Monthly Archives: January 2014

Spring Festival (Chinese New Year) 2014

Panama, Casco Viejo Casco Antiguo Welcome to the year of the “wooden horse”! Year 4712 according to the Chinese calendar, and this particular symbol refers to optimism and joy. Today, Panama`s Chinese community starts celebrating today (and for the next 15 days) with music, fireworks, dance and traditional rituals. Today, sponsored by the Chinese business community, they`ll have a special show at the Figali Center starting at 2 p.m.  (for free) with dance, acrobats and highlights of Chinese culture. If this is your first Año Nuevo Chino in Panama, you might notice that the first “China Town” is still in … Continue reading

Casco Recicla Art Fundraise

Panama Casco Viejo, Casco Antiguo Tuesday, the Casco Viejo Neighborhood Association (AVACA) organized a fundraising event to raise funds for its recycling program. The event was at Nuratti, a small but chic hotel in Casco Viejo. The event was a silent auction of art pieces made with material from the recycling center and themes about nature. There were also a couple of interactive pieces, where the public was able to participate creating a map of Panama with bottle caps and a tower of gliding paint. The event was super fun and a success! The program will be able to buy … Continue reading

La Buat Casco Viejo

Panama, Casco Viejo, Casco Antiguo Calle Doce (12th Street) is starting to get some interesting activities! One of my favorite spots, behind the Escuela de Estados Unidos by the Masonic Lodge, has opened a music venue called “La Buat“, a word game for La Boite, the old dancing discos that back in the 50`s would play Caribbean music such as Soka and Calypso. On Thursday, January 30th, they`ll have a concert by Carlos Mendez, a Panamanian musician that lived in Mexico and is now back in town. Go check it out! here is the info:  

Domino Effect by Jonathan Harker and Donna Conlon

Panama Casco Viejo, Casco Antiguo For months I saw artists Donna Conlon and Jonathan Harker rescuing old bricks that were being replaced in Casco Viejo. Carrying them in buckets and then by cart, piling them without giving anything away. Last January 16th, in Diablo Rosso, we could see the final product: their piece “Domino Effect” portrays the bricks falling (or pushing?) through the whole Casco, in a commentary on how the city of Panama is changing, and how Casco Viejo – a World Heritage Site – has fought to keep its authenticity. The bricks “walk you” through Casco, in a … Continue reading

Farm to Table: Donde José, Casco Viejo

Panama, Casco Viejo, Casco Antiguo I`m excited about Casco`s restaurants raising the bar in the City. Last week, Fish Market got featured in the magazine 9 -80, and the American Trade Restaurant opened doors featuring great stuff. This week I wanted to catch up and feature Donde José, a different type of restaurant that has just opened doors and is worth mentioning for many reasons. First, there is the food. You`d think talking about restaurants, this should always go first, but so many times it is not. I`m glad to report food is the whole point of it. José, a … Continue reading

Danilo`s Jazz Club Casco Viejo for this week!

Flash news! great concerts in Casco Viejo this week!  

Great Before and After Photos of Casco Viejo, Panama

Panama, Casco Viejo, Casco Antiguo The Organización de Estados Ibero Americanos has just released a very interesting book with a really good collection of “before and after” photos of Casco Viejo.   It was a treat even for our trained eyes, finding new photos and corners of life in Panama back in the day.  A small peak for those who know Casco Viejo: can you recognize Plaza Bolivar (specifically Hotel Colombia)? Not sure if this book will be for sale, but it should. We`ll try to find out if they`ll have it at the Canal Museum or maybe the recently restored … Continue reading

Jazz Community Celebrates Opening of Jazz Club in Casco Viejo

Panama, Casco Viejo, Casco Antiguo Last night, Panama`s jazz lovers gathered around the fire of music to celebrate the opening of the American Trade`s Jazz Bar. This has been a dream come true for everyone involved, a dream that started when Casco Viejo developer Conservatorio S.A. donated space to the Danilo Perez Foundation almost ten years ago to open and grow his jazz school in Panama.  The idea was to help raise the bar of music education in Panama, by not only creating a place for talent to develop, but to have a full cycle, where students from everywhere in … Continue reading

Open! Restaurant at American Trade Hotel

Panama, Casco Viejo, Casco Antiguo This week, several things are happening around the Panama Jazz Fest. One of them is the opening of the American Trade Restaurant. We were there for the tastings and had a great time. Loved everything, but specially the chayote soup with chile poblano and the tuna.  The ambiance is terrific, your meal will have views to La Merced church and I think eventually they`ll open at Plaza Herrera.  My favorite house cocktail: Nebula . But if you are into vintage drinks, they`ve rescued a couple of recipes from old Colón (Caribbean side of Panama).  If … Continue reading

Surprises when restoring in Casco Viejo

Panama, Casco Viejo, Casco Antiguo You never know what you`ll find digging through the layers and layers of history while restoring a building in Casco Viejo. The photos below are from the former St. George school in Casco Viejo, which was thought to be a building from the 50`s. While restoring, the owners discovered beautiful calicanto arches, way under the concrete layers. And now, at the very entrance, the original sign that reads: “Chaluja Alfonso”. I had no clue what this meant, until this past weekend when passing by with my father and his friends who grew up in Casco, … Continue reading