Are ice cream shops here melting in the heat of added competition?

Remember the days when ice cream was a rare treat meant for special occasions or good behaviour? Well it looks like those days are long gone, what with the number of ice cream stores popping up across the island.

However, though customers now have the chance to get a great variety of sweet, cool treats all over Singapore, ice cream business owners are starting to feel the heat. Though no aggregated tally of all the ice cream stores and businesses in Singapore exists,  business owners and store workers Communiqué interviewed confirmed as much. Read the rest of this entry

Mervyn Hi: Barber / Black Sheep

It was not the first time I was having my hair cut by a stranger, but what felt new to me was how comfortable I was; no fear, or even wariness of the man I’d paid to take a razor to my hair.

I’ve seen my share of barbers, with their different styles of cutting – even shearing – hair. Some remained decidedly old school, drawing from their diverse repertoire of two hairstyles – completely bald or the crew cut. Others went up the decidedly high-tech route, with UV-sterilized combs and the promise of a complete haircut within ten-minutes.

Read the rest of this entry

More international acts performing here – a bane or boon for concert promoters?

Music aficionados living in Singapore have been spoilt for their choice of live acts to see of late, with the rapid increase of big-name foreign acts performing here having escalated steadily, which stands in stark contrast to the plateauing music scene of a decade earlier.

Unsurprisingly, the growth in the number of live shows being played here have been attributed to one factor – the ever swelling ranks of concert promoters in Singapore. The new wave of promoters are younger, highly capable teams, and despite often being completely “green”, they adapt quickly and grow into the jobs.

A prime example would be Upsurge Productions, a concert promotion company fronted by former Republic Polytechnic coursemates Mae Ng and Lizanne Teo, both of whom are barely 20-years-old. The company, which the female duo co-founded in late-2010, organised its first ever show on July 6 last year, when American rock band Mayday Parade made its debut in Singapore.

Read the rest of this entry

Modernisation – but at what cost?

Mutter the words “Tiong Bahru” to anyone a year or two ago, and their minds would link the quiet little neighbourhood to things synonymous with it – the unassuming pre-wartime flats, the scrumptious offerings of the age-old Tiong Bahru market, or its ageing but close-knit community.

Speak of the neighbourhood now, however, and chances are that the reply you get will have something to do with a newly opened café.

It started a little over a year ago, and ever since, small, cosy and chic eateries, cafes and merchandise stores have been sprouting all over Tiong Bahru. With only four or five running early this year, the number has more than tripled to a grand total of 20 as of now.

Read the rest of this entry

Perfect control – anytime, anywhere

Everyone prefers a control set-up unique to the individual when it comes to gaming on the PC. How many times have you had to go through the chore of getting your gear set up the way you like when at a LAN party?

Enter Razer Synapse 2.0, the one-stop solution to all that hassle.

With this ingenious application, your favoured peripheral settings will be held in cloud storage, ready to be pulled down and applied onto any PC – be it at home, in the LAN shop, or even in school.

Read the rest of this entry

Young Singaporeans volunteering to help those in need

For Singaporean Egan Jeremiah Hwan, 22, waking up in the middle of the night to the aftershocks of Japan’s March 11 earthquake became such a regular occurrence, he would often ignore the shaking and go back to sleep.

“There were earthquakes practically every day that had magnitudes of between 6.9 and 7.1, as Ofunato is right next to the epicentre of the quakes.

“The shaking could be quite bad and things would fall off the shelves,” he added.

Read the rest of this entry

Power of a console in your pocket

The hype surrounding it has been frenzied for months, and it is finally here – well, the Japanese version at least. Say hello to the Playstation Vita (PS Vita), the newest handheld gaming system in the market, and the spiritual successor to Sony’s Playstation Portable (PSP).

To the untrained eye, this sleek new device looks almost identical to its predecessor, but trifle with it for a while, and it soon becomes apparent that this is a completely different machine altogether.

Read the rest of this entry

The Fall of ‘Becaman’

It used to be Singapore’s main form of public transport. But this age-old vehicle has long ceased to be used among locals, and is now struggling to maintain its presence here, even among tourists.

Yes, I am talking about the trishaw – the ingenious three-wheeled invention which used to be our parents’ mode of transport back when they were in primary school, and what our grandparents took for their daily trips to the market, many kilometers away from their kampungs.

Read the rest of this entry

More space or more culture

As Singapore continues to advance and develop as one of the world’s leading countries, change is crucial, important and ultimately inevitable for her. This tiny nation has developed from the unwanted, abandoned country it was just 46 years ago, to a fully independent and successful world leader now, thanks to the rate of change and modernization the country went through.

However this rapid rate of change has finally caught up, with this past year seeing citizens becoming increasingly upset over several redevelopment plans by the Land Transport Authority (LTA), Singapore Land Authority (SLA) and Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA). Singapore has finally come to a point where the government and citizens are starting to realize, is Singapore losing its culture and heritage in the name of development and modernization?

Read the rest of this entry

Do You “1 – 2” Katong?


I12 Katong, a new large-scale heartland mall located in the East, opened its doors to the public on Nov 19, 2011. It has since become the most talked about mall within the Eastern region of Singapore.

The name – I12 Katong, is a deliberate placement of the letter I and number one together to create the idea that people are saying ‘I want to (go to) Katong’ each time they mention the mall – was a wise marketing technique by the developer, Pua Seck Guan’s Perennial Real Estate and their team.

Read the rest of this entry