Queens Scores Twice In First-Baby Race
Queens scored first and second place in the race to claim the first babies born in New York City in 2009.
The first Baby New Year, Grace Pak, arrived at New York Hospital Queens (NYHQ) in Flushing nine minutes after crowds rang in 2009 in Times Square.
Parents Daniel and Sunyoung Lee Pak said they were excited to have the first baby of the New Year. She is also their first daughter; they have three sons.
"We have been waiting a long time for a girl," Daniel Pak said. "It's wonderful she is here and healthy, and the first baby of 2009."
Beaming from her hospital bed, Sunyoung Lee Pak said the baby was named Grace "to recognize the grace of God". The 6-pound, 3- ounce, 20-inch baby will receive a $1,000 savings bond from NYHQ.
Dr. Seth Finkelstein, the delivering physician, said he was surprised that a baby born nine minutes into the New Year was the city's first of the new year. Finkelstein said most New Year babies arrive within the first minute after midnight.
The runner-up, Zenia Hussain, arrived at Flushing Hospital at 12:10 a.m. to parents Soheel and Sameera Hussain She weighed in at 7 pounds, 13 ounces.
Soheel Hussain, said the little girl has two brothers, ages 10 and six. "We are blessed now with two sons and a daughter," he said. "She completes our family."
Zenia's brothers looked on as their mother and sister, who was wrapped in a pink blanket and wore a pink bow in her hair, met with reporters on January 1.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg paid visits to both babies on New Year's Day. He predicted both would have "glorious" futures and speculated that Grace Pak would some day run for mayor of New York City. "Maybe [she and Zenia Hussain will] run against each other," Bloomberg said.