The Monocle Minute

Today’s top stories, opinion and opportunities
Wednesday 12 October 2016

Image: Salvador Dalí. Fundació Gala-Salvador Dalí, Figueres, 2016

Surreal but nice

“At the age of six I wanted to be a cook. At seven I wanted to be Napoleon and my ambition has been growing steadily ever since,” Spanish surrealist artist Salvador Dalí once said. It is only fitting then that in 1973 he published his own cookbook Les Dîners de Gala, inspired by the extravagant dinner parties he threw with his wife Gala. This month German publishing house Taschen issued a reprint of the legendary cookbook, of which only 400 original copies are believed to exist. The book features Dalí’s complete list of 136 recipes accompanied by illustrations as rich and inventive as the meals themselves. Every page is a masterpiece – reminiscent of his “Lobster Telephone” – and next to the recipes, which are heavily influenced by French cuisine, are plenty of quirky quotes from the artist. Who knew that “the jaw is our best tool to grasp philosophical knowledge”?

Image: Tiziana Fabi/Getty Images

Fun and games

Who wants to host the Olympics? Not Rome. The Italian capital has formally pulled out of the running to host the 2024 jamboree, joining Hamburg and Boston on the list of cities that threw their hat into the ring only to scramble to get it back once they thought about the costs. Perhaps it’s time for the five-ring circus to scale back a little. Remember, cities as small as Antwerp, Innsbruck and Lillehammer played host before it became the monster-sized, sponsor-fuelled festival it is today. A more compact Games – one that is less likely to lead to massive losses for the host city – could encourage the likes of Lisbon, Copenhagen or Oregon’s Portland to think about a bid.

Image: Jim Dyson/Getty Images

Down the garden path?

From the moment it was first proposed, London’s garden bridge has been a controversial project – and it has just become more so. A new report from the National Audit Office has found that millions in taxpayer funds are at risk on the much-delayed project. According to said report, the planned pedestrian structure has so far been given public funding to the tune of £60m (€66m) from both the Department for Transport and Transport for London despite concerns from officials regarding the bridge’s value in terms of transport and tourism. Even more worrying is the fact that there “remains a significant risk that the project will not go ahead”, which means that £22.5m (€24.9m) of taxpayers’ money would be lost.

Image: Isaac Lawrence/Getty Images

Political intrigue

The first session of Hong Kong’s sixth legislative council promises to be lively as its new class of lawmakers take their seats tomorrow. First order of business: swearing an oath to uphold the city’s mini-constitution (several “localist” politicians elected on a platform of greater self-determination have vowed to alter the wording). Next up on the agenda: appointing a president to keep order. Andrew Leung is assured of victory as the pick of the majority-wielding pro-Beijing camp, although his tenure may have been tainted before it has begun. The rule enforcer in chief is suspected of contravening the constitution by holding a UK passport while deputising for outgoing president Jasper Tsang. His suitability for the job is also under question as a representative of industry rather than ordinary voters. First-time politicians should prepare for proceedings to run late – call it good practice.

From Monocle 24

IDA

For the second year running Rio de Janeiro’s international design fair IDA took place as part of the city’s annual fair ArtRio. Monocle’s Rio correspondent Sheena Rossiter meets some of the event’s designers to see how a taste for art is emerging among Brazil’s younger generation.

From Monocle Films

Property Prospectus: Uzupis

Monocle Films heads to Vilnius to explore Uzupis. This creative and quirky corner of the Lithuanian capital is more than just a neighbourhood – it’s a mini-state.

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