austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,
austin_dern
austin_dern

Eat the tables, the chairs, the napkins, who cares?

One other thing about the weekend; it seemed like the lower end of Singapore was really, horribly overcrowded, as if it had the population of three or four Singapores jammed into one. This was annoying because I wanted to eat at Harbourfront, at the end of the MRT line, and there were perfectly horrible lines a dozen persons or more at every shop, and worse at the ones selling tuna buns or similar things that aren't really meals, but can act like them if you eat enough. Even the convenience store was packed.

There's a reason. They've been building a new mall, Vivo City, next to Harbourfront for ages now, and a few weeks ago even opened up a tunnel from the MRT station right into the mall. Saturday it opened up. Between the thick haze encouraging everyone to go indoors and the natural Singaporean interest in places to shop, if you believe the news, about 80,000 people visited the million square feet of shopping space at Vivo City its first day. That's not bad, considering how many of the stores just haven't opened yet, including -- near as I could tell, when I looked -- all the eating places I could see. No wonder at dinnertime things were packed along the southern end of the North-East Line.

The layout was created by tracing all the architect's French curves, with the corridors twisting and turning so that I couldn't figure my way around. The architects explicitly wanted Part of this was the crowds, of course, and part was the number of stores still walled up as being ``under construction'', and also the store numbers hadn't been added to the shop entrances yet. I'm curious what it will look like when everything is installed and crowds are settled to normal, and whether it will still have that non-Euclidean geometry effect when the navigational aides are in place.

Trivia: William Luden, creator of Luden's cough drops, also introduced the Fifth Avenue candy bar in 1936. Source: Sweets: A History of Temptation, Tim Richardson. And I noticed while flipping around the pages for a trivia point: ``The Middle East, however, remained the main conduit for sugar, as it did for all spices (as sugar was classed), until the 1600s.'' Yes, yes, that was an era when people also thought the details on the Moon were a reflection of Earth's continents and that the head of state should be allowed to imprison people indefinitely without trial, so we can't just uncritically mimic their views, but I still feel justified in rocking on my feet and grinning puckishly.

Currently Reading: Seeing the Elephant, Eric Scigliano. Yes, it's another narrow-focus history, although how narrow can `elephants' be?

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