Category: Cuba, 2014

More Street Walking and Dancing

February 1

Celebrated the advent of February by not getting up early for a 6:15 Dawn Patrol, instead starting the day with buffet breakfast and then meeting with the group at 8:45 to discuss the day.

We set off on foot into Cenral Havana, photographing street scenes as we walked along, poking into a flower shop here, a place where monthly allotments of eggs were dispersed and generally keeping our eyes open for what was around us. I’m including a number of them here, unsure of whether readers may find them as engaging as we did. I find the ability to remain in the moment here very liberating and quite different from back home, where my mind often races ahead of me. We are completely free to move about anywhere, there no strong police or military presence, and people are very friendly. We do get occasional requests for money, but not excessively so, and not in any way that feels the least bit aggressive.
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Our destination was an open park, a cement park, where we were to have heard a concert, but that didn’t happen, or not any time close to when it was supposed to happen, so Carol and I wandered back to a theater we’d passed earlier, where we’d encountered some very cute little girls, who were to dance at the theater around 11. We saw them dance various different numbers, interspersed with clown acts that delighted the crowd even more than the dancing. Here are photos of the girls outside the theater and as seen from a distance in costume.




We meandered back to the hotel after the performance and had a pleasant lunch on the roof, then worked on photos and the blog before our 2:30 meeting. We opted to skip the afternoon activities, take a walk down The Prado ( where we saw children in art classes) to the Malecon (young men diving into the ocean), and then wander back to the hotel, where we are to hook up with Randy Kaye, form Toronto, and his wife, Judy, who are in Cuba with a Canadian photography group. I met Randy on my trip to Guizhou, China in Nov, 2012, and we have stayed in touch. He’s part of the small group of four photographers I’ve put together, who share and comment on one another’s photos four times a year.
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Carol and I returned to the hotel before 4PM, relaxed and met Randy and Judy on the rooftop of the new portion of the Parque Central, where they are staying, at 5:30. There’s a set-up for dinner on that roof, though, so we switch to the rooftop of the older building of the Parque Central, where we are staying. We spend a lovely hour and a quarter chatting with Randy and Judy on the scenic rooftop, for me, renewing acquaintances with Randy and meeting Judy and, for Carol, meeting them both. They have their final group dinner tonight and take off from the hotel at 4AM tomorrow.

We shower and relax in our room before going down to the lobby to meet our group at 8:30. All but one in the group have decided to splurge to go to the famous Tropicana night club (at a cost of over $100 per person). Jennifer has arranged for taxis (old American cars) to take us there and back. As I was there in April, I am not surprised at the stunning and continuos 2-hour dance and music show, with brilliant costumes and headdresses, that ends around midnight. The Tropicana is outdoors and the performances take place on multiple levels all around the huge open area. It is, to say the least, quite a spectacle. Back to the hotel and to bed by 1AM.< 20140202-151926.jpg








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