Friday 15 July 2016 - Monocle Minute | Monocle

Friday. 15/7/2016

The Monocle Minute

Image: Rolf Adlercreutz/Alamy

Cheese, please

Normalisation is the word of the moment in Ankara, as the Turkish government looks to mend fences with Israel, Russia and, albeit in vague terms, Syria. But talk of normalisation is also likely to linger at a cheese symposium that kicks off today in Turkey’s eastern province of Kars. Dedicated to local and artisanal cheeses in a region renowned for its dairy, the symposium will give producers a chance to reflect on the dent in business left by Russian sanctions. Though Russia has restarted charter flights to Turkish beaches, its ban on fruit, vegetables, dairy and poultry imports from Turkey are still in place. Analysts say that further rapprochement with Russia could top up the country’s economy by about €4bn annually, a factor surely influencing the marked change in tone on foreign policy.

Image: Getty Images

Rulers in the running

You might think that the fate of the past two Tokyo governors – both of whom resigned due to financial scandals – might deter potential candidates from running for the post. Not so, it seems. There is already a crowded field lining up for the election to replace Yoichi Masuzoe on 31 July. They include Hiroya Masuda, a former internal affairs and communications minister who will be backed by the ruling Liberal Democratic party (LDP), and former defence minister Yuriko Koike, running as an independent. The landslide victory of the LDP in last Sunday’s upper house election was even enough to convince former TV Asahi news anchor Shuntaro Torigoe (pictured) to join the race. A fierce opponent of moves to change Japan’s pacifist constitution, Torigoe will be the opposition camp’s candidate and has already been endorsed by the Democratic party among others.

Image: Pawel Toczynski

Bright and Brizzy

While Melbourne and Sydney have spent years battling for the title of Australia’s cultural capital, the nation’s third-biggest city, Brisbane, has quietly evolved into a charming alternative. Boasting the nation’s most internationally relevant art museum, the Gallery of Modern Art, and a hugely diverse population, the city has cleverly marketed itself as truly global. Today is the opening of the Museum of Brisbane’s challenging exhibition 100% Brisbane, which hopes to shine a spotlight on the diversity of the city’s citizens. In a visually stimulating format the exhibition presents the views of 100 locals – from Burundian refugees to indigenous Australians – on topical issues such as asylum-seeker rights and same-sex marriage. While varied, the opinions highlight the accepting attitudes of a city where more than a quarter of inhabitants were born overseas. Brisbane knows that welcoming immigrants with open arms will only enrich their city further.

Image: Michaela

Encouraging signs

It’s rare that signage for a petrol company could garner so much attention but a Citgo sign in Boston has been granted a review for landmark status. This week the Boston Landmarks Committee determined to consider the sign, which sits on top of a building in Kenmore Square near the city’s legendary baseball stadium Fenway Park. Plans to sell the building have prompted a petition – already marked with thousands of signatures – to protect the white, red and blue LED sign, which has been a backdrop to games since 1965. Its supporters have declared it a piece of pop art that has overseen “many thousands of marathon runners” and “presided over countless innings”. Whether this pending landmark will soon be listed next to colonial-era gems and the likes of the Boston Common – the country’s oldest city park – remains to be seen.

Image: Tobias Abel

London: The Record Deck

The Record Deck is a fully functioning record shop that floats around London and the rest of the UK. We hop on board.

The Monocle Travel Guide Series: Paris

It’s not all about picture-perfect cobbled streets and romantic vistas. Our guide seeks to cut through the clichés and steer you away from the tourist-thronged sites to discover the “real” Paris. Published by Gestalten, The Monocle Travel Guide to Paris is available now at The Monocle Shop.


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