I escape the sprawling blandness of Orchard to rendezvous with old friends on Arab Street.

Further up the neighbourhood, I wander into Golden Mile Complex, once the shining hope of a major urban development scheme in the late 1960s. The precinct never quite fulfilled the heady aspirations of its planners, but relative neglect has so far spared the marks of its history from the obsessive renewal that has washed the soul out of so many other places on the island.