This week’s “Wicked Cool” find is the Gardens by the Bay in Singapore. Singapore is one of my favorite cities in the world. I first visited there in the late 1980s when I was working for Texas Instruments. We had built a set of system modeling and code generation tools which we were selling under the commercial brand IEF (for Information Engineering Facility). A version of the IEF is still in active use around the world under the Broadcom Gen brand. I worked on the development team, helped set up our consulting team, and then got the opportunity to build our business in Asia-Pacific and Latin America.
Singapore was a very easy place to travel to and stay as an American in the late eighties and early nineties. It was a modern, vibrant, multicultural city. Everything always just seemed to work—from immigration as you arrived at the airport to the taxis and trains. English is a primary language, so it was always easy to get where you were going or order what you wanted to eat. I was definitely a warm-weather person, so I loved being in the tropics. Despite a tremendous amount of development on the island, there was lush foliage and flowers growing everywhere. The most difficult thing I remember was how cold I got whenever I went indoors since every place kept the AC very cool.
The architecture in Singapore always fascinated me. There were still lots of examples of colonial-era architecture alongside modern skyscrapers and factories. The Raffles Hotel reopened after a major renovation around this time. I haven’t had the opportunity to visit Singapore over the past fifteen years, but I am always amazed when I see images, videos, or shows of how the city has continued to grow. One of these I came across recently is this video about the Gardens By The Bay. This 250-acre park is definitely “wicked cool.”