Tag Archives: streets

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 :





Something here didn’t look quite right. We (Susan and I) were walking in an area in south Havana, almost to Cerro when I spotted this tourist taxi and driver parked where there are no tourists. Before we even got to the scene a ramp truck drove up. It was then immediately apparent that the car was broken down. We watched the men load the car and drive off. I cannot remember ever seeing a tow truck in Havana before.


Of course most Cubans cannot afford a tow.



We Are The Entertainment

We are the entertainment when Cubans see Americans …..

Paying one CUC for the 3 peso coin or bill with the likeness of Che Guevara that’s only worth about 15 cents.


An eight CUC  Cuban cigar that they cannot keep lit.

A backpack filled to capacity with who knows what.

Hand sanitizer hanging from the strap of a backpack. (certainly there is more inside)

A 1.5 liter water bottle in hand to prevent the feared dehydration we were warned about (and because it will not fit into the backpack)

A guide-book or map. (although no one can actually read a map)

A camera hanging around the neck because you were told “it’s safer”. (It will be stolen AFTER you get strangled with it.)

The latest iPhone.

White feet.


A five CUC straw hat.

As much sunscreen as an America’s Cup crew member

Eddie Bauer tropical wear shirts with SPF 50 protection. (Much too hot. This fabric does not breathe)

Zip-off pants of the same material. Of course, they are worn as shorts. (See above.)

The latest Che Guevara tee-shirt. (under the Eddie Bauer 60 dollar tropic weight shirt which is unbuttoned. Again, see above.)

Merrill Gore-Tex hikers or Teva sandals.


For a menu in English.

For a mojito at the Floridita Bar.

For directions to The Capitolio.

“What is in congris?”

“Which way is the Malecon?”

Cubans love to talk and they love to laugh.

We must be entertaining.


Image by Susan Downing.







Romnis – “Where You Fron”

If you are walking with a camera in hand, you must be a tourist. At least that’s what most Cubans think and most of the time they are correct. So when I am out photographing with Romnis – https://wp.me/p4fUlX-Tt –  and I hear “where you fron”, I laugh and let him answer.

This gentleman did not believe that Romnis was Cuban. He pulled out a 20 peso bill and made a bet. Romnis dug out his government I.D. and we all had a good laugh. No money was exchanged.


Romnis – Diez de Octubre

My new friend Romnis –  https://wp.me/p4fUlX-Tt – met me outside my casa and we set off for the Havana neighborhood “Diez de Octubre”. It was too far away to walk so Romnis waved down a taxi. Not a taxi in the usual sense. This was a Cuban taxi. The drivers own these old American cars and drive a certain route all day, much like a bus route. You pay a set price for the ride and tell the driver where you would like to get out. The price was 10 Cuban pesos (about 45 cents) each for the ride west and another 10 pesos each for the next ride to the south.

We have traveled many times since that day to photograph where tourists never go.

Havana Nights

This collection of  images  was submitted to the International Photographic Competition of the Professional Photographers of America in August of 2018 and judged as a non-event album .

These images were made in Havana during 2017 and the first half of 2018. Most were hand-held and shot at a very high ISO with only the available light. Nothing was posed or set up because I wanted to capture the mood of the city after dark.