me in the piazza

I'm a writer, publishing both as SJ Rozan and, with Carlos Dews, as Sam Cabot. (I'm Sam, he's Cabot.) Here you can find links to my almost-daily blog posts, including the Saturday haiku I've been doing for years. BUT the blog itself has moved to my website. If you go on over there you can subscribe and you'll never miss a post. (Miss a post! A scary thought!) Also, I'll be teaching a writing workshop in Italy this summer -- come join us!
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Jaywalking in Singapore

Rather more of this goes on here than I'd have expected. Personally I was afraid to look as though I was thinking of stepping off the curb until the light changed; I've heard about this place. (When you're a pedestrian and you want the light to change, by the way, you push the button that says "Press for the Green Man.")

Got in after midnight, a little open-mouthed just to be here. Drove past the Raffles Hotel on the way to my hotel, which it turns out is right around the block. Settled in, and of course woke up every hour on the hour (go jetlag go!). Finally got up at 6am. Had tea and waited for the sun to rise; when it did, I went out for a long walk.

Especially downtown where I'm staying, most of old Singapore has been obliterated. I'll have to wait to give you my value judgments on that as a phenomenon, because it's complicated and I'm still mulling it over. But the result, present-day Singapore, is in many places a case study of successes and failures in long- and short-term urban planning; and I have to say, from my so far very brief and limited exposure, more successes than failures. In many cities around the world, old buildings, streets and neighborhoods are being destroyed and replaced with ugly, scale-less, anti-human structures. Here they're also being destroyed; but the new buildings tend to be good, there's life on the streets because it's planned for (wide sidewalks, stores, shops, restaurants), there's lots and lots of greenery. The quality of the new, planned world that's replaced the old, haphazard one is so good that it separates the two issues, destruction and construction. I've never seen a place that did that for me before.

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