Joo Chiat Introduction, Geography & Weather
Joo Chiat is nicely nestled in Singapore's eastern coastal region. An easy 10-minute car drive to the city centre, Joo Chiat is first and foremost a solidly middle-class residential neighbourhood.
It is not a narrow land strip that's tightly bounded around Joo Chiat Road. It goes beyond the parallel boundaries set by Onan Road and Tembeling Road, covering instead an area that is encompassed by Geylang Road, Haig Road, East Coast Road and Still Road.
It is here that you will still find many of Singapore's quaint two-storey pre-war architecture with their ornate facades, plaster bas reliefs and vibrant colours. Mingling among these historic terrace houses and shophouses are pretty art deco buildings with their clean geometric lines and curves, and a few remaining charming old-world bungalows.
Even so, we think of our neighbourhood as part of a larger amorphous geography better known as Katong.
Historically, Katong referred to the old Marine Parade, Amber and Meyer neighbourhoods.
But, over the years, convention has more loosely defined it as the large contiguous suburb that embraces Tanjong Rhu, Mountbatten, Amber, Meyer, Tanjong Katong, Joo Chiat and Telok Kurau and, some insist, the reclaimed Marine Parade, which was once the seaside promenade that Katongites swam and played in. East Coasters sometimes even argue that Frankel, Siglap, Kembangan are part of Katong. But really, together with Geylang Serai and Bedok, Frankel, Siglap and Kembangan are Katong's corridors.
Be that as it may, myjoochiat.com will cover this larger geography. It is, after all, home to all of us who live in Singapore's cosmopolitan East Coast.
Joo Chiat is sunny with a balmy breeze all year round. After all, in the old days, it was just a 10-minute walk to the beach front. It could have become Singapore's own original beach resort. It is where Singapore's first holiday homes, hotels and sanatoriums were built in the early 1900's, besides its gambier and coconut plantations.
Unlike many parts of Singapore, Joo Chiat can be dry: laundry dries fast in the East Coast and bread left out takes longer to mould.
The weather does get oppressive some days, especially before the rain. That's when Singapore's equatorial humidity weighs you down.
Heavy, stormy weather hits from November to January when the northeast monsoon winds blow. During these months, rain can pour down continuously for days. But usually, throughout the year, sudden showers freshen up the day.
Between November and January, Joo Chiat's average temperature ranges from 26C to as high as 30C in the day, and as low as 24C at night. For the rest of the year, it is between 28C to as high as 34C in the day, and about 26C at night.
Joo Chiat's weather calls for casual, hang-loose dressing. We dress down
anyway in Joo Chiat. It's also part of the neighbourhood's kampung