Alleyways aren’t the only places of interest on Arab Street in Singapore. Along the rows of shops that frame the Masjid Sultan, I noticed this colorful Turkish Restaurant. It’s in what appears to be a traditional colonial-style building.
The central business district, especially near the bay, is nearly devoid of any history. Other than the Fullerton Hotel, all I saw were modern glass towers. While these towers show more architectural imagination than the truly boring ’70s and ’80s skyscrapers, they ultimately lack character. Not so in these ethnic neighborhoods further away.
I’ve been to Chinatown, Little India, and now Arab Street in Singapore. All of these neighborhoods have low-slung people-friendly designs. They may not wow the visitor with worlds-fair-like architectural statements — but they comfort — like a good neighborhood does when built to a human scale.
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