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Three miles away at the Oriental Pearl Seafood Restaurant, owner Fanny Lee gave a wave of her hand toward a crowded dining room. The Super Bowl extravaganza was having no impact on her business. The Chinese New Year started Thursday, and a business dinner filled half of her space. The other half of the restaurant was taken up by Asian families out for the evening.
Fanny Lee’s daughter, Doris, said Super Bowl Sunday was just like any other Sunday. There was a wide-screen television on one wall tuned to CNN. A family sang “Happy Birthday” at one table. At another table, as steaming piles of vegetables and fish arrived, no one was peering at their phones under the table trying to catch the score.
“No one said anything about changing the channel from CNN to the game,” Doris said. Then she hurried back to the kitchen.
Outside the Buford Highway Farmers Market, Paul Ntumba, a native of the Democratic Republic of Congo, leaned against a long line of yellow shopping carts he had just hauled in from the parking lot.
“We are accustomed to football not so violent as this grabbing of limbs in your football,” said Ntumba, 28, a student at the nearby technical college. “Your football is much more violent than our football. I don’t watch.
“I guess I should know the score, though,” he said. “Who is playing? Maybe I can find it on this phone.”
At the Canton House, another Buford Highway restaurant, guests at a wedding reception focused on the bride and groom. Once again, no one was looking under the table to sneak a peak at the game. It was all respectful.
The Sweet Hut Bakery and Café on Buford Highway was bustling with teenagers at the tables lining the wall. The Super Bowl was on the television screen behind the counter, but that was more for a couple of male workers to glance at every few moments.
The Sweet Hut bakery has a Taiwanese/Cantonese flavor and the rich, succulent pastries under the glass showcases drew much more attention from the customers streaming through the doors in the game’s third quarter than the TV.
“The game is not bad for us and the business,” said Rachel Ewe, the daughter of the owner. “You can see we have customers.”