tiong bahru

Dearest ______,

One of the best things I love about Singapore (ack, major cliche coming up) is its interesting urban landscape where the old and the new perfectly co- exist.

While Singapore consciously tries to push the design envelope with modern buildings and mega- structures rivaling those in other cities around the world,  it is equally conscious about the importance of keeping heritage amidst the city’s many vicissitudes.

One of the more quaint spots of the island is the Tiong Bahru area with its old low- rise housing estates.  Tiong Bahru has been further cozy- fied with the addition and steady growth of the most interesting cafes and shops for the past few years.

I’ve always wanted to check the shops out, and what better time to do so than in good company- with dolls S and D.   The former, if you might remember,  is now based in Australia for further studies.  It was kind of serendipitous that when she said she was home for school break, all three of us unanimously suggested meeting up in Tiong Bahru last Saturday.   Who would’a thunk!

We had brunch, catching- up, and our usual “life” talks at Forty Hands and proceeded to aimlessly walk around.  Books Actually (one of my favourite book stores around town) was our first stop, of course.  I bought a couple of mini- Penguins (an H.P. Lovecraft and Kingsley Amis) while there.  We dropped by a few more shops- Strangelets, Bhutan, Nana & Bird– where a wasteland of the loveliest stuff elicited all the ooohs and aaahs from the three of us.

Check their websites out and oooh for yourself.

I love discovering things in this city.  The surge of creativity from places new and old makes me grateful that I live here.   I hope everywhere else in the world has pockets of small, old spaces… either preserved, re- invented, or  constantly re- visited.  In this way, things don’t just deteriorate into, quite literally, a pile of bricks.



P.S. I miss you girls already, S and D.  Until next time.

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Photography and text by Author unless otherwise stated. All rights reserved.

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