After writing my tiong bahru blog, I became more keen in looking for new places (and old ones) that I have missed when I blogged about my neighborhood. This blog may not be the last one, I hope. A more vibrant community will benefit us all, a bit of chaos, art and business will not hurt and destroy the charm of Tiong Bahru. It will probably enrich our environment making the place a more exciting place to live in. Check out the feature by Razor TV about the changes that have been happening in the neighborhood.
Nana and Bird is described to be a weekend multi-label boutique that sells jewelry, clothing, etc. It is an interesting idea. Popping up over weekends just to get unique pieces which is a complete opposite to the chaos of H&M’s every tom, dick and harry queue in orchard road. When I walked pass it last saturday morning, I wasn’t able to figure out what time they opened. Apparently they start at 11am and closes at 7pm. Looking at their website, the designs look interesting and cool but it is more tailored for women. Hopefully they get to have more stuff for guys for me to check out.
Wine Wise – This place is not new in Tiong Bahru. It is probably one of the first risk taker companies that tried its luck in finding niche places of interest in the neighborhood. It is located in Eng Hoon Street which, similar to Yong Siak Street, is the focus of new retail development. The place is full of barrels of wine. It has its own rustic charm that is a different genre from the new shops that have opened in the area. They don’t serve food here but they do allow you to bring your own food to enjoy the laid back atmosphere.
Centre Ps – This specialty pastry shop does look bright. It has a very bright pink sign which I thought was quite kitsch but apparently, there are amazing pastries inside. From outside, you would think they are one of those run off the mill Bread Talk type places but from my research in the internet, well this place seems like a special place for desserts and macaroons. Established in 2007 by Chef Patissier, Steven Ong this is one of the pioneers here. Time to check it out and have a bite of that dessert!
Bhutan Shop – Located at the start of Yong Siak Street and in front of the soon to open B.A.L.L.S, Tiong Bahru Commons, this shop is not a very commercialized shop. The Shop is a place that offers everything Bhutan, paintings, clothing, books and unique items of interest. The lady who runs it, Ms. Pin is a kind, soft-spoken woman who is obviously passionate about her work to showcase Bhutanese culture. I can’t pinpoint my finger to it but there is a feel of a corporate atmosphere inside the shop, maybe the lighting or because they also offer tours to Bhutan which is alright by me. I want to go there someday, but not this year though and not too convinced that I want to do it next year either. Bhutan is a magical place as what I have seen in Channel News Asia, hard to get to, expensive to organize but I have a feeling that it is a life changing experience. You don’t get to see places with Gross National Happiness as its main determinant of wealth anywhere else, only in Bhutan.
Thrive by Metaphysic Fitness is a small gym in Seng Poh road. It is a small gym that doesn’t have fancy equipment but I saw ball-shaped dumbbells called kettlebells and TRX type of training facilities. As the website describes, MetaPhysic Fitness is a holistic approach to fitness, strength, and health. They focus on training using natural human movement patterns, free from the restrictions of machines and monotonous fitness regimes. Cool.
The Orange Thimble is a cafe with art in mind. In its website, it is described to be a corner for creativity fueled by passion and espressos. It’s a slot between the walls for thinkers, believers, individuals, travelers and neighbors. A place dedicated to ideals of honest neighbourhood living supporting the creative community. I will check this out tomorrow after church and see the difference between Forty Hands. I know I shouldn’t compare but the proximity and the ideals are somewhat similar except this one is owned by the wonderful Maria Ng, who owns White Canvas Gallery. I would imagine that this is her own interpretation of what Tiong Bahru is meant to be and from the pictures I see, I feel that this will be a destination in itself.
Wangz Hotel – I am not fully sure if I should have added this in this list. Its gigantic, commercial and mainstream but the thing is, this hotel and the two others at the fringes of Tiong Bahru (Hotel Nostalgia and Link Hotel) adds to the value of our community. These boutique hotels respected the history of the neighborhood. It blends well with everything, it is somewhat low key and it brings about hotel guests, probably from all over to explore Tiong Bahru’s grounds. The boutique hotels solidifies the dreams of this neighborhood – to become an integrated, interesting place where history is the foremost capital.
P.S. I hate the fact that there is also a Hotel 81 in Tiong Bahru. Yes it is a hotel, but a hotel with a bad connotation, but okay, it still may have a pinch of the idea of Tiong Bahru neighborhood. Hmmm… Probably not.