59 Small Pleasures
The Studio 54 era has finally bitten the dust, as nightspots go the way of the incredible shrinking cell phone. "People are looking for places with a more human touch," says L.A.-based nightlife impresario Sean Macpherson. "Personally, at the age of thirty-seven, I don't want to be in a cavernous disco." One of the hottest additions to the London bar scene is the Blue Bar (Wilton Place; 44-207/235-6000). Maximum capacity: 40. New York's SoHo Grand hotel recently opened the Grand Bar (310 W. Broadway; 212/519-6500), which isn't that grand—only 75 people can fit inside. Ben Butler, a resident DJ, says he prefers small spaces because "you don't have to make people dance." That's not the case at Manhattan's Passerby (436 W. 15th St.; 212/206-6847), which has a Saturday Night Fever—style dance floor the size of a walk-in closet. In Hong Kong the place to be is the mini-disco at Felix (Peninsula Hotel, Salisbury Rd., Kowloon; 852/2920-2888). Luckily, the walls are padded.
60 Cocktail Hour
Three experts predict what we'll be sipping in 2002:
Ben Pundole (manager of Ian Schrager's hotel bars): "Comfort drinks, like eggnog and mulled wine."
Salvatore Calabrese (author of Classic Cocktails and bartender at the Lanesborough Library Bar in London): "The Bellini—this year's martini."
Ben Reed (author of Cool Cocktails): "Drinks with ingredients from the kitchen: basil, thyme, lemongrass."
67 City of (Night) Light
In Paris, there's more to nightlife these days than strobe lights and celebrity disc jockeys. With yoga lessons and a bookstore, the soon-to-open Nirvana (3 Rue Matignon) lets you indulge all your senses. Newly redesigned by Jacques García, Le Cabaret (68 Rue Pierre-Char- ron; 33-1/42-89-44-14) provides a sense of tranquillity in its River room, inspired by the Taj Mahal. And in a docked boat on the Seine, Batofar (33-1/56-29-10-23; www.batofar.org) is an oasis for landlocked Parisians.
68 Armchair Travel
THE GLOBAL BEAT Sound tracks from far-off clubs bring the party to you. This year's hottest releases: Café del Mar Volume Nine, tunes inspired by the Ibiza beach bar; Man Ray, Asian beats from Paris's reigning supper club; Arabesque Zoudge, Moroccan music via Momo, London's hippest lounge; and The Tank Sessions, the sound track for Sydney's most glam dance spot.