Mango-eating-and-manicure parties? The couple behind this offbeat hangout explains.
Thu May 28 2009
Makeup Artist Misuzu Miyake forLaura Mercier Cosmetics at Vivian Artists
Since opening its Williamsburg headquarters in March, HiChristina has been churning out five to six wacky events every week, including mango-eating-and-manicure parties, handshake demonstrations, practical-joke nights and Twister games. “This is empowered entertainment,” says Fritz Donnelly, who runs the space with girlfriend Christina Ewald. “Everyone is special and strange in an interesting way, but it’s impossible to express that at a bar, store or restaurant. So we invite people here.”
Christina: “The idea for our 'Body Wash Bike Wash’ party came when we didn’t have hot water in our building. We were fantasizing about taking a shower, and about how great it would be if somebody could just come hose us down. We figured, 'Why not?’ and decided people could bring their bikes to get washed while they were at it.”
Fritz: “We think of ways that people interact and communicate that are not explicitly sexual: washing, manicures, eating, writing, brushing hair. That’s how we thought of the mango-eating party, because everyone peels and eats a mango differently. You can really tell a lot about where a person’s from by how they peel a mango!”
Fritz: “We take suggestions [about party ideas] from our friends and audience, and then put the idea together in the right way. For example, if we think ghetto blasters are cool, we try to break down what is great about them. How do people interact with them? Is it more fun to twiddle their knobs or walk around with them? From there, we pick two or three activities that really express the topic.”
Christina: “We got our icebreaker games from a 1972 Newsweek issue titled 'Games Singles Play.’ They are amazing! The way men and women met and interacted prior to the ’70s seemed strictly defined.”
Inspired by this interview, HiChristina’s next event will be the dance-lesson-focused “Ghetto Blaster Snaggle Tooth” on June 7. 632 Grand St at Leonard St, Williamsburg, Brooklyn (hichristina.com)
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