A former Queenslander was bemused when I showed them a recent copy of Monocle, Tyler Brûlé's business and culture tome for the well-heeled. In the issue Brisbane's suburb Woollongabba — well known as the Gabba and possibly the capital of cricket — was number one on The Monocle 100 list of favourite spots. It seems to me that Woollongabba has some way to go, but has made a good start. In a way it's like Newcastle, the potential is great but the journey ahead is long. Newcastle could speed things up by ditching the current council. Despite the outstanding work of Renew Newcastle, the state of the city centre is shameful. And then there is the recent fig debacle.