Tag Archives: streets

Santa Cruz Del Norte

Early one October morning, Romnis (Meet Romnis: https://wp.me/p4fUlX-Tt) and I traveled to Santa Cruz del Norte to explore and photograph.

Santa Cruz del Norte is a small fishing village on the North shore of Cuba about 50 km east of Havana. The first view was of the power plant just outside the town.

Our goal was to get into the marina and photograph the old wooden boats, but the guard was not in the mood to grant us access. Perhaps another day. We set out to explore the rest of the town.

This cozy little beach near the mouth of the river was not very inviting.

The trash problem exists everywhere.

(Down By The River – https://wp.me/p4fUlX-Qh)

Breakfast – Pan con tortilla, jamon, y queso.

People are busy, but as friendly as ever.

This man waved me over to watch the butchering of a pig. I didn’t stay long.

Some of the housing.

A definite Soviet influence.

It was recess when we passed the school.

Along the shoreline ….

more trash.

I imagine this was a sandy beach before hurricane Irma changed the landscape.

Abandoned discoteca. I suspect another casualty of Irma.

Well, not everyone was busy.

This man was selling his car.

…. and, the ever-present propaganda.


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.


Boiler Repair

After a couple of hours wondering I found myself near the oil-fired power plant in Havana. As in the U.S., many of these old plants have beautiful architecture so I got as close as I could.

Title on the sign: “Advice from the commander-in-chief”

As I rounded the corner I realized there was some repair work in progress.

Workers were replacing  tubular air pre-heater modules and the old sections were being cut up on the ground.

New modules and duct-work were placed where the crane could pick them up.

I wanted to get a few images of the workers hanging on the side of the boiler house, but numerous security guards waved me away.

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.