Brooklyn Boro

Only in Brooklyn: New Year’s Eve celebrated in former submarine manufacturing plant

January 9, 2017 By Scott Enman Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Confetti floods the air of the former submarine manufacturing plant at midnight. Photos by Khadija Bhuiyan
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New Year’s Eve in Brooklyn is one of the busiest nights of the year. The holiday resembles a music festival as an influx of the world’s top musicians flock to the borough. This year was no exception with dozens of events boasting incredible lineups.

With so many shows to choose from, it can be an arduous task to decide which event to attend. For the Brooklyn Eagle, what separated the electronic music duo Disclosure’s “Wildlife” party from the others was its unique location: A former submarine manufacturing plant in Sunset Park.

Due to its outside-the-box location, the Eagle attended Wildlife and welcomed 2017 in the historic building on the shores of New York Harbor.

Numerous warehouse parties have sprouted up recently due to the high number of abandoned buildings that line the borough’s waterfront from its heyday as a hub for the shipbuilding industry.

Specific neighborhoods heavily concentrated with abandoned buildings include Sunset Park, Williamsburg, East Williamsburg, Greenpoint and Red Hook. In addition, the Gowanus Canal and Newtown Creek provided industrial access to the waterfront and therefore have many vacated premises on their shores.

Brooklyn today doesn’t boast nearly as much ship traffic as it used to, and thus is lined with many vacated piers and factories. These buildings, however, are ideal locations for all-night parties.

Entering the Wildlife warehouse, there’s a parking lot filled with the city’s garbage trucks on the left. To the right is a storage depot with heaps of road salt. Inside, round concrete columns line the room as far as the eye can see. Rusted machinery hangs from the rafters. Thousands of colorful ravers dance about the monolithic building.

“Incredibly excited to be playing New York at New Year’s Eve for a second time,” Disclosure reveals to the Eagle before their show. “Love seeing this city smile and dance!”

Although this is Disclosure’s second time celebrating New Year’s Eve in New York, it’s their Brooklyn début. And the English, three-time-Grammy-nominated DJ/producer duo and brothers Howard and Guy Lawrence, at the tender ages of 22 and 25, respectively, are indeed all smiles.

As the clock nears 12, the brothers cut the music and the countdown begins.

“10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 — happy New Year!”

As confetti shoots from cannons, Disclosure ushers in the New Year with Brooklyn-born rapper Notorious B.I.G.’s famous song “Juicy.”

Also gracing the turntables tonight is French-Canadian DJ/producer Tiga, Detroit-born techno titan Kenny Larkin and New York native and Bushwick party curator Eli Escobar.  

Following Disclosure, Tiga takes the reigns, bringing the warehouse deeper into the night. For an hour and a half, he keeps attendees dancing and prancing, moving and grooving. Kenny Larkin has closing duties. He leads the crowd into the New Year in dramatic fashion, presenting a darker, strictly techno set.

As people stumble out of the warehouse at 5 a.m. in search of an after party, the Eagle reflects on an unforgettable evening. It’s safe to say that if tonight is any indication of what 2017 has in store, then the future looks bright.

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