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 coasts concentrate, at the same time, so much heat and displays of fame, wealth and glory. Located in the extreme southeast of the USA, Miami Beach is accessible via six bridges that connect it to the rest of Florida. It is 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.
tombstone, USA

Tombstone: the City Too Hard to Die

Silver veins discovered at the end of the XNUMXth century made Tombstone a prosperous and conflictive mining center on the frontier of the United States to Mexico. Lawrence Kasdan, Kurt Russell, Kevin Costner and other Hollywood directors and actors made famous the Earp brothers and the bloodthirsty duel of “OK Corral”. The Tombstone, which, over time, has claimed so many lives, is about to last.
Grand Canyon, USA

Journey through the Abysmal North America

The Colorado River and tributaries began flowing into the plateau of the same name 17 million years ago and exposed half of Earth's geological past. They also carved one of its most stunning entrails.
Mount Denali, Alaska

The Sacred Ceiling of North America

The Athabascan Indians called him Denali, or the Great, and they revered his haughtiness. This stunning mountain has aroused the greed of climbers and a long succession of record-breaking climbs.
Juneau, Alaska

The Little Capital of Greater Alaska

From June to August, Juneau disappears behind cruise ships that dock at its dockside. Even so, it is in this small capital that the fate of the 49th American state is decided.
Monument Valley, USA

Indians or Cowboys?

Iconic Western filmmakers like John Ford immortalized what is the largest Indian territory in the United States. Today, in the Navajo Nation, the Navajo also live in the shoes of their old enemies.
Talkeetna, Alaska

Talkeetna's Alaska-Style Life

Once a mere mining outpost, Talkeetna rejuvenated in 1950 to serve Mt. McKinley climbers. The town is by far the most alternative and most captivating town between Anchorage and Fairbanks.
Las Vegas, USA

Where sin is always forgiven

Projected from the Mojave Desert like a neon mirage, the North American capital of gaming and entertainment is experienced as a gamble in the dark. Lush and addictive, Vegas neither learns nor regrets.
Navajo nation, USA

The Navajo Nation Lands

From Kayenta to Page, passing through Marble Canyon, we explore the southern Colorado Plateau. Dramatic and desert, the scenery of this indigenous domain, cut out in Arizona, reveals itself to be splendid.
Death Valley, USA

The Hottest Place Resurrection

Since 1921, Al Aziziyah, in Libya, was considered the hottest place on the planet. But the controversy surrounding the 58th measured there meant that, 99 years later, the title was returned to Death Valley.
San Francisco, USA

San Francisco Cable Cars: A Life of Highs and Lows

A macabre wagon accident inspired the San Francisco cable car saga. Today, these relics work as a charm operation in the city of fog, but they also have their risks.
Mauna Kea, Hawaii

Mauna Kea: the Volcano with an Eye out in Space

The roof of Hawaii was off-limits to natives because it housed benevolent deities. But since 1968, several nations sacrificed the peace of the gods and built the greatest astronomical station on the face of the Earth.
pearl harbor, Hawaii

The Day Japan Went Too Far

On December 7, 1941, Japan attacked the Pearl Harbor military base. Today, parts of Hawaii look like Japanese colonies but the US will never forget the outrage.
PN Katmai, Alaska

In the Footsteps of the Grizzly Man

Timothy Treadwell spent summers on end with the bears of Katmai. Traveling through Alaska, we followed some of its trails, but unlike the species' crazy protector, we never went too far.
Amboseli National Park, Mount Kilimanjaro, Normatior Hill
Safari
Amboseli National Park, Kenya

A Gift from the Kilimanjaro

The first European to venture into these Masai haunts was stunned by what he found. And even today, large herds of elephants and other herbivores roam the pastures irrigated by the snow of Africa's biggest mountain.
Thorong La, Annapurna Circuit, Nepal, photo for posterity
Annapurna (circuit)
Annapurna Circuit: 13th - High camp a Thorong La to Muktinath, Nepal

At the height of the Annapurnas Circuit

At 5416m of altitude, the Thorong La Gorge is the great challenge and the main cause of anxiety on the itinerary. After having killed 2014 climbers in October 29, crossing it safely generates a relief worthy of double celebration.
holy plain, Bagan, Myanmar
Architecture & Design
Bagan, Myanmar

The Plain of Pagodas, Temples and other Heavenly Redemptions

Burmese religiosity has always been based on a commitment to redemption. In Bagan, wealthy and fearful believers continue to erect pagodas in hopes of winning the benevolence of the gods.
Totems, Botko Village, Malekula, Vanuatu
Adventure
Malekula, Vanuatu

Meat and Bone Cannibalism

Until the early XNUMXth century, man-eaters still feasted on the Vanuatu archipelago. In the village of Botko we find out why European settlers were so afraid of the island of Malekula.
cowboys oceania, rodeo, el caballo, perth, australia
Ceremonies and Festivities
Perth, Australia

The Oceania Cowboys

Texas is on the other side of the world, but there is no shortage of cowboys in the country of koalas and kangaroos. Outback rodeos recreate the original version and 8 seconds lasts no less in the Australian Western.
Sirocco, Arabia, Helsinki
Cities
Helsinki, Finland

The Design that Came from the Cold

With much of the territory above the Arctic Circle, Finns respond to the climate with efficient solutions and an obsession with art, aesthetics and modernism inspired by neighboring Scandinavia.
Meal
Markets

A Market Economy

The law of supply and demand dictates their proliferation. Generic or specific, covered or open air, these spaces dedicated to buying, selling and exchanging are expressions of life and financial health.
Saida Ksar Ouled Soltane, festival of the ksour, tataouine, tunisia
Culture
Tataouine, Tunisia

Festival of the Ksour: Sand Castles That Don't Collapse

The ksour were built as fortifications by the Berbers of North Africa. They resisted Arab invasions and centuries of erosion. Every year, the Festival of the Ksour pays them the due homage.
Bungee jumping, Queenstown, New Zealand
Sport
Queenstown, New Zealand

Queenstown, the Queen of Extreme Sports

In the century. XVIII, the Kiwi government proclaimed a mining village on the South Island "fit for a queen".Today's extreme scenery and activities reinforce the majestic status of ever-challenging Queenstown.
Africa Princess, Canhambaque, Bijagós, Guinea Bissau,
Traveling
Africa Princess Cruise, 1º Bijagos, Guinea Bissau

Towards Canhambaque, through the History of Guinea Bissau

The Africa Princess departs from the port of Bissau, downstream the Geba estuary. We make a first stopover on the island of Bolama. From the old capital, we proceed to the heart of the Bijagós archipelago.
Coin return
Ethnic
Dawki, India

Dawki, Dawki, Bangladesh on sight

We descended from the high and mountainous lands of Meghalaya to the flats to the south and below. There, the translucent and green stream of the Dawki forms the border between India and Bangladesh. In a damp heat that we haven't felt for a long time, the river also attracts hundreds of Indians and Bangladeshis in a picturesque escape.
Sunset, Avenue of Baobabs, Madagascar
Got2Globe Photo Portfolio

days like so many others

Armenian Church, Sevanavank Peninsula, Lake Sevan, Armenia
History
lake sevan, Armenia

The Bittersweet Caucasus Lake

Enclosed between mountains at 1900 meters high, considered a natural and historical treasure of Armenia, Lake Sevan has never been treated as such. The level and quality of its water has deteriorated for decades and a recent invasion of algae drains the life that subsists in it.
San Juan, Old Town, Puerto Rico, Reggaeton, Flag on Gate
Islands
San Juan, Puerto Rico (Part 2)

To the Rhythm of Reggaeton

Restless and inventive Puerto Ricans have made San Juan the reggaeton capital of the world. At the preferred beat of the nation, they filled their “Walled City” with other arts, color and life.
Oulu Finland, Passage of Time
Winter White
Oulu, Finland

Oulu: an Ode to Winter

Located high in the northeast of the Gulf of Bothnia, Oulu is one of Finland's oldest cities and its northern capital. A mere 220km from the Arctic Circle, even in the coldest months it offers a prodigious outdoor life.
On the Crime and Punishment trail, St. Petersburg, Russia, Vladimirskaya
Literature
Saint Petersburg, Russia

On the Trail of "Crime and Punishment"

In St. Petersburg, we cannot resist investigating the inspiration for the base characters in Fyodor Dostoevsky's most famous novel: his own pities and the miseries of certain fellow citizens.
Teide Volcano, Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain
Nature
Tenerife, Canary Islands

The Volcano that Haunts the Atlantic

At 3718m, El Teide is the roof of the Canaries and Spain. Not only. If measured from the ocean floor (7500 m), only two mountains are more pronounced. The Guanche natives considered it the home of Guayota, their devil. Anyone traveling to Tenerife knows that old Teide is everywhere.
Mother Armenia Statue, Yerevan, Armenia
Autumn
Yerevan, Armenia

A Capital between East and West

Heiress of the Soviet civilization, aligned with the great Russia, Armenia allows itself to be seduced by the most democratic and sophisticated ways of Western Europe. In recent times, the two worlds have collided in the streets of your capital. From popular and political dispute, Yerevan will dictate the new course of the nation.
Rhinoceros, PN Kaziranga, Assam, India
Natural Parks
PN Kaziranga, India

The Indian Monoceros Stronghold

Situated in the state of Assam, south of the great Brahmaputra river, PN Kaziranga occupies a vast area of ​​alluvial swamp. Two-thirds of the rhinocerus unicornis around the world, there are around 100 tigers, 1200 elephants and many other animals. Pressured by human proximity and the inevitable poaching, this precious park has not been able to protect itself from the hyperbolic floods of the monsoons and from some controversies.
Military Religious, Wailing Wall, IDF Flag Oath, Jerusalem, Israel
UNESCO World Heritage
Jerusalem, Israel

A Festive Wailing Wall

The holiest place in Judaism is not only attended by prayers and prayers. Its ancient stones have witnessed the oath of new IDF recruits for decades and echo the euphoric screams that follow.
Heroes Acre Monument, Zimbabwe
Characters
Harare, Zimbabwewe

The Last Rales of Surreal Mugabué

In 2015, Zimbabwe's first lady Grace Mugabe said the 91-year-old president would rule until the age of 100 in a special wheelchair. Shortly thereafter, it began to insinuate itself into his succession. But in recent days, the generals have finally precipitated the removal of Robert Mugabe, who has replaced him with former Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa.
Tarrafal, Santiago, Cape Verde, Tarrafal Bay
Beaches
Tarrafal, Santiago, Cape Verde

The Tarrafal of Freedom and Slow Life

The village of Tarrafal delimits a privileged corner of the island of Santiago, with its few white sand beaches. Those who are enchanted there find it even more difficult to understand the colonial atrocity of the neighboring prison camp.
Chiang Khong to Luang Prabang, Laos, Through the Mekong Below
Religion
Chiang Khong - Luang Prabang, Laos.

Slow Boat, Down the Mekong River

Laos' beauty and lower cost are good reasons to sail between Chiang Khong and Luang Prabang. But this long descent of the Mekong River can be as exhausting as it is picturesque.
Chepe Express, Chihuahua Al Pacifico Railway
On Rails
Creel to Los Mochis, Mexico

The Barrancas del Cobre & the CHEPE Iron Horse

The Sierra Madre Occidental's relief turned the dream into a construction nightmare that lasted six decades. In 1961, at last, the prodigious Chihuahua al Pacifico Railroad was opened. Its 643km cross some of the most dramatic scenery in Mexico.
Walter Peak, Queenstown, New Zealand
Society
New Zealand  

When Counting Sheep causes Sleep Loss

20 years ago, New Zealand had 18 sheep per inhabitant. For political and economic reasons, the average was halved. In the antipodes, many breeders are worried about their future.
Busy intersection of Tokyo, Japan
Daily life
Tokyo, Japan

The Endless Night of the Rising Sun Capital

Say that Tokyo do not sleep is an understatement. In one of the largest and most sophisticated cities on the face of the Earth, twilight marks only the renewal of the frenetic daily life. And there are millions of souls that either find no place in the sun, or make more sense in the “dark” and obscure turns that follow.
Fishing, Cano Negro, Costa Rica
Wildlife
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.
Napali Coast and Waimea Canyon, Kauai, Hawaii Wrinkles
Scenic Flights
napali coast, Hawaii

Hawaii's Dazzling Wrinkles

Kauai is the greenest and rainiest island in the Hawaiian archipelago. It is also the oldest. As we explore its Napalo Coast by land, sea and air, we are amazed to see how the passage of millennia has only favored it.