CUBA

Havana on the Cusp

First Shot

First Shot

Taken from my cab while traveling from Jose Marti Airport to Centro Havana.

Malecon Tradicional: Centro Habana

Malecon Tradicional: Centro Habana

A once former beauty facing the Straits of Florida slated to be restored.

George:  "I grew up in NYC!"

George: "I grew up in NYC!"

Met George my first morning in Havana. His English was excellent as he spent the first fourteen years of his life in NYC. “Most beautiful city in the world!”

Calle San Miguel

Calle San Miguel

Shot early evening. This street is two blocks north of the "Capitolio" Cuba's capitol building.

Eduardo: Mire

Eduardo: Mire

I met Eduardo at 6:00 am on a Saturday. He was sitting on step and noticed I was a foreigner. When he discovered I was an American he said, “Mire” and pulled up his shirt.

Eduardo II

Eduardo II

Then he showed me his back.

Old Movie Theater Wall

Old Movie Theater Wall

This street art was found on the wall of a large building at the corner of Industria and Animas in Centro Habana. During the day fruit vendors set up their carts in front. Look closely to find the clue as to the building’s former use.

Early evening baseball on the Malecon

Early evening baseball on the Malecon

Saw these boys playing the day after Cuba beat Mexico to win the Caribbean Cup.

Parque Anfiteatro

Parque Anfiteatro

It's the same for thirteen year olds the world over.

Elementary School Children – 4:00 pm

Elementary School Children – 4:00 pm

Traditional school uniform for elementary school children.

Middle School Children – 7:00 am

Middle School Children – 7:00 am

Middle schoolers wear gold.

Malecon Facade

Malecon Facade

My first morning out walking I found this building two locks from where I was staying. Thinking it abandoned I decided to enter to see its interior.

Malecon Lobby

Malecon Lobby

The decaying lobby with its graffiti had it's own beauty.

Sign of Life

Sign of Life

This lit up towel found in an alcove off the main corridor told me the building I thought was uninhabited was actually not. It was here that I realized that the wires and fuse boxes were live, not just abandoned relics.

Interior Wall With Wires

Interior Wall With Wires

This wall was directly across from where the hanging towels had been.

Close up of Electric Meters

Close up of Electric Meters

These are functioning meters with wires strung in the most direct routes to their destinations.

Flamingo Mosaic and Wires

Flamingo Mosaic and Wires

More detail from the interior of the building.

Corner of Industria and Virtudes

Corner of Industria and Virtudes

Found three blocks from the Casa Particular I called home.

Mercado Vegetal - Industria

Mercado Vegetal - Industria

Farmers would sell their produce for extra cash in any open space. These were not ration stores.

Carrot Vendor

Carrot Vendor

Fifty cents a kilo. Produce in Cuba is all organic as there are no fertilizer factories in the country and it is too costly to import. (Due in part to the US embargo)

Green Store / Red Bike – Calle Crespo

Green Store / Red Bike – Calle Crespo

Productos Agricolos – Calle Crespo I

Productos Agricolos – Calle Crespo I

Kitchen Interior

Kitchen Interior

Late Day / Mercado Vegetal

Late Day / Mercado Vegetal

Cured Meats and Water Bottle

Cured Meats and Water Bottle

Cold water bottle, meant to keep flies away.

Blue & White Mercado Carne

Blue & White Mercado Carne

Meats sold the day the animal is slaughtered and butchered.

Green & Yellow Mercado Carne

Green & Yellow Mercado Carne

Los Parados: Bar/Cafeteria

Los Parados: Bar/Cafeteria

Local hangout on Calle Neptuno.

Interior Los Parados: Bar/Cafeteria

Interior Los Parados: Bar/Cafeteria

Orange & Green Refreshment Stand

Orange & Green Refreshment Stand

Since the mid 90’s Cuba has been experimenting with small private enterprise. Many Habaneros are trying their hand at the restaurant business.

3:00 pm Break Before Dinner Rush

3:00 pm Break Before Dinner Rush

Just off Calle Obispo, the main tourist thoroughfare, two restaurant employees take a break before the dinner rush.

Cell Phone Break

Cell Phone Break

Chef just off Calle Obispo checking his phone.

Old Wall and Vines: Calle Obispo

Old Wall and Vines: Calle Obispo

Dance Performance – Calle Neptuno

Dance Performance – Calle Neptuno

One of eight groups who performed traditional Cuban and contemporary dances.

Hip-hop I

Hip-hop I

Hip-hop III

Hip-hop III

Tourist Dancer - Plaza Vieja

Tourist Dancer - Plaza Vieja

Lobby Casa Del Tango – Calle Neptuno

Lobby Casa Del Tango – Calle Neptuno

Street Soccer Champs

Street Soccer Champs

Hanging Out

Hanging Out

Riviera Movie Theater: Vedado

Riviera Movie Theater: Vedado

Many buildings in the Vedado district date from the 1950's. It's in this area that North American mobsters set up casinos and clubs and with the full cooperation of the Batista Regime.

Bus Stop Front of Eladio Cid

Bus Stop Front of Eladio Cid

This complex, probably built in the 60’s or 70’s was five blocks from the Cuban Communist Headquarters. Not luxurious by American Standards (note laundry hanging) but much nicer than buildings in Centro Habana and Habana Vieja.

Blue Truck and Building: Vedado

Blue Truck and Building: Vedado

Hedge: Eladio Cid

Hedge: Eladio Cid

Garden: Eladio Cid

Garden: Eladio Cid

La Elegante: Calle Neptuno

La Elegante: Calle Neptuno

This is where I found toilet paper. Cuba is not a consumer’s paradise. Goods are very limited and when you do find what you want there is only one brand. No exception in La Elegante.

One Block from Parque Central Hotel

One Block from Parque Central Hotel

There were very few ads anywhere, and this felt completely out of place except for the fact that is was one block from a major tourist hotel. Step into a hotel and you leave Cuba.

Ration Store I

Ration Store I

Quiciniera Dress - Dept Store Window

Quiciniera Dress - Dept Store Window

Dept Store Display Window

Dept Store Display Window

Entrance Dept Store

Entrance Dept Store

Wedding Display

Wedding Display

Waiting for the Ferris Wheel

Waiting for the Ferris Wheel

Chair Ride: Parque Maestranza

Chair Ride: Parque Maestranza

Gallery Door – On the Prado

Gallery Door – On the Prado

Street Art: Habana Vieja

Street Art: Habana Vieja

Street Art: The Little Prince

Street Art: The Little Prince

Street Art: Just Off Malecon

Street Art: Just Off Malecon

Street Art: Centro Habana

Street Art: Centro Habana

Street Art: Che

Street Art: Che

Sunday Afternoon Cafe 3

Sunday Afternoon Cafe 3

My Dog: On the Malecon

My Dog: On the Malecon

Waiting for Breakfast

Waiting for Breakfast

My Dog: Centro Habana

My Dog: Centro Habana

George II:  "I grew up in NYC!"

George II: "I grew up in NYC!"

Fifty Feet From Tourist Shops

Fifty Feet From Tourist Shops

Neighborhood Fruit Vendor

Neighborhood Fruit Vendor

Pedi-Cab Lot

Pedi-Cab Lot

Pedi-Cab in Alley

Pedi-Cab in Alley

Shop Entrance

Shop Entrance

Interior Decay

Interior Decay

House Decoration

House Decoration

Green Taxi Centro Habana - 7:00 am

Green Taxi Centro Habana - 7:00 am

Cuban cabs always carry three or more passengers. When one gets out someone else jumps in, as long as the cab is traveling in their general direction.

Lavender Taxi

Lavender Taxi

Blue Car Parked in Front of Home

Blue Car Parked in Front of Home

Yellow Car at Mercado

Yellow Car at Mercado

Orange Cab #40

Orange Cab #40

Red Taxi: Capitolio

Red Taxi: Capitolio

Habana Harbor and Fisherman

Habana Harbor and Fisherman

Fishing on Malecon

Fishing on Malecon

Fisherman's Candle

Fisherman's Candle

Habana Harbor Sunrise

Habana Harbor Sunrise