Havana Part 2

This is part two of a series for my Storyboard on Flipboard. In 2018 I visited Havana, Cuba for photography and journalism. I stayed with a family that hosted their home as an Airbnb in Old Havana, Cuba aka Havana Vieja. I created a series of journals to document the journey and just in case the Cuban government decided to check what I came up with at the airport. 

2.18.2018 (Cuba) Day 2 in Cuba has been fun so far. I walked over 8 miles today and explored. I got up and I had a huge breakfast courtesy of my Airbnb host. There was juice, bread, coffee, fruit and an omelette all for 4 CUC! I had no idea Cuba would be so affordable! As it stands I should have money left over to convert back to USD. I mean there will be that additional 10% penalty but still. Anyway, I moved on to walk through Merced. (the street where I’m staying.) I definitely felt comfortable now.

 I almost felt like a local walking through the sun kissed streets. My first impression of Havana Vieja is that it has charm. I mean even the buildings that aren’t renovated are beautiful in their own way. I walked all the way down the street until I reached San Pedro. From there I decided to spend my day walking along the path closest to the water. I stumbled on an art fair full of immaculate paintings by local artists. Most of them were of street scenes in Cuba but there were portraits, abstracts and conceptual pieces too. I took a look around for about twenty minutes and moved on to the industrial district. 

There was a long, winding street with buildings on each side. I walked and walked and walked until I came across a historical museum. There were cannons surrounding it and the standouts were the pirate ships and the various gold coins. Next I walked through a plaza to listen to some live music. I ended up walking so far that I left Old Havana and came across the contemporary Havana. The contrast was so interesting. I prefer the historical district but seeing the modern architecture was refreshing. It took me about an hour or so to get back. 

 Finally, I walked around Havana at night and my stray observation is that everyone leaves the door open. It was disarming to a view into the lives of so many Cubans. It reminded me of Iowa where people leave their door unlocked. I mean the screen doors were closed sometimes but you could still peer through. It’s just a different culture.

Copyright © 2018, Raheem Nelson. All rights reserved.
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