determination to keep the store operating, saying this is what his mother would have wanted, and who pointed proudly to the tree. Meanwhile, the Linda Woo Memorial Fund has been created for those who want to make donations to pay for a memorial plaque. Per an email, “Checks can be made out to the Linda Woo Memorial Fund, placed in an envelope marked ‘Memorial Fund’ and dropped in the mail slots of either 243 Windsor Place- beginning Tuesday May 27th, or 18 Reeve Place- beginning immediately. They can also be mailed to the Linda Woo Memorial Fund c/o Brenna Beirne, 711 Greenwood Ave., Brooklyn, NY 11218. Donations can also be made via paypal to the account, community11218@gmail.com. The Times has an account of Eden’s first day back in business with brothers Kenneth and Daniel Oh

Tears and Memories as Business Resumes at Dry Cleaners Where Woman Was Killed

Andrea Mohin/The New York Times

Kenneth Oh helped customers on Saturday at his mother’s shop in Windsor Terrace, Brooklyn. By MANNY FERNANDEZ Published: May 25, 2008


Eden Dry Cleaners and Tailoring opened about 8:30 a.m. on Saturday. Kenneth Oh and a friend assisted the first customers. His younger brother, Daniel Oh, and some helpers arrived a few hours later. Bouquets of flowers were pushed up against the window ledges, and there was still the thinnest of threads running through their mother’s sewing machine. It was the first day that the shop, to which their mother had devoted her life, had been open for business since May 15. On May 16, she was found dead in the shop, killed in what the police said was a robbery.

The Ohs’ mother, Kyung-Sook Woo, 62, came to the United States from Seoul, South Korea, in the early 1980s and doted on her two sons, her three grandchildren and her little shop called Eden. It sat on the quiet corner of 10th Avenue and Windsor Place in the Windsor Terrace neighborhood of Brooklyn. Customers — some of whom had been bringing their clothes to her for more than a decade — said her favorite saying was “no problem.” She was behind the counter six days a week, usually 12 hours a day, stitching, waving, laughing, talking. She was robbed at least twice when the store was at another location on Windsor Place, but still she kept going. When some customers would bring in their children, Mrs. Woo would step from behind the counter to hug them. All day on Saturday, some of those same customers came into the store with tears in their eyes. Everyone knew the shopkeeper simply as Linda, and they all had a Linda story. Before New York’s presidential primary, Jackie Gavron, 48, asked Mrs. Woo if she could put a sign in the window in support of Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton; Mrs. Woo agreed, saying that she liked strong women. Jeremy Krevat, 37, was on his way to an interview for a sales job one day

last year when he stopped in the store and Mrs. Woo noticed that he was missing a stay in his collar. “She just came over and put one in,” he said. He got the job. On Saturday, people entered the store somewhat timidly, awkwardly, many holding their pink and white claim slips. Grief is hard, and grief in the middle of a transaction over dress shirts is not any easier. One man apologized for not having his ticket. “I never used to bring my ticket because she knew who I was,” he said. Another man spent several minutes with Kenneth Oh, searching the long racks behind the counter for a suit that he had dropped off for cleaning and alterations. The suit was soon discovered, and Mr. Oh, examining the cuffs of the pants, smiled. “She did the work,” he told the man. “All you got to do is iron. This is the last work she did.” Last Sunday, the police arrested Jamal Winter, 22, of nearby Park Slope and charged him with murder and robbery in the case. The police said they believe that Mrs. Woo was strangled the night before her body was found. The day of the attack, she had asked a neighbor to chase away a man who had frightened her by hanging out in front of her shop all day, the neighbor said. Kenneth Oh, 40, said the motive appeared to involve not money but a car. He said that he had bought his mother a 2008 Honda Accord for Mother’s Day, and that the attacker may have had his eye on the car for days. The car, parked near the shop, was missing after the killing. It was found about a block and a half away from the suspect’s residence, the police said. The two brothers later read an article in The Daily News saying that Mr. Winter had served time for robbery and was out of jail at the time of Mrs. Woo’s killing because of a legal technicality. They were outraged. “I don’t know why he was released,” said Daniel Oh, 38, who owns a nail salon on Long Island. There has been an outpouring of sympathy and shock in Windsor Terrace over the killing. On Thursday night, about 140 people filled the intersection outside the shop for a vigil. John Maloney, a retired truck driver who has lived in the neighborhood for all his 67 years, referred to Mrs. Woo not as Linda but as Mom. “Mom was part of the community,” he said. She had operated the business in the neighborhood for 18 years. Customers also worried about the fate of the store. Kenneth and Daniel Oh told them on Saturday that they would keep the shop open. “We’re going to save this business,” said Kenneth, a regional sales manager for an international cargo company. The brothers said they would close the store for the coming week, reopening on May 31. A truck pulled up and parked on Saturday morning. Workers with shovels started digging, and another truck arrived shortly after. A tree was being planted, in memory of Mrs. Woo.