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I Like To Ping And Pong It…

from the The NY Observer

New York’s Priapic Prince of Ping-Pong

Franck Raharinosy is ready to paddle Manhattan’s smart set. 

Hands off, ladies! Mr. Raharinosy is engaged!

Danny Kim

Hands off, ladies! Mr. Raharinosy is engaged!

The Prince of Madagascar lives in a penthouse apartment at the National Arts Club, overlooking the barren trees and locked gates of Gramercy Park. The Prince loves Ping-Pong. His mission is to properly introduce Ping-Pong to Manhattan; he’s plotting Ping-Pong establishments all over the city.

So went the tale around a recent party at the National Arts Club for Argentine artist Rirkrit Tiravanija, whose works include a $40,000 Ping-Pong table made of mirrored glass. “Have you heard about the Prince who lives in the Penthouse? He’s about to open an exclusive Ping-Pong club.” The party featured an exhibition match between a pair of 14-year-old Nigerian-born twins and 78-year-old U.S. singles champion Marty Reisman.

The Prince is Franck Raharinosy, a 33-year-old fledgling filmmaker and Ping-Pong impresario who last week signed a 15-year lease for the 13,000-square-foot basement of 304 Park Avenue. In the past six months, Mr. Raharinosy says, he and three business partners have raised close to $1.5 million to build Spin, a 14-table Ping-Pong social club, which will include a natty members-only lounge designed by Todd Oldham and sponsored by sportswear designer Fred Perry. They hope to open in May.

Until last spring Messrs. Raharinosy, Jonathon Bricklin and Bill Mack lived together in a Tribeca loft, which also served as offices for their film production company, Ridiculous Inc., which produces movies, music videos, celebrity events and documentaries such as The Entrepreneur, which tells the story of Mr. Bricklin’s father, Malcolm Bricklin, who founded Subaru of America when he was 28; the movie will be showing in New York later in the year. In the loft, of course, was a Ping-Pong table. The sporting fellows started throwing twice-weekly “Naked Ping-Pong” parties, sometimes featuring pro players and always featuring attractive women. There was no nudity but, according to Mr. Mack, “there was a steady flow of women in and out of Franck’s room. … He’s definitely had sex on the Ping-Pong table. His numbers are really high.”

[ click to continue reading at The Observer ]

Posted on February 16, 2009 by Editor

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