[Photo credit mrcreighton.com]
They're building another casino in Singapore - a three-towered monstrosity, improbably modelled on card decks, apparently, and built to feng shui principles (earth, wind and fire) near the Singapore Flyer, precisely positioned so that the Flyer ("the world's largest observation wheel - a moving experience at every turn": who writes this stuff?) will, accordingly, deliver good fortune to all who gamble there.
This evening I attended the closing dinner for a week of conferences and events which we were sponsoring. It was held at the Marina Barrage, an enormous, rather unappealing building which features a long, swooping roof walk, a big spiral leading you up to the roof and amazing views back to Singapore's financial district, past the Singapore Flyer's glittering lights and across to the sepulchural three towers of the almost-finished casino.
All this development - and a huge swathe of this part of Singapore is a building site, with thousands of workers from India, Sri Lanka and Myanmar housed in rows of temporary dorms - is impressive, and certainly the scale of it is astonishing and the sheer size of the buildings, if nothing else, is a marvel; but there's an emptiness there that reminds me of my least favourite place on earth, Las Vegas.
The difficult part once the developments are complete is bringing buildings to life. I walked to the top to see people on the roof of the Marina Barrage flying kites, taking photographs and jumping in the grass; appreciating the new view, as I did, and enjoying their new building.
Photo credit mrcreighton.com