The Monocle Minute

Today’s top stories, opinion and opportunities
Thursday 3 December 2015

Image: Getty Images

All sewn up

A commonly held theory by West Coast residents in the US is that both the country’s creative spirit and productivity are first harnessed on their side of America before making the journey east. That theory may have some truth to it – especially when it comes to manufacturing. More than simply churning out Hollywood productions, Los Angeles and the surrounding area provided 518,691 manufacturing jobs last year – the highest number in the US. Much of this job creation is due to cloth and loose pieces arriving at LA ports that then need to be turned into clothing and consumer goods. Daniel Smith, principal at logistics consultancy The Tioga Group, calls LA the “entry point and so the logical place” for this assembly sector, one that will only grow in the years to come.

Image: Getty Images

Aerial combat

New Zealand’s national carrier has won an Airline of the Year award, bolstering its regional reputation as its rivalry with Australia’s Qantas heats up. Air New Zealand’s impressive financial growth and ability to deliver a quality in-flight experience were cited as reasons for winning the AirlineRatings award for the third year in a row. It is a welcome boost: the firm’s shares took a hit recently when Qantas announced its foray into Air New Zealand territory with a tie-up on an American Airlines Auckland-to-Los Angeles flight path. But as with any good Trans-Tasman rivalry, these two aviation forces have been playing up their territorial tussling. A massively publicised bet during the Rugby World Cup saw Qantas cabin crew having to wear All Blacks uniforms after the Kiwis triumphed over Australia in the final.

Image: Courtesy of Airbnb

Apps get arty

“Where are you staying?” and “How are you getting there?” are Art Basel Miami Beach’s two most over-used icebreakers. They might, however, get nipped in the bud this week as two app game-changers – Airbnb and Uber – get semi-serious on the sand. Chicago-based architecture firm Design With Company has partnered with Airbnb to create the interactive installation “Belong. Here. Now.”, a contemporary take on the ancient Greek agora. It’s a place where performances, parties and general breeze-shooting have been happening all week long. Meanwhile, Uber has gone flash, swapping its Prius for a powerboat to get the masses moving around Miami. A flat $35 (€33) fare will get you from pontoon to party; a nice tip might get you as far as Cuba.

Image: Getty Images

R-amen!

Tokyo has done it again: for the ninth consecutive year the city has taken the Michelin award for the world’s top culinary capital. In the new guide to Tokyo published tomorrow, 217 restaurants are starred – more than in any other city. The number of three-star restaurants has gone up to 13 with the addition of Kohaku, a kaiseki restaurant with a creative young chef and a month-long waiting list. New to the single-star pantheon is Tsuta, a ramen restaurant in Sugamo that is almost as famous for its long queues as its noodles. Although the Bib Gourmand section that looks at less exalted restaurants has been expanded this year, many believe that the guide contains but a fraction of what Tokyo has to offer.

From Monocle 24

Pip Jamieson’s houseboat

When it comes to start-ups, is a houseboat the new garage? We hop onto entrepreneur Pip Jamieson’s houseboat Horace on London’s Regent’s Canal to see how she came up with her business The Dots.

From Monocle Films

Made in Wales

From a lavender farm in the countryside to a denim mill revitalising a harbour town, Wales is using its traditions and craft to benefit new industries. Monocle films profiles two inspiring Welsh enterprises that are bringing international success home.

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