100-year-old Esther Semidey says that happiness and a faith in god are the secrets to a long life.

By Brendan Krisel, Patch Staff


EAST HARLEM, NY — A woman who has lived in Harlem for more than 70 years celebrated her 100th birthday Friday surrounded by friends and family at East Harlem's Carter Burden Network senior center.

Esther Semidey kicked off her party with a rousing karaoke performance before blowing out the candles on her 100th birthday cake — a three-tiered vanilla and guava cake from nearby Valencia Bakery. After the festivities, during which she was given a proclamation by State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli, the centenarian broke it down on the dance floor.

"It's very, very wonderful," Semidey said about turning 100. "I love it, because when I was small I used to work hard and think about being good all the time."

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