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Our Man In Havana

While driving in Cuba, beware

While rolling down U.S. 1 last month, a friend of mine swerved, trying his best to miss an orange, four-plus-foot, iguana, but didn’t. Thwap! Hmmm, well that was a drag, we agreed. But the real drag was the copious amounts of Monster Energy drink that had spilled onto my gorgeous, tack-sharp $2,000 Nikon 14-24mm lens.[…]

It’s a job; someone has to do it

Most people roll their eyes when you say “I’m just doing my job,” but dang it, sometimes it’s true. I’ve used the line many, many times over the years and still got grief for photographing Bill Clinton in Key West on one side of the political spectrum, as well as Donald Trump during his Key[…]

Under the Cuban sun

Cayo Levisa, which, I’m told, means “stingray” in “Cuban Spanish,” is a sunny strip of sand located in a federally-protected area along Cuba’s northern coast and offers great diving and snorkeling … but for visitors, only. The problem I have with places like this is that they are uber-touristy, and hanging out with a bunch[…]

If you go to El Cobre …

Long before I could speak more than 20 or so words in Spanish, I fell in love with the music of Willy Chirino. Even though I had no idea what he was talking about, I knew it was good. Born in Cuba’s westernmost province of Pinar del Rio, Chirino was sent, unaccompanied, to the United[…]

Reaching Santiago de Cuba is half the battle

Just as Cuba is worlds away from the United States, so too is the island nation’s second-largest city, Santiago de Cuba, from the tourism cash cow of Havana. This can be good and bad. The reality is, the former isn’t nearly as “gringo-friendly” as Havana. However, most would agree, they’re both quite safe, it’s just[…]

Honey production is a sweet deal for Cuba

One of my favorite things about visiting Cuba is how new, interesting experiences so effortlessly unfold. Back in March, I brought four really cool ladies to my friend’s place down in Matanzas Province. His nickname is “Don Yoyi” and he has to be met to be believed. Other than my own, wonderful mother, I honestly[…]

‘Remember the Maine,’ and never forget those lost

If you’ve ever Googled “USS Maine explodes,” (and who hasn’t, right?), you’d know that the phrase “Remember the Maine, to hell with Spain,” is just about as prevalent as the varying casualty numbers and names. What is known is that the 318-foot USS Maine was the country’s first battleship and set off for Havana, Cuba,[…]

USS Maine memorial holds much history

It’s not easy to come up with stuff each week for this column, but when I came across this run-of-the-mill shot of the USS Maine memorial in Havana, I figured that it may be interesting to point out how much evidence there is of our “involvement” with Cuba. We’ve been everything from friendly trading partners[…]

Another world just an hour away

If you’re gonna spend more than a night or two in Havana, you really should consider getting out a bit. About an hour away from the megatropolis is a gorgeous respite for even the mildest of adventurer. Once the only oasis between Havana and Pinar del Rio city, the “Servi-Cupet” gas station was a lonely[…]