The Monocle Minute

Today’s top stories, opinion and opportunities
Thursday 29 September 2016

Image: Getty Images

Not-so-great debate

Do US presidential debates matter? That was the question on commentators’ lips in the build-up to Monday’s head-to-head – and the subsequent post-mortem – between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. “In the first [televised] presidential debate between Richard Nixon and John F Kennedy, Nixon didn’t look healthy and seemed uncomfortable in front of the cameras and that left a lasting impression on viewers,” says Meena Bose, dean of the Peter S Kalikow School of Government at Hofstra University, where the debate was held. “Is that what decided the race? It’s difficult to say.” With this year’s candidates’ high unfavourability ratings, the debate, which was watched by 84 million in the US, had more riding on it than usual. But despite the widely held view that Clinton won, it seems that for now neither candidate has done enough to dramatically alter the course of this election.

Image: Monaco Yacht Show

Ye mariners all

Autumn’s third big European yacht show flung open its doors in Monte Carlo yesterday. While the Genoa International Boat Show has faded in recent years and the Cannes Yachting Festival has increased in importance, no exhibition beats the Monaco Yacht Show (MYS), which has remained a constant success and a strong draw for brands, builders and buyers alike. Because of the size of the principality’s port, MYS focuses on superyachts that can’t fit into the port at Cannes. Plaudits on the first day must go to Dutch yard Heesen, which stole the show with its new Galactica Super Nova, a 70 metre superyacht that can reach speeds of up to 30 knots. About 30,000 visitors are expected to hop aboard the decks of some of the world’s largest yachts in Port Hercules during the event, which draws to a close on Saturday; with 125 yachts to choose from, it’s a mariner’s dream.

Image: Scott Barbour/Getty Images

Shed some light

Lighting up Queen City, the Toronto Media Architecture Summit kicks off today with the ambition to create a dialogue around the ways in which technology can enhance public spaces. Running into the Nuit Blanche contemporary-art event, which begins on Saturday, the summit will give renowned light and media artists such as Mexican-Canadian Rafael Lozano-Hemmer the opportunity to inspire audiences with light and digital-media displays across the city. The conference element will also dig into a wide range of topics related to media architecture, including how it can encourage the public to interact with and better think about the urban environment. With Toronto’s developers often criticised for their lack of imagination, perhaps the animated displays and dialogue emerging from the event might encourage more creativity when it comes to shaping the city in the future.

Image: Aflo Images

Station to station

Motorway service stations are generally a byword for chain restaurants and unhealthy fast food. Not so in Japan, where the michi-no-eki has acquired a gourmet status of its own. Some of the best examples of these roadside stations house farmer’s markets and serve dishes made with local produce; travellers have been known to make lengthy diversions to dine and shop at renowned rest stops. Last weekend the city of Kyotango hosted the Michi-1 Grand Prix, a competition that pit 20 service-station dishes from 18 prefectures against one another. A shaved-ice dessert from Kochi and a burger from Awaji Island in Hyogo were the runners-up. The winner, though, was a yuzu shio ramen from Motegi in Tochigi prefecture: a salty noodle broth made with yuzu citrus and vegetables grown by nearby farmers. A whopping 25,000 people visited the event over its two days.

From Monocle 24

Hirofumi Kurino & Simone Cipriani

Hirofumi Kurino is the creative director of Japanese brand United Arrows; Simone Cipriani is the director of the Ethical Fashion Initiative, which connects developing-world artisans with the global fashion industry; and Miguel Fluxá is the CEO of Spanish shoe brand Camper. Together they’re developing a collection of leather shoes in Ethiopia. Cipriani and Kurino explain their partnership and the project’s origins and vision.

From Monocle Films

Son of a beach: Miami’s art scene

Miami was all washed-up but then a new breed of art galleries and a boatload of art collections sailed in, aided by the fair winds of Art Basel Miami and the lure of the tropics. Monocle’s Culture editor finds out how this big, bad city turned into a bright-eyed and bushy-tailed art town.

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