Thursday, January 28, 2010

Wallpaper Magazine (Issue : Nov 08) : Up and Coming

I got this Tiong Bahru story from Sylvia Tan today.

She spotted this story in the Wallpaper Magazine (November 2009 issue)

s the file came in a PDF version and I do not know how to convert PDF files to JPEG files, I'm reproducing the entire article for your reading pleasure.

Here is the excerpts:

By Singaporean standards, the Tiong Bahru estate is an odd duck.

On the surface, the quarter is a charming mix of well-preserved mid-1930s, three-storey buildings and a string of early 1950s art deco-styled flats.

A fading Buddhist temple hugs a street corner, while across the road, raucous hawker stalls dish out succulent roast duck rice and flourescent-lit convenience stalls sell bicycle parts.

Squint a little and this could easily be Singapore 30 years ago, even though the skyscrapers of Raffles Place are just minutes away.

But over the past few years, the quarter's ageing residents and nuclear families have seen an influx of 30-somethings - among them a sizeable gay community.

Attracted by the relatively low property prices and period architecture, architect Ken Wong and his journalist boyfried moved into the estate two years ago.

"This is the only area where heritage apartments don't have purchase restrictions," says Wong, referring to government regulations that usually limit purchases of property to married couples or singletons over 35.

Savvy businesses are responding to this new demographic.

Organic store Yes Natural (#01-27, 58 Seng Poh Road, tel:+65 6227 3280) offers organic treats; while Rice Fields (#01-06, 66 Eng Watt Street, tel:+65 6227 3456) stocks imported European stone, and swanky bathroom sinks and tiles.

At night, Wine Wise (#01-86, 57 Eng Hoon Street, tel:+65 6227 2118) pulls in oenophiles, while Persimmon (#01-07, 50 Tiong Bahru Road, tel: +65 6227 2271) does a mean East-meets-West menu.

"This area is a modern urban village," says local health-care worker Tristan Lim.

"There's a party at someone's place every other weekend."

Welcome to the new Singapore.

Daven Wu.

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