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Page 69 – Celebrating New Year’s Eve in Village Style

Nina and Rob Kaufelt Host a Downtown Celeb-Studded Bash in their Historic Gold Coast Brownstone

Nina Kaufelt and Hannah Reimann

Philanthropist storytelling host Nina Kaufelt and singer-songwriter Hannah Reimann in their sparkly holiday finery. Photo provided by Hannah Reimann.

By Karen Rempel

Celebrants roamed the Village in dazzling clusters on New Year’s Eve, attending parties in bars, restaurants, and residences. The mood was high as we hoped for a better year to come and imagined the possibilities for our world in the coming decade. Former Murray’s Cheese owner Rob Kaufelt and his wife Nina hosted a special celebration for friends in their historic-plaque-marked brownstone on West 9th Street.

Local business owners and neighbors joined together for a kid-friendly countdown at 8 PM, after noshing on a delightful meal prepared by three chefs from King restaurant on Sixth Avenue. Of course there was plenty of wonderful Murray’s Cheese as well! Jason Bander, the owner of my favorite natural foods store LifeThyme, on Sixth Avenue, stopped in for the pre-party, and many guests went on to other parties after this family-friendly event.

The eclectic mix of Downtown creative folks included Lannyl Stephens of Village Preservation; Nancy Bass Wyden, owner of The Strand Bookstore; film producer Michael Mailer; jazz pianist Paul Odeh, who has played many times at Smalls; Craig Unger, author of House of Trump, House of Putin; singer-songwriter Anna Stine; and more. Director Elke Rosthal and writer Michael Monasterial were there talking up their upcoming production, Fragile Explosion, Nina Simone: The New American Jazz Musical. Tickets are going fast for the show, which is January 15 to 20 at the Theatre at St. John’s Lutheran Church, 81 Christopher Street.

Rob and Nina support “plucky little charities” in the Village and beyond, such as the Rattlestick Playwrights Theater and the Brooklyn Music School. Nina hosts intimate storytelling circles and former cheese-slinger Rob wrote a song lyric called “Atonement” about the environment. Cheese – milk – cows – methane gas – global warming; the path to atonement is clear! Haha. This generous couple enjoys sharing not only the bricks and mortar of their historic home, where muralist and decorative artist James Wall Finn lived at the beginning of the 20th century (he painted the ceiling mural of a sky with rosy clouds at the New York Public Library), but also its spirit of creative expression.

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