Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Metro of High Street

The Treasury now stands at where the first Metro store was in Singapore, in High Street. Pic taken 29 July 2014.
I have my LDDS (Literary, Debating and Drama Society) teacher to thank for my first visit to Metro, the department store. The teacher wanted all of us to get a black t-shirt for the "drama" part in the society I joined during secondary school.

So, my very fashionable friend said we should all go to Metro to get a black t-shirt. Metro in the late 60s was still in High Street -- No. 72, a unit along a row of old shophouses. I remember climbing up a narrow staircase to the upper floor where apparels were displayed in glass cases as well as racks.

After a whole heap of black t-shirts were laid out on the glass shelves by a very helpful salesgirl for us to select, my friend eventually selected a Ladybird black t-shirt -- and also got a stylish orange-green striped t-shirt.

Did anybody know that Ladybird t-shirts were extremely expensive (in my eyes)? Just the black t-shirt almost busted my entire POSB account. So this black t-shirt was a valued item for the rest of my secondary school days.

But I did get to buy a lot of stuff from Metro as I progressed in age. In the earlier days when it was still in High Street, I managed to buy one more t-shirt from there -- a velvety lemon yellow one. And still later in my working life, many dresses and shoes. My favourite brand was Chocolate. This brand had a lot of clothes which suited my style -- and not that terribly expensive :)

Friday, 25 July 2014

Kian Hua Hotel: Postcard from the past

This old picture taken in 1982, opens a window to Kian Hua Hotel. The little alley (most likely Lorong Mandai, now expunged) off Bencoolen Street led into a community, a village of sorts. The hotel has gone but the building (81, Bencoolen Street)  is still standing -- though it is no longer Kian Hua but part of a contemporary "furniture hub', Space (below).

Before development took place at Bencoolen Street, there was also Nam Hai Hotel, the building was not as "grand" as Kian Hua Hotel though. Today, there are still a lot of hotels along Bencoolen Street. But this is how I always remember Bencoolen Street (from my bus journeys): http://eresources.nlb.gov.sg/pictures/Details/06086887-8ba2-45eb-a3e8-5c49e6d7800a (Picture SG, National Library Board).