I am quite the sucker for new journals & magazines. That's why on my last London trip, I made sure to get a copy of the first issue of Monocle, Mr Brûlé's latest addition to the refined forrests market. At Waterstone's I was told that everybody was looking for it, but nobody had it since it was already sold out. Then I struck gold at Borders' ...
Monocle has a smart structure and caters to a like audience. Its contents is divided up under headings A B C D E. The design is surprisingly, yet sophisticatedly low key to the extent of appearing boring at first blush, and it comes in a handy, soft-cover bookish format. But it'll work its magic over time, I think. For the contents is definitely out of the ordinary with a wealth of unusual material spanning the globe. Let me just quote the instances where Switzerland is referred to, since that's what I know best. It starts with a small article about Porta Alpina, a project for a rather exotic type of train station in the alps. Then I just have to mention the article about the Ahmadinejacket, the first in a "series decoding power dressing [by looking] at the semiotics of Iranian President Ahmadinejad's man of the people look". When's the last time you saw semiotics used (without explanation) in a street journal?
Ok, next. Next is a portrait of the relevant components of the Coop chain of retail stores in Zürich. The Monoclists also did some shopping: they actually talk about underwear and Calanda aqua. But it gets weirder: There is a 12 page photo report about La Chaux-de-Fonds, a tiny Swiss town best known for its watch industry, Le Corbusier and Lenin's stay during the Russian revolution. Finally, the website also contains a small guide to Geneva. All in all, the selection of topics, items and locations is always a bit quirky, but interesting, and everything is well researched. I'll take out a subscription, I think.
P.S. Don't forget to check out the video section. Priceless.