In Havana by Alpha Whiskey Photography
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In Havana

As I alluded to in my first post about Cuba Havana is a city of fascinating contrasts. Elaborate architecture on magnificent buildings hide the grimy, if colourful, barrios behind them. The roads, teeming with classic American cars, twist and turn off the main streets into a warren of alleys, lined by a laconic populace watching the world drift by. Stringent socialism seems to ensure that while outcomes are equal, opportunities are not. And yet the wonderful Cuban people are always ready to smile, chat and offer their talents to passing tourists. Prado Street, the spine of the city, comes to a head at El Capitolio, the grand building (built by America) in which the government may reside after renovations are complete. The central promenade invites one to amble along, watching dedicated merchants in the archways on either side enjoying respite from the crushing heat. The Old Town is the more interesting part of the city, offering endless avenues to explore, each with its own mix of colour and commerce. From the Cathedral to the Girl On The Cock, each detour brings new surprises. Statues of pioneers and conquerors pop up in random places, reminders of the country and city's rich history. The enormous mural on Mercaderes Street is a prelude to the Ambo Mundo Hotel on the corner that hosted Ernest Hemingway. The city is understandably a magnet for artisans and photographers, inspiring creative fervour with its fusion of bright hues, bustling energy and upbeat music, none so loud as from within the Buena Vista Social Club. Regaled with Latin melodies over a succession of pinà coladas it is the perfect after-dinner entertainment. The entire city has Unesco status, which happily prevents the sale of its attractive aesthetic to a glut of coffee shop and fast food joints. Thus visiting Havana is somewhat akin to a step back in time. While the people may ache for more prosperity over their food rations they at least inhabit a city unmolested by corporate sprawl and with most of its historical charm still intact. One can only hope that welcoming tourists like this one will eventually supplement the people's rationed outcomes with more unfettered opportunities. I hope you enjoy these scenes from around the city. All shot with Olympus. 

Jun 14, 2017

In Havana

This post has 27 photos Jun 14, 2017Comments (3)335 views
As I alluded to in my first post about Cuba Havana is a city of fascinating contrasts. Elaborate architecture on magnificent buildings hide the grimy, if colourful, barrios behind them. The roads, teeming with classic American cars, twist and turn off the main streets into a warren of alleys, lined by a laconic populace watching the world drift by. Stringent socialism seems to ensure that while outcomes are equal, opportunities are not. And yet the wonderful Cuban people are always ready to smile, chat and offer their talents to passing tourists. 

Prado Street, the spine of the city, comes to a head at El Capitolio, the grand building (built by America) in which the government may reside after renovations are complete. The central promenade invites one to amble along, watching dedicated merchants in the archways on either side enjoying respite from the crushing heat. 

The Old Town is the more interesting part of the city, offering endless avenues to explore, each with its own mix of colour and commerce. From the Cathedral to the Girl On The Cock, each detour brings new surprises. Statues of pioneers and conquerors pop up in random places, reminders of the country and city's rich history. The enormous mural on Mercaderes Street is a prelude to the Ambo Mundo Hotel on the corner that hosted Ernest Hemingway. 

The city is understandably a magnet for artisans and photographers, inspiring creative fervour with its fusion of bright hues, bustling energy and upbeat music, none so loud as from within the Buena Vista Social Club. Regaled with Latin melodies over a succession of pinà coladas it is the perfect after-dinner entertainment. 

The entire city has Unesco status, which happily prevents the sale of its attractive aesthetic to a glut of coffee shop and fast food joints. Thus visiting Havana is somewhat akin to a step back in time. While the people may ache for more prosperity over their food rations they at least inhabit a city unmolested by corporate sprawl and with most of its historical charm still intact. One can only hope that welcoming tourists like this one will eventually supplement the people's rationed outcomes with more unfettered opportunities. 

I hope you enjoy these scenes from around the city. All shot with Olympus. 
On Prado Street.
1

On Prado Street.

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El Capitolio.
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El Capitolio.

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3

3

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Plaza Vieja.
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Plaza Vieja.

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5

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6

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Church of St Francis Of Assisi.
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Church of St Francis Of Assisi.

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9

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11

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Catedral de San Cristobal.
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Catedral de San Cristobal.

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14

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Antonio Gades.
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Antonio Gades.

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Simon Bolivar.
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Simon Bolivar.

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18

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19

19

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Don Quixote.
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Don Quixote.

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21

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Cecilia Valdes.
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Cecilia Valdes.

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Mural on Mercaderes Street.
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Mural on Mercaderes Street.

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Hotel Ambo Mundo.
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Hotel Ambo Mundo.

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Girl On The Cock, by Roberto Fabelo.
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Girl On The Cock, by Roberto Fabelo.

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Comments

GordoJun 14, 2017 06:51 PM

Superb images .... :)

Don KJun 15, 2017 05:38 AM

Very nice, Shrif!

I've seen a number of photo essays on other sites, but yours is the best, by far.

Alpha Whiskey PhotographyJun 15, 2017 05:48 AM

Many thanks Don and Gordo! :)

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