26 de Nov de 2022


Flamenco, a local dance of death

A flamenco, is a Spanish gypsy dance or song. In Panama it is a dance of death for disappearing trees on Flamenco Island, where the go a...

A flamenco, is a Spanish gypsy dance or song. In Panama it is a dance of death for disappearing trees on Flamenco Island, where the go ahead has been given for a further $100 million development to include houses and a hotel. The island, the last of the three joined by the breakwater beloved of joggers and cyclists survived years nearly a century of military occupation and gun emplacements, but not the blandishments of development.

One more green spot will disappear, and it’s a fair bet that none of the homes under construction will be for any of Panama’s struggling middle. Just another gated community.

How nice it would have been to build some paths through the original vegetation, so that citizens could climb up and enjoy the view of the ocean and the canal from a carefully crafted picnic spot.

DIABLOS ROJOS. One suggestion for a limited number of the old wrecks is to use them as tourist buses, travelling a fixed route through the city, with guides to indicate points of interest. They would of course have to be tarted up, the engines overhauled and quieted, but the hard seats and outside decorations would remain.

This approach has been used with old transports from trams to buses in many cities. The drivers of course would be trained to obey traffic signals, stop only at designated pick-up points, and give signals when changing lanes, They would also learn to be customer friendly

FREQUENT FLYER. Last week we reported on the claim that President George W. Bush read 96 books a year while in office. Given his duties as head of the most powerful national in the world, engaged on two war fronts, that seemed an unlikely scenario

But what about our own president Martin Torrijos? With so many trips abroad in the presidential plane, there must be lots of time to read, with “crime” books high on the list of must read volumes. This would be a welcome diversion from scanning scurrilous media reports of his frequent flyer missions, the rising crime rates in Panama, and accusations from the Balbina Herrera camp, that her lowly position in the presidential race, is largely due to the current president’s failures.

CITYSCAPE In the early stages of the construction of the Cinta Costera , a competition was organized for graffiti artists. Their works now fill the billboards the length of Avenida Balboa, for all to enjoy. Hopefully, someone will think it worthwhile to keep some record of their contribution to improving the city landscape, and perhaps some other construction works will be encouraged to copy the idea. In the meantime, some graffiti artists have taken it upon themselves to lighten up the fences surrounding some recently demolished homes on Calle 42, across from the former home of the disappeared Taj Mahal restaurant.

Incidentally, a correspondent in Costa Rica informs me that the other Taj is alive and well in San Jose.