• Home
  • Audio
  • Video
  • Print
  • Art
  • Photos
  • Live
  • Features
  • About
  • Sale
  • Instagram
  •  

    Is This the Isthmus? Tour – Panama Part 6

    Friday, July 21, 2017
    Downtown Panama City, Panama

    There's a lady who knows all that glitters is gold, and she's climbing a skyscraper to Heaven. Downtown Panama City, Panama.
    There’s a lady who knows all that glitters is gold, and she’s climbing a skyscraper to Heaven. Downtown Panama City, Panama.

    In the center of this photo is the rocket that Panama used to send its astronauts to the moon back in 1865. It was designed by Jules Verne. Downtown Panama City, Panama.
    In the center of this photo is the rocket that Panama used to send its astronauts to the moon back in 1865. It was designed by Jules Verne. Downtown Panama City, Panama.

    It’s the rainy season in Panama, and that can only mean one thing: The obligatory afternoon thunderstorm. And we sure as Hell got one around noon today, in the form of a torrential downpour. I was bummed, because I was hoping to ride a bicycle on the strand to go skyscraper spotting in Downtown Panama a couple of miles away, but it looked like the black skies were going to rain on my little parade all afternoon.

    Downtown Panama City, Panama.
    Downtown Panama City, Panama.

    A stressed flyer in Downtown Panama City, Panama.
    A stressed flyer in Downtown Panama City, Panama.

    Finally, around 3:00 pm, the darkest clouds had passed on by, taking the rain with them, and leaving a grey sky in their wake. So, I rented a bicycle from Luna’s Castle, which was free; you just have to leave a $20 deposit and they scan your passport. Unfortunately, the only bikes they have available are three beach cruisers, a design I dread because of the awful geometry. Plus, these bikes have short seat posts, which means you can’t raise the seat high enough to get any torque on the pedals. So, we’re talking slow, inefficient pedaling and too much calf strain, to boot. But, at least the bikes are in working order.

    The Corkscrew, Drill Bit or Tornado skyscraper, or whatever you want to call it, in Downtown Panama City, Panama.
    The Corkscrew, Drill Bit or Tornado skyscraper, or whatever you want to call it, in Downtown Panama City, Panama.

    This skyscraper has the Mega Ramp attached to it. Downtown Panama City, Panama.
    This skyscraper has the Mega Ramp attached to it. Downtown Panama City, Panama.

    It was pleasant as fudge cruising down the strand because it has a dedicated bike lane, which means no hassles for the most part–just full steam ahead. As I arrived downtown, the bike path unfortunately ended in a little cul-de-sac, so I decided to head inland a few blocks to get a close-up of that amazing Drill Bit skyscraper that I had spotted from the taxi when I first arrived in town last Sunday. Due to an absence of bike lanes and a total lack of respect for bicyclists in Panama, I was forced to ride on the sidewalks, though, which was a pain, because wheelchair accessible curbs are few and far in between. That means I had to slow down and almost stop to avoid damaging the bike’s rims or spokes as I gingerly lowered it and raised it on each curb.

    Panama supports this lady, literally. Downtown Panama City.
    Panama supports this lady, literally. Downtown Panama City.

    A mural of a Polerra dancer and a parrot in Casco Viejo, Panama City, Panama.
    A mural of a Polerra dancer and a parrot in Casco Viejo, Panama City, Panama.

    Closer to the Drill Bit skyscraper, a few characters were out plying their trade on the busy city streets, including a couple who did tricks with a soccer ball for cars sitting at red lights, a pro juggler who was unfortunately taking a break, and two lovely ladies in Panama hats who were passing out some kind of promo brochures. Looking skyward, it’s safe to say Panama City is Hell-bent on giving Singapore a run for its money on being the skyscraper capital of the world. There sure are a lot of them here, although some of ’em look like they could use a bath, and / or a fresh lick of paint. In Singapore, by contrast, there’s not one speck of dirt on anything anywhere.

    Spanish colonial architecture in Casco Viejo, Panama City, Panama.
    Spanish colonial architecture in Casco Viejo, Panama City, Panama.

    Video Net store front shut down for the night in Ancon, Panama City, Panama.
    Video Net store front shut down for the night in Ancon, Panama City, Panama.

    Words and photos ©2017 Arcane Candy.

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *