There is such beauty in Panama. It’s a shame we don’t always appreciate it. Here, glimmering glass and steel high-rises are valued and admired much more often than the colonial architectural jewels of our past. Much of our turn-of-the-century –that is, the 20th century– neighborhoods look little or nothing like what they used to in their glory days during the 20s and until the 70s; a period when I believe the most beautiful houses in Panama were built. Now, I’m most definitely not a historian or an architecture expert, but Bella Vista is one of those neighborhoods developed during the first half of the 20th century and in my eyes the most gorgeous and under-appreciated part of our bustling city. West of Bella Vista is La Exposición, a neighborhood built for a World Fair in the 1910s; another area with amazing potential. Broad avenues and generous sidewalks, it’s one of the most European looking sectors of Panama, of course always with our tropical edge.
In Bella Vista, near the Parque Urracá, there are two beautiful old buildings right next to each other. The Sousa, painted in a bright yolk yellow, and the Hispania, painted in the quirkiest Pepto Bismol pink. I just love it! So much so, that I have always wanted to shoot an outfit in front of it. What better piece than this black and white Kate Spade jumpsuit? The neutral colors make the girly colored building the perfect complement for a look from the whimsical, feminine brand par excellence.
So now you know. If you are ever in Panama, don’t just visit Casco Viejo! Walk about La Exposición and Bella Vista for more beautiful architecture and great photo backgrounds.
Thanks for reading!
Photos by Raphael Salazar.