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Jan 2010

Entertainment Tonight

Individually there was nothing really extraordinary about what we did on two successive evenings this week. But talk about different, read on.

INAC building  Dancing

Sunday evening I was walking Wags and stumbled upon a stage (plus a couple of hundred people waiting for a performance to begin) in Plaza de Francia. When I got back to the apartment I told Jane that something was about to happen and we should go check it out. Shortly after we got back to the plaza a modern dance troupe started their performance. We had good seats - on the steps of the Instituto Nacional de Cultura (same steps James Bond used when he entered the "Grand Andean Hotel" in the last Bond movie) and we had a nice breeze, under a starry sky. We're not into modern dance - but stuck around for 30 minutes and it was . . . . well, interesting, and after a short walk along Las Bóvedas we were back at the apartment. Read More . . .

What's it cost

This won't be a post showing how inexpensive it is to live in Panama. In my experience, someone's "cost of living" has less to do with where one lives than on how one chooses to live - wherever they are. Jane and I could certainly live on less, but could also spend considerably more - if we had more and wanted to - but are happy with our current lifestyle.

I can tell you our monthly expenses in Panama are at least a third less than when we lived on St. Croix. Some things are cheaper, some more expensive. On both St. Croix and here in Panama we find items that we feel simply cost too much but we frequently will buy the item anyway - because we need it and if we "shop around" or wait for a better price the item may disappear from the shelves - for a long time. Read More . . .

Busy weekend

With a gallery opening, an exhibition, the jazz festival, eating out and the theater it was a busy weekend.

Inside Vida
Like almost everywhere things are quiet and then it seems everything happens at once. This past weekend in Casco was one of those busy sessions. We got started Saturday afternoon by doing a mini gallery crawl. I would guess that we have at least a dozen galleries in the neighborhood, ranging from the required tourist souvenir places to those that showcase original works only (high priced). One of our favorites, Galleria Vida (prior home of our angel), was hosting an exhibition by an artist visiting from Key West. These miniature paintings of scenes around Casco Viejo were very nice - looks like a couple will find their way onto our walls along with another angel. Read More . . .

Yellow is nice

Until recently Jane and I relied on taxis to get around and for the most part it worked out well. We had a few experiences that resulted in interesting stories and over time we became pretty proficient at getting around the city. A couple of minor difficulties, however, always made these taxi outings more of a challenge then they should have been. Namely, it was always hard to tell if a cab was occupied (no fancy little light on top) and it was difficult to tell if the car in question was really a taxi (no standard color) so you ended up waving at a lot of occupied vehicles, some of which weren't even taxis. Read More . . .


Nice day to be inside
I understand that it's a little cool for those of you up north. Here in Panama we certainly don't have that problem but we do need to keep reminding ourselves what season it is - lest we get confused. Now lets see, looking at the big picture (season wise) we are now in the "dry" season, which runs from December to May. Unless . . . it doesn't stop raining on time or starts raining a little early, then we just go with the flow - you need to be flexible. Of course, the other half of the year (give or take a little, or sometimes a lot) is our "wet" season. We do get occasional rains in the "dry" season, but things don't stay wet - so we call it dry. Got that. Read More . . .

Transcontinental Journey

Panama Map

In many parts of the world a transcontinental trip is a big deal, requiring significant planning and days (if not weeks) of travel often under less than great conditions. Not so in Panama where people live on one coast and work on the other, riding the world's first transcontinental railroad (established in 1855) or driving the newly opened Corredor Norte (tollroad) on their daily commute. We even have vantage points in Panama where you can actually see both oceans at the same time. Not surprisingly, our transcontinental journey is more akin to a leisurely Sunday outing than an expedition as we can travel from the Pacific to the Atlantic (Caribbean) in under an hour whenever we want to do a little exploring. Read More . . .

New Year a new look

fireworks 2
Hope everyone's new year is off to a good start. Decided to give Panama Notes a little makeover - new colors, the site is a little wider and I've got some added flexibility when displaying photos and my little animated slideshows. Will see how it goes (hope I don't mess too many things up) and what the reaction to the new look is.

In RapidWeaver, the program I use to create Panama Notes, you get a different look by either changing theme or modifying your existing theme. I'm trying a new theme (E Flux by Nick Cates Design) primarily because it offers a "lightbox" feature for displaying videos. When you see a "Play Video" button, click and it displays a video in a "overlay". Since I doing more videos, it should be a nice addition. We'll see. Read More . . .
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