Casco Viejo is the old part of Panama City with very narrow brick streets, museums, plazas, old churches, old ruins, government offices, hip cafes, and hallowed out abandoned buildings. Contrasts mark this part of town. Some apartments are painted very nicely with vibrant green plants and flowers adorning the porches whereas for others the paint has peeled off and the residents watch an old TV on a pile of rubble. Police with submachine guns patrol nearly four corners of every block. Police with even bigger guns guard the presidential palace (we quickly found out these were no-nonsense fellas).
Why the heavy police force? 1) Tourists. 2) So nobody complains about the poor residents being pushed out of the neighborhood. 3) So nobody complains about rich people moving in. 4) To impress UNESCO, who declared Casco Viejo a "world heritage site" in 1997, and maybe get more money for more police.
I hope they don't paint this door. I kind of like it the way it is.