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2017 > 03

Two days have passed since I arrived in Korea and after a large number on the pedometer there is one thing I like to highlight - The Lanes. There are many areas in Seoul where an eclectic mix of architecture sits between narrow streets dedicated to both cars, bikes and pedestrians. These lanes are usually not straight and they tend to lead to a small cluster of homes or shops. Therefore, there are not many motor driven vehicles in these roads. Instead you find people walking around by foot creating an atmosphere which has a calmer pace, in the otherwise busy city..

I personally find this approach interesting and it could maybe be the way to go when developing new areas in a city. Maybe it's even better then creating wide roads strictly organised to divide cars, bikes, busses and pedestrians? I’m not sure but I do know that in Seoul these lanes creates corners that I can feel at home in.

Etiketter: korea, streetact

When I walked down River Valley Road this morning I didn't expect finding people practicing their faith in the street. Mainly as it’s a heavy trafficked road known for its expat community. But after 30 min of counting various people I realised that this is the case. Pedestrians (almost only those above 70 years old) would stop in front of one of the shop houses. There they would turn towards the building, put their palms together, bow, say a short prayer and then continue walking. At first I couldn’t see what they were praying to but later I realised that it must be some sort of Chinese Clan. I can’t read Chinese so I can't be completely sure but their doors were open and you could see an altar from the street. This street act actually gave the pavement a special atmosphere and I find it very beautiful that people took a moment to give a thought to something higher right there in the middle of the street. 

Woman Praying

This also reminded me about the fact that you don’t need to own the road to make an impact on its activities. You could simply do something on your own land as long as it connects with those on the pavement. What it could be, when not linked to religion, I don’t know yet but I will definitely explore the idea and see where it could end up.

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Two other clans along the streets (or at least my analysis have concluded that they are)

By the way, for those who haven’t come across Chinese Clans before I would personally say that it is a closed community who suportes each other through generations in various ways. One important way to show support is to pray, especially for those who are dead and now live a new life. 

Etiketter: singapore, streetact
Blu Jazz Café on Ophira Road/Bali Lane is one of those legendary spots in Singapore. The famous formula of live music combined with drinks and food has turned it into a street where people gather and socialise. However, I went there today to see how this street looks like in the morning and I found out that it’s almost dead. Only one coffee shop was open and the sound of cars dominated instead of the famous jazz tunes. This made me wonder why so many socially successful streets only vibrate during certain parts of a day? Or maybe it's better to ask why we like to go to some streets in the morning streets, others at midday and a third place in the evening? I’m not entirely sure but I do know that Ophira Road and Bali Lane is definitely not a morning street..
Etiketter: music, singapore, streetact
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When I headed out this morning I didn't know what street I wanted to check out. I only knew I wanted to go to an area called Ang Mo Kio. So, I took the MRT (metro), got a bit lost and accidentally found a walking and biking street next to Ang Mo Kio Ave. 8, underneath the LRT (a metro above ground). The path felt quite ruff due to the concrete and the car's noise but it still, seemed to be a popular spot among the seniors. They were catching up on the benches, walking up and down the stretch and the older men were active along the bike lane. This bike trend among the senior men seem to be following me wherever I go in this city... 

Another thing I realized was that this is a hot spot for all those who exercise. Several people were running or power walking back and forth and when they passed me the fifth and six time I started to wonder if they tried to figure out what I was doing or if they actually had no other place to run? There is also an outdoor gym that can be used to get a proper workout, but unfortunately, both the gym and the path were often empty. The whole street was actually very quiet, even during rush hour. You could find some students hanging out, as there are some schools in the area, but otherwise it was sadly fairly empty. Maybe it's only busy during the weekend when people have time off? Or it might not be well enough connected to peoples flats? I don't know, but I will try to go back during a weekend to find out. 
Etiketter: streetact, singapore
I'm so sad this picture is blured but I guess it gives the people in it some cencur
I'm so sad this picture is blured but I guess it gives the people in it some cencur

I'm Swedish and in Sweden there are many heavy coffee drinkers who easily drink between 5-10 cups per day. Therefore, offices have coffee makers to save its employees time and money when the abstinence kicks in. That is why I was so surprised to see almost half the people, passing through the Cube in Asia Square (a public square between office towers for finance people) today, having at least one take away coffee in their hand. Are they to particular about what coffee they drink? Is it an excuse to take a break? Or have the finance sector simply stopped paying for the coffee addicts? I don't have the answer but I do know that these coffee trips seem to give the public square a social vibe and a great location to open a coffee shop..

Two coffees and another common walking activity: Phone Watching
Two coffees and another common walking activity: Phone Watching
The Cube
The Cube
Etiketter: singapore, streetact

As I mentioned earlier I went around looking at black and white houses yesterday. These houses can be found all over the island and were built in the begining of the 20th century. They are inspired by Indian farmer's bungalows and create a great contrast against Singapore's many sky skrapers.. Here are a few images from the tour.

They are beautifully detailed on the inside and totally white can actually be very special

Etiketter: singapore, architecture

Yesterday was a slightly special day as me and my mum experienced the Christmas present she gave me last year: a Black and White Houses Tour. It took up most of my day, which meant that I had to do my street analyse in the late afternoon.

Therefore, I decided to go to a slightly special street that I personally sometimes have as a destination. The street I'm talking about is Yong Siak Street (only 5 min walk from Jln Membina) known as one of the most Hipster-like streets in Singapore. The ground floor is occupied by trendy food places, book stores, a design store and yoga studios and the higher levels by housing. It is a short and narrow one way street and there are on average about 1,5 times as many cars as pedestrians. Still, more than half of the pedestrians chose to walk with the cars rather than using the pavement...I can't stop thinking why? At the moment my only answer is the fact that there is no change in level between the pavement and the rest of the street. If I realise something more, I will let y'all know.

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Unother observation I made is that it's a street you spend time in. Many people walk up and down the street, some stop and look at something, others sit down at a café and have a chat or do some work. However, there are still no benches for people to sit. So if I would do something in this street I would first of all create some place for people to sit down. In that way they people can spend even more time in the street and most importantly without paying a single dollar.

This is all about Yong Siak Street for today and if you're in Singapore and haven't been there yet I can definitely recommend a visit. 

Etiketter: singapore, streetact

Today I have been hanging out in Jln Membina. It is a street with mainly HDB flats and condominiums but since there is an MRT station and a shopping centre in one end it has become the pedestrian's boulevard.

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The morning rush hour brought the head phone wearing office people to the street whereas the food shoppers and old men on bikes came out after the rush hour. I had already expected there to be many people with music in their ears (average 18%) but what came as a surprise was the fact that I didn't see a single female on a bike. Instead it was the retired men who completely dominated the bike scene. Why it is like that, I have absolutely no clue but I assume that it must be the biggest trend among these men at the moment. If this is the case around the rest of the island we will have to wait and see.

Before I finish writing for today I have to point out that since there are no bike lanes along Jln Membina the bikers either drove on the pavement or in the street. Slightly tricky I have to admit; especially when you try to pass a biker under the narrow pavements sheltering.

Etiketter: streetact, singapore
Lebuh Campbell in George Town, Penang
Lebuh Campbell in George Town, Penang

From now on this blog will show you streets around the world. Because tomorrow I am kick-starting my next project where I will be looking at the people traveling the streets. 
 
The idea is to start in Singapore where. I will look at how people move through the streets, who moves through the streets and what they do when they move the street. After Singapore I will be traveling to Seoul, then Los Angeles, followed by Glasgow and lastly Copenhagen. I don't know what I will find out, so we will have to wait and see.

Etiketter: starting out, streetact

Six months have passed and it is time for me to leave Singapore in order to return on a tourist visa. But, before I do so, I have one last day at work. I can already expect a day of hard work, laughter, some stress and a nice long lunch (especially since it is my bosses birthday). 

This is also how I will remember my time with RT+Q Architects because it has been a time of hard work mixed with leisure and silliness. So, before I conquer the rain and head to my last site meeting I like to send a big thanks the the whole office for giving me moments that I will late forget. Thanks guys! You're pretty great!

Etiketter: singapore, architecture



This blog is about...

PEOPLE TRAVELING STREETS
&
PERSONAL FAVORITES

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