Have your cake and eat it too! Coney Island resident celebrates 104th birthday

woman celebrating 104th birthday in Coney Island
Jeanette Bigelson celebrated her 104th birthday at the JASA Luna Park Senior Center on Feb. 7.
Photo by Jada Camille

One of Coney Island’s oldest residents celebrated her 104th birthday with her friends at JASA’s Luna Park Older Adult Center on Feb. 7.

Jeanette Bigelson, a longtime Brooklyn native and member of JASA, rang in her 104th year by dancing, singing along to Frank Sinatra classics and digging into a double-layered cake with her name on it. 

Bigelson cuts into her cake during her 104th birthday party in Coney Island
Bigelson cuts into her cake during her 104th birthday party. Photo by Jada Camille

Bigelson was the life of the party as friends and family showered her with gifts and dancers performed. A DJ kept the party with live renditions of popular Jewish party songs. 

She said the best part of making it to 104 is being able to celebrate the milestone with people she has grown to love and who love her.

Friends surprised the birthday girl with new jewelry.
Friends surprised the birthday girl with new jewelry. Photo by Jada Camille
104th birthday party in coney island
Bigelson’s friends and loved ones danced and celebrated her milestone birthday. Photo by Jada Camille

“To be with all of these people. Being here with all my friends with love — if it wasn’t for this place, I wouldn’t know them,” she told Brooklyn Paper. 

Local representatives from the office of Council Member Justin Brannan and state Sen. Jessica Scarcella-Spanton joined in on the celebration and presented the birthday girl with certificates of appreciation and posed for pictures right before the cake cutting. 

jeanette bigelson getting 104th birthday certificate
Christopher McCreight, Chief of Staff for Council Member Justin Brannan, gave Bigelson her a certificate of appreciation. Photo by Jada Camille

Bigelson was born in Manhattan to a family of seven, all sharing a fourth-floor walkup on the Lower East Side. She got married and had her first baby at the age of 20, and dedicated her life to raising her children. 

104th birthday cake in coney island
Celebrants dug in to a sweet 104th birthday cake. Photo by Jada Camille

Bigelson credits her faith to what helped her live a long, healthy life – and said if she could give youngsters any advice, she’d tell them to play it smart when it comes to making big decisions. 

“Don’t take stupid chances with your life. Sometimes when you’re young, you think it’s wise,” she said.”My advice is don’t do anything that you might regret.”