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Brooklyn romances stand the test of time - Borough Hall toasts couples married 50 years and more

A Valentine’s Day storm wasn’t about to quell these devoted lovebirds. A miserable mix of snow and sleet was whirling around outside – but inside, the party was just getting started. On a cold winter day, this was a heart-warming testament to love and commitment. The Brooklyn Marriott was brimming with hundreds of Brooklyn’s sweethearts – all married 50 or more years. The afternoon disappeared as the couples reminisced with old and new friends, sipped champagne and danced cheek-to-cheek to the old standards. The annual love-fest was hosted by Borough President Marty Markowitz and his wife of seven years, Jamie Snow-Markowitz. “I make the decisions in our household, and then I ask Jamie for permission,” Markowitz joked, before presiding over an informal ceremony for the couples to renew their vows. The ballroom was overflowing with unique and enduring love stories. Many couples were anxious to share the secrets of matrimonial longevity. Lenny and Elaine Wacholder of Midwood met on the Rockaway Beach Boardwalk, and say the chemistry was instant. “We had three dates that first week,” Lenny Wacholder said. The couple has been married for 54 years. Their formula for success? “Don’t get angry at the trivial things – and it’s all trivial,” Elaine Wacholder said. Reflecting Brooklyn’s diverse immigrant population, many of the couples in attendance first met and fell in love overseas. Abraham Malinowitzer of Sheepshead Bay survived years in Nazi concentration camps before marrying his bride, Tova. “He came on the same ship” said Tova Malinowitzer, explaining how she and her husband both fled Poland after the war. But the two didn’t actually meet until they arrived in Israel. “Four months later I married him,” she said, smiling. The Malinowitzers have been married for 57 years. Next month, Radul and Nagalla Cherubin of Canarsie will celebrate their 53rd wedding anniversary. The couple met in Haiti when they were both participating in a mutual friend’s wedding. “The secret is to trust each other, and don’t look for the negative things,” Radul Cherubin said of their lasting marriage. Many couples at the Valentine’s Day reception had logged over 60 years of marriage, but Semen and Rita Vaidman of Brighton Beach had everyone beat, with 67 years as husband and wife. But among the sea of elderly couples, one much younger duo stood out. Newlyweds Terris and Tanya Mabry of Bushwick were married Valentine’s Day morning, and with only a few hours of marriage under their belt, they came seeking some marital advice from the experts. “A lot of people don’t make it to this,” said groom Terris Mabry. “They have a lot of wisdom,” his new wife Tanya added. “One man told us to remember that the wife is always right,” the new Mrs. Mabry said chuckling.

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