Little Havana, USA

Little Havana of the Nonconformists

A kind of portal
Residents pass in front of the morale that welcomes visitors to Little Havana.
domino park
The dominoes and conviviality center where thousands of Cubans socialize daily.
Art District Cigars
Lionel Mackoy and a friend smoke Cuban cigars outside the Art District Cigars.
tub cocks
One of the many sculptures of roosters scattered through the streets of Little Havana.
hello america
Obviously Cuban-inspired graffiti in a half-hidden alley in Little Havana.
Presidents of the Americas
Domino Park Mural illustrating the presidents of state of the Caribbean and the Americas during the 1994 summit.
in heaven and on earth
US plane flies over the Florida coast and, in appearance, the facade of the Teatro de las Bellas Artes.
post matinee
The Tower Theater building, a kind of multicultural lighthouse in the neighborhood.
Over the decades and until today, thousands of Cubans have crossed the Florida Straits in search of the land of freedom and opportunity. With the US a mere 145 km away, many have gone no further. His Little Havana in Miami is today the most emblematic neighborhood of the Cuban diaspora.

The geometric grid in which the big and modern Miami.

Even so, the new navigation technologies, the various gaudy sculptures of widespread roosters that represent the civic pride of the residents and the concentration of conceptually Cuban businesses make us sure that we have arrived in Little Havana.

As with any visitor, the main objective of the trip to this Cuban capital “B” is Calle ocho, the linear heart of the neighbourhood. We quickly memorize references.

We decided to choose perpendiculars to 16th or 17th Street. From these intersections, we walked along Ocho until we reached the picturesque Domino Park where we got free parking, a rare thing in those parts.

“Máximo Gómez” Park: the Center for Social and Political Assembly of Little Havana

Frequented by dozens of settled Cubans, the Domino “Máximo Gómez” Park functions as a sort of local assembly.

Near the entrance, several middle-aged men above and with hats typical of the mother island share two or three street benches. They also share the smoke of cigars that so many of them enjoy smoking.

In most cases, his exodus from the dictatorial suffocation imposed by the late Fidel Castro will not have been easy.

It may be the Latin way of speaking, but when we approach them, it gives us the idea that they celebrate freedom at the highest volume their vocal chords can reach.

domino park

The dominoes and conviviality center where thousands of Cubans socialize daily.

The political debate is so heated that we fear that the disputers will leave for de facto paths. The continuous presence of a security guard in an untidy little cabin in a corner of Domino Park leads us to believe that, if it happens, it won't be the first time.

Little Havana and Cuban Florida's Contribution to Donald Trump's Election

At the time of our visit, Donald Trump had won the US presidency less than a month ago. His triumph in the state of Florida proved decisive. Against all expectations, the vote of Cuban-Americans in Miami was predominant for this result and a good part of analysts blamed Barack Obama.

On October 14, 2016, the outgoing president eased the embargo on Cuba by allowing US visitors to bring unlimited amounts of cigars and rum from the island. Twelve days later, Obama made the US abstain for the first time in a United Nations vote against that same embargo.

The measures will have especially displeased older Cuban-Americans who do not understand the relief of condemnation of the Cuban regime without opening the other side of the strait.

Trump, that one, didn't forgive. On October 25th, he met with the Bay of Pigs Veterans Association and received their support.

He also took advantage of the blessing to accuse Obama and Hillary Clinton of helping the regime now led by Raul Castro. At the same time, it intensified disputes never before dreamed of among Cuban families and different generations in exile or descendants.

The Colorful and Latin Life in Domino Park and Little Havana in General

As exuberant as it turned out, the discussion we were witnessing was nothing more than an expression of the unexpected conflict, extending to the dominoes tables where the pieces clashed under an infrequent playful tension.

We pushed for the Castilian and defeated the players' strangeness and reticence in the face of our approaching cameras at the ready. Some of the players are free to make fun of rivals with weaknesses: “Photograph the gringo here! He always wanted to be a model”, one of them shoots, making fun of the player on the side who hides the chime in his hands and his face under a cowbell hat.

We leave them for a moment. We investigate the mural in which figures of the Presidents of the Caribbean and South America appear, painted in 1994, when Miami hosted a summit of the Americas.

Presidents of the Americas

Domino Park Mural illustrating the presidents of state of the Caribbean and the Americas during the 1994 summit.

A new altercation, this time between two players, once again demands our attention and that of the security guard who hesitates between intervening and seeing what happens.

Beyond the park's railing, Calle Ocho occupies the lives of residents of Little Havana, these days it's not just Cubans anymore, although they keep arriving.

Calle Ocho and the Not So Emblematic Otras Calles of Little Havana

It now also includes Nicaraguans and Hondurans, African Americans and some 10% non-Hispanic whites, several of them new business owners in the most desirable areas of Miami, including Miami Beach.

We spent three weekends in Little Havana, over the gentle sunsets of the warm winter and dry season of Miami, with the sun melting into an almost communist orange west of the low houses and the simple neons claiming the retinas of outsiders .

Across from Domino Park, the Tower Theater shines with elegance.

post matinee

The Tower Theater building, a kind of multicultural lighthouse in the neighborhood.

During the late 50's and 60's, when countless Cuban refugees arrived in Miami and Calle Ocho welcomed the resumptions of the ferrymen and others, the films projected in their rooms served as a pastime but, even if unconsciously, as an introduction to the mode. of American life.

Little Havana's Tower Theater: A Window from the Neighborhood to the World

This happened for almost 60 years until, in 1984, the cinema was closed. In 2002, the state university of Miami Dade took over its destinies.

Since then, it has hosted the Miami International End Festival. These days, the room acts as a sort of beacon of Little Havana's multiculturalism.

It has a Miami Medea look and shows related films produced all over the world. The local Walk of Fame, which honors Latin stars from the world of entertainment, such as the Cuban salsa dancer Célia Cruz and the singer Glória Estefan, passes by.

Dusk enters the picture. We hurry to appreciate some more of the murals of Calle Ocho, its alleys and perpendicular streets graffiti with the beauty of an 8th Art. We get thirsty.

A kind of portal

Residents pass in front of the morale that welcomes visitors to Little Havana.

We enter a small bar-restaurant where an almost old Cuban man dines at the counter and has a convenient conversation with the maid who seduced him the most, all in the soft and musical Castilian of the Caribbean, with the Florida Keys e Key West, right down there.

The Eccentric Local Alcohol Limitations

We sat on three chairs to one side. we ask for one Smoothie and a Hatuey cerveza, Cuban Style Ale but produced in Florida as happened with everything that is Cuban in those parts, after the painful turning of the back decreed by the aggravation of the 1962 embargo.

“We only sell drinks here to those who also buy food!” informs us the young employee who soon returns to socialize with the senior client. "But is this a rule of Miami authorities or is it something here at the bar?" we retorted slightly indignantly.

"No, no! This one, for a change, is just from here at the bar. The boss there has his reasons.” “Well, if that's the case, we'll want two empanadas, like those over there. We'll choose them right there.”

We recover energy. Returning to Calle Ocho, we find ourselves in a night scene.

in heaven and on earth

US plane flies over the Florida coast and, in appearance, the facade of the Teatro de las Bellas Artes.

Without knowing very well how, we soon returned to the cinematographic field.

The Unexpected Conversation with an Pretender Samuel L. Jackson

In the image of Cuba, Little Havana is meaningless without its shops, factories and cigar halls.

We photographed one of them, the “Art District Cigars” when a customer inside the window decides to mess with us and animate the images. After a few minutes, we returned to the smoky shop.

Art District Cigars

Lionel Mackoy and a friend smoke Cuban cigars outside the Art District Cigars.

Sitting in the company of a friend on a mini terrace at the door, the same cheeky man approaches us. We face him and we could have sworn we were facing Samuel L. Jackson but we don't want to be too hasty since, at least in the films he enters, Jackson is a real chameleon.

Stimulated by some alcohol and eager for socializing and fun, the man pulls on the cigar and the conversation while his friend remains on the defensive, intimidated by the media coverage he had previously seen us give to the establishment.

Until Alberto, a third partner, who had lived in Brazil, appeared there, he had friends there and insisted on practicing rusty Portuguese. And Marco, the owner of the establishment. Everyone seemed to know each other for a long time.

At that time, the African-American we were making fun of, introduced himself but was interrupted by the owner of the place. “Wait, this is when he's going to foist any name on you. But can't you guys see who he is? Does this face not tell you anything? It's Samuel L. Jackson, boys!”

We were stunned. After all, was it? “Confronted with our doubts, the until then, extroverted and shameless target of attention shows himself to be confused. “No, I'm nothing! He's crazy." We went back to examining your profile.

We found that either he wore it on purpose to go unnoticed, or the clothes he wore were too classic for the actor who gave life to Jules, the gangster always cool from “Pulp Fiction”. We decided to let the conversation flow but the situation only becomes more eccentric.

The Intervention of a Cuban Cyclist Who Was at War in Angola

A black cyclist passes by who seems to us inebriated. It starts by asking us for a few dollars but diversifies its approach and ends up finding out that we are Portuguese.

“Portuguese, I don't believe it! I was in the military. Do you know I was fighting in Angola?!” “Is this true?” we asked the group of friends, we were increasingly overwhelmed with so much uncertainty and surrealism.

“It's true that he was in a lot of places, but if I were you, I wouldn't care much. He is tired of inventing.”

If you believe his earlier words, the advice came from Lionel McKoy, not Samuel L. Jackson.

And if we continue to believe in him, Lionel was also a military man or ex-military man. He had passed through Lajes on a very windy day that made him even more impressed with the end-of-the-world in which, with effort, the plane he was following managed to land.

The email you wrote to us to keep in touch started with ussmidwaycv41, the name of a US aircraft carrier

The Missile Crisis that Preceded the Diaspora and the Foundation of Little Havana

In 1962, during the Missile Crisis, the cruiser USS Newport News and the USS Leary were the flagships of the US-imposed naval blockade with the aim of preventing the arrival of more nuclear-laden Soviet vessels to be installed in Cuba.

By that time, the United States and the Soviet Union had ultimately managed to avert a war that could have been apocalyptic.

On September 28, 1965, Fidel Castro announced that Cubans wishing to emigrate could do so starting on 10 October. More than a million and a half Cubans have moved from their home island to the United States.

hello america

Obviously Cuban-inspired graffiti in a half-hidden alley in Little Havana.

Nearly one million now live in Florida, mostly in Miami, a city where a third of the population is of Cuban origin.

The Little Havana we were exploring is just Cuba's little American heartland.

Key West, United States

Hemingway's Caribbean Playground

Effusive as ever, Ernest Hemingway called Key West "the best place I've ever been...". In the tropical depths of the contiguous US, he found evasion and crazy, drunken fun. And the inspiration to write with intensity to match.
Key West, USA

The Tropical Wild West of the USA

We've come to the end of the Overseas Highway and the ultimate stronghold of propagandism Florida Keys. The continental United States here they surrender to a dazzling turquoise emerald marine vastness. And to a southern reverie fueled by a kind of Caribbean spell.
Florida Keys, USA

The Caribbean Stepping Stone of the USA

Os United States continental islands seem to close to the south in its capricious peninsula of Florida. Don't stop there. More than a hundred islands of coral, sand and mangroves form an eccentric tropical expanse that has long seduced American vacationers.
Miami, USA

A Masterpiece of Urban Rehabilitation

At the turn of the 25st century, the Wynwood neighbourhood remained filled with abandoned factories and warehouses and graffiti. Tony Goldman, a shrewd real estate investor, bought more than XNUMX properties and founded a mural park. Much more than honoring graffiti there, Goldman founded the Wynwood Arts District, the great bastion of creativity in Miami.
Miami beach, USA

The Beach of All Vanities

Few coastlines concentrate, at the same time, so much heat and displays of fame, wealth and glory. Located in the far southeast of the USA, Miami Beach is accessed by six bridges that connect it to the rest of Florida. It is manifestly meager for the number of souls who desire it.
Melbourne, Australia

An "Asienated" Australia

Cultural capital aussie, Melbourne is also frequently voted the best quality of life city in the world. Nearly a million eastern emigrants took advantage of this immaculate welcome.
Little India, Singapore

The Sari Singapore of Little India

There are thousands of inhabitants instead of the 1.3 billion of the mother country, but Little India, a neighborhood in tiny Singapore, does not lack soul. No soul, no smell of Bollywood curry and music.
Okavango Delta, Not all rivers reach the sea, Mokoros
Okavango Delta, Botswana

Not all rivers reach the sea

Third longest river in southern Africa, the Okavango rises in the Angolan Bié plateau and runs 1600km to the southeast. It gets lost in the Kalahari Desert where it irrigates a dazzling wetland teeming with wildlife.
Yak Kharka to Thorong Phedi, Annapurna Circuit, Nepal, Yaks
Annapurna (circuit)
Annapurna Circuit 11th: yak karkha a Thorong Phedi, Nepal

Arrival to the Foot of the Canyon

In just over 6km, we climbed from 4018m to 4450m, at the base of Thorong La canyon. Along the way, we questioned if what we felt were the first problems of Altitude Evil. It was never more than a false alarm.
shadow vs light
Architecture & Design
Kyoto, Japan

The Kyoto Temple Reborn from the Ashes

The Golden Pavilion has been spared destruction several times throughout history, including that of US-dropped bombs, but it did not withstand the mental disturbance of Hayashi Yoken. When we admired him, he looked like never before.
The small lighthouse at Kallur, highlighted in the capricious northern relief of the island of Kalsoy.
Kalsoy, Faroe Islands

A Lighthouse at the End of the Faroese World

Kalsoy is one of the most isolated islands in the Faroe archipelago. Also known as “the flute” due to its long shape and the many tunnels that serve it, a mere 75 inhabitants inhabit it. Much less than the outsiders who visit it every year, attracted by the boreal wonder of its Kallur lighthouse.
Ceremonies and Festivities
Pentecost Island, Vanuatu

Naghol: Bungee Jumping without Modern Touches

At Pentecost, in their late teens, young people launch themselves from a tower with only lianas tied to their ankles. Bungee cords and harnesses are inappropriate fussiness from initiation to adulthood.
patriot march

Formosa but Unsafe

Portuguese navigators could not imagine the imbroglio reserved for the Formosa they baptized. Nearly 500 years later, even though it is uncertain of its future, Taiwan still prospers. Somewhere between independence and integration in greater China.
Obese resident of Tupola Tapaau, a small island in Western Samoa.
Tonga, Western Samoa, Polynesia

XXL Pacific

For centuries, the natives of the Polynesian islands subsisted on land and sea. Until the intrusion of colonial powers and the subsequent introduction of fatty pieces of meat, fast food and sugary drinks have spawned a plague of diabetes and obesity. Today, while much of Tonga's national GDP, Western Samoa and neighbors is wasted on these “western poisons”, fishermen barely manage to sell their fish.

The World on Stage

All over the world, each nation, region or town and even neighborhood has its own culture. When traveling, nothing is more rewarding than admiring, live and in loco, which makes them unique.
Reindeer Racing, Kings Cup, Inari, Finland
Inari, Finland

The Wackiest Race on the Top of the World

Finland's Lapps have been competing in the tow of their reindeer for centuries. In the final of the Kings Cup - Porokuninkuusajot - , they face each other at great speed, well above the Arctic Circle and well below zero.
Young people walk the main street in Chame, Nepal
Annapurna Circuit: 1th - Pokhara a Chame, Nepal

Finally, on the way

After several days of preparation in Pokhara, we left towards the Himalayas. The walking route only starts in Chame, at 2670 meters of altitude, with the snowy peaks of the Annapurna mountain range already in sight. Until then, we complete a painful but necessary road preamble to its subtropical base.
Viti levu, Fiji

The Unlikely Sharing of Viti Levu Island

In the heart of the South Pacific, a large community of Indian descendants recruited by former British settlers and the Melanesian indigenous population have long divided the chief island of Fiji.
Portfolio, Got2Globe, Best Images, Photography, Images, Cleopatra, Dioscorides, Delos, Greece
Got2Globe Photo Portfolio
Got2Globe Portfolio

The Earthly and the Celestial

view, Saint Pierre, Martinique, French Antilles
Saint-Pierre, Martinique

The City that Arose from the Ashes

In 1900, the economic capital of the Antilles was envied for its Parisian sophistication, until the Pelée volcano charred and buried it. More than a century later, Saint-Pierre is still regenerating.
Ponta de Sao Lourenco, Madeira, Portugal
Ponta de Sao Lourenco, Madeira, Portugal

The Eastern, Somehow Extraterrestrial Madeira Tip

Unusual, with ocher tones and raw earth, Ponta de São Lourenço is often the first sight of Madeira. When we walk through it, we are fascinated, above all, with what the most tropical of the Portuguese islands is not.
Correspondence verification
Winter White
Rovaniemi, Finland

From the Finnish Lapland to the Arctic. A Visit to the Land of Santa

Fed up with waiting for the bearded old man to descend down the chimney, we reverse the story. We took advantage of a trip to Finnish Lapland and passed through its furtive home.
Baie d'Oro, Île des Pins, New Caledonia
Île-des-Pins, New Caledonia

The Island that Leaned against Paradise

In 1964, Katsura Morimura delighted the Japan with a turquoise novel set in Ouvéa. But the neighboring Île-des-Pins has taken over the title "The Nearest Island to Paradise" and thrills its visitors.
Banks Peninsula, Akaroa, Canterbury, New Zealand
Banks Peninsula, New Zealand

The Divine Earth Shard of the Banks Peninsula

Seen from the air, the most obvious bulge on the South Island's east coast appears to have imploded again and again. Volcanic but verdant and bucolic, the Banks Peninsula confines in its almost cogwheel geomorphology the essence of the ever enviable New Zealand life.
Sheki, Autumn in the Caucasus, Azerbaijan, Autumn Homes
Sheki, Azerbaijan

autumn in the caucasus

Lost among the snowy mountains that separate Europe from Asia, Sheki is one of Azerbaijan's most iconic towns. Its largely silky history includes periods of great harshness. When we visited it, autumn pastels added color to a peculiar post-Soviet and Muslim life.
Miniature houses, Chã das Caldeiras, Fogo Volcano, Cape Verde
Natural Parks
Chã das Caldeiras, Fogo Island Cape Verde

A "French" Clan at the Mercy of Fogo

In 1870, a Count born in Grenoble on his way to Brazilian exile, made a stopover in Cape Verde where native beauties tied him to the island of Fogo. Two of his children settled in the middle of the volcano's crater and continued to raise offspring there. Not even the destruction caused by the recent eruptions deters the prolific Montrond from the “county” they founded in Chã das Caldeiras.    
Praslin Island, Cocos from the Sea, Seychelles, Eden Cove
UNESCO World Heritage
Praslin, Seychelles

The Eden of the Enigmatic Coco-de-Mer

For centuries, Arab and European sailors believed that the largest seed in the world, which they found on the coasts of the Indian Ocean in the shape of a woman's voluptuous hips, came from a mythical tree at the bottom of the oceans. The sensual island that always generated them left us ecstatic.
Couple visiting Mikhaylovskoe, village where writer Alexander Pushkin had a home
Saint Petersburg e Mikhaylovkoe, Russia

The Writer Who Succumbed to His Own Plot

Alexander Pushkin is hailed by many as the greatest Russian poet and the founder of modern Russian literature. But Pushkin also dictated an almost tragicomic epilogue to his prolific life.
Gizo, Solomon Islands

A Saeraghi Young Singers Gala

In Gizo, the damage caused by the tsunami that hit the Solomon Islands is still very visible. On the coast of Saeraghi, children's bathing happiness contrasts with their heritage of desolation.
Aurora lights up the Pisang Valley, Nepal.
Annapurna Circuit: 3rd- Upper Banana, Nepal

An Unexpected Snowy Aurora

At the first glimmers of light, the sight of the white mantle that had covered the village during the night dazzles us. With one of the toughest walks on the Annapurna Circuit ahead of us, we postponed the match as much as possible. Annoyed, we left Upper Pisang towards Escort when the last snow faded.
Flam Railway composition below a waterfall, Norway.
On Rails
Nesbyen to Flam, Norway

Flam Railway: Sublime Norway from the First to the Last Station

By road and aboard the Flam Railway, on one of the steepest railway routes in the world, we reach Flam and the entrance to the Sognefjord, the largest, deepest and most revered of the Scandinavian fjords. From the starting point to the last station, this monumental Norway that we have unveiled is confirmed.
Tombola, street bingo-Campeche, Mexico
Campeche, Mexico

200 Years of Playing with Luck

At the end of the XNUMXth century, the peasants surrendered to a game introduced to cool the fever of cash cards. Today, played almost only for Abuelites, lottery little more than a fun place.
Visitors at Talisay Ruins, Negros Island, Philippines
Daily life
Talisay City, Philippines

Monument to a Luso-Philippine Love

At the end of the 11th century, Mariano Lacson, a Filipino farmer, and Maria Braga, a Portuguese woman from Macau, fell in love and got married. During the pregnancy of what would be her 2th child, Maria succumbed to a fall. Destroyed, Mariano built a mansion in his honor. In the midst of World War II, the mansion was set on fire, but the elegant ruins that endured perpetuate their tragic relationship.
Fishing, Cano Negro, Costa Rica
Caño Negro, Costa Rica

A Life of Angling among the Wildlife

One of the most important wetlands in Costa Rica and the world, Caño Negro dazzles for its exuberant ecosystem. Not only. Remote, isolated by rivers, swamps and poor roads, its inhabitants have found in fishing a means on board to strengthen the bonds of their community.
The Sounds, Fiordland National Park, New Zealand
Scenic Flights
Fiordland, New Zealand

The Fjords of the Antipodes

A geological quirk made the Fiordland region the rawest and most imposing in New Zealand. Year after year, many thousands of visitors worship the sub-domain slashed between Te Anau and Milford Sound.