PEDESTRIAN needs will take priority in the upgrading of Via Argentina, as Panama’s mayor Hose, Isabel Blandon continues a program that will ensure he leaves a lasting mark on the city during his first term in office.
One of his targets is Via Argentina in for a $24.2 million facelift “The main change includes the undergrounding of cables, improving drainage and widening sidewalks,” said Blandon and the traffic around the Einstein triangle will be re-routed to make the area more pedestrian friendly.
Arguably the most European looking of Panama’s “boulevards”. Argentina is devoid of mega high rises and retains a human dimension that encourages visitors to walk the avenue, and explore the scores of retail outlets and dining and wining spots from fast food to restaurants serving Peruvian, Spanish, Mexican and Panamanian dishes. There is even a New York Bagels, where hunched over their lap tops and tablets you will find an eclectic mix of visitors and locals munching on the product that gave the eatery its name, washed down by sips from a bottomless coffee cup.
For those who like their suds home brewed, the Rana de Oro pub overlooks the oversized bust of the oversized thinker Einstein. While ruminating on relativity, or people watching, from the patio or deciding on a lifetime souvenir from a nearby tattoo parlor you can sample, free of charge the various draft offerings before making your final choice.
Other favored people watching bases are Manolo’s, El Prado and Trapiche all with long local histories and a wide selection of Panamanian dishes.
At the foot of the Avenue, before you reach Via Espana, is Panama’s upscale Indian restaurant Avatar, that will always have you returning for more, as even a gargantuan appetite will not let you sample all of the delicacies listed on the menu and spiced to your own taste. Oliver couldn’t have asked for more, and unlike the waif you will get a warm welcome from Canadian hosts Avtar and Sanjay.