Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Everyday Havana Living

     There are hundreds of places in Havana for your eyes to marvel at, but there is another side of Havana that is less glamorous.  This is the streets that the everyday people of Havana walk and drive to get to work.     There is a lot of reconstruction and revitalizing of many of the historic buildings going on in Downtown Havana, but there is a lot of rubble piled in the streets also from pieces that are falling from the buildings above.   The narrow sidewalks and people walking in the streets gives me a feeling like being in Key West.  The very narrow sidewalks forces people to use the streets as they meet each other going in opposite directions.

     There is a stark difference between the very posh and pristine looking areas and the residential and commercial areas of Havana.   The polished marble sidewalks of the Paseo and the area of "Parque Central" give way to cobble stone and concrete as you wander outward.  Cars start to disappear and more mopeds begin to appear as you go out from the city into the suburbs .

     The back street and alleys all provide a wonderful view of the daily life in Havana.  It seems that there are a lot of very hard working people that walk and ride to work every morning after stopping for a bite to eat at one of the walk-up cafes.   The streets are quite clean compared to many other cities that I have walked in and there is a lot of pride in what they do have.   Whether it be their cars or their buildings, they seem to make things as good as possible with what they have to work with.  

     I have found Havana on both of my trips to be a destination that I always want to return to.   I see why Ernest Hemingway loved his years her so much and so many other celebrities of the same era enjoyed Havana.   There is a real charm to the city and a warmth that call you back.  

    With some time the infrastructure of this wonderful old city will be brought up to the current times and it will be able to allow the throngs of tourists that would love to visit here.   Given the opportunity I'd be there tomorrow, because there is so much more to experience.  ;o)