Lady with the Blue Skirt

Lady in Blue Skirt

I’m still in the image harvesting stage from my Cuba trip. I have a good idea where some of the gems are located, just waiting for me to get to them. There are some sections of images I’ve hardly touched because they represent a big project. For example, I have a set of images taken off a rooftop in Havana. I know that I have a lot of culling and panorama stitching work to do in order to bring together the complete vision. So they sit and wait for a long quiet weekend.

This image, on the other hand, was a complete surprise. It was buried within a series of images I took walking along the Prado on afternoon. Sometimes, when I shoot, I see a theme but I just can’t get all the variables right. That was the case, mostly, with the images from that part of the day. Except for this one. I don’t even remember taking it.

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Los Balcones Sobre al Prado

Prado 264 Bar and Restaurante

The Prado, a wide pedestrian walkway which leads from Havana Central to the Malecón, is always busy with people talking and playing. Down each side runs the one-way traffic of the busy Paseo de Marti. Lining the street are grand Spanish-colonial style 4 story buildings which are used as shops, churches, schools, and family apartments.  Most of these buildings have ornate balconies onto which spills the everyday lives of the residents of Havana.

La dama en el balcón

Linens and Socks

Pink and Green

Balcony in Blue

Big Pants

Green is a Favorite Color

Down there

La Balcon

Havana First Impressions – Paseo del Prado

Playing on the Prado

I thought it would be easy to sit down and write a post about my first impressions of Cuba and Havana, but I was wrong. There is too much to say and I know too little.

Man in Thought

After a morning of travel and lunch stop at a government restaurant, we finally settled into the Hotel Parque Central around 4pm. By 5pm I was taking my first, tentative, walk in Havana, down the Paseo del Prado.

After Work

The Prado is a large pedestrian walkway that leads from Havana Central to the harbor and the Malecón, the sea wall. Immediately I felt the presence of the people, birds, and traffic which roared down the busy Paseo de Marti on either side.

Family Afternoon on the Prado

The Prado is a gathering place for friends, family, children playing, street vendors, and just a place to sit and rest at the end of the day. Every few feet is an alcove with stone benches built into the wall separating the Prado from the busy 2-lane street on either side of the walkway. Immediately I was attracted to the small groups that would gather in each of the alcoves. Kids playing, people resting, families, and friends engaged in conversation. I could have spent the week just walking up and down the Prado capturing its little scenes.

Mercado La Primera De Prado

Some kids follow you along, asking “monea, monea?”. Unfortunately this is too common with young children and old women. But mostly people sit and talk and go about their business and are open to the American, Canadian, and European tourists snapping their pictures.

An Open Trunk

The ubiquitous 50’s American car, in all states of repair and disrepair. A car by the side of the road with either the hood or trunk open is a common site.

Red car in motion

Street Scene

After a short walk, I reached the Malecón. Like most landmarks, there are lots of great travel images of the Malecón taken at the right time of day, in the right weather, with just the light, the right car coming down the road, and the appropriate amount of waves splashing over the wall or children playing. But my first impressions are on a mostly cloudless day as the sun sets. Men and boys playing with their dogs as a couple of young photographers look on.

The Malecón

Hola! Vuelo!

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Three generations of transportation

I know you are all itching to see a photo or two from Havana or Trinidad. First things first, I need to transfer my images from my laptop, I’ll do that with a LightRoom catalog export and import, and I need to figure out how to present the images and my thoughts.

It was an excellent trip. Los Cubanos son los anfitriones terrifico!