A longtime Bayside resident continued his birthday celebrations with some familiar faces at a local business.
Irving Black, who turned 103 on Aug. 23, stopped by his Flushing Bank branch at 61st Avenue and Springfield Boulevard on Oct. 6 for cake and congratulations. He also celebrated his birthday at the Catholic Charities Bayside Senior Center with two other centenarians in July.
Black has been a Flushing Bank customer for over 30 years.
“In my opinion, it’s one of the best banks in the city,” Black said. “The employees are very cooperative and helpful and they’re always happy to see you. It’s nice to come in here.”
Flushing Bank Branch Manager Ling Xu showed Irving and wife Dorothy the branch’s new Video Banker technology, which links customers using the ATM to help via video conferencing.
Employees then presented the centenarian with a birthday cake from the Sweet Treats bakery down the street.
“He’s a really friendly guy,” Xu said. “Every time he comes in, he’s smiling.”
A Bayside resident for nearly seven decades, Black said he’s proud to have built his life in the welcoming community.
“The neighborhood is excellent,” Black said. “The shopping is good, the transportation is good and the people are nice here.”
“In general, it’s a great place to live,” Dorothy Black said.
The couple, who have been married for 77 years, have three children, five grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren together. Black, who emigrated from Latvia to the United States when he was seven, attended Manhattan’s Cooper Union College and served as a civil engineer for the U.S. Navy during World War II creating battleships.
The 103-year-old cites a number of factors as contributing to his longevity. Number one, Black said, is love, followed by compromise, dancing and his wife’s cooking.
“And doctors help too; let’s give them some credit,” Black said with a smile.
After the celebration, the happy couple were headed to the nearby senior center to dance the afternoon away.