Wednesday, August 02, 2006


Beat the heat at a cool Met bar in New York

For my latest column in Our Town/Downtown (7/31 issue, available free in sidewalk boxes around New York), I profile Standings, a nice little Met bar on E. 7 St. in the East Village. Owner Gary Gillis is a former Red Sox fan turned Met fan. The bar caters to both. Its large microbrew draft selection is the perfect antidote to the 100-degree weather New York is experiencing this week. The column is posted below.

Meanwhile, I was surprised to find out that I'm listed on the Bad Mets website as one of their 43 "famous fans." This company includes Jerry Seinfeld, Ray Romano, Tim Robbins, Susan Sarandon, Paul Simon, Jon Stewart, Julia Stiles and Yo La Tengo, who named themselves after a saying ("I've got it!") the original 1962 Mets came up with to help white players understand Latin players. Of course, it didn't work. That team lost 120 games.

My entry reads: "Heavenly smooth like the cut of Pete Flynn's grass, Bloom's editorial skills turn his peers green with envy. Bloom recently resigned as the Editor for High Times magazine, but, I believe, is still the manager of the High Times softball team The Bonghitters, unarguably the greatest softball team in New York City history."

Despite the Mets' banner year so far, the site concentrates on Met low points, with polls to vote for the worst Met at every position.

Here's my "Worst Met Team Ever":

1B - Mo Vaughn
2B - Roberto Alomar
SS - Kaz Matsui
3B - Bobby Bonilla
LF - Vince Coleman
CF - Juan Samuel
RF - Roger Cedeno
C - Jason Phillips
Starter - Jose Lima
Reliever - Armando Benitez
Manager - Art Howe

Here's the column:

Standings by Your Team

A little brewpub in the East Village with a heart of blue and orange.


In a recent poll, Quinnipiac University asked New York sports fans which baseball team they preferred, the Yankees or the Mets. The results were not surprising: 49% favored the Yankees, 42% the Mets.

New York has long been a Yankee town, for several reasons. The Yankees have been playing in the Bronx since 1923 and have won 26 World Series, the last one against the Mets in 2000. The Mets have been playing in Queens since 1964 and have won two World Series, the last one against the Red Sox 20 years ago. So it stands to reason – even though the Mets are running away with the NL East - that the Yankees would have more support than the Mets.

With that in mind, I went searching for a bar to watch a Met game at with fans wearing light-blue and orange caps, not the familiar white “NY” on navy blue. A little joint on E. 7 St was recommended. Standings stands where Brewski’s once was. Gary Gillis took over the place in June of 2005. Seven screens decorate the walls and there are 12 beers (10 microbrews like Sea Dog Blueberry Wheat and Rogue Imperial IPA) on tap.

Born and raised in Connecticut, Gillis grew up a Red Sox fan. “It was too traumatic,” he says, explaining that he dropped out of baseball for 10 years before moving to New York and adopting the Mets in 1987. “I couldn’t adopt the Yankees.”

A CPA, Gillis owns a piece of Harrison’s Tavern on the Upper West Side. Then he opened Standings – named after that most basic of sports stats – with an eye on catering to Red Sox as well as Met fans. “They have a lot in common,” he says. “They both hate the Yankees.”

Gillis describes Standings as “a sports bar that serves really good beer. Too many sport bars are content to just serve Coors Light.” He’s got a point. I start with Blue Point, then shift to Blueberry Wheat, which makes you feel like you’re in Maine. It has a lovely aroma.

The Met game happens to be on. It’s Saturday and yet another rain-delayed contest is heading into the final inning. Can Met closer Billy Wagner hold the 4-3 lead over the Astros to give the Mets a three-game winning streak and an amazin’ 13-game lead over the Braves or Phillies? He strikes out the first two batters with blazing 99-mph fastballs, then allows a single. Wagner gets the next batter to ground out into a game-ending force play. Gillis and I high-five. He announces that the Mets’ “magic number” – the number of wins and losses combined that will add up to the Mets winning the division – is 53. He may be the only person who’s figured that out.

Every Friday night at 8 pm, Standings springs for free slices courtesy of the Pizza Café. August 10 is “Tribute to Colorado Night,” featuring Flying Dog and Dale’s drafts, free burgers and the Rockies on TV. Even better, on August 16, the Met fan that sings the best rendition of “Meet the Mets” will win $100. The Blue Point Festival on August 23 will offer four different drafts from the tasty Long Island brewery, plus free hero sandwiches.

While the Mets cruise along to their division title, the Yankees are in a pitched battle with the Bosox for first place. The arch rivals’ 5-game series from August 18-21 promises to crowd the smallish bar, which can squeeze in as many as 90 patrons.

Gillis points to a stained Red Sox banner on the wall. He says one night a drunken Yankee fan pulled it down, stomped on it and doused it with beer. “It’s all pretty friendly,” the bar owner/Met fan smiles.

Standings is located at 43 E. 7 St.


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