12

April 2008

The Bullion Air Club: Monocle on the top-secret world of transporting precious cargo. Plus: anyone for extensions? A report on the human hair trade.

Issue 12 cover
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Gilt trip

Financial markets are gripped by gold fever – it could soon hit $1,000 an ounce. Key to this secretive trade are the daily bullion flights between the world’s leading financial hubs. Welcome aboard Bullion Air.

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Inventory no. 12

A Japanese inn special: the Masuichi Kyakuden Brewery hotel in Obuse, plus our great spring gift guide.

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National expression

There are many ways for a nation to make a name for itself and build international brand equity. From winning a place on the Olympic podium to positioning itself as a must-stop hub, the options are plentiful, but the res…

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Hair raising

The Bronner Brothers’ first hair show attracted 300 people at a local YMCA. Now one of the largest producers of African American haircare products, their legendary trade shows are part circus, part religious meeting.

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Present sense

As the northern hemisphere heads from winter into spring and the invitations to al fresco celebrations start rolling in, we thought a spring round-up would help take the pain out of purchasing presents.

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Do not disturb

After spending a rumoured €273m on a total overhaul, the Dolder Grand is hoping to cement its reputation as the European elite getaway, 109 years after its first guests checked in. But has the Foster redesign retained the…

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Night caller

Having converted one spare room into the perfect home office (see Monocle issue 4) we decided to turn our attentions to the guest room. Here we furnish the quarters with best-for-guests accoutrements.

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Canal plus

In the past year 15,000 Venezuelans have fled Hugo Chávez’s regime to settle in Panama. They are not alone. Attracting everyone from US retirees to multinationals, Panama is emerging as Latin America’s most vibrant and…

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This is the way

Schiphol, JFK and now Frankfurt airports have all turned to one Dutch designer to create the perfect signage systems. Paul Mijksenaar tells Monocle about his crusade to take the art of wayfinding in a new direction.

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Saint Charles

The popularity of ‘natural’ cosmetics and remedies has burgeoned, and Austria is one of Europe’s top markets. In Vienna a group of friends with a passion for botany and herbal medicine are championing the use of local…

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So long, Serbia

On 17 February the Assembly of Kosovo declared independence and the war-torn state became free from Serbian rule. Monocle was there as the people hit the streets. Also, overleaf, Nader Mousafizadeh, former special assistant…

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Presenting the nation

An explosion of state-funded English-language news channels are attempting to transmit not just the news but their country’s brand. From Moscow to Mumbai we report on the new broadcast empires and ask if this is just pro…

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El Centro

In the 1980s the only deals being done in Cartagena were for cocaine. Now the drugs barons have been kicked out and the property kings are moving in to one of Latin America’s most promising cities.

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Woman of the world

The next correspondent in our series looking at foreign coverage of the US presidential elections is Corine Lesnes of ‘Le Monde’. Once frosty, France’s relations with the US have improved with the arrival of President…

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A song for supper

As a shy teenager from an island off Rotterdam, Anton Corbijn only felt confident behind a camera. Described by Bono as the ‘fifth member of U2’, he has befriended many of the subjects he has shot and filmed in his 30-year…

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Le Thé dans L'Encrier

Situated off this Provençal village’s main square, Le Thé dans l’Encrier serves as the sole bookshop to 1,100 inhabitants and myriad tourist

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Expo 12: Airs apparent

From Ulan Bator to Accra, there’s a global shortage of pilots – and schools to teach them. That’s why business has taken off at Moncton Flight College in New Brunswick, Canada. It’s home to 240 students who will one day be…

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Gulf champions

Qatar may be small, but with a GDP of €46bn it has the money to pull off minor miracles. Its latest plan is to become one of the world’s leading sports nations and to host the 2016 Olympic Games. The motivation is simple…

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Culture briefing

Books: Richard Sennett's The Craftsman, 1980s Greece and the Imposters. Art: Phillips de Pury's Japanese art sale, the Berlin Biennial and Simon Starling. Film: 21, the King of Kong and Scorsese's Shine of Light. Music:…

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