Panama’s own Champs Elysees
When the Irish famine drove thousands of immigrants to the United States, many arrived believing that the streets were paved with gold. ...
When the Irish famine drove thousands of immigrants to the United States, many arrived believing that the streets were paved with gold. A major British investment specialist, shortly moving his Middle Eastern operations from Dubai, to Panama, must have similar feelings. Describing the move the company’s CEO said: “The move of our operations to the Champs Elysees of Panama City signals a significant shift in global market trends.
The Champs Elysees in Panama? In case you wonder where these Elysian Fields are, the executive was referring to Avenida Balboa.
Either he hasn’t strolled down the Champs Elysees with the Etoile at one end and the Place de la Concorde (and the U.S. Embassy) at the other, or he hasn’t seen Avenida Balboa or both.
Even with the new Cinta Costera, which seems to have allocated more space to parking and roads than greenery, somehow Avenida Balboa seems a distant cousin.
But we look forward to the day when our challenge to Paris will be lined with high end boutiques, magnificent restaurants, and cafes, where well heeled citizens can sip coffee and cognac, and watch elegantly attired matrons, and the haut monde pass by.
While there was recent heady talk about $5000 a square meter property along Avenida Balboa, on the Champs Elysees you might get a bargain rental of 94 square meters, for a year at $1.5 million. But for that you will get the world’s greatest Christmas lighting display...free.
Personally I feel that the nearest our fair city has to a European ambience is Via Argentina. But, hey what’s wrong with Panama’s own beauty spots like Casco Viejo, away from the concrete jungle that is about to swallow up the once beautiful Bella Vista.
And talking about Dubai. According to a recent BBC documentary local residents have difficulty finding a job, and tourist levels have dropped dramatically as the world economic crisis bedevils travelers. Dubai is now looking to attract visitors from neighboring Arab state
SWING THE LAMP. That’s an old Navy expression for swapping yarns or tall tales, so you can take some of the following with a pinch of old salt. Reading the letter from retired Colonel Ed Lesesne in Phil Edmonston’s column yesterday, brought back some of my own service memories.
Col Lesesne was earning $68 a month when he joined up. Lucky guy. As a young cadet I received about $6 a month, plus a small clothing allowance. We were allowed to draw half our pay every two weeks. The clothing allowance was saved by many to purchase a Burberry raincoat from naval stores for about $6. For resale at about $12 or $14. (The last time I priced a standard issue type Burberry, it was on sale around $1,300.)
In my youth a British Admiral of the Fleet (there were eight of them) earned about $30 a day. With Nelsonian ambition I hoped to one day join the hallowed group, but some years later smirched my chances by not pushing my eligibility to marry the horsey daughter of a retired Admiral.
In the daylight she proved the wisdom of the sailor’s maxim: “There’s nothing makes a the woman look so beautiful as two pink gins inside a man.” As a footnote, those were the days when a pint of British beer cost about 20 cents. In an earlier era British Tommies (GI´s) described US soldiers based in Britain awaiting the D Day invasion as: “Overpaid, oversexed and over here.”