Sitting at the diner on Lorimer & Metropolitan, I watched the scores of people lamenting the dysfunctional G train with a quiet smirk. After finishing up the burger & red bull I’d ordered when we were forced out of the station like confused cattle, I made my way to the Electric Warehouse just as cold drops began to fall. Tonight, the unofficial Burning Man Decompression event for NYC was going down and a little rain wasn’t going to stop it.
I shook hands with my friend Drew, the producer of the event and congratulated him while he processed my entry/ticket rapidly. There were dozens of burners in stilts, top hats, fur coats, el-wire tuxedos and all manner of costuming that were aching to get into the space and I didn’t want to get in their way. After checking my coat I received what I have come to cherish at Drew’s annual event, my hug to enter. Every attendee is given an honest-to-goodness hug. Not a patdown, not a security check and not a grope. A straight up “thanks for coming, you’re cool, gimmie a hug” hug. Which feels great, and there’s a person of each gender so it doesn’t get weird of course. I get hugs from both people (because I like to live on the wild side) then head in to check out the Silent Disco. Two DJs I am totes crushing on right now were rocking out.
The Silent Disco, run by a clever fellow by the name of Michael White, provides each of the listeners in a space with can-style headphones, with a button to press to switch between two DJs spinning in the room. This solves two problems. First, you can have two DJs playing violently different music standing next to each other with no problems, and secondly, if you want to have a conversation with someone, you take off the headphones & the room is splendidly quiet. The consummate professional DJ Pony & the gorgeously talented DJ Orange Krush were opening the night there, generating the dance floor from thin air yet again, like two beat-matching magicians. Slowly but surely, burners, ravers, club kids, hipsters, girls in slinky dresses & heels, guys in camouflage pants & hoodies, all manner of person came in, put their headphones on and got down. By the time the duo were halfway through their sets, the tent outside the party was packed warm, with projection work on the ceilings and two simultaneous dance floors intermingling I went back inside to grab a bottle of water, suddenly being reminded how big the old trolley repair station actually was. 10,000 sq feet, high ceilings and places to hang lights & equipment galore. A friend was delighted to find his pictures were playing off of a projector, and a stream of amazing HD photographs lit up the bar. As I chatted with DJ Resy, who was taking the night off behind the decks to help out at the bar, I remembered what Gratitude was all about. Many of the people at this event haven’t seen each other since Burning Man, while others see each other daily/weekly.