Saw an old calendar tray last week at the flea market and it had the most memorable, iconic scene for me. Before the building Centrepoint at Orchard was built, it was the location of Singapore's first and oldest supermarket - Cold Storage. Like Robinsons, Cold Storage was a place where the most fashionable ladies from the expatriate community would shop for their groceries. On the upper floor was a boutique called Hilda's which imports beautiful dresses, buttons and accessories from England. Mum used to come here quite frequently and memories of me rummaging through drawers of buttons are still with me. I love recommending her buttons I found to match her material. Then she would take me to the Magnolia Snack Bar for vanilla and chocolate ice cream which comes in little stainless steel cups. If I was really good, I get to order an ice cream sundae. My favourite was the Merry Widow which was a really strange name for an ice cream but it made me remember it even more after all these years.
Best of all, my school was just behind, up a little road called Emerald Hill . It was fun to know that right at the school door's steps was the iconic retail stretch of Singapore. A great distraction and diversion from our studies back in those days.
Then came the time to tear the buildings down for Centrepoint in 1983. I was sad to see the Magnolia Snack Bar and Hilda's go but with all modernisation, it was inevitable.