Lawyer TANIA PAVASKAR (pictured with husband Gopal Nayak and daughter Swara) was born in India and raised in New Zealand. She shares her views on her neighbourhood in Singapore. They live at One Amber Gardens Condo, near Dakota MRT. It’s on the East Coast but still convenient for the CBD and Marina Bay.
What’s the name of your street? Amber Gardens.
What’s a common myth or misconception about your neighbourhood? That it’s next to the airport. If you take a bus, Suntec is the first stop. By car, it takes no more than ten minutes to get into Marina Bay Financial Centre. It takes a lot longer to get to the airport from here.
Closest MRT station? Dakota MRT (yellow Circle Line, between Mountbatten and Paya Lebar).
How long have you lived here? Why here? For about five years now. Prior to this, we lived in Novena for two years, and before that at Reflections in Keppel Bay for three. This is our favourite location.
We love that you can walk or cycle everywhere. The neighbourhood is walking distance to all the cafés and food places on Joo Chiat Road and Upper East Coast Road. The neighbourhood is culturally diverse. For food, you can find everything from the most authentic laksa to gluten-free pizza. There’s always somewhere to dine out, or somewhere to get a takeout from. The neighbourhood is vibrant and has a spirit of its own.
Why Dakota? Along with an MRT station, the word “Dakota” appears in the names of two roads in this area – Dakota Crescent and Dakota Close. Dakota Crescent is also the name of one of Singapore’s oldest housing estates, built in this neighbourhood in the 1950s, just prior to the establishment of the Housing and Development Board (HDB). Fifteen blocks of the original estate are still occupied today.
Dakota Crescent was formerly located just east of Kallang Airport (operational from 1937 to 1955), which is also why you’ll find Old Airport Road in the vicinity. The name came from the Douglas DC-3 aircraft – nicknamed “Dakota” – which could frequently be seen taking off and landing at the airport. As for the nickname, it presumably relates to the US state of Dakota, but likely had its origins in the acronym DACoTA, from Douglas Aircraft Company Transport Aircraft.
When you walk out of your place, what’s the first thing you see? I see the bus stop, landed houses, the Canadian International School, a Shaws Preschool and a yellow-coloured dilapidated mall.
What’s the closest store to your front door? The closest useful store is The Whole Kitchen. They have everything gluten-free – it makes healthy hosting easy.
If your street was chosen for a remake of a film, which would it be? Any involving a trendy neighbourhood that gets gentrified!
We’re sure your neighbours are great, but is there anything you wouldn’t mind a little less of? Our neighbourhood is full of chatter and people in the pool or in restaurants and bars when they’re open. It would be nice if the restaurants and bars were not as busy on Mondays when some of us have work to do.
What’s the unofficial uniform of your street? Lululemon yoga pants and a latte in hand.
What’s the strangest thing you’ve ever seen on your street? The Ghostbuster store (specialising in feng shui, luck enhancement and more). It does good business.
Name of condo: One Amber Gardens
Facilities: Pool, tennis court, gym
Size: Approximately 500 units
Vibe: Mix of expat and local families
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