Fifth Time’s a Charm
It wasn’t until my fifth or sixth trip to Panama City (maybe even the seventh, I lose track), until I broke away from my usual routine of hanging around the coast to explore the local, non-touristy, internally-situated residential neighborhoods of PTY.
RELATED: My many Panama trips chronicled HERE.
I quickly became particularly fond of an area called Obarrio. Its small, tree lined streets were charming – with little stores, simple cafés and modest parks. The neighborhood was just far enough away from the towering skyscrapers of the financial district and busy (and noisy) highways near the water. Obarrio was nothing short of an idyllic little neighborhood that I could totally see myself living in: walking my little dog to the park, having coffee on the sidewalk while eavesdropping on the latest gossip, and stocking up on groceries at the family-owned mini-market on the corner.
And speaking of “living” – what I loved the most were the apartment buildings of Obarrio. The low-rise units, that looked like they’d been built in 1950s and 60s, were all extremely different from one another, each claiming its unique set of cool but modest features. Some had tile, others were painted with wild colors, like pink or teal. Many boasted some really sexy lines and curves.
These buildings weren’t necessarily fancy, in fact, many were in dire need of face lifts, but almost every one of these apartments spoke to me. I imagined each one had an incredible story. And every building had its own name: The Cecimar, Raphin, Minerva…the Stella Maris! I must’ve looked like a young boy, with wonder in my eyes, stopping to take photos of each building as I said its name out loud as if I were greeting a new friend. “Belver!” “Mariel!” “Mamy!” I’m definitely turning into the weird old guy who talks to squirrels – only I’m talking to buildings!
RAMBLIN’ TIP: Find a hotel in Obarrio HERE.
So, are you ready for a little tour of Obarrio? Below are some of my favorite little apartment buildings. Click on the images below to expand them: