Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Upscale Bread Talk

So here I am thinking that hey there's a new kid in town to rival Bread Talk, only to find that Bread Society is owned by them as well. Don't get me wrong I love Bread Talk. In fact we all have our favorites. I am a huge fan of their otah buns until they were discontinued. X, the Floss buns & The Girl, their bread with sunflower seeds. It's such a staple for us.

When I first came across Bread Society in the basement of Ion Orchard, I fell in love immediately. You gotta love a chandelier at a boulangerie & wow, reasonable prices for the bread. Finally a competitor to Bread Talk. Well apparently not. They had hired a Japanese consultant chef & created a different concept.

Bread Society offers artisanal European pastries but apart from the occasional croissant that The Girl picked up, I'd rather go for the likes of thai green curry, smoked chicken cheese & tom yam seafood. How to resist.

Not that we are giving up Bread Talk anytime soon. It's nice to have another option.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Ying Yang

Harry's Hospitality just opened their first hotel in Singapore. The Club Hotel along Ann Siang Hill, which has become the unofficial home of boutique hotels where the Scarlett is also located. Anyway, one of our colleagues threw a farewell party there earlier & I went with an ulterior motive to check the place out.

The Club Hotel is all decked in black & white taking full advantage of the colonial heritage of the building - there is even a huge statue of Sir Stamford Raffles right at the lift lobby going to the Sky Bar which has since been renamed Ying Yang.
The quirkiness of the neighbourhood & the hotel appeals to me. The rooftop bar overlooks a verandah across the road that has a big Chinese altar table or the huge satellite dishes installed on the roof of the next building. You couldn't ask for a better backdrop than that.

There really should be more rooftop bars in Singapore.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Once upon a time in Kranji

Once upon a time, far far away in Kranji (yes it is very far) on a dark & cloudy day, a group of volunteers got together. Aided by the Nature Society, it was a programme of clean up & awareness.

Equipped with the essentials like parangs, gloves & Pua Chu Kang boots

All ready

Mission : To clear the visitor area of overgrown shrubs & to rid the channel of unwanted vegetation for when the migratory birds visit.

It was smelly, backbreaking work and after several hours of hard work, didn't seem to have made much of a difference. There was still so much work to be done.

The unwanted weeds & vegetation were gathered & sent to Green Circle Farm for composting.

But the main purpose was to create awareness to this beautiful remote area known as the Kranji Marshes. The volunteers learnt about the biodiversity of the area, the birds & wildlife that make their way here every year.

They were even rewarded with a quick tour of the Kranji Reservoir - yikes are there really crocodiles ?

The Nature Society organises monthly walks of the area. If you are interested, go check out their website. Singapore is home to some very interesting wildlife & even if you are not a nature lover, you would be surprised at what you can find.

The company I work for organises a lot of community work & events for us to participate - it's always rewarding to give a little back to the community.

Who says Singapore is boring

There has been so much going on lately that I've had to "prioritised". Can you believe that ? The last time that happened was when I was living in New York. Don't let anybody tell you Singapore is boring. The best part is that all these activities are free, open to all & easily accessible.

The River Festival actually happened end of last month with a whole slew of acts like concerts & wine tastings. The anchor event is called AIR - an aerial performance across the river. Sounded interesting so we were there.

It was a nice night out so very early on, everybody had already stationed themselves strategically to catch the show. Using cables across the river, the performers with their outrageous costumes glided to & fro, did acrobatic acts & eeks even touched the water (due to the rain, the river had turned a murky brown & both The Girl & I cringed when we saw them make contact with the river).

My pictures don't do justice to the show

The finale
Fireworks display

We had dinner at Central
Watching a parade of bumboats in the shape of
a chinese wooden clog & a paper boat
sail by

Thursday, July 22, 2010

An early morning in Singapore

National Museum

Vortex by Cai Guo Qiang

Another compelling reason to go to the Night Festival is that for the 2 nights, the museums are open till 2 am & FREE. A good way to check out the latest exhibitions.

Cai Guo Qiang, whom I know to be the artist famous for his pyrotechnics has an exhibition which is really worth checking out. Simply titled Head On.

99 life sized wolves leap forward in an arch towards an unseen wall & then tumbling down.

The agony & pain of those that had just fallen

The hunger & power of those leaping forward

On lighter note, the next exhibition is called Singapore 1960. It's self explanatory.

Rasa sayang eh
Rasa sayang sayang eh

I like

Another night in the museum

We loved it so much last year, we had to go again this year.
Dream of the past, be in the present & fantasize in the future
That was the theme

There were so many interesting events that it took careful planning to work our way around which ones we wanted to watch. Maybe it's just me but I find it very exciting to go to the museums at night - the vibe is totally different. And no, I don't think it's high brow to bring my 5 year to museums. I don't drag her kicking & screaming - she always has a good time there.

This was set up outside the Arts Museum - the World's Slowest SMS. There is a certain number you can send an SMS too & then these little elves would manually create the message & mount it on....

...this giant platform. It was so slow, I didn't get round to reading the message !

This was one of the shows I wanted to watch. Why not ? Muay Thai is fascinating.

New World 2010 - this forms the back of.....

...the photo stands. All characters from Cambodian mythology.

Look at how much fun she had.
oh & it's all her, I can't take credit for any of her poses

Acrobatic Tango, good but short (only 5 mins)
performed by Phare Ponleu Selpak, a Cambodian circus troupe featured frequently
in this year's night festival

The Red Tree by Wandering Moon
We actually missed the first performance cos it was full so I made sure we arrived early for the next show. So glad we did. Beautiful poetic puppet show that used string & shadow puppets. Take note of this group. Try to catch their shows when they are in town. This, together with the photo stand were The Girls' favorite.

The show piece for this year has to be Paraboles 2.0 - performed by the French group Compagnie Off. You can't miss these huge satellite dishes installed outside the National Museum.

I couldn't tell you what's the significance of the satellite dishes or the meaning of the performance. All I can say is that I couldn't take my eyes off the satellite dishes as they transformed themselves into a kaleidoscope of colours & designs. Very mesmerising.

Were you there ? Did you enjoy it ? Which shows did you like ?