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The Emerald City

June 23, 2011
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We have seen perfection.  It has a name:

Singapore.

Founded as a trading post around the same time as Key West, Singapore is an anomaly of the highest order.  A free-standing city state of 5 million people, it is an absolute wonder to behold.

It can be ultra-modern,

English Empire,Eastern Asia, and Hindu at the same time; often on the same street!

The city is immaculate. I’ve had people tell me perhaps even cleaner than Disney World.  Being the skeptical type, I had to see for myself. I went into a restaurant district similar to Lower Duval and inspected an alley to see if Singapore’s backside was truly as clean as its frontside.  You be the judge.This photo was taken after a Saturday night where patrons would have been partying until dawn.  If only Duval looked this good on a Sunday morning!

The city was stunning from virtually every angle.

They could even spot a ‘pretty woman’ approaching.

This is one of the wealthiest countries in the world, with one of the lowest crime rates, some of the best health care and weather which can’t be beat.  Nearly square on the equator at 1 degree, 17 minutes north, their temps vary but a few degrees – period.  No cold fronts, no hurricanes.  Just gorgeous plant life that makes KW foliage look pale and withered by comparison.

We were enthralled by Singapore – and there’s a high chance we’ll figure out a way to live here in the not-so-distant future, as this is the only place in the world which seems to have figured out how things should work in our modern world.  You’re going to see quite a few posts on Singapore over the next few weeks – and rightly so.

We’ll leave you with my most favorite shot – I’ll use it more than once, but it’s worth it.

The Emerald City, indeed.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. June 23, 2011 11:05 am

    Its what I tell people when they want to move to their dream life in the Keys, don’t burn your bridges. Perhaps I am too iconoclastic but living in a city state where the social control is as tightly wound up as Singapore would drive me mad. The spirit that makes you grin when you rumble down Frances Street on a Beeza with straight pipes pissing off the old lady neighbor is the Chuck you need to transpose to Singapore. How does it mix with the spirit of a place that bans chewing gum because people used to stick the wad in puiblic places? And the population meekly accepts the ban?
    In Italy 500 years of chaos gave the world Michelangelo, Manzoni and Mascagni.
    In Switzerland 500 years of peace and prosperity gave the world the cuckoo clock and chocolate.
    An Italian saying.

    • dangerboyandpixie permalink*
      June 23, 2011 3:09 pm

      I see it differently…

      Manila isn’t that far from Singapore, yet lack of controls has allowed the city to degrade to a series of mini fiefdoms, a place where one has to pass through multiple checkpoints just to get to one’s house. The rules are an extension of common sense – Technically one should not litter by spitting gum on the pavement, but in our country no one is ever fined for the behaviour – so it continues unabated. Littering, open alcohol in public – these are exact same rules we have in Key West; the difference is the fines are proportional to the concept of punitive measures. A parking ticket in Key West? An hour’s wage for the average American. If a behaviour is to be modified, there should be a consequence which causes people to think twice about engaging in the action.

      Pick up your trash.
      Don’t spit on the sidewalk.
      Use crosswalks.
      Walk your bicycle on sidewalks.

      All common sense things Moms and Dads should be teaching their kids – but based on how folks act in Key West, I’m not so sure. Singapore has figured out civilization is a privilege as opposed to a right – and assesses fines appropriately for those who abuse said privileges. Makes me wonder what our island would be like if ordinances were enforced – and fines were levied based on one’s wage. A high net worth individual making over a million a year should be fined $25,000 for breaking a law – and a dishwasher $400 for the same.

      There might be more $$ in the till to pay a teacher or a policeman this way.

      I do enjoy the irony of your comment, BTW – an Italian working for the police in Key West. I love the place (Key West), but I have seen a place which merits further investigation, as it works.

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