Looking to move to a new neighbourhood? Nothing would be better than to hear from the residents themselves. We speak to Emily Finch, our online editor, about the ins and outs of living in Namly Estate on Sixth Avenue in Bukit Timah.
Where do you live? Namly Estate.
Exact words you tell a taxi driver to get home? “Sixth Avenue, please.”
What’s the name of your neighbourhood? Namly Estate, although I don’t really call it that; I just tend to say the Sixth Avenue area.
Closest MRT station? Sixth Avenue, on the new blue line.
How long have you lived here? Two years.
Why here? We wanted a house, more space, more bang for our buck and to be nearer the girls’ school. Most houses in this area have decent-sized gardens. We have a dog too, and it’s handy for accessing the Green Corridor.
When you walk out of your place, the first thing you see is: Our neighbour’s house. It’s proper suburbia here, and all the houses are quite close together.
The closest store to your front door is: La Nonna, a sweet little Italian restaurant; and next door to that is the Namly Animal Clinic, which has come in handy lately as our dog is very accident-prone.
Your street would make the perfect backdrop for a remake of: Neighbours – the Singapore edition! It’s very residential and suburban with a strong neighbourhood community, and you do get the feeling that people look out for one another.
Your neighbours are great, but you wouldn’t mind a little less: Barking from the dogs in the area, including my own!
The unofficial uniform of your street is: A close call between two contenders – business attire worn by the workers, and “active leisure-wear” worn by the lucky stay-at-home mums when they’re off to a gym class.
Which celebrity would be most likely to move in next door, and why? I love the area to bits, but I don’t think it would ever attract celebrities – it’s not flash enough! The area is more likely to attract professionals and families, although you see more and more of the very old houses being renovated, so maybe in time there might be the odd film star moving in!
When you’re in need of a dose of culture, you: Head to Little India.
If you’re missing home, you: Head to the Polo Club with friends and have a large glass of rosé by the pool… and then post an Instabrag tagging in friends from home. Or, a long FaceTime call to keep me in touch with friends and family.
A mandatory stop for out-of-town guests is: Drinks around Marina Bay to start with (we like Smoke and Mirrors), then on to dinner in Amoy Street or Club Street, followed by cocktails at Employees Only.
You’d swap houses in a second with: One of the monster pads along Mount Pleasant Road – they’re all stunning black-and-white colonial houses with private gardens that back onto a lovely valley; it’s a little piece of country in the city.
A common myth about your neighbourhood is: That there is nothing here – so wrong, especially now that Baker & Cook has arrived!
If you’re ever woken up at night, it’s almost always due to: A heavy rainstorm – we just love Singapore for those.
A massive late-night rager on your street is likely to be: Our noisy dog, Tengah. (Sorry, neighbours!) Or us having a dinner party.
Your hands-down favourite neighbourhood joints are: La Nonna for authentic Italian fare, Baker & Cook for great bread and coffee and Plank for sourdough pizza. Caruso does its own awesome porcini and truffle ravioli – a must-try!
You won’t find better local food than at: Our two favourite spots in town: Lau Pa Sat and Maxwell Road hawker centres.
We love a good bargain. The best deals in your neighbourhood are: La Nonna has a handy 20 percent off all orders made before 8pm fromMonday to Thursday. Also, at the end of the road is La Vigne, a wine shop that has some good specials from time to time.
The guiltiest pleasure in your area is: The Lazy Lizard, an “old man’s pub” just around the corner, would be my husband’s choice. Mine is a regular takeaway coffee from newly opened Baker & Cook.
One thing you’d never change is: The peace and quiet of this neighbourhood.
But one thing you wouldn’t mind seeing go is: The harsh streetlights outside our bedroom window – the light streams through the cracks in our bedroom blinds and it just annoys me!
The city gives you $5 million to soup up your street. You use it to: Ensure all cabling and plumbing for the entire road is up to date so we never have diggers outside our house again. Some communal bikes or electric scooters would be quite handy too – so we could easily ride from home to the MRT station and leave them there.
This is an extract from an article that first appeared in the November 2016 edition of Expat Living. You can purchase a copy for the full article, or Subscribe now so you never miss an issue!
We have a whole heap of Neighbourhood Guides to help you get to know your hood, or if you are thinking of moving! Or check out more about Living in Singapore.