The Egg House is Now Open
This story was written by Christopher Maher.
Early April has proved drearier than one might hope, but things are looking bright in The Egg House. Located at 195 Chrystie St., just below Stanton Street, the interactive pop up is coated in yellows, pinks, and whites, and is a welcome reprieve from the clouds and the wind.
The Egg House is ostensibly the apartment of “Ellis the Egg,” a young egg new to the city just trying to make it all happen. You enter through the kitchen: a cloud of glossy pink spatulas hang from the ceiling and an enormous egg carton, complete with eggs, offers the first ideal picture opportunity.
People clustered around, patiently waiting their turn as friends traded off, one posing while the other took a picture. Ellis’ living room is painted with kaleidoscopic white and black lines. Using your Egg Token (I received mine upon entry) you can win a small prize from a gumball machine.
You’ll next arrive at an oddity in NYC apartments: Ellis’ place comes with a pool, here represented by a relatively large ball pit. It was another favorite spot for pictures, and employees had to frequently stroll by and pick up an escaped yellow or white ball and return it to its siblings.
Why an Egg? “I think it’s fun,” says Aria Chiu, a representative for the project who helped me get my gumball machine prize (a pin) out of the small plastic capsule it came in. “As the founder [artist Biubiu Xu] says, eggs are universal, everywhere has it, and every country has a way to cook it.”
The universality of the egg stands true here, especially in the fun it inspired: people of all ages appeared to be having a blast. In the basement, a dimly lit room filled with balloons and a shell-shaped swing, two young kids bounced on balls waiting their turn.
The answer could just as easily be “why not an egg?” While there is some egg themed merchandise – white chocolate “egg lollipops” provided by The Egg Shop – the Egg House isn’t promoting anything other than itself.
With no need to confirm to or endorse an external brand the House is focused exclusively on the immersive installations and interactive experience – or rather, the #eggsperience, as the website suggests. As with any place focused on becoming a “destination” unto itself instagramability counts, and the Egg House delivers on that front too, turning every visitor into a digital marketer.
“What’s your favorite room in The Egg House?” I asked Dare (“as in truth or dare,” she informed me before I even had a chance to ask) a young woman working the miniscule gift shop. “I actually like the bedroom,” she told me. “I think it’s so creative the way they have him outside his window, showing him in Union Square and other parts of the city. Did you open the drawer?”
Ellis’ bedroom is situated in the way back of the space, right next to a delicious ice cream and waffle station. Around the room are mementos to his time in New York, including two envy inducing Sleep No More masks. On his desk is a notebook with a bucket list: he has made it to The Statue of Liberty, Chinatown, and even Newsies The Musical on Broadway but has yet to visit the Top of the Rock.
Ellis himself snoozes on a bed, his “eyes” – two projected black squares- occasionally blinking open, much to the amusement of two kids nearby. Out his window you can indeed catch a glimpse of a film from the time when he visited Union Square. Ellis sits on a bench, expressionless, as pedestrians walk by him at a brisk pace. An employee approached two women looking out the window.
“Where do you think we should take Ellis next?” she asked.
“Time Square,” said one immediately. “The Met,” answered the other. The employee seemed enthusiastic about Ellis’ further adventures.
The Egg House is open through May 21. You can reserve a date and time to visit, and purchase tickets, online only, here.