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If You Build It...
Discovering Gay Williamsburg, Part III
by Cindy Price

Carter gets a smooch
from a grizzly local boy
Oh, how the mighty have risen. Not even a year ago, a fancyboy on the prowl had to set up camp at a straight bar and sit patiently for that once a week booyah known as the Williamsburg gay scene. Of course, there was the super-hyped Saturday night at Luxx or drag-queen karaoke Tuesday at Blu Lounge to ply the young things out of their lofts, but nary a place to call their own. Enter Metropolitan-the neighborhood's first official gay bar. And though it scarcely needs our endorsement, I gathered up my merry band for one last hurrah-Carter, Michael & newbie Mark P.-to see where the boys have come home to roost.

Okay, I'll bite-we're a wee bit late on the draw here. Metropolitan opened up three months ago (practically a decade in fag years) courtesy of the boys form the Abbey, home of the rollicking good Sunday night twinkie-fest. That includes Troy, the super-savvy bartendah-turned-owner and the yum-yum Photi, still slinging sass behind the bar. So we decided to let the place get warmed up a bit-work out the kinks and what have you. Not to mention we feared the whole thing might be a lark-the bar's doomed locale boasts a parade of failures, including Sweet Mama's, The Backyard and Milo's. Nothing to fear, though-Metropolitan is alive and well, and open every blessed night of the week.

Bartenders Photi & Steven
Seated smack in the heart of Williamsburg's Italian district (Fat Tony don't mind nuttin' as long as you keep that shit indoors), Metropolitan touts a seedy look curbside, reminiscent of an old gay speakeasy with it's mirrored windows and gloomy awning. Once inside, though, the joint is undeniably first class, reminiscent of a slightly worn-in ski lodge with cranberry-coated walls and a roaring fireplace. The room-length bar seats plenty and scattered booths and chairs are snuggled into U-formations for lots of gooey eye-contact. There's a pool table nestled in the corner with scads of wiry hipsters looming about, looking terribly decent in their weather-worn hoodies and mustard-colored cords. In fact, the diverse crowd is so good-looking we hold a contest to find anyone at fault. Michael wins, nodding towards a vest-clad patron in the corner, "I can't tell you how much that outfit angers me." *

We send Carter over to the jukebox with a couple of crumpled ones and he comes bounding back breathless and hopping from foot to foot, "They have Squeeze on there which really excites me!" ** Minutes later, we're treated to the toe-tapping pop favorite "Bootylicious" and Carter swears Fischerspooner is up next. Photi comes sliding over with a round of Greyhounds and I try to get a picture of him holding the grapefruit juice. He gives me a velvety grin, "We're the only two fruits you're getting tonight, honey." I swear that people really do say these things. Honestly.

You know how I love my Troys
Amy, my official girl about town, isn't around tonight but we question Troy on any possible girl-nights in the works. He tells me they have DJ Finley from Luxx locked up for a mixed night starting in February called Gags& Fykes, which promises to bring in some of the local ladies. And the plans don't end there-they aim to convert the old kitchen into a lounge area and open up the backyard to host a weekend tea when the weather warms. That's right, kids-crumpets and cakeboys.

These boys just might beat the location hex that saddles 559 Lorimer Street. The place has loads of promise-they've all but moved the Sunday night ruckus over from The Abbey ("The gay boys love their Sunday nights", Troy laughs, "Beats me why.") and weekend nights find the bar packed with locals tired of hiking across the bridge. Good thing, too-as it stands, Metropolitan is more of a local hangout than a pick-up spot. The crowd is friendly and unpretentious and people tend to get lost in conversations with strangers for hours on end. It really is that kind of place-where even a nice, boring straight girl like me can hold court with a couple boys for hours on end. Of course, I was promising impending fame...

-Cindy Price

* Much to the horror of friends and family alike, long-time smoker Michael stubbed out his final cigarette on January 1st of this year. While his general health and lung-capacity have steadily improved since, many fear that the increase in his bouts of grumpy behavior far outweigh any health benefits he may have acquired from the move.

** Carter, however, still smokes.


The Abbey
Always gay-friendly, but Sunday night brings the boys out in droves. Grab a cheap draft beer and hunker down in a beaten-down booth with your buddies, or stick close to the bar for the pick-up scene. Cozy, friendly, and positively packed with hotties late-late night.
Blu Lounge
Time to get your geek on. Sunday nights nights boast drag-queen karaoke, and it's freakish fun. Barbie-Q, the Grand Madame, gets lazy hipsters off their brooding stools and keeps the party moving all night long. Not so gay a crowd, but-You can tell everybody this is your song. It may be quite simple but…
BQE Lounge
Thursday night's spanking new Dyke Party pays homage to all the local girls that carted their asses to the city for years. Finally, you can booze and cruise in the hood. Killer music, purty girls, and ample room to kick back.
Level X
Colorful, stylish lounge that hosts Williamsburg Homosexual Learning Center on Sunday nights. Art-cuties and they’re admirers frolic to crowd-thumping DJ mixes and campy films. Make goo-goo eyes at David, the finest bartender in Williamsburg.
Luxx suxx. On Saturday nights, anyways. But don't take it from me-pay the cover charge, slap down $4 to the coat-check punk, and get pushed around by the super-sceney club brats. Or just go out in Manhattan, where at least you'll get laid for your efforts.
Williamsburg's first authentic gay bar gets it on every night of the week. This grungy ski-lodge look-a-like has it all-a roaring fireplace, a pool table and a jukebox crammed with cakeboy classics. Tell your friends on the island you'll see them come May.
Stinger Club
Loud, seedy and humming with s-e-x on Sunday nights. Hit the dance floor or get naked for a free shot at the bar—either way, you’ll have a killer hangover in the morning. But then again, so will that hot indie rock boy you took home with you.

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Free Williamsburg© | 93 Berry Street | Brooklyn, NY 11211
[email protected] | February 2003 | Issue 35
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