A few areas and ideas to focus your attention on over the coming months:
If the autumn was full of much chatter from the US about people upping sticks if Donald Trump got in, this winter is a time to monitor who’s come good on their threats to leave and where they’re going. Canada could certainly do with some bright minds relocating to Vancouver and giving it some more technology muscle. Italy’s always a delight no matter the political climate and could use some brave souls from its far-flung diaspora to help with the dismal situation in Rome. Then again, there’s always stable and chilled New Zealand: a comfy ringside seat in the Apac region, a good airline to get you around the world and plenty of wine for the table.
How are things looking in your neighbourhood? Too many unremarkable chain stores moving in? A lot of empty shops? Or too much gentrification too soon? If you’re disturbed by what you see, do something about it. Gather concerned residents, retailers and restaurateurs in a suitable setting, define your key concerns, hatch a plan for change and execute.
Readers often ask us where they should go in the world and what they should see – particularly as they plot and plan their year in travel. This issue holds a couple of clues. If you’re interested in launching a new business in the physical fitness space we’d suggest you visit some of the Swiss gyms featured in section B (see page 66). In the development business? It’s worth seeing how the Tokyu Group has transformed the space under their tracks in Nakameguro Tokyo (see page 152). The commuter-focused branch of Tsutaya should be a model for newsstand retailers around the world.
On the topic of newsstands and kiosks, don’t take your local purveyor of mags and newspapers for granted. While print sales are stabilising in some markets, the disappearance of the good old-fashioned newsagent isn’t just a crisis for the media industry: it is also bringing about a collapse in communities. Plus, we’d argue for a free and diverse press; we’re all for subscribers but we’re also keen on seeing these community pillars survive.
If you were lucky enough to pocket a year-end bonus, what might you invest in? An intensive week of language courses in the Netherlands (see page 59) would be euros well spent. Meanwhile, a generously proportioned apartment in one of Portugal’s hub cities might turn into more than a nice weekender: it could shape up into a sound investment and a fine place to potter about in your silver years. And if your clothes rail is looking a bit bare, our editors like Arpenteur, Comoli, Auralee, Barena and A Kind of Guise for gents and Apuntob, Enföld, Odeeh and Claudia Bertini for ladies.
In development for Monocle issue 101:
Since early November we've been running a parallel editorial project focused on a redesign and editorial audit of the main issue and all affiliated supplements, specials and future spin-offs. For the past few months we've been meeting new photographers, scouting for a crop of fresh illustrators, tweaking grids, testing paper stocks, visiting print plants and lining up scores of commissions for new columns, sections, features and Q&As.
If this sounds a bit alarming, worry not. By now you'll know we're an occasionally conservative bunch and we believe good brands need time to settle down. That said, we feel we're of an age when we should be adjusting our tailoring and tone. To mark our 10th anniversary we'll be setting up a new concept shop in London, hosting a series of global events, transmitting new radio shows, hosting a summit or two on the topic of print and launching a family of special-edition products with a group of exceptional designers and manufacturers.
And when does it all kick off? On 23 February, when issue 101 will hit newsstands. See you then.