Sunday, June 23, 2013

Old City, New City - and the Canal in between

Urbanizacion Panama

Both within and beyond the City's bounds it's evident there's a whole other side of Panama that spans time and crosses era's.  Immediately upon arrival, on the ride from Panama City airport into the City proper, it was evident that Panama is undergoing a another big transformation in context of a long history of change.  I was shocked - as the plane crossed the mountains, out from the tropical forest abutting the Pacific sprouts a stand of glass, concrete, and steel towers.  The skyline of Panama City - in a strictly North American context - approximates New York City's in scope, Miami's in color, San Francisco's in style, and Vancouver's in its laid back vibe... all overlain entirely with Latin  and tropical threads.    

The keystone to Panama City's arch through time (post-colonial), of course, is the one and only: the Panama Canal.  It's not like a tower or building visible from any one point; though it is visible as a glimmer on the landscape when seen from one of the various mounts.  The mark of the Canal on the citysphere is evident everywhere, from the cranes dotting the skyline to the layout of the city's districts and roads relative to the port. It's clear the Canal, and the geo- and domestic political and economic history surrounding it, have shaped the current city.  Yet (as an outsider..) there seems to be something in the spirit of the (..history of the) genesis of the City that carries through all into even today. 

At some points, I envisioned that in some places I was right in a spot to capture something of each era I'd sensed there. 

A critical part of the Canal's history - rail car used in the building of the Canal. Panama City, Panama.

Seen on approach -Panama City.  Nears the Southern terminus of the North/Central American stretch of la Carretera Internacional, the Interamerican Highway.

View upstream into the Canal, with a never-ending procession of ships passing through it in either direction.  From the Interamerican Highway Bridge over the Canal.

From Old Panama City towards the New.  It's amazing what a few centuries will do to a place. 

A remnant memorial to an age quickly receding further to the past.  Here a national monument not far from the capital's center.. but rather forlorn and forgotten.  At the end of the fortress wall on el Paseo las Bovedas.

Another view of Past towards Present - from el Paseo las Bovedas, Panama City.

Reviving and restoration of the Old Pananma within the urban shadow of the New; and all within an uncertain economy.  From el Casco Viejo, Panama City.

Relics of Old Panama from the early era of the Western Colonial period in Central America.  Lit up now only..for effect.  Casco Viejo, Panama City, Panama.

My second digitally edited photo ever! I liked the framing and perspective, but the sky was basically washed out in the shot, and way to expansive.  But.. what do you think?

Private underground party, for the City's business and medical elite.  In a converted fortress bar, this was just one of the party rooms & drink corners.  No lighting effects or any digital editing - this was it.  Casco Viejo, Panama City, Panama.

Modern Panama City 'ghetto'; here, the local version of public housing.  Brand new, and from a very popular government to the poorest people, this is one way Panama City is dealing with extreme poverty in context of a quickly booming local economy. 

Images from beyond the City, in a very well-cared for version of the colonial-era decor that would denote all parivate buildings in the Old Panama City center.  This abode now houses a bank, hours from the city itself, in Las Tablas, Panama.

Slightly edited photo, this from inside the ruins of such a colonial-style building - in the urban style.  This crazy wreck is literally across the street from a whole complex of Panama's federal government buildings. One of the many clear exhibits that Panama is growing, and growing fast.  Casco Viejo, Panama City, Panama.

This could have gone in the post on beaches and sunsets. But this one is in fact from the wall of the fortress that surrounded el Casco Viejo, or the Old City.  That parapet now overlooks a shallow, muddy shoreline whose reach extends only to where the Panama Canals begins on the Pacific - right under that bridge where the Interamerican leaps it.  That one monumental human feat - not just its creation, but its maintenance and now concurrent expansion - has shaped everything in Panama City and strongly, almost directly, influenced everything in this part of the world.  Not only people and nations, but as seen here, the very landscape and environment, too.

The photos laid out heretofore are taken with a Samsung Galaxy Nexus 
 Creative Commons License
These works by Tim Paez are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License


Sunday, June 16, 2013


 Sunsets and Shorelines

17 - 24 January 2013.

On a whim and by request did I make this brief dream trip a reality. I admit, I was less than enthused by the destination when I was first being convinced on the idea.  Though meeting up with my family - anywhere else but 'home' - was the real draw.

However, it wasn't long after arrival in-country until I found myself enthralled and quite tickled (yea, tickled. tickled silly.) by the obvious character that touches everything and everyone here - that of being adaptable, of being the willow rather than the oak.  It's a national character developed out of the tumultuous post-colonial history this country has borne, and the dynamic economy resulting from it's geography - and of course the paradisiacal natural environment.

The first series of photos, in no real particular order...

Of course I'm starting with a sunset photo - a few more are coming and I have to space them out.  Here, just one of man amazing sunsets enjoyed by the shoreline.

My younger broseph in the bro-mobile - all on the off-road path to nowhere.  Azuero Peninsula, Panama.

Walking along the Pacific shoreline, then looking inward - this idyllic river-side estate emerged from behind the river mouths' bend. Outside Pedasi, Panama. 

Rarely was I further from the sea than this during most of my week in Panama.  Whether to sleep, read, eat, relax, drink, or anything else - the 'meow' (definitely not 'roar') of the waves was not far....

...and later that day, I wasn't much further either.  About 12 feet away from where the above photo was taken; and maybe about as many more beers deep, too.

Here, a favorite photo of mine. "Saltwater Wedge" Azuero Coastline, Panama.

Navigating the manglar waterways - local style - on the coast-side of the Azuero Peninsula, Panama.

Packing up the truck at dusk, to head back to the semi-real world.  Somewhere, Azuero Peninsula, Panama.

My first digitally edited photo.. Ever.  Through the bro-mobile's rear window, as we head back eastward.  Azuero Peninsula, Panama.

Legitimate surf trekkers wrapping up after a weekend contest. Eastern Azuero, Panama.

Seaside lounging.  My brother, living the tough life..

...and me, getting us ready for an even tougher afternoon! Near Pedasi, Panama.

Not far from most of these other shots, and a sunset unadulterated by digital editing: "Session's Over".  Near Pedasi, Panama.

The photos laid out heretofore are taken with a Samsung Galaxy Nexus 
 Creative Commons License
These works by Tim Paez are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License