Profiles

Meet some of the people whose energy, enthusiasm and wide-ranging experiences make the Village of Catskill a great place to be.

A PASSION FOR PILATES. As a student at Bard College, Rhinebeck native Chelsea Streifeneder earned a B.A. in Writing and Dance. After hip and back injuries slowed her momentum, she discovered the Pilates method of movement therapy, which not only healed her body, it changed her life. Embarking on a program of rigorous study, she became a Pilates Method Alliance (R) Certified Pilates Teacher, and with that, launched her first (and very successful) Body be Well Pilates  studio in Red Hook. In the market for a second location, a stroll down our Main Street and a “for rent” sign in a storefront clinched the deal. She took a leap of faith – and a leap across the river – to open Body be Well in the Village of Catskill. morePhoto on 2013-08-14 at 18.46 #5

PROMOTING CATSKILL’S POTENTIAL. “In 2003 I fell in love online, and my life changed forever,” says Nina Sklansky, a lifelong Manhattanite. The object of her affections? An 1820-ish Greek Revival just outside of Hudson, NY. Purchase made, first driver’s license obtained (“admittedly the wrong sequence, but…”) she moved upstate to paint. Little did she know it would be walls, not canvases, that would become her focus, as her interest in buying and restoring houses took hold. By 2007, she’d left Columbia County for the opportunities (affordable real estate in particular) she perceived in the beautiful but relatively undiscovered Village of Catskill more

LET’S RIDE TO CATSKILL CYCLES. “A lot of people told me I was crazy for starting a small business in the depths of recession,” says Bryan Hunter, owner of Catskill Cycles on Main Street in the Village of Catskill. “But it’s been great, and every month has been better than the last.” Hunter, who moved to Catskill with his wife Amy and daughter Hannah in December of 2010, has been many things in his life: a whitewater river guide in North Carolina, Kentucky, and Maryland, among other places; a paramedic; a river ranger with the National Park Service in West Virginia, and a firefighter who fought fires in Idaho, California, Oregon and Nevada. But one thing has remained constant: his love of cycling. more

PRESERVING PAST AND FUTURE. Lots of kids enjoy building things. But Village of Catskill native Brad Rappleyea never entirely left his blocks behind. It’s in his blood. The family construction business is largely devoted to historic restoration, and his passion for architecture was surely stoked by growing up in an astonishing Greek Revival home in the village’s East Side Historic District. Eventually, Rappleyea’s interest led him to seek out an education in Historic Preservation at Boston’s North Bennet Street School, the nation’s premier institution of its kind. “It was my ideal mix of more

BOOK TOUR. Kristi Gibson’s route to Catskill has been a circuitous one. Good thing that once upon a time this educator, writer and photographer worked as a cartographer for National Geographic. Other stops along the way have included horse wrangling in New Mexico, serving as an outreach counselor to street kids in NYC, and a professorship at the University of Connecticut, teaching – what else? Geography. But it was her folks’ move to a home in Catskill’s Historic District six years ago that brought Gibson here. On weekends and summers off from her teaching job in Connecticut, more

WRITING A NEW SCRIPT. The first time Ann Forbes Cooper set foot in the Village of Catskill she fell in love with it. A Manhattanite on the prowl for a weekend fixer upper, she felt the same about the first house she looked at: a charming Victorian in need of some TLC, but whose views of the Catskill Creek closed the deal. Five years ago, she moved here fulltime. “Catskill has that kind of effect. Its charm sneaks up and seduces you, and you end up falling for the place,” she says. Born in Aberdeen, Scotland, this peripatetic adventuress, award-winning international more

SHARING LIFE’S LESSONS. Like the Village of Catskill itself, Janet Krier-Riccobono is in the business of reinvention. She is the founder of New Life at Mid Life — a life coaching company aimed at women in their 40s, and 50s, but its name might also be the theme for her own story. The Kriers, originally from New York City, migrated to Catskill around 1920.  Family members found work with New York Telephone, as did Riccobono herself after she graduated from Albany Business College in the early ’80s. The Catskill of Riccobono’s girlhood was a hub of commercial and civic  more


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