buildings. This transition like many others suffered it's casualties such as the dismantling of the Tivoli Hotel on the Canal Zone Side named after the Tivoli Hill upon which it resided. Built in 1906 and closed in 1971, completely dismantled by 1975. One of its first residents was claimed to be by President Theodore Roosevelt. Though it's official reason for closing was due to its old age others like myself believe it was closed because of it's symbolism of American Imperialism and pressure from the Panamanian politician's because it strode the border between the existing Canal Zone and the city of Panama upon which it looked down upon from the Tivoli Hotel.
Panama has become a hot bed of foreign investment and a thriving metropolis because of their unique position of having the security of American protection due to the Canal and the use of the US dollar as the main form of currency. The Panamanian's standard of living has notably risen due to the countries income from the commercial use of the Canal for which they now have total control and will be bolstered even further by the addition of an additional canal for the super tankers and cargo ships.
That being said the Panamanians have not lost their since of culture or historical lifestyle as you can find if you dig deeper into the older parts of the city and out in the country side where I had found that little had changed in that respect. I was taken by a local taxi driver, Manuel, that became a friend, to an open air restaurant on a corner in the old part of Panama City. She served fried fish and plantain chips that she cooked right there, served on a patio table surrounded by plastic chairs. If you wanted a cold beer they would send someone to a local store around the corner to get you one or several. I was charged $6.00 US for the meal although I felt the locals got a better deal. Still it was a bargain, it was fresh, and delicious and you could practice your Spanish with the local patrons. I don't think many Gringos know about this location as I was the only one there at the time and it seemed that I was not their normal guest though they treated me as one.
Since I love to travel and try local food I will comment on my experiences, places, and food that I encounter so that others may be inspired to travel to the same locations with some insight into the local food , restaurants, culture, places to stay (hotels or airbnb) and hopefully avoid some of the pitfalls and tourist scams so not to waste time and money unnecessarily. I would also appreciate posts and comments on the same locations by others!