The Monocle Minute

Today’s top stories, opinion and opportunities
Friday 13 November 2015

Pride of place

Location is everything at the G20 Summit, as heads of state jet into Antalya on Turkey’s southern coast this weekend. The sun-drenched city – long dismissed as a bolthole for package tourists – is being repositioned as Turkey’s business-diplomacy hub, and the summit’s view onto the Mediterranean will make a fitting backdrop for talks that will likely touch upon Europe’s ongoing migrant crisis. Jean-Claude Juncker, head of the EU Commission, will be looking to make the case that the crisis is a global responsibility and that nations need to accept more refugees over the coming years. However, the murmurings are that some leaders would prefer the forum stick to its original remit: the economy.

Image: Getty Images

Green infusion

Once the lifeline of Singapore’s industrialisation, a 24km strip of disused railway tracks will be given a new lease of life as a “green corridor”. According to plans released this week, Japanese architecture firm Nikken Sekkei will pair up with Singapore landscapers from Tierra Design to mastermind the transformation. Starting at Tanjong Pagar Railway Station – which will be turned into a leafy mixed-use space with shops, a heritage gallery and other amenities – the Rail Corridor will include recreation centres. In the concrete jungle of Singapore, every bit of green helps.

Image: Hiroaki Maeda

Word play

Nominees have just been announced in Japan for the top 10 buzzwords of the year. Readers of Gendai Yogo no Kiso Chishiki (Basic Knowledge of Modern Words), a contemporary Japanese dictionary that has been published annually since 1948, have selected the entries. Phrases and words in the running this year include bakugai, which refers to explosive bouts of buying, especially by Chinese tourists; Fukuyama rosu, used to describe the sense of loss felt by female fans when the popular singer and actor Masaharu Fukuyama got married; and akogui, the slight lift of the chin before a kiss that is a feature of anime and manga. This year’s judges include the poet Machi Tawara, journalist Shuntaro Torigoe and manga artist Mitsuru Yaku. Winners will be announced on 1 December.

Image: Hiroaki Maeda

Perfectly stacked

“Bought the mug, bought the T-shirt” has taken an interesting twist at Apple’s company store at its Cupertino HQ. Sliced into the front of one of the main buildings on campus, the shop features an edited array of pods, pads and phones along with accessories. The interesting twist is that visitors can buy mugs, tees and linen notebooks that are only available at that outlet. While Apple could have gone for mega-margins on these products, a clever mind on their merch team decided to commission Kyushu-based Hasami ceramics for the coffee cups and all notebooks are stamped “Made in Estonia”. We approve.

From Monocle 24

New York’s public spaces: Central Park

We turn our attention to the use of public space in the form of Central Park. The Central Park Conservancy started working with urban sociologist professor William Kornblum more than 25 years ago to study the use of New York’s most iconic park – and the results have helped shape its conservation efforts ever since.

From Monocle Films

Neighbourhood: Chai Wan

Hong Kong’s east side is a former industrial neighbourhood undergoing a renaissance. We explore the warehouses that are now home to shops, galleries and innovative start-ups moving away from downtown.

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