Anyway, back to what I really intended on talking about. I finally managed to explore a little bit of Tiong Bahru in the past few months and seriously, I'm loving that place! :) I know it's touted as a real gentrified up and coming hipster hangout but remove all these labels and it's just a pleasant place to roam around in in the afternoon, complete with rest points in the form of cafes and quaint little stores to escape the insane humidity that is everyday SG weather.
So I'll be doing a little "Tiong Bahru Series" of the couple of interesting places there that I'd definitely recommend you check out if you haven't been there yet. Besides, if you're in Singapore you've probably heard of these places already anyway. Just providing some photos as further incentive for you to go there! :)
First on the list is Books Actually, a well-known independent bookstore that used to be a focal point at Ann Siang Hill but has since moved over to reside along Yiong Siak Street in Tiong Bahru. I can't think of anyone who wouldn't fall in love with it on first glance. It's cosy, packed with a wide variety of books with a good selection of local literature, chock-a-block full of trinkets that you'd be hard-pressed to find anywhere else, and best of all, they don't mind people taking photos! :) I think most first timers in there would inevitably whip out their cameras to take a snap at something as there are so many interesting bits and bobs to enjoy in this place.
When I visited last year in November (holy crap, my procrastination has reached a new high. ><), they just so happened to be celebrating their 6th anniversary (what a coincidence huh) so there were cupcakes and snackeroos available. I was heading for the cupcakes but... kitty cat got to them first. :) I believe this cat belongs to the owners but I didn't manage to find out its name.
All sorts of quaint brick-a-bracks for sale! On almost every shelf there's something else aside from books that surprises you.
And if you venture further into the bookstore, there's a backroom FILLED with an incredible collection of...ALL SORTS OF THINGS. I'm not quite sure how to categorize everything. But there are toys, home decor accessories, vintage cameras, notebooks, stationary, cards, prints, maps...and of course, more esoteric books.
When was the last time you saw such a giant protractor huh? :) I think the last time I saw one was when I was in primary school... primary 1 perhaps? No more since then!
I thought this bunny here looking out the window at the front of the store was really cute. I think I might get one for myself next time. Strangelets (the store a few doors down) actually sells a few if I remember correctly. I just think it would be so dang fun to have a couple of them at home that switch places every other day. Perfect for screwing with the mind of whoever's staying with you. >:D MUAHA.
Tiong Bahru Estate
9 Yiong Siak Street
On a minor note, Books Actually stocks a lot of books by local authors. I actually found a book of poetry written by my senior, Carol Chan, entitled The World Must Weigh The Same, published by Math Paper Press which is incidentally, the publishing house set up by the owners of Books Actually. I'm in love with the simplicity of the book design and each book is so thin and flat, it's perfect for carrying around in the bag to read anytime. Am one of those very gullible consumers easily influenced by how the products looks. So ahem, do check it out! :) She's such a talented writer and after years of having not seen her, it was so nice to see how she'd taken her writing to the next level.
P.S. Another bookstore that's wonderful in a similar cosy, welcoming manner is Littered With Books at Duxton Hill. Unfortunately, they don't allow for photos inside (because it's SO DANG GORGEOUS INSIDE everyone will be busy snapping away and no one will buy anything - it seems that's their assumption -.-) but here's their website. I've been there before twice and while I didn't get any books, I did get their custom made canvas tote bag which is DA BEST. Extremely durable and fits a ton of books. Some photos of the place here taken by some blogger who managed to get photos inside!!
Ok, another update tomorrow! :)
Ok, another update tomorrow! :)