Category: Cuba, 2014

A Day with Eduardo

February 2

Breakfast buffet with Marjorie. Today is our “day off”. We’ve been given a host of possibilities, and the guides are at our disposal. Carol and I manage to nab Eduardo for ourselves, and we spend a delightful morning wandering the streets of Old Havana, Havana Vieja, with him, with no goal other than to experience the somewhat sleepy Sunday street scene.

Eduardo is 36 years old, and spends about half the year guiding for the Santa Fe Photographic Workshop, and the rest of the year photographing for himself. We and his twin brother show and sell their work together. Eduardo has a wonderful warm, friendly and easy manner, and Carol and I are ready to adopt him. We wander into the beautiful old and restored Raquel Hotel, which Eduardo had not known before. Mtoe hotel has only 26 rooms, all of which are named for Biblical characters and have mezzuzot outside each room. There is magnificent stained glass and grill work all around the hotel. We go up to the roof in the vintage elevator with a handsome grate door.

We stop whenever the spirit moves us, chat with people on the street, photograph children and give them pens and candy that we’ve brought along for that purpose. We also do to a dance studio where Eduardo and his brother, Orlando, show their photographs. After a couple hours, Eduardo drops us at the National Art Museum, where Carol and I want to see the contemporary Cuban art. We spend a bit of time looking around, but are too tired from the walking to do it justice. Sandwich lunch at the museum, then walk back to the hotel and relax.

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At 2PM, we meet Eduardo and his brother. We spend some time looking through his various portfolios on an iPad. He’s very good, and much of the work, particularly the black and white photos, is excellent. We very happily buy a black and white piece (for about $350) that Carol and I both like, and which will both serve as a remembrance of the trip, and also support Eduardo and his family. If you want to check out Eduardo and Armando’s website, here it is http://www.peoyectosiamesphotos.com

Carol was going together a massage, but there was a miscommunication on time, so we just hung out at the hotel, until 4:30, when we took a taxi to the Teatro Mella in the Vedado area. We met Eduardo there and got excellent tickets for the flamenco performance. Eduardo sat elsewhere and, as a local, paid about 1/20 of the price, but since our tickets were $11 each, we did not mind. Four others from our group were there, independently. The performance was extraordinary and memorable; incredible dancing with great passion and considerable variety in the numbers. The female star, Irene Rodriguez, was particularly outstanding. I have no photographs, because taking pictures was prohibited.

We met Eduardo afterwards, and he helped to get us into a cab, headed towards Vistamar, a paladar (restaurant) that Eduardo and the concierge at our hotel had recommended, independently in Miramar. They were right. We had an excellent dinner outside by the sea, and were entertained by a guitarist/singer who was very pleasant to listen to. We bought one of his CDs.

After dinner, we took a taxi to the Jazz Cafe, where we arrived 45 minutes before the music began. I liked the saxophonist and keyboard players in the first group we heard, but Carol did not like the group. Neither of us cared particularly for the long opening number of the second group, so we left in time to retire at midnight at the hotel.

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So, to recap, our day off started with breakfast at 8 AM, continued with a great 2-hour walk with Eduardo in Havana Vieja, included a stop to view contemporary Cuban art at a museum, a meeting with Eduardo and his brother at which we purchased a photograph, an incredible flamenco dance concert, a lovely dinner by the sea with guitar music and jazz music until our return to the hotel around midnight. A very relaxing day off. And I don’t really give a damn who won the Super Bowl, anyway.

A Day with Eduardo

  • Sharon Silverman

    Love the photos, Arnie. It sounds like you and Carol are having a marvelous time. Be glad you aren’t here where the Polar Vortex continues its ruthless, raging, rampage! Sharon

  • Barbara Sandler

    Sounds like a rich and very full day. With muy bueno photos,
    to go along with it. Too bad there was no time for a nice siesta.

    Couldn’t get Edouardo’s photo website recognized by my apple laptop.
    Hope and assume it’s not a racist thing. Probably the age of my technology.

    Our struggle with the Polar Vortex continues. Though the last couple
    days were a winter wonderland. At least through my living room window.

    Love from,
    Your Little Sister

  • Jodi

    What a fantastic day off!

  • Rick Trenkmann

    Hi Carol and Arnie,

    My original message got deleted somehow. We found relief from cabin fever by visiting the caves of the Apostle Islands this past Saturday. Good exercise as it was round-trip on foot just to get to the site in 14 degree weather.

    Stay warm.

    Rick

  • Aaron Freeman

    What grand images. What kind of camera?

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