Rusticity In Modern Singapore

In what was perhaps pure coincidence when I didn’t attend a playback theatre rehearsal earlier today because I couldn’t locate the exact location, I stumbled upon a rustic charm of the old in a modern new Singapore.

Located along Commonwealth Avenue, Queenstown was a town that I’d never paid much attention to all my life simply because there never was a need for me to be there. Today, by circumstances and coincidence, I had the opportunity to explore this side of Singapore that I would usually just travel past on the roads.

In Queenstown, I discovered a library. 2-storeys high and extremely spacious possibly because of the lack of visitors, it was a feeling that I’ve forgotten. A feeling of how much I love being at the library to just sit and enjoy reading a book or simply surround myself with a multitude of knowledge that lay on the shelves. But this library was no ordinary library, it was a modern building retrofitted with modern facilities protected by retro brick fences that surround its perimeter. What made it even more special was the fact that when I stepped out of the library premises, I was welcomed by an air of rustic charm evident in the estate’s surrounding building and colour. It was as if I had travelled back through 20-30years into the history of Singapore.

Not only were the flats looking extremely washed out and old, there were other obvious signs that perhaps this estate was stuck in time. It’s coffeeshop still had the zinc thatched roofs and there was, what I believed to be a warehouse now converted into an array of businesses residing within it.

Having been living in modern Singapore for most of my life, this was perhaps the closest I had ever been able to connect to with a part of growing Singapore from the past. I am, however, stuck to believe that the government will not hesitate to refurbish this estate fully into a new and modern estate. It will be such a waste if such action is taken but I don’t suppose anything can be spared to accomodate the additional foreign talents that the government wants to attract.

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4 thoughts on “Rusticity In Modern Singapore

  1. The area definitely brings back many memories to me. When I was a small, I stayed over at my relative’s house at Blk 55 Commonwealth Ave during the sch hols… Behind the flat is where lies the KTM railway track. I remember, when the train was approaching and it made sound like choo… choo…, I ran to the kitchen to see it passing by. It was thrilling…


  2. If you venture down further, to Margaret Drive and Strathmore Ave, it’s even more nostalgic. I was from Queenstown Sec during the 70s. The place was known literally as “blue glass” because the SIT era houses had blue glass panes. I am planing a trip down to look at the place before the wrecking ball move in. Sad.


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