Cuba trip booked!
The dream is becoming a reality. I’m making my second trip to Cuba. I land in Havana on Nov. 8. My first trip was in 1993. I can’t wait to photograph again and take much better photos this time. Two highlights are already planned. I hope to see and visit with Salvador, a mural painter (in the photo) that I met on my first trip. He has become a lot more famous since. When I was there in ’93, he, his wife, his friend, Rudy, and his wife, a friend of mine and I, spent a lot of time together. Rudy, a former secret policeman, had an old car and could get gasoline on the black market. We all piled into the clunker and rode around Havana often and to a beach one day. Rudy knew where Castro’s homes were. Once in awhile, we would pass one and he would let us know where it was and tell us not to turn and look. But, of course, we all turned to look. I brought back a painting or two of Salvador’s work and hope to bring back a new one this time. Another highlight will be attending the opening night of Peter Turnley’s large photo retrospective at the Museo de Bellas Artes. That will be exciting to see large prints of his work and to meet him.
Last night, I attended a talk and photo presentation from an Arizona State University art professor and his wife. It was interesting, but I didn’t learn much more than I already knew. The photos they showed on a large screen were typical tourist type photos, many taken from a bus. The two were on an organized tour on about 25 folks, mainly in Havana to see art work and visit with some artists. To me, the photos were mainly record shots, not showing anything really interesting. Lots of building photos. They seemed to be interested in the contrasting conditions, the nicely kept homes of the wealthy and the more, rundown homes or buildings where the average folks live. Some of the information they presented was not accurate, either. I’m sure their trip cost quite a bit. They stayed in tourist hotels and ate in tourist restaurants. I will be going cheap. I will be staying in casa particulares, the homes of families, and eating a lot at food stands on the street. I plan to spend a lot of my time wandering the streets photographing. I also hope to go to a few of the good salsa clubs to listen to the music and watch people dance. I’m toying with the idea of taken a Cuban style salsa class. We’ll see about that later. I plan to be in Havana about 2 weeks. I’m getting pretty excited already!