Robaina's plantation

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Porticos of Havana

                 According to Wikipedia; A portico (from Italian) is a porch leading to the entrance of a building, or extended as a colonnade, with a roof structure over a walkway, supported by columns or enclosed by walls. The city of Bologna in Italy is famous for it's Porticos and houses the world's longest, the Portico di San Luca, at almost 4km with 666 arches. It's also the city with the most Porticos with 45km worth. I couldn't find a list showing me where Havana stands in that department but although it's not quite that high, it still contains a noticeable amount if you stop a moment to take notice. I spend a pretty good amount of time in Old Havana and from my experience, between the old part of the city edging into Centro Habana, you'll find a considerable amount of covered the point that if it should ever begin to rain you're just steps away from cover. Besides being able to duck into a museum, shop or gallery during a rainfall, you may also get lucky and find a bar or restaurant with tables under the portico of what used to be someone's mansion centuries ago. Not all the porticos belong (or belonged) to nobility, many are attached to ordinary homes or what might of been middle class at one time. Regardless, it's one of the things that adds character to a city I love so much.

Monday, 20 March 2017

Club de Autos Antiguos (Havana) Car Show

                  A couple of years ago, riding on the tail of a new found interest in Cuba, the Discovery Channel launched a show called 'Cuban Chrome'. I absolutely loved it and vowed to meet the principal actors-Cubans on my next visit. I got lucky and met with most of them on that trip. First I saw a couple of them showing a few cars near the Hotel Nacional and later meeting a few others at a Car Show I was invited to at the Tropicana. That Car Show is organized by the 'Club de Autos Antiguos' (Antique Car Club) in Havana and still takes place the first Sunday of every month. I received an invitation by email to the next meeting and was pleasantly surprised to see that I would arrive the day before and the location had been switched from the Tropicana, which is relatively far and hard to get to, to the 'La Cecilia' complex (restaurant-nightclub) located walking distance from my Casa. The usual players were there but I had a very lengthy conversation with the superstar mechanic that was on the was his wife that had sent me the invite and who I've kept in touch with since then. Anyone can go, there is no cover, but you pay for whatever you consume in food and beverage. It's not expensive since most people there are locals.
                    So if you're a car buff and happen to be in Havana the first Sunday of the month, consider this an invitation as I'm sure they would love to attract a more universal crowd.

La Cecilia
5ta Avenida, No. 11010, entre 110 y 112

Ricardo Medel 'The Professor' and his wife Lupe Fuentes

The Car Ricardo Medel was fixing for the Discovery Channel's show 'Cuban Chrome'