Havana, April 2017

Havana, April 2017

 

Heartbreakingly beautiful, Havana is a city steeped in the past and looking with hope and excitement to the  future. Walking through streets devoid of posters, billboards, logos, you find your pace slowing, your focus drawn to the crumbling facades of the buildings, the resting dog splayed on the doorstep, the intense  green of a courtyard set against pastel walls and dusty alleys. An old woman, cigarette clutched between her teeth, sweeps garbage from the sewer grate. Children in school uniforms wait at the curb for the bus. Black exhaust belches from ancient rattling cars. Then, drums—a rumba band starts up in the plaza, draws a crowd, then continues up a side street in a slow rolling march.. You walk toward the sea, past buildings under repair and others long ago condemned but still inhabited. These fall away at once, surrendering to Avenida de Maceo. You cross Frogger-style the six lanes of unceasing rumble and then—the Malecon, the vein holding the lifeblood of Havana in its long seam – grit, sand, seaspray—laughter, joy, love—and the pescadores stand like monuments on the seawall, patiently, patiently waiting. And casting again.

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