Sunday, May 18, 2008

Bird Talk

Junction of Tiong Bahru Road and Seng Poh Road on 05/15/2008

This corner opposite Tiong Bahru's famed singing bird corner hardly betrays its past rich heritage.

The Red Gourd Shaped Burner is the only clue that a temple once stood here.



Junction of Tiong Bahru Road and Seng Poh Road on 09/27/2003


This defunct bird shop was built out of a car shed. If you can try recalling that structure, it does look like a simple car shed right?




Apparently it was Tiong Bahru’s 1st car garage. It later became a bird shop to supply bird feed to the uncles who brought their birds to the famed coffeeshop just across the road.

Hah? What Singing Bird Corner? Got Meh?

Here's a picture to jolt your memory


The Singing Bird Corner was located next to the Akira Japanese restaurant at the end of the Link Hotel.

The hotel management is supposed to resurrect this bird corner and it is plain for all of us to see that no effort has been spared to bring this back to life. (Read in between the lines or better still, read this report: Tiong Bahru Singing Bird Corner)


Personally, I felt that The Link Hotel should have the moral courage (a trait called “foresight” was obviously lacking back then) to swop Akira’s location with the Persimmon restaurant. Putting a Japanese restaurant next to this Tiong Bahru Iconic place was like the Starbucks thingy in the Forbidden City.

If that hotel was SINCERE about preserving this important heritage, they would have selected a more suitable restaurant like the Persimmon restaurant for that corner...or maybe even approaching Ya Kun to be a tenant would have sufficed.

Ya Kun aside, if you have even been to the Persimmon restaurant, you would know what I mean about it being the BETTER choice. The ambience and setting is just so right and this corner would have been resurrected easily by the Persimmon’s owners. (I heard that Persimmon might start one Singing Bird Corner just outside their restaurant)

And the following statement on the Link Hotel’s homepage would have been so much more meaningful and REAL:



Located at Tiong Bahru estate, you will wake up to the sights and sounds of the heartlands at the biggest boutique style hotel in Singapore. The melodious chirping of the birds at the bird arena beckons as mouth-watering local cuisines awaits you at the nearby market.



The only melodious chirping I could hear now could only be found at their homepage.

This Famed Tiong Bahru Singing Bird Corner could have been their best opportunity to differentiate themselves from the other hotels around Singapore.

History and Heritage was thrust upon them BUT instead of becoming the custodian of this privileged uniqueness, they set their sights on that boring bridge and named their hotel after that.

And they gave excuses about not being able to find a sponsor for the SGD$5000 hooks to hang the bird cages. (Maybe they are really running a budget hotel here)

Just think about this, when Ting Heng Coffeeshop started the bird singing corner, I bet it was out of an entrepreneur spirit that the corner was conceived. That bird corner eventually became famous and that attracted a lot more customers from all over and they get to serve more coffee and toast in return. (This is what I call forward thinking)

Serves them right that people still regard The Link Hotel as a budget hotel.

I always have to correct the ignorant that it is not a hotel 81....but in fact a boutique hotel that relish on the heritage and history of the Tiong Bahru estate.

Perhaps that heritage and history bit is like the facade of the hotel...it is just a facade.

1 comment:

Helena Lim said...

We really do plan to start a bird singing corner outside the restaurant! Unfortunately, we cannot go ahead with that until first, the hotel, and second, the appropriate government authority (or authorities) gives us the green light on our al-fresco plans... In the next few weeks we will be putting up a signboard in one of our windows with the plans etc. Please do stop by and let us know if you support the resurrection of the bird singing corner!!