Tuesday 21 February 2017 - Monocle Minute | Monocle

Tuesday. 21/2/2017

The Monocle Minute

Image: Getty Images

Undeniably Armoured Emirates

Three days in and the biannual International Defence Exhibition and Conference (Idex) in Abu Dhabi is starting to heat up. A series of deals have already been made at the Middle East’s largest arms fair and yesterday Russia and the UAE announced that they’re developing a fighter jet together. Meanwhile a report revealed that the past five years have been the most lucrative for the defence industry since the end of the Cold War; the Middle East in particular has buoyed the fortunes of the world’s arms exporters, even amid the oil-price crisis. The UAE, for its part, looks to be coming out of a thrifty period: yesterday it bought 400 armoured personnel carriers and an additional $1bn (€940m) has been piped into its defence budget.

Image: Cheng En Cho / Flickr

Rapid response

After two decades of planning delays and cost overruns, Taiwan will launch its new railway line connecting Taoyuan International Airport to central Taipei on 2 March. The Taoyuan Airport MRT, which began trial runs last week, will complete the 51km journey in 35 minutes. That will make it both faster and cheaper than taxi and bus services that have been the only public-transport option so far. The rail link provides a much-needed solution for Taiwan’s busiest airport, where passenger traffic hit a record 42.3 million last year. And with Taoyuan Airport’s second terminal undergoing an expansion and a third terminal set to open in 2020, the MRT’s business prospects are only getting brighter.

Image: Elisabetta Termine / Flickr

Lock and load

Milan’s Navigli area may be best known for its peaceful canal-side aperitivo bars but for centuries its waterways were bustling transport hubs. Originally a vital part of the route running from the Maggiore Lake all the way to the Venetian lagoon, the Naviglio Pavese stopped being used for navigation in the 1950s. Almost 200 years after its creation, proposals for the rebirth of the Milanese section of the waterways have resurfaced. Works on the other parts of the route have already been carried out for a sum of €200m; an estimated €70m would be needed to bring the Naviglio Pavese back to navigable use. Milan’s mayor, Giuseppe Sala, has confirmed he’ll put forward a referendum on the reopening of the city’s canals as and when a plan is ready.

Image: Alamy

Commemorating Cunningham

In the fashion world February means only one thing: fashion week. And until last summer it would have been a hunting ground for New York Times photographer Bill Cunningham. The late pioneer of street-style photography spent close to 40 years at the paper and would often be spotted riding along Fifth Avenue on his Biria bike, capturing Manhattan’s most elegant and eccentric outfits with his 35mm Nikon camera if he wasn’t at an event photographing the industry’s elite. He made street-style what it is today and now the New York Historical Society has announced that it will be displaying his possessions and library of clippings, notes and photographs as part of its permanent exhibition come spring. He may no longer ride past 57th Street and Fifth Avenue – which has been renamed Bill Cunningham Corner in his honour – but future generations of street-style photographers inspired by his work will keep his legacy alive.

Culture with Robert Bound

Once a month this show will bring together two people linked by profession, passion or friendship. To kick things off we invited in Will Hodgkinson, chief music critic for ‘The Times’, and Tom Hodgkinson, the writer, critic and founder of ‘The Idler’ magazine. And we asked the brothers to bring along two things that fascinate them: something old and something new.

Brno: fully functional

The Czech Republic’s second city was central to European design before falling into a troubled 20th-century sleep. Revival came thanks to research investment but its future may lie in its design heritage.


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