Saturday, September 15, 2007

The Civic District in SIngapore

On a Saturday afternoon, the place looks very different than it usually is on a typical weekday. Walking from the City Hall train station to the Ancient Civilisations Museum in the humid weather was compensated by the elegant architecture of the old colonial buildings in the area and the colourful shophouses over at Boat Quay on the opposite side of the Singapore River. The Ancient Civilisations Museum.Sir Stamford Raffles, the founder of Singapore chatting with a modern day construction worker. "So, where are you from in 21st century Singapore?"
"Your great-grandfather would not recognise Singapore River if he were here today." Instead of warehouses and godowns, these buildings lining the river are now restaurants and pubs. Where numerous bumboats ply the river carrying goods from overseas, there are now river-boat cruises for tourists and locals on family outings.
Pillar of information on the 'Beauty in Asia - 200 BCE to Today" Exhibition at the Ancient Civilisations Museum.

Uma or Parvati, the wife of Shiva was the epitome of beauty in the 11th Century.In the 21st Century, beauty is something that was probably unimaginable during Uma's time.
Before stepping into the museum, you can take in another aspect of what is beautiful - architecture. They don't make buildings with designs like these anymore.

Tall, taller, tallest - in our race to be the best we soar towards the sky and in the process become flat and one-dimensional in character.

In the past, all efforts in building were channelled towards creating solid works that speak of craftsmanship and intensity rather than speed in building and utilitarian features. One Fullerton, formerly the General Post Office and now a posh hotel with Cavenagh Bridge in the foreground.
Victoria Memorial Hall where classical performances such as those of Symphony Orchestras and Operas were usually held.

Bridges, such as Anderson Bridge above that were constructed during colonial days were funcitonal as well as decorative. Today's bridges serve solely cars - the wider the better, do not bother with the frills for no one has time to admire them while zipping or crawling to and from work.
A memorial for 'Our Glorious Dead' at the old esplanade where I went frequently as a child especially when relatives from Malaysia came visiting.
The fountain of my childhood, not quite the same but still memories return.
Encounters that brightened up the day. An open-top bus for tourists to enjoy the Civic District.
A 'Duck Tour' that brings you from land to sea.
We think of everything, don't we? A city of possibilities, that's our Singapore.

No comments: