Tag Archives: Havana

Leonel

I’ve known this young man’s mother and family for four years. I’ve watched him grow from an out-of-control hellion  to a calmer and more well behaved boy. Perhaps it’s the Karate lessons he has been taking lately that have him more disciplined. For his 7th birthday I promised I would bring him a uniform. He was thrilled when I visited last month.

 note: The age of seven is when the Cuban government cuts off the children’s milk subsidy. Now his mother has to pay full price for a bag of powdered milk.

 

Where they live:  https://wp.me/p4fUlX-is

 

Kids still play marbles in Havana.

When it started to rain I ducked into the restaurant La Algarabia on the corner of Neptuno and Escobar.  I sat at a table on the Escobar side and had an open view of the boys in action. I photographed while enjoying a great plate of Arroz Frito.

Here they are using a manhole cover as a goal, with the concentric rings used to keep score.

One marble rolled into the outer ring earns one marble from the boy taking the action. One marble in the second ring earns two. One in the center earns three.

They take turns “taking the action”.

Of course there is always an argument about something.

Sidewalk Sale

I came upon these two gentlemen on a not so busy street in Centro Havana. It was obvious they were trying to sell all this stuff.

There were lots of liquids in bottles of all shapes and sizes. They tried hard to sell me some of the dark liquid in a Rum bottle. I was told that I could rub it on my skin or drink it. I was assured that it would cure everything. I declined.

Then they wanted to sell me some cigars.

When I declined this offer, they gave me one to try. It was your basic working man’s five cent cigar.  I have had these before and they are not bad, for the price.

I felt badly because they were very friendly and obviously could use the money. I spied the collection of old books for sale for one CUC each (about one dollar) and picked out a couple to buy.

One was a History of the USSR, written in Spanish, and published in Moscow.

The other was a history of the Trujillo conspiracy, one of the first CIA backed attempts at overthrowing the new Castro government. The book had some interesting photos.

I ended up giving them each another CUC for their time and photos.

 

CCR

No, not Creedence Clearwater Revival

Cuban Computer Repair.

On two occasions I asked  my friend Heiler to look at my malfunctioning laptop. The first time he quickly diagnosed a bad memory stick and replaced it with one from his laptop.

The last time things were a bit more complicated. I had a problem with the keyboard that required complete disassembly and cleaning.

Both repairs started with the 12″ red handled kitchen knife and a shot of rum (for me).  When I asked him why he did not use the miniature tool set I gave him, Heiler shrugged, said something that I did not understand, and laughed. We all laughed. Cubans love to laugh. I drank more rum.

 

Where They Live – Avarista

Avarista is an 81-year-old living in Centro Havana. She tells us that she is former film star. Her screen name was Arri Teresa Bruzo.

 

Her apartment is hidden in the interior of one of the huge old buildings in Havana.

Like almost all the living spaces on the ground floor, the air is thick with the odor of mold and mildew.

 

Singer

Cars aren’t the only American product that have survived the 60 years since the revolution.

These heavy, old, American-made, sewing machines just keep on working. They can be found quite often in Cuba.

This woman in Cojimar takes in sewing jobs to earn a few pesos. She was kind enough to let me photograph.

 

People with sewing machines in their homes can find work to do.

 

Singers are still used in businesses.

 

The Presidential Limo

I wonder how many Americans have ever been this close to the Presidential limo. I don’t think one can get this close in the United States.

These photos were taken in 2016 during the U.S. President’s visit to Havana. I happened to be staying across the street.

Wide angle shot from just outside the doorway to my casa. The woman on the right is U.S. secret service.

I assume the man with the extra long backpack was also secret service. I was amazed at how relaxed all the U.S. personnel were, in comparison to the Cuban security force.

Cars filled the street ( San Rafael ) for as far as I could see and they all kept their engines running.

After jumping back and forth from one side of the street to the other, this woman said “You, SIR, are to get in one doorway and stay there”.  I went back to my balcony.

Check this post for the worst kept secret in Havana :

https://wp.me/p4fUlX-oM