A Not-So-Nice Touch

The old town in Panama was the original town and from its remnants, it must have been stunning. But as the city grew and built out, the old town was abandoned and became a slum. These days it’s being fixed up, but the side streets are still ragged and dirty. I started down a street today and an old black guy shook his head and said, “No, no,” and put both his hands on his throat like he was being strangled. So I reversed course. It’s like the city is under siege, cops on every corner, tough guys, a menacing presence. One cop slapping his baton in the palm of his hand, another with his hand on his pistol. Today an armored truck drove up to one of the big markets. Two armed guys got out to pick up the money while a third stood outside the truck, looking in all directions and holding a wicked-looking shotgun at the ready.

About Lloyd Kahn

Lloyd Kahn started building his own home in the early '60s and went on to publish books showing homeowners how they could build their own homes with their own hands. He got his start in publishing by working as the shelter editor of the Whole Earth Catalog with Stewart Brand in the late '60s. He has since authored six highly-graphic books on homemade building, all of which are interrelated. The books, "The Shelter Library Of Building Books," include Shelter, Shelter II (1978), Home Work (2004), Builders of the Pacific Coast (2008), Tiny Homes (2012), and Tiny Homes on the Move (2014). Lloyd operates from Northern California studio built of recycled lumber, set in the midst of a vegetable garden, and hooked into the world via five Mac computers. You can check out videos (one with over 450,000 views) on Lloyd by doing a search on YouTube:

One Response to A Not-So-Nice Touch

  1. Lloyd, I have thought this before and now tell you…you are capturing humanity through it's buildings. An anthropologist of sorts! You read the stories told in the bones of stucture, the floors and roof tiles and you tell the stories of people. You are a story teller. An ancient offering. An artist!


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