Recommendations for Lively Neighborhoods

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anycer
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Recommendations for Lively Neighborhoods

Post by anycer » Mon, 26 Oct 2015 8:51 am

Hey guys,

I know neighborhood recommendation asks come up frequently. I've done a lot of reading and I've done a lot of walking around Singapore. Wanted to provide as much information as possible to ask you locals... am I missing anything obvious?

My wife and I are from New York City, so we're used to busy, loud cities and small apartments. In fact, we prefer it that way! Although we've lived all over diverse neighborhoods in NYC, including Chelsea, LES, Bay Ridge, Bushwick and LIC, we called Sunnyside, Queens to be home for many years. It's an awesome older neighborhood that's very diverse, full of great restaurants and is very local (ie: not super gentrified).

I've answered the neighborhood questions from the pinned post below, but one specific thing I wanted to call out... I've walked all over places like River Valley and East Coast and, frankly, just don't get it. I don't understand why people live in these huge complexes behind high walls and guard houses. It feels like Sao Paulo or something.

Neighborhoods like Robertson Quay are okay, but feels like expats way outnumber the locals. There's also no MRT, which isn't ideal.

Our leading choices right now are Tiong Bharu and Chinatown, because they feel like neighborhoods, mostly. But also because they are well connected to the MRT and have great wet markets and hawker centers.

Should we be considering any other neighborhoods?



Priorities:
- your budget (approx range):
S$5000-6000/mo
- your workplace/s (don't name names, just approx neighbourhood):
Near Suntec/South Beach/Raffels
- the size and/or type of property that you are seeking (#bedrooms, on-site facilities etc):
3 br (master + baby + guest) and a decent nanny's room OR 4 br (we won't put the nanny in a bomb shelter)
- will you have a car here?
No.
- proximity to transport required. MRT-subway/buses/the airport/Malay border post (if so, which one).
Highly prefer to be within 0.5km of an MRT (this is one of our top priorities)
- will you have any accompanying children needing to attend school? If so, age/s?
Yes, newborn though, so no school for a while.
- are you looking at private (international/fee-paying, or local schools?)
Open.
- will your employer being funding any fees; or will you, 'out of pocket'?
Does it matter? Assume we are paying for everything, but that fees, etc are not a huge concern.
- is remaining within a national curriculum important; if so what nationality are you?
No, not important.
- have you identified any such schools yet?
N/A

Nice to have:
- will you need to be able to say walk to the local shops, a library, your doctor, a market, and so on?
Yes, super, super important. We want a neighborhood, not a condo complex. condos are great, but would trade for a good neighborhood immediately.
- access to any specific sport, social, and recreation facilities?
Nope.
- are you considering bringing any pets. If so what kind, and will they require outdoor access and/or exercise?
Nope.
- are you considering bringing any parents/in-laws etc? Do they have specific needs (for example difficulty climbing stairs?)
Nope.

Your current home and commute:
- are you already a city dweller? i.e. Are you used to city-centre hustle and bustle, or would you hope for a bit more peace and quiet?
We like being in very dense neighborhoods. No need for proximity to parks, etc.
- what is the size and type (apartment, house+garden etc) of your current home?
2 bed-room older building apartment in a dense NYC neighborhood. A balcony in our new place would be nice.
- what are any current commute times like?
30-40 minutes on the NYC subway.

Thanks very much in advance.


A.

Singapore Property Search

 

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rajagainstthemachine
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Re: Recommendations for Lively Neighborhoods

Post by rajagainstthemachine » Mon, 26 Oct 2015 10:33 am

Add Bukit Timah, Holland Village to that list.
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Re: Recommendations for Lively Neighborhoods

Post by bgd » Mon, 26 Oct 2015 10:55 am

And for 'lively' add Geylang and Little India. Does depend on how much life you actually want. ;-)

Your first 2 preferences probably satisfy your requirements. Tiong Bharu for the wet market alone.

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Re: Recommendations for Lively Neighborhoods

Post by menudown » Mon, 26 Oct 2015 11:20 am

holland v is a great place to stay with some of the best eateries

anycer
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Re: Recommendations for Lively Neighborhoods

Post by anycer » Mon, 26 Oct 2015 11:26 am

Tiong Bahru
Chinatown
Bukit Timah
Geylang (tongue in cheek, I'm guessing, but I've heard good things!)
Little India

All those make sense to me, but what am I missing in Holland Village? I spent some time here a few weeks ago and didn't really love it. It felt pretty suburban to me. Lots of condos and cars. Are there specific areas in Holland Vil I should check out?

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Re: Recommendations for Lively Neighborhoods

Post by bgd » Mon, 26 Oct 2015 11:34 am

anycer wrote:Tiong Bahru
Chinatown
Bukit Timah
Geylang (tongue in cheek, I'm guessing, but I've heard good things!)
Little India

All those make sense to me, but what am I missing in Holland Village? I spent some time here a few weeks ago and didn't really love it. It felt pretty suburban to me. Lots of condos and cars. Are there specific areas in Holland Vil I should check out?
That's my view of Holland V as well. People that live there like it, but I've always been underwhelmed.
A friend lived in Geylang for years. Really liked it. It's worth a look, certainly one of the more interesting parts of Sg.

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Re: Recommendations for Lively Neighborhoods

Post by Addadude » Mon, 26 Oct 2015 11:51 am

Holland Village - the Chip Bee Gardens area in particular - might be what you are looking for. But I think Tiong Bahru will probably be as close to what you want as it is possible to find in Singapore.

A couple of more possibilities might be Katong - think older walk up apartments or houses not condos - and Joo Chiat.
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Re: Recommendations for Lively Neighborhoods

Post by JR8 » Mon, 26 Oct 2015 4:26 pm

anycer wrote:I don't understand why people live in these huge complexes behind high walls and guard houses. It feels like Sao Paulo or something.
Genuine lol, thanks.
It'd be interesting to explore that impression (another topic maybe); as I see what you mean. Why all the security when SG claims to almost a crime-free country? Perhaps it simply hasn't been secure long enough more people to shed their insecurities. Also I reckon that enough of the population are only in SG transiently that there is often little or no sense of neighbourhood and community. Don't be surprised if you move into a condo and even one year on you haven't had a chat with a single one of your neighbours.

From the TodayOnline article (linked on another topic today) re: the MRT breakdowns, you see this -> 'A woman, who only wanted to be known as Ms Trisa, 27'. That's completely normal in SG as well, that wish to be effectively anonymous. That (IMHO) reads over on a larger scale into lack of sense of community, many people just keep themselves to themselves...
bgd wrote:That's my view of Holland V as well. People that live there like it, but I've always been underwhelmed.
That's my view as well. I might visit occasionally perhaps for a party or similar otherwise I don't visit and it holds no real interest for me. Perhaps it's the sense of being a culturally castrated foreigners ghetto [passing thought only, 1/4-serious!].
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Re: Recommendations for Lively Neighborhoods

Post by sundaymorningstaple » Mon, 26 Oct 2015 5:45 pm

It's secure only because of the walls and steel bars on all the windows and stainless steel or wrought iron gates/doorways. Can you image how crime free it would be if there were homes like in my community in Easton MD where we might have a screen door and fly screens on the windows? The island is built like a fortress with reinforced concrete everywhere. It's crime free because of 5,000 CCVs all over the island.
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Re: Recommendations for Lively Neighborhoods

Post by BoroBoy » Tue, 27 Oct 2015 4:25 pm

Try Sofia Road just behind dhoby ghaut. It's a great little street and right in the action.


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Re: Recommendations for Lively Neighborhoods

Post by JR8 » Tue, 27 Oct 2015 5:20 pm

BoroBoy wrote:Try Sofia Road just behind dhoby ghaut. It's a great little street and right in the action.
That's a good suggestion. The whole hill has been under reconstruction for years now that and it'd drifted off my radar of possibilities. I used to live up there looong ago and it was a great location.
- Very close to Orchard, but because the way up there is pretty circuitous, and you're up on a hill, it feels really quiet, low-traffic and cut off from the city-centre hubbub.
- On foot there are short-cuts you can take down to Orchard. Some are now gone but there is still a route via IIRC the rebuilt Cathay Building onto Handy Road. You need to figure it out as is not publicised. IIRC you go up to a high/top floor of the Cathay, the lift suggests that floor is only for one certain condo, but you emerge into a decked car-park by that condo 's basement entrance, and there is a way out the back onto Mount Sophia (the road of that name). It makes walking to Dhoby Ghat MRT a comfortable stroll.
- A quick scan of the rental listings [search parameters: D9, Sophia, 3-bed] suggests 3-beds from $5.8k/Neg. Less than I'd expected for the convenience of that location. But as it's almost all new build condos up there now I'd be very alert to the issue of what local agents include into the quoted gross floor area/ft2 (as previously discussed at some length), as say 1000ft2 of space 'back home' can equate to perhaps 700ft2 of habitable space in SG.
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Re: Recommendations for Lively Neighborhoods

Post by nutnut » Thu, 19 Nov 2015 7:02 am

If you want a neighborhood, there is nothing more neighborhood like than Toa Payoh!


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