The Monocle Minute

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The week ahead, opportunities and observations
Saturday 4 November 2017

Culture

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Blame it on the boogie

The Big Apple has finally ditched its dancing ban in bars, leaving revellers free to strut their stuff.

At last New York has done away with an archaic law that prohibits dancing in bars. Though it may come as a surprise, bars in the city were once required to apply for a special licence to allow dancing within their walls. As the licences involved a lot of bureaucracy at city hall, 99 per cent of New York’s bars don’t have one. While this 91-year-old law is rarely enforced, there have been instances where businesses have been fined for allowing patrons to bump and grind on site – mostly when a disgruntled neighbour gets involved. But since city hall voted to scrap the law this week, New Yorkers can soon hit the town – and the dance floor – without worry.

Economy

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Keeping up appearances

Barcelona’s hoteliers will be keen to separate politics and tourism as bookings dip after Catalonia’s referendum.

As the Catalan crisis continues, hospitality heads in Barcelona are worried about the political situation stemming hotel stays. Some hoteliers have told us they’ve experienced a 20 to 30 per cent fall in reservations since the region held its independence referendum on 1 October and that they have raised their prices to offset the losses. Though many residents complain about the number of visitors who flock to the city in more peaceful times, tourism is a key driver of the economy. With the likes of the Edition brand and a Soho House beach club set to open next year the hospitality folk here will be hoping for fewer disruptions.

Transport

Image: Getty Images

Train of thought

One of Montréal’s mayoral candidates has proposed a new subway line that would span the divide between rich and poor – literally.

On Sunday morning Montréal residents take to the ballot box to elect a new mayor and one of the hotly contested issues this year has been the city’s inadequate metro system. One of the contenders, Valérie Plante from the Projet Montréal party, has proposed a quietly revolutionary solution. The centre-left candidate is pushing for the construction of a new Pink Line, which would connect the poorest and most densely populated districts to downtown where many are employed in vital service roles. Building a new subway line isn’t in itself radical but focusing on infrastructure that would literally bridge the gap between the wealthy and the poor could make a profound difference. The line would remove the need for stopovers and reduce transport time by up to an hour in many cases. However, the question remains whether voters will buy that Plante can see her plan out within the proposed CA$6bn (€4bn) budget.

Arts

Image: Shutterstock

Triple whammy

Art lovers will get a bigger picture in Indonesia with the country set to run three biennales at the same time.

It’s a good time for art enthusiasts to pay a call to Indonesia. For the first time, the nation’s three major contemporary-arts biennales – which take place in Jakarta, Yogyakarta and Makassar – are running their festivals simultaneously so international attendees can hit up all of them in one visit. Those checking out the Jakarta Biennale, which opens this weekend, will also have the opportunity to tour the capital’s visual-arts institutions where its programmes are running. Don’t forget to add a stop to the city’s shiny new addition: Indonesia’s first modern-art museum, the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Nusantara.

From Monocle 24

Image: Flickr

The meaning of rice

The Menu

Monocle correspondent and author Michael Booth on his culinary adventures around Japan.

From Monocle Films

Artisanal ice cream

In an ode to summertime, Monocle films hits the road to sample artisanal ice-cream makers with a difference. In Denmark, Japan and Canada we meet the innovators challenging taste buds one scoop at a time.

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