Macau Peninsula

Friendship Bridge, Macau Peninsula, Macau. by Flash Parker
Via Flickr:
In the cab, on the way back to our hotel, checking out the bright lights of the casinos.

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The Friendship Bridge, Macau

1.9 flora garden

If I could choose a place to live the rest of my days, it would Coloane – one half of the twin islands just south of the Macau peninsula.  I’d live in the old village, in one of those musty pastel-walled side streets in a Chinese house made of old stones with wood joists.  It’d have mother-of-pearl shutters and unglazed terracotta roof tiles, purlins peeking out underneath.  I’d wake in the morning to the tolling of the church bell and gaze across the Delta at the rising South China Sun.

I’d have a late breakfast or early lunch off in the square out of doors. Chopsticks would tap tap tap like mahjong tiles into bowls of fresh steaming noodles with pork or shrimp.  I’d sip down tar-like Portuguese coffee – a bica – jotting a word or two on translucent rice paper.

Just for fun, I’d post letters and postcards to Julia in a red mail-pillar with a Portuguese crown painted over and over – I know it is there under an enamel swell.

I’d take the bus over the silted channel to Taipa.  I’d pass the Jockey Club, the old firecracker factories, and the Police Academy.  Eventually I’d pass over the old ex-Nobre de Carvalho bridge and meet Julia for um refresco at the Montanha da Russa.  We’d look at the flowers all in bloom and I’d wonder aloud, is that plumeria I smell?

We’d walk at a slow pace past the gardens and find ourselves near the Caixa Escolar sports field.  The graveyard is just over there, I’d say.  We’d walk and find Mesquita’s bust.  Right there, I’d hold and kiss Julia, in the twilight among her ancestors’ bones.

If only I lived in Coloane, banyans lining the waterfront avenue, trunks painted white.  We kissed there against the seawall.  That wasn’t pretending.

I close my eyes and start crying.  My head hurts and I can no longer think.  Julia. I want to remember everything.  It was a handful of days ago, when it happened.  I feel nauseas for letting it happen.  Yesterday she told me it would be best if I pretend, it’ll get easier that way.  But why am I pretending to be straight?  What will get easier?  It will be different in Lisbon.  No one will know.

Macau’s skyline is aglow in oranges and reds.  Guangdong rolls on in boundless black greens beyond the peninsula.  The Pearl River Delta is swarmed by slow-moving fishing junks and high-speed hydrofoils making for port.

#1SISTER @violette026 I may not have LA’s “WALK OF FAME” At least I have “WALK OF FAME” on my sissy’s heart. AWWW… (at Macau Peninsula)

Gambling On Cuba: Could It Be A Macau Off Miami?

With Cuba’s doors now open again to American tourists, the island is looking a lot like Macau to a top Chinese developer. No one’s rolling in the baccarat, blackjack, poker and roulette tables just yet. But speculation about whether Havana could again be a casino gaming capital, as it was before communism under Fidel Castro, has spread to the East.

Macau, an administrative region of China off Hong Kong, became the Las Vegas of Asia and then far surpassed the original in gambling receipts, taking in more than $15.2 billion in the first half of 2015 — and that’s a lull from 2014.

After rule changes more than a decade ago, dozens of casinos arose in Macau. The peninsula includes casinos by Wynn Resorts (WYNN), Las Vegas Sands (LVS), MGM Resorts International (MGM) and Hong Kong-based Melco Crown Entertainment (MPEL) .

Cuba has parallels to Macau, the CEO of U.S. operations for China’s largest real estate developer, Greenland Group, said at a recent real estate conference in Miami.

“It’s a very short travel from here by ferry to Cuba,” I-Fei Chang of Greenland USA said when asked whether Chinese developers might plan projects there.

The extent to which Cuba might again embrace casino projects is as yet unknown. But, Chang said, “I can foresee some business model like from Hong Kong … a one-hour ferry to Macau, to build this Macau to be the casino and resort business.

Amid the red tape of longstanding sanctions, U.S. developers can’t as yet build in Cuba. But China has closer ties — it’s Cuba’s biggest trading partner.

Havana is about 220 miles from Miami. A little more than 180 miles off Florida’s coast, in the Bahamas, Chinese investors are involved in the four-hotel, $3.5 billion Baha Mar casino resort project, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in June.

Talks are underway this week to move the project forward after construction and money disputes. The general contractor is the China State Construction and Engineering Corporation, billed as the largest construction company in China, with some financing by the Export-Import Bank of China.

Chang said she didn’t know of any Chinese developers planning work in Cuba, but she linked the issue of future Cuba development to Miami’s own development.

"If Miami can continue its own investment to really build this great city to be a gateway city, not just the South Wall Street, I believe we have the opportunity to bring in more investors from Asia because then we’ll have more direct flights from China, because more business will want to be here and more tourists too.

Chang, a Yale graduate, was in Miami to take an initial look at South Florida as her company surveys which American property developments to consider next. She addressed the National Association of Real Estate Editors’ conference on June 26, five days before the U.S. announced the re-establishment of diplomatic relations with Cuba and its plans to reopen an embassy.

Greenland’s U.S. unit is a joint-venture partner with Forest City Enterprises (FCE-A) in the big Pacific Park (formerly Atlantic Yards) mixed-use project in Brooklyn, N.Y. It has put nearly $5 billion into the project, which entails 16 residential towers plus commercial and retail space. Greenland USA is also working on the Metropolis in downtown Los Angeles — three residential towers, a hotel and retail — in which it has invested $1.4 billion.

China’s state-owned Greenland Group has more than $57 billion in assets worldwide, according to a Knight Frank report. In China, it is involved in building the world’s third, fourth and seventh tallest buildings, among other projects.