Havana on the Cusp
Taken from my cab while traveling from Jose Marti Airport to Centro Havana.
Malecon Tradicional: Centro Habana
A once former beauty facing the Straits of Florida slated to be restored.
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
Shot early evening. This street is two blocks north of the "Capitolio" Cuba's capitol building.
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.
Then he showed me his back.
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
Saw these boys playing the day after Cuba beat Mexico to win the Caribbean Cup.
It's the same for thirteen year olds the world over.
Elementary School Children – 4:00 pm
Traditional school uniform for elementary school children.
Middle School Children – 7:00 am
Middle schoolers wear gold.
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.
The decaying lobby with its graffiti had it's own beauty.
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
This wall was directly across from where the hanging towels had been.
Close up of Electric Meters
These are functioning meters with wires strung in the most direct routes to their destinations.
Flamingo Mosaic and Wires
More detail from the interior of the building.
Corner of Industria and Virtudes
Found three blocks from the Casa Particular I called home.
Mercado Vegetal - Industria
Farmers would sell their produce for extra cash in any open space. These were not ration stores.
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
Productos Agricolos – Calle Crespo I
Late Day / Mercado Vegetal
Cured Meats and Water Bottle
Cold water bottle, meant to keep flies away.
Blue & White Mercado Carne
Meats sold the day the animal is slaughtered and butchered.
Green & Yellow Mercado Carne
Los Parados: Bar/Cafeteria
Local hangout on Calle Neptuno.
Interior Los Parados: Bar/Cafeteria
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
Just off Calle Obispo, the main tourist thoroughfare, two restaurant employees take a break before the dinner rush.
Cell Phone Break
Chef just off Calle Obispo checking his phone.
Old Wall and Vines: Calle Obispo
Dance Performance – Calle Neptuno
One of eight groups who performed traditional Cuban and contemporary dances.
Tourist Dancer - Plaza Vieja
Lobby Casa Del Tango – Calle Neptuno
Street Soccer Champs
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
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
Hedge: Eladio Cid
Garden: Eladio Cid
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
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
Quiciniera Dress - Dept Store Window
Dept Store Display Window
Entrance Dept Store
Waiting for the Ferris Wheel
Chair Ride: Parque Maestranza
Gallery Door – On the Prado
Street Art: Habana Vieja
Street Art: The Little Prince
Street Art: Just Off Malecon
Street Art: Centro Habana
Street Art: Che
Sunday Afternoon Cafe 3
My Dog: On the Malecon
Waiting for Breakfast
My Dog: Centro Habana
George II: "I grew up in NYC!"
Fifty Feet From Tourist Shops
Neighborhood Fruit Vendor
Pedi-Cab in Alley
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.
Blue Car Parked in Front of Home
Yellow Car at Mercado
Orange Cab #40
Red Taxi: Capitolio
Habana Harbor and Fisherman
Fishing on Malecon
Habana Harbor Sunrise