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Lovers hit the roof
Publication Date : 04-07-2012
For more than half an hour, teenager Rachel Yeo canoodled with her boyfriend on the roof of Orchard Central shopping mall - in front of diners at glass-fronted and alfresco restaurants nearby.
"It is a little bit weird to have them looking out at you," admits Yeo, an 18-year-old student.
Still, the extra pairs of eyes have not stopped her from going to the dimly lit roof garden - 831 sq m of greenery spread over the mall's 11th and 12th floors - more than once with her press-shy date.
"You don't get a lot of places like this in Singapore, which are nice, quiet and have a good view," she adds.
When you are high on being in love, sometimes romancing only in equally elevated environs will do. These days, young courting couples are eschewing Mount Faber, once a popular park-and-paw spot, for more accessible, free, open-air peaks.
At VivoCity mall, which has a 20,000 sq m sky park on its third floor, couples cluster on low steps to kiss and cuddle.
Student D. Shah, 19, there with his girlfriend, is unfazed by other couples, tourists and scampering children around them. He says: "I don't think we need so much privacy, as everyone minds his own business and looks away, at the sea, the ships, the sunset. Everyone does their own thing."
An e-mailed statement from VivoCity, in response to SundayLife!'s queries, does not comment on the hot and heavy activities. But its general manager, Chang Yeng Cheong, adds that "to ensure our patrons' safety and convenience", CCTVs are installed at key areas and security officers conduct regular patrols in the sky park, which closes at midnight every day.
For steamier action, the Esplanade's spiky roof seems to be the destination of choice for some, with shrubbery giving the illusion of privacy.
In particular, a secluded area in the centre of the rooftop garden is where brazen couples engage in petting.
"My friend told me to come here," says a 21-year-old Singapore Management University student who declined to be named, when spotted making out with his girlfriend there. He and his 19-year-old girlfriend, a National University of Singapore undergraduate, are there for the first time.
Regular Esplanade patrons take the public display of affection under the stars in stride. "I don't think it's an issue," says assistant facilities manager Jasmine Wong, 25, who visits the arts complex monthly. "I've seen them around when I go to the rooftop but I don't find them disruptive."
Meanwhile, the Esplanade declines to say whether it monitors the free R-rated performances that go on overhead, citing security reasons. Director of operations Ravi Sivalingam adds: "Public spaces such as our Concourse, Outdoor Theatre and Roof Terrace are accessible to everyone."