Posted by: Susanne Cannon | July 31, 2010

Macau July 24

Rode the hydrofoil over to Macau and were met by the very gracious Lana. Spent the day wandering around the ancient Portuguese area and then looking at two huge casinos. Another overwhelming experience.

Posted by: Susanne Cannon | July 31, 2010

Full business in Hong Kong– July 23

Started off at the fascinating Public Housing Museum. Then off to CBRE and a whole day of meetings, all within walking distance of each other on a network of overhead walkways and corridors that cut through buildings. Had a great overview at CBRE, then lunch on the run at Pret a Manger, then a terrific briefing at M3 Capital on their plans to do senior housing in C hina, then an audience with the great Ronnie Chan. That was an experience. He is brilliant, self deprecating, a bit vain, funny and charming. Everything you could ask for in a billionaire. Also amazingly generous to put up with us. Finished up with a thoughtful discussion with Joe Christian, our host at DLA, and then dinner at Jasmine Place. Once again ate stuff you shouldn’t ask about, including duck web!

Posted by: Susanne Cannon | July 31, 2010

Travel day to Hong Kong July 22

Managed to get over to the market to pick up my clothes. All in a panic, everybody late. Then I took a tumble out on the step and skinned up my knees, bruised my shoulder and sprained a foot. Lots of fun. I stayed on the bus with the luggage and one student, while the rest went on the Maglev train to the airport. $150 in excess baggage fees later, flew to Hong Kong. Massive traffic jam brought on by the monsoon and a very late arrival at the hotel. Fabulous view, tiny but elegant room and bathroom. Walked around the corner to a splendid little Italian restaurant and had the best sea bass ever.

Posted by: Susanne Cannon | July 31, 2010

Mixed up day in Shanghai July 21

Well, this is the day lots of things went wrong. The students went to the Planning Exhibition and when it was time to head to the port, their lunches weren’t right. I had to cancel out my CBRE appointment so that we could fit in the much longer excursion to the port than anticipated, and then we had to cancel that when one of our group went missing. Oh well. I was able to knock around the Dong Tai market and to get great gifts, all of which weigh too much and will cause huge excess baggage fees. Also went to the fabric market for a fitting and got expert help from John Simon, who has a much better eye than I do.

Finished up the day at a Mexican restaurant in the French Concession. Another great find and lots of fun. I followed up with yet another trip to Dragonfly for massage. What a place!

Posted by: Susanne Cannon | July 30, 2010

Suzhou July 20

Disappointed that several students opted out.

But those of us who went had a good day. A longer drive than anticipated, then horribly  hot at the Humble Administrator’s Garden. Not the one I had seen before. That one was the garden of the Master of Nets. It was more a mansion set in courtyard gardens. This one is a vast garden with some pavillions. Really lovely, but way too hot. Then the lunch place was at least a half hour drive away and when we finished that it was another drive to the Silk Factory. That was a big hit with everyone, although they didn’t spend like I did. I found some fabric to match the silk duvet cover from the last trip, plus some lovely scarves, and then these incredible silk garments for the little girls. Can’t wait to deck them out for the holidays.

After the silk factory we went to Walmarts, where I bought much better kites than I had found in the marketplace, and where we saw tanks of live fish and seafood. Not your usual Walmart from home.

We had to skip the visit to the pearl market in Weitang, but I think everyone has bought all the pearls they want. We also tried to take the fast train back into Shanghai but it was sold out. Had to do the bus trip. Not so bad, but we wish we had been on the train.

Posted by: Susanne Cannon | July 30, 2010

Shanghai Business, day 3–July 19

Problems with the day. My fault that we moved the Hyatt into the Planning Exhibit time and then that was closed today. So, an impromptu class in the hotel lobby, followed by fisits to RTKL and KPF. Two architecture firms with quite different profiles. RTKL was a Maryland firm that got over to China early and established a planning practice. KPF does major trophy buildings. A nice contrast for the class to see.

Posted by: Susanne Cannon | July 30, 2010

Shopping, touring, and the Expo July 18

I am soooo glad we didn’t do as planned and head over to Expo in the morning. Instead we mostly knocked around town, shopped and got fit for clothes, finished up at Expo early in the evening. It was mostly a bust. Who needs to see a bunch of tiltwall buildings with exhibits when you can see the real thing in and around Shanghai? On the other hand, the Chinese exhibit was an exhuberent announcement that this century is theirs and they may be right. They have me convinced.

Posted by: Susanne Cannon | July 30, 2010

Jia Xing and Xi Tang– July 17

A long and exhausting day. Tong Ji University had a formal open-square table for our two delegations. They even had a big banner erected at the university entrance and one inside our meeting room. I had to be the leader and to respond to their description of their university and its programs. Did the best I could to discuss both universities. Then we went to a massive conference hall where we met with a 9 person delegation of planners and developers to have discussion of preservation and development and entitlements. WOW. Microphones, name plates, two translators, lots of protocol. Went on much longer than planned because we couldn’t insult them.  Finally left about 130pm and raced up to XiTang for lunch and a walkabout of the town made famous by Tom Cruise in MI3. Lunch was a bit rough, the whole place is grimy, the temperature had to be in the 90s, and one girl got separated and feared she was lost. A fascinating day, nevertheless.

Finished up with dinner at a little French place I found in the French Concession. Quite good food at an excellent price. Success! I finished up the night with a massage at DragonFly. What an experience. What a place that you can go to at midnight to get foot massage!

Posted by: Susanne Cannon | July 30, 2010

More Shanghai business–July 16

Fabulous meeting with AMB. Ben Cornish gave us a very frank assessment of their business. Then he hosted us at a restaurant and entertained us with stories of his days when they were opening up China for Walmart. Talk about Mr. China!

We ate things we probably shouldn’t know about. At a minimum I know I had frogs.

After lunch off to Shui On to see what they are up to. Xin Tian Di is an amazing project. Planned by SOM, with the historic preservation by Benjamin Wood, and the major buildings by KPF, who we will see in the next few days. Too bad the weather and some changes of plans meant that we didn’t get the tour, but we will do it on our own now that we know what to look for. Great photos of the old historic area before and after kicking out the residents and converting it to a charming upscale retail/entertainment area.

Posted by: Susanne Cannon | July 30, 2010

Shanghai business meetings–July 15

Started off the day with a briefing on how the State of Maryland maintains a presence in Shanghai. Interesting transition from the days they were trying to sell into China to the days where they are looking for foreign investment into Maryland.

Had a great briefing by Steven McCord who does research for JLL. Lots of insight into the market.

Finished up the business day at GE Research park. Had a tour of the facility and then a briefing by Ying on the vagaries of doing business in China. Sounds like the old Mr. China days are still here. Contracts never close, everything is negotiable, we are just waiting to have our technology stolen from us, etc.

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