Eden Chroninger is a nurse manager, originally from the United States. She tells us about her Singapore neighbourhood and why she loves living in Pasir Ris. Her home is conveniently close to an MRT station, but it’s also near Pasir Ris Park and Pasir Ris Beach for family fun time.
What’s the name of your street? Pasir Ris Street 71.
What’s a common myth or misconception about your neighbourhood? Most people I speak to say Pasir Ris is too quiet or not very convenient. While some of that is true, it depends on what you define as quiet and convenient!
Exact words you tell a taxi driver to get home? “Pasir Ris Street 71” – and I sometimes follow up with “Near Meridian JC”.
Closest MRT station? Pasir Ris MRT (green East West Line). There’s also a new Cross Island Line currently in production that will add an additional two stops in Pasir Ris.
How long have you lived here? I’ve been living in this Singapore neighbourhood since 2011. My husband grew up here in the late 90s, and he convinced me it was absolutely the best place to raise our family!
The Scene of Pasir Ris Street 71
When you walk out of your place, what’s the first thing you see? An unblocked view of Meridian Junior College, which is an amazing campus that adds a touch of sophistication to the Singapore neighbourhood. On the other side is a very large open area for community engagement.
What’s the closest store to your front door? In the block next to us is a 24-hour Giant Minimart. We get most of our fresh produce there – it’s very convenient, especially for giving children the experience of running errands. There is an uncle shop within the same proximity, which has lots of local delights and consumables. It’s owned by a lovely Chinese couple who are always ready to help.
If your street was chosen for a remake of a film, which would it be? Now and Then, the 1995 American coming-of-age movie.
We’re sure your neighbours are great, but is there anything you wouldn’t mind a little less of? Advertising from property agents floods our door on a weekly basis. This is something that we, unfortunately, can’t prevent as we live in an HDB. I do try to look at it all as there are lots of eyes on our neighbourhood and it’s a sought-after area for people looking to move.
What’s the unofficial uniform of the area? A lot of residents wear windbreakers, hoodies and sweaters. The area is quite cool (for Singapore) in the morning and evening.
What’s the strangest thing you’ve ever seen on your street? Over the past few years, we’ve seen an increase in the number of family chickens!
The Superlatives of Pasir Ris Street 71
What are your favourite places to eat or drink in the neighbourhood? There are multiple places to eat in Pasir Ris, and also events like festivals and carnivals that are regularly held at Downtown East, with food trucks and stalls featuring food of all cultures and tastes.
The Salad Fork and Soup Spoon at White Sands shopping mall are great for a rainy day when you want a quick and easy meal. We also like Hei Sushi at Downtown East. And Chumpo2 is another one of my favourites. There are many local delights available, too – my number one choice is Mongolian chicken rice. Whenever we can’t decide on a place to eat, that’s where we go.
What are the best places to shop in the Singapore neighbourhood? In my own neighbourhood, the best places to get everything we need are the Giant Mega Store, Ikea and Courts Mega Store. These are just a walk across the TPE for us.
If you’re looking for more retail, then Downtown East has multiple stores, including Daiso and Uniqlo, plus recreation facilities.
What are some fun or interesting things to do in the neighbourhood? There is Wild Wild Wet and Pasir Ris Beach for water activities for all ages. Wild Wild Wet is also connected to D’Resort @ Downtown East, which is amazing for a staycation as well as the barbecue facilities.
Pasir Ris Park has lots of outdoor recreation – kayaking, cycling, camping and even walking around the mangroves doing some nature spotting. Pasir Ris Park is also great for family activities.
When it’s wet weather, there’s the Hi Roller Indoor Skating Rink and Cathay Cineplexes for movies.
What’s one thing you’d never change? There have been many changes in Pasir Ris, especially with residential development. I hope Pasir Ris park is not further reduced by these developments. It’s nice to get to an area where there is space and a breeze so close to home.
How about one thing you would change? I would upgrade our local playgrounds and animal-friendly Pasir Ris park. We should be embracing areas for outdoor play for kids and pets.
If the city gave you a million dollars to soup up your street, how would you use it? More seats and common areas where neighbours can socialise more.
Beyond the Hood
What are your favourite Singapore neighbourhoods for taking out-of-town guests? Arab Street for its food and friendly atmosphere. This area is also connected closely to other areas like City Hall and the Marina Bay area.
Lau Pa Sat is an amazing night experience, with its char-grilled satay and multicultural eats. We also love East Coast Park. We go around three to four times a month. There are not only lots of places to dine but kids and adults alike can find plenty of activities such as water play, cycling and plane watching.
When you’re in need of a dose of culture, where do you go? It would really depend on the type of culture I want to get a dose of. If I was alone, I would go to Geylang to look at books and the wet market. I visited Chinatown with a good friend of mine and she introduced me to the history of the area as well as types of food I never knew about previously.
If you’re missing home, what do you do? For me, I remember home through food! My favourite taco place of choice would be Afterwit, which is located at Northbridge Road. In addition, T Bob’s Corner at Tyrwhitt has an amazing chicken and waffles. Lastly, for a real Southern American taste, Yardbird Southern Table & Bar at Marina Bay Sands comes highly recommended.
Fact File: A brief history of Pasir Ris
The first mention of this Singapore neighbourhood was in 1844, in a map by land surveyor John Turnbull Thomson (where it was referred to as “Passier Reis”). The name translates roughly from Malay as “sand to shred” – most likely a reference to the sandy Pasir Ris beach. The first kampongs here were centred on livestock and agricultural farming. In the 1890s, property began to be developed on the coast, mainly country homes meant for rest and recreation. These could be rented by the day, so tenants could enjoy the sea bathing and fresh water along Pasir Ris beach.
Pasir Ris gained a reputation as a retreat space for high society. Pasir Ris Beach was developed with resort hotels; however, it wasn’t until the 1960s that residential buildings really accelerated more inland. The Housing and Development Board began land reclamation works in 1979, and Pasir Ris Town was completed in 1988.
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This article first appeared in the February 2023 edition of Expat Living. You can purchase the latest issue or subscribe, so you never miss a copy!
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