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Our Man In Havana

Cuba’s street performers owe debt to Graciela

Long before Havana started looking like Orlando, complete with hoards of doughy, American, bus-riding tour groups, there was Graciela. In my humble opinion, she was the “mother of all street performers.” Technically, she didn’t really perform, per se, but for a buck or two, she would allow you to shoot one photo of her clamping[…]

After 78 years, the Tropicana nightclub continues tradition

Each and every night, some 900 visitors to Cuba converge on the Marianao neighborhood on the outskirts of Havana to witness a nearly 80-year-old tradition under the stars. The Tropicana nightclub is set in a lush, tropical, 6-acre garden complete with royal palms reaching skyward from the expansive seating area. During inclement weather, the show[…]

Cuban artist’s work continues to grow

While the home of Cuban artist Jose Antonio Rodriguez Fuster has become a full-blown tourist attraction, I stop short of calling it a tourist trap. Located in the fishing village of Jaimanitas, a few miles west of Havana proper, his ever-changing neighborhood is passed on the way to Marina Hemingway. For many years, you had[…]

Key West, Cuba collide in celebration

Over the weekend, hundreds and hundreds of sailors, along with their friends and family, participated in both the Havana Challenge Hobie Cat race and the 25th anniversary of the Hemingway International Yacht Club at Marina Hemingway on the outskirts of Havana. While there were some scheduling challenges, overall, at least from my perspective, it looked[…]

Commodore keeps Cuba, Marina Hemingway open to all

Back in 1999, my friend B.J. Martin got a hold of me and asked if I’d like to swing by El Meson de Pepe at Mallory Square to meet the Commodore from Havana’s yacht club. Coming from landlocked Ohio just three years earlier and not knowing (or caring) about any kind of boating that didn’t[…]

In Cuba, rice is loved by all

Prior to the Cuban Revolution, in the late 1950s, Cuba was the ninth highest destination for agricultural exports for American farmers, with rice near the top of the list. In return, Cuba provided the United States with sugar, molasses, tobacco and coffee. During recent years, Cubans have had to rely on countries like Vietnam, Brazil[…]