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amNY predicts NYC nightlife trends for 2011

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bkbooth Photo Credit: We're hoping for more pop-up photo booths, such as this one by bkbooth, in '11.(James Brandon King)

New decade, new chapter in New York City nightlife. Gotham’s tastemakers are feeling pretty frisky about the whole deal. Expect to see a burst of creativity in 2011 — at least, if we have our way.

Cocktail trend: hyper-seasonal cocktails
Given the success of the farm-to-table movement, it was only a matter of time until bartenders started dabbling in it, too. Meet the hyper-seasonal cocktail, where herbs and produce grown on-site give your libation a special zing. Case in point: the Roof Club & Garden at the Gramercy Park Hotel (2 Lexington Ave., 212-920-3300). Right now, pickled peppers and rosemary are making their way to the bar; come summertime, it could be tomatoes or pineapple sage. Cocktails at the Chelsea Market’s Green Table (75 Ninth Ave., 212-741-9174) also follow the trend.

We want more: pop-up photo booths
If one’s an anomaly, two’s a conscience and three’s a trend, then the mobile photo booth is on the cusp of breaking through. Companies such as bkbooth and NYC Photo Booth travel to parties and set up a photo booth — be it an actual photo booth or a stage for a photo shoot — in which anyone and everything goes. The result? A montage of the evening better than any Facebook photo album could possibly ever be.

Scene rising: Brooklyn’s creative underground
Gemini & Scorpio. Winkel & Balktick. The Danger. Haven’t heard of them? Google them. The parties these organizers have been throwing are a fair barometer of a scene that’s been slowly percolating away in Brooklyn and shows no sign of slowing down in 2011. Expect a setting that’s both festive and whimsical, featuring art installations, roving performers, cheap drinks and DJ sets that run late into the night. Guests dress to the nines, whatever the theme: Steampunk glamour, circus riot, faux fur or neon bling. It’s time to dust off that vintage.

Beer trend: cocktails
Imagine a drink with all the charm of a beer yet the nuanced flavor profile of a cocktail — what’s not to love? The michelada, a Mexican beer doctored up with everything from Worcestershire sauce to fresh lime juice, made a splash this summer. But we hope more venues press on in the direction of JoeDoe (45 E. 1st St., 212-780-262), which offers nine unique beer libations, or Vandaag (103 Second Ave., 212-253-0470), which serves innovative “bier cocktails.”

Most anticipated debut: Le Baron
Word has it that the pop-up Art Basel Miami edition of Le Baron, the somewhat infamous Parisian nightclub, was off the hook. If even a smidge of that hype makes its way north when Le Baron opens in Chinatown (32 Mulberry St.) in early 2011 — and we expect it will — then we’re in for a wild New York nightlife scene. Beauty, decadence, outrageously overpriced Champagne. We say, Bring it on.

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