We would like to welcome Xin Di Lei to the Centenarian Club. The 100-year-old senior recently celebrated her milestone during a birthday celebration at Homecrest Senior Center (1413 Avenue T in Sheepshead Bay).
The birthday girl (front and center) was flanked by family and guests, including our own Charise Lawrence (standing behind Xin Di Lei), who was on hand to present Xin Di Lei with a proclamation from Commissioner Donna Corrado in honor of her big day.
Xin Di Lei was born on August 6, 1914 in Taishan, Guangdong, China. She performed farming-related work, taught school and volunteered in Taishan. Upon becoming an adult, she met her husband through an arranged marriage that produced five children (three daughters and two sons), 14 grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren.
She would come to American around 1980 and work in a garment factory for 6-7 years. During this time, she suffered the unfortunate loss of her husband. But with her family in America, Xin Di Lei persevered and currently lives with her youngest son and his family.
Lei joined Homecrest Senior Center in 1997 when it first opened. She is one of its oldest members. She comes to the Center for congregate hot lunch meals, but also plays games and takes part in an exercise program.
She reads without glasses, walks without assistance and wears no hearing aid. According to her, the key to her longevity and good health is happiness. She has a very happy life! Happy Birthday Xin Di Lei.
Stylin’ Seniors - Humberto Galarza, 67 and his wife Rosalba Galarza, 67, are members of the Puerto Rican / Hispanic Elderly’s Corona Senior Center at 108-74 Roosevelt Avenue in Queens, NYC. “Corona Senior Center has supplied our needs for relaxation and a good location to eat healthy food,” Humberto said. “We also enjoy arts and crafts projects and enjoy trips.” - Photo by Richard Henry
Stylin’ Seniors - In a first for our Stylin’ Seniors series, we take a look at identical twins Betty Cooper and Shirley Brotman, both 83, who live together and are members of the Bayside Senior Center at 221-15 Horace Harding Expressway in Queens, NYC. "People cannot tell the difference, so we are called Betty Boop and Shirley Temple," Betty jokes. - Photo by Richard Henry
In Ann Chow, 74, a member of the Selfhelp Community Services, Inc.’s Benjamin Rosenthal Innovative Senior Center at 45-25 Kissena Blvd. in Flushing, Queens, knows, just like every other New Yorker, that emergency preparedness is always in style. For a copy of NYC Office of Emergency Management's My Emergency Plan, visit nyc.gov/myemergencyplan or call 311 to request a copy. - Photo by Richard Henry
Stylin’ Seniors - Blanca Sanchez, 67, is a member of the Sunset Park Neighborhood Senior Center at 4520 4th Ave in Brooklyn, New York. Blanca has been a member of the center for 7 years and is a volunteer, serving as a knitting teacher to her fellow seniors. - Photo by Richard Henry
Rolando Gomez, 80 and Dora Gomez, 81, are members of the Institute for the Puerto Rican / Hispanic Elderly’s Corona Senior Center at 108-74 Roosevelt Avenue in Queens, NYC. The following Is Dora’s story on how she came to become a member:
"Six years ago, I became a widow. I lost my husband as we were visiting our children in New York. I moved back to NYC and lived with one of my children. She encouraged me to come to Corona Senior Center, because I was becoming isolated and did not want to socialize with anyone.
"Coming to Corona Senior Center changed my life because I met wonderful friends and became a volunteer. Here is when I met my current husband, Rolando Gomez. I’ve been married for four months now and am having the best time of my life."
- Photo by Richard Henry
The district is visited by a diverse group of people each day, including thousands of commuters that pass through Penn Station and tourists who are out on the streets experiencing New York City life.
Depending on the time of day, you might stumble upon a special Salsa, Swing or Zumba dance class near Herald Square, taught by instructors from our district neighbor DanceSport. Watch the crowd smile and cheer as participants master the latest dance moves. You can also grab a bite to eat – a flavorful empanada from Nuchas, a sweet treat from Wafels & Dinges, a fresh apple sold at the Broadway French Market, or specialty fare from Broadway Bites.
What a great opportunity to enjoy some unique moments in the City.