Coming from western rural Canada, the idea of big city living seemed quite foreign to me, but it was on my bucket list! So here we are checking in from Panama City, where our rented condo overlooks the bay and busy Balboa Boulevard below. In the faraway distance, numerous boats are lined up for their entrance into the Panama Canal. “What’s vertical living?” you might ask. It’s living in this:
Or in one of these:
It’s when we meet new friends and they say, “Oh yes, we live in that tower over there. See those two big one and in between them, see the smaller one with the gold stripe? The first 5 levels are parking and then you count up 10 more floors. We’re on the 15th floor facing the bay. See that little balcony with the plants on the right side? You should come over and visit sometime.”
It might be working in this landmark building with the crazy spiral architecture :
Truly, it’s a different kind of living. We spend a lot of time on the very top deck common area, poolside, on the 27th floor because of the magnificent view.
The pool lies limpid and refreshing in it’s marine blue velvet smoothness.
Yet, we manage to bring our northern mentality even here with late picnic dinners on the top floor deck, grilling on the BBQ.
All around us the neon lights run up and down, or side to side on each uniquely lit-up building, and it reflects off our wine glasses as we raise them in salute.
Salute or insanity? I haven’t decided. How can people live like birds up in the sky in multi-holed towers? Sure the view is incredible, the air rich in earthy aroma and heat. But down on the ground one has to pick your way through a patchwork of obstacles and uneven cement surfaces, garbage thrown anywhere and everywhere. Panama – a distinct blend of the new and modern crowding out the old third world living.
High rises and clean parkside on the right of the 6-lane freeway and crowded pulsating ghetto on the other. “Don’t go into that section of town,” we are told. Is it any different from any big city anywhere on our planet? No.
So, I look out my pigeon hole windows into the night, or gaze across into tiny windows of the worlds of other inhabitants who live in their pigeon holed towers and wonder if all this technology has really brought us any closer together.
Breath-takingly beautiful at night, yes, these are noticeable neon signposts all over the world.
We always build upward, trying to reach the sky. What grandiose essence are we reaching for? We meditate on mountain tops, we pray in churches with steeples like arrows pointing straight up into the sky, we build our rich homes on steep cliff sides, we fascinate ourselves in search of outer space. Why haven’t we ever worshiped the caves, the mines deep in the ground that bring forth our own riches of platinum, gold, and silver. No, it is always the heavens we revere. So even here, I give homage to the heights….