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Forgotten shopping center

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#1 reader



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Posted 25 May 2018 - 10:10 PM

From BBC




Skirting the edge of Bangkok’s restless Chinatown district, barely noticeable among the sagging electrical wires that drape over the city like bunting and the flurry of street hawkers offering colourful fabrics and sparkling baubles, the Nightingale Olympic department store has been both a retail and a psychological anchor of the neighbourhood for almost nine decades.  


All but forgotten, the multi-level cabinet of curiosities stands as a monument both to its own history and to that of the woman who has kept it alive.


Now 96 years old, Aroon Niyomvanich started her career at Nightingale Olympic, the city’s first major department store, when she was just 10 years old. “I was born into the store,” she told me from behind her desk in a corner of the main selling floor.


Inside, the Nightingale Olympic feels more like a living museum diorama than a department store – a Wes Anderson movie come to life. Shelves full of 1950s hosiery in original boxes sit across from stiff-stringed tennis racquets from the ‘70s. In the lingerie section, large, lacy bras hang precariously on rusty tenterhooks, seemingly kept upright by the makeshift counterweight of a 1960s Nightingale promotional bag. Display cases jaundiced with age hold bottles of rare, evaporating Schiaparelli and Christian Dior perfumes. There are deep, progressing fissures in the necks of the store mannequins, and much of the stock looks as if it might turn to dust if handled.

A glass case behind Niyomvanich’s desk holds a mélange of disparate items, ranging from family photos to sports trophies to a small collection of action figures. A calendar open to a page of King Maha Vajiralongkorn, one of many images of the Thai royals around the store, hangs prominently on the wall. “Everything here has meaning,” she said.


Given that this neighbourhood is showing the telltale signs of redevelopment (a hipster barbershop has just opened across the street), I asked her if anyone has ever offered to buy the Nightingale Olympic, a question that prompted a wry smile.


“No-one would dare ask,” she said.


Continues with photos


#2 GWMinUS



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Posted 27 May 2018 - 11:24 PM

Very enjoyable read!! 

Koop khun krub

#3 pong



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Posted 28 May 2018 - 02:02 AM

No, of course not found by BBC/bought/found at other local source-this very same piece was from BKK-coconuts and widely displayed by Thaivisa- by now at least 2/3 monthes ago.

BKK has quite a lot of forgotten shopping centres-many keep on living, but they are not as much museumlookalike as this one.

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