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Singapore's heartland neighbourhoods

Appeared as 'Model citizens’ (Time Out Singapore May 2009) Four proud residents from Singapore’s heartland neighbourhoods wear their hearts on their sleeves and tell Time Out Singapore why their neighbourhood rules above all others

Neighbourhood #1: Bishan
‘Bishan has everything you can imagine – you don’t need to go to Orchard Road, Holland Village or the like. I have my regular hair stylist at Jean Yip located in Junction 8. When I feel like it, I can go for a walk at our local sports hub, Bishan Active. After work I never worry about food – my favourite mee pok seller is based on the second floor of the bus interchange. I enjoy being a Bishanite and, as far as I know, this is the only neighbourhood to have a bomb shelter that doubles up as a 7-Eleven.’ - Mariani Wahid

Neighbourhood #2: Novena
‘I live on Newton Road, and I believe that my neighbourhood is stylish and convenient. For groceries I go to Cold Storage at United Square, for food there’s amazing chicken rice just five minutes away at either Wee Nam Kee or Joy Cuisine. I don’t play basketball myself but I think it’s pretty awesome that there’s a basketball court just outside Velocity at Novena Square. And if I do get bored, I’m just a bus ride away from town.’ - Deon

Neighbourhood #3: River Valley
‘I rarely go outside a 3km radius of my home. I’m within walking distance of Orchard Road, Robertson Quay, Clarke Quay and a lot of other places abundant with food and drink. There’s Pawtobello on Mohamed Sultan Road, where I get to relax with my dog, plus a coffee shop along Killiney Road that serves decent beef kway teow and has a parrot that sits on the railing – I believe it belongs to one of the vendors there. But the best thing about living here is that it’s a 24-hour neighbourhood – my work sometimes keeps me up until 4am, and if I’m in need of a snack or cigarettes, it’s an easy stroll to SPC gas station’s convenience store.’ - Phil Carroll

Neighbourhood #4: Simei
‘This housing estate is the cleanest I’ve ever lived in. It also doesn’t try too hard to be trendy, unlike its sister Tampines. I chow down on a $7 large pizza for dinner at il Piccolo while sipping on my $1.80 hot teh in an alfresco coffee-shop setting – all at once. I’m looking forward to my manicure appointment with Chrissy from Nails Unlimited in Eastpoint Mall – she never fails to tell me how much she misses the beaches of her hometown in the Philippines.’ - Nurul Arif

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