Arts & Culture

A really, really long time ago, before there were shopping malls, strip malls, open-air malls, eBay, Wal-mart, Target, Kmart and the internet, if you wanted to buy a bunch of different things without visiting a ton of different shops, you had to go to a department store.

From a suite at the Mercer Hotel in New York City, out writer/director François Ozon, whose credits include “Swimming Pool” and “8 Women,” exhibits a teasing playfulness when he starts talking about his new film “Potiche,” a fun comedy starring Catherine Deneuve that opens at Ritz theaters today.

Stimulus: 1) (physiology), something external that influences an activity. 2) something that incites to action or exertion or quickens action, feeling, thought, etc.

Make that “stimulating” and you have PGN’s conversation with Amber Hikes. The 27-year-old Hikes is one of the women behind the popular Stimulus and Arouse parties that have been inciting people to mix, mingle and be merry at the monthly events. We sat down to learn a little more about the up-and-coming community leader.