for Happy Holidays
By Tyler Brûlé
The “what the hell am I going to do this summer?” season had its official start in Fast Lane’s inbox this week as mums and dads, boyfriends and girlfriends suddenly realised that they’d better come up with the goods in the form of a sunny, comfy break to keep their nippers and partners happy.
I’m not sure why people from Hong Kong to San Francisco have jolted to life so late but there was a definite tone of panic on the part of many readers in search of hotel recommendations or specific destinations covered in this column over the years (the name of the Mussolini-esque resort town south of Rome is Sabaudia).
While FLGCS (the Fast Lane Global Concierge Service) still isn’t fully operational as an automated “ask and pay” service on the FT’s website, I’ve decided to offer a few summer pointers to get the disorganised thinking about where to go, how to get there and what to wear once they’ve settled in.
1. Fly on the world’s cosiest airline – try Air New Zealand
Commercial aviation and cosy don’t usually go hand in hand, unless you’re caught on some US commuter airline, sandwiched between the window and a card-carrying member of the Krispy Kreme Klub. Uncomfortable situations aside, Air New Zealand has managed to create a global aviation brand that mixes the right amount of Down Under hospitality with sunny professionalism. On a recent flight from LA, sitting in 1K (they only offer business class, no first), the service was warm, the aircraft clean and the overall experience smooth. But they don’t fly to enough destinations. An Auckland-Vancouver-New York-Munich-Singapore-Auckland route would be a nice addition to their current round-the-world offer.
2. Fly the uncomplicated way – go private
Unless you’re tagging along with friends, flying private can often be a headache if you choose the wrong charter operator or opt to fly from an obscure airfield. Lufthansa’s Private Jet service has done a good job at streamlining the process and will whisk you all over Europe and the Med basin in its zippy fleet of Cessnas staffed by Swiss pilots and pleasant German cabin attendants. The best bit is it can all be booked as part of a regular ticket.
3. Take the train for stress-free travel
Riding the rails in Italy just gets better. Milan’s main station has had a much-needed facelift, while improvements to the rails and rolling stock can get you down to Naples in four hours and there’s even proper competition on the way in the form of a new high-speed service launching next year.
4. When in doubt, go to southern Italy
I’m writing this column from a lofty perch above the Med where the sun is shining, the coffee is perfect and there’s a shiny red Morgan bobbing in the bay waiting to zip me around Capri. If you’re looking for a dependable, relaxing 10 days off, then Italy’s a good place to start.
5. When southern Italy’s booked, go Greek
A colleague recently returned from a two-day trip to Mykonos and said the Belvedere was “just like the Portixol in Palma, only a little more chic and deluxe with an outstanding DJ.” As it sounds ideal, and I fully trust her judgment, I’m trying to figure a way to make a visit sometime after the crowds depart in early September.
6. Sandals or espadrilles?
Vienna might not sound like an obvious home for summer footwear but local shoemaker Ludwig Reiter has a perfect pair of suede espadrilles with a thin rubber sole that work poolside and on the tiles.
7. Light or chunky shades?
I’m not really one for sunglasses but my mum told me all that squinting while reading in the sun wasn’t good for me so I gave in and had my prescription put in a pair of matte gold, vaguely aviator-ish, ultra light frames from Danish brand Lindberg.
8. Flouncy or fitted?
Going overly ethnic in the resort wear department is not without its pitfalls. Will all those sarongs you bought in Bali really look appropriate in southern Sweden? If you choose fabrics carefully (or go for custom orders) some tunics from Beirut and Paris-based retailer Liwan can work in the town or on deck in Istanbul or Amagansett.
9. Long or short trunks?
With men’s swimming trunks, as long as they’re Orlebar Brown or Aspesi, you’re in good shape – particularly if you opt for the latter’s madras series for this summer.
10. Should you bare it all?
Not if sneakers or loafers are involved. Japanese brand Tabio makes hosiery for all kinds of footwear for the summer season – including ultra low-cut socks that keep your feet fresh and never peek out from the upper.
Tyler Brûlé is editor-in-chief of Monocle
More columns at www.ft.com/brule
Collection that's perfect for 2010
for refreshing my brain from tension
at this time!
I got inspire from these magazine...
Munich residents have a reason to toast themselves months before Oktoberfest this year, as the Bavarian city tops the list of Monocle Magazine's Quality of Life rankings for 2010 -- thus making it the world's "Most Liveable City."
According to Monocle Editor-in-Chief Tyler Brule, the fourth annual survey ranks cities based on a variety of different criteria, including social and economic circumstances for residents, public health, infrastructure, and ease and availability of local transport.
With two cities each in the Top 12, Germany and Australia certainly lead the pack. But other Europeans needn't fret as Asia scored only one spot, and the U.S. was shut out entirely, with its top-ranked city, Honolulu, slipping two slots from last year to #13.
Monocle's Europe-heavy results are comparable to an earlier survey conducted by global constituency firm Mercer, released in May, though they vary widely in their specifics (Madrid, #10 on Monocle's survey, comes in at a measly #48 on the Mercer survey).
Monocle Magazine has released its annual Quality of Life rankings for 2010. The judging factors go outside of economics and politics and focus on liveability factors such as restaurants, green space per head of population, response time for emergency services, local entertainment, and even the ease of starting businesses.
See Monocle's pics for the world's top 12 cities to live, play and learn in the slideshow below:
#1 - Munich, Germany
2009 rank: # 4
Munich claims the number 1 spot in the Quality of Life Survey for its balance between technology, green thinking, and the arts. And while the rest of the world is faced with a shrinking population, Munich is reporting an upswing in birth rate.
#2 - Copenhagen, Denmark
2009 rank: No. 2
After playing host to climate change conferences over the year, Copenhagen has set the standard for low-emission urban living and is continuously transforming itself into the eco-capital of the world.
# 3 - Zurich, Switzerland
2009 rank: #1
The recent financial turmoil has done the city good; more and more young people are flocking to the area and starting up their own businesses. Pair the new entrepreneurial spirit with stellar educational facilities, and the city has begun to boom.
#4 - Tokyo, Japan
2009 rank: #3
Despite the bustling crowds and high-rise buildings, Japan’s capital remains clean and eco-conscious. By 2013 the city is expected to create 200 hectares of green space alongside with 200,000 new roadside trees.
image by Tilton Lane
#5 - Helsinki, Finland
2009 rank: #5
This small city provides a welfare system that ensures a high quality of life, free education for everyone, and even free wifi. In addition, the city is connected to major cities – just 8 hour flights to both New York and Asia.
image by Claudia.Ar
Stockholm boasts Europe’s cleanest air and provides areas where you can swim in clear waters and cross-country ski across forests. Recently, the redevelopment of its docks and new residential projects has helped the city to rank at number six.
image by Claudia.Ar
Recent developments of reconnecting the city with its disenfranchised suburbs and taking back its place in the culinary world has leveraged Paris beyond its postcard-perfect streets and charming cafes.
image by skene
Vienna is home to top-ranking health care, a reliable public transportation network, acres of green space. On top of that, the Austrian capital continues its redevelopment efforts for its shorelines and sponsors numerous public cultural events.
image by Kliefi
Beyond its fun-loving cultural image, Melbourne means business. The state’s average economic growth is 3.3% and job growth is at 2.1%.
image by alistair_35
The capital of Spain has taken on a new endeavor titled the Madrid Rio Project, which reclaims 8km of river parkland and urban beaches. Other ground breaking projects include the creation of 16,000 new homes and green space.
image by R. Duran
The rest of the 2010 Most Liveable Cities Ranking are as follows:
Special Thank post by psfk
A WORLD OF GOOD
We have travelled the world, gathered the statistics and come up with the definitive list of the best cities in which to live and work. The full results are published in the latest issue of Monocle
magazine, but you can preview the winning cities in our interactive map below. Use your mouse to move around the globe and click on the city markers for more information:
25 most liveable cities: our annual Quality of Life survey
As you run your mouse over the Monocle list of top 25 cities, have you wondered why your hometown didn't make the cut? Each year we send researchers to urban centres that we've heard good things about, or that have been included in previous surveys, but in the end, do they really merit being named as one of the top 25 places to live in the world?
Sometimes it's crime that lets a place down. This year we headed to Chicago, for example, but when you see its murder rate - in 2009, 453 people were killed out of a population of 2.85 million (Tokyo with 13 million people had 179 murders) - it's hard to make it a winner.
Other times cities may be safe but lack other key ingredients. Take Düsseldorf where there were just two murders but which is missing the softer aspects that make a city work. Even a few more places open on a Sunday just to buy groceries would help.
We also put Hong Kong to the test. Here's a city we like so much we are opening a bureau there, but on our metrics test it misses out. Traffic congestion, air quality, housing and conservation all need attention.
In the end the cities that make the cut are not just OK, but places that are benchmarks for urban renaissance and rigorous reinvention in everything from environmental policy to transport.