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Hell’s Kitchen’s Sophie Gerber celebrated her 100th birthday yesterday (Sunday) — and she let the world in on her secret: “Don’t let a day go by without laughing at something.”
Maria Rutilio from West Vibe Salon got a call on Friday to head over the road to cut and style Sophie’s hair for the special day — and a TV appearance on NBC News. “I hadn’t heard from Sophie for over a year. I was honored. She is a very inspiring, strong woman. She always has a big smile on her face. She’s the personification of optimism and energy — a role model for us all,” said Maria.
A new hairstyle was the first surprise for Sophie’s birthday weekend. The next was that NBC had organized a very special gift for her. Now fully vaccinated, she was reunited with her son, Joe, and they had their first hug in over a year. She told reporter Marc Santia: “How do you describe total joy and rapture? Holding somebody that you’ve nurtured since infancy — and tell him how much I missed him and how I want to stay close to him for as long as I possibly can.” Then Joe appeared — they hugged, they danced, they shed tears.
This time last year, Sophie had just left Mount Sinai hospital after winning her battle with COVID-19. Celebrations for her 99th birthday had to be socially distanced, with friends and family standing on W46th Street and waving up at her window.
The birthday girl had a message to inspire the city’s recovery. “I love New York. I’m a Manhattan baby,” Sophie told NBC. “You must tell yourself that you’re going to get through this and you’re going to get through it in the best possible way.”
Wonderful! Happy Happy Birthday, Sophie!
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