Author Topic: Viva La Revolución! Time-traveling to Cuba with Something Fishy, whYME, and CITH  (Read 7493 times)

Offline 3yummyboys

  • Dansdeals Lifetime Platinum Elite
  • *******
  • Join Date: Apr 2013
  • Posts: 1688
  • Total likes: 4
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 0
    • View Profile
Wow! I shared some of this with my kids, it's incredible. Thanks for all the hard work putting this together. I am really enjoying it!
« Last Edit: November 27, 2016, 09:17:50 AM by 3yummyboys »

Offline Yehoshua

  • Dansdeals Lifetime Presidential Platinum Elite
  • *********
  • Join Date: Aug 2011
  • Posts: 8516
  • Total likes: 15
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 1
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
  • Location: Los Angeles, CA
Nice installment! The pictures are amazing. Looking forward to the next part today.

Offline Moshe123

  • Dansdeals Presidential Platinum Elite
  • ********
  • Join Date: Sep 2012
  • Posts: 4197
  • Total likes: 11
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 1
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
  • Location: NYC
  • Programs: Lost
WOWOWOWOWOWOWOWOWOWOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Offline User6669

  • Dansdeals Lifetime Platinum Elite
  • *******
  • Join Date: Mar 2015
  • Posts: 2165
  • Total likes: 39
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 2
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
WOW!
  .איזהו חכם, הלומד מכל אדם 

Offline Yaalili

  • Dansdeals Lifetime Presidential Platinum Elite
  • *********
  • Join Date: Jul 2009
  • Posts: 9031
  • Total likes: 62
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 108
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
  • Location: USA
  • Programs: Jetblue Mosaic, Southwest CP, *A Gold, Hilton Gold, Marriott Gold, SPG Gold, Regus Gold, DansDeals Lifetime Presidential Platinum Elite.
Wow! Unreal, and so close to home.

Offline VacationLover

  • Dansdeals Lifetime Platinum Elite
  • *******
  • Join Date: Sep 2014
  • Posts: 1104
  • Total likes: 0
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 5
    • View Profile
Oh my 8)
I don't get it. You didn't see ANY pictures before booking your accommodation?

Online Something Fishy

  • Dansdeals Presidential Platinum Elite
  • ********
  • Join Date: Jan 2011
  • Posts: 4493
  • Total likes: 92
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 34
    • View Profile
    • My Flickr Page
  • Location: Not Brooklyn
Oh my 8)
I don't get it. You didn't see ANY pictures before booking your accommodation?

The apartment looked exactly as it did in the pictures. We had no complaints about the space itself, it was pretty much what we expected. But pictures on Airbnb don't tell you about the heat, and the sewer gas, and the plumbing, and the electricity...

But to reiterate what I said in that TR segment, we had no regrets. It was all part of the epic adventure in the end.
Check out all my Trip Reports here!

Offline VacationLover

  • Dansdeals Lifetime Platinum Elite
  • *******
  • Join Date: Sep 2014
  • Posts: 1104
  • Total likes: 0
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 5
    • View Profile
The apartment looked exactly as it did in the pictures. We had no complaints about the space itself, it was pretty much what we expected. But pictures on Airbnb don't tell you about the heat, and the sewer gas, and the plumbing, and the electricity...

But to reiterate what I said in that TR segment, we had no regrets. It was all part of the epic adventure in the end.
I am shocked that those pictures were actually taken in this decade. Let alone the fact that it's in our backyard. Those pictures how surreal they are almost makes me cry... how sad :-[

Did you actually expect to see what you saw? Were you ready to see people living in half collapsed buildings literally starving?

Online Something Fishy

  • Dansdeals Presidential Platinum Elite
  • ********
  • Join Date: Jan 2011
  • Posts: 4493
  • Total likes: 92
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 34
    • View Profile
    • My Flickr Page
  • Location: Not Brooklyn
I am shocked that those pictures were actually taken in this decade. Let alone the fact that it's in our backyard. Those pictures how surreal they are almost makes me cry... how sad :-[

Did you actually expect to see what you saw? Were you ready to see people living in half collapsed buildings literally starving?

We'd heard about it, but nothing could prepare you for actually seeing it. To see five families stuffed into a two room, rubble-filled apartment is absolutely heartbreaking. The Israeli's apartment was a veritable palace comparatively, and that's because he had an outside source for money.

It really puts things in perspective, walking around there.

ETA: I just noticed that the Israeli in question wasn't posted about yet... see the next installment here.
« Last Edit: November 27, 2016, 11:36:47 PM by Something Fishy »
Check out all my Trip Reports here!

Offline Iz

  • Dansdeals Presidential Platinum Elite
  • ********
  • Join Date: Dec 2014
  • Posts: 4082
  • Total likes: 22
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 6
    • View Profile
I always knew about the horrors of communism, but to see it במו עיני:
.אינו דומה שמיעה לראיה
The רשעות of אותו רשע is unreal. How much צרה וצוקה one man can wreak upon the world, רחמנא ליצלן.

Online Something Fishy

  • Dansdeals Presidential Platinum Elite
  • ********
  • Join Date: Jan 2011
  • Posts: 4493
  • Total likes: 92
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 34
    • View Profile
    • My Flickr Page
  • Location: Not Brooklyn
Part 2, as promised...

And another reminder to let your browser load, there are over 100 pictures in this installment as well.
« Last Edit: November 27, 2016, 11:46:42 PM by Something Fishy »
Check out all my Trip Reports here!

Online Something Fishy

  • Dansdeals Presidential Platinum Elite
  • ********
  • Join Date: Jan 2011
  • Posts: 4493
  • Total likes: 92
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 34
    • View Profile
    • My Flickr Page
  • Location: Not Brooklyn
[Something Fishy] After a bit it was time for lunch, so we decided to head to the Malecon  and hopefully find a place to sit. The Malecon is one of the most famous sites in Havana, and is basically a wide and beautiful 5-mile boulevard running along the ocean and seawall. We found a couple of benches in the shade and settled down for a bit.

As everyone knows, the big problem with eating is that it's a waste of time; you could rather be shooting :D... So we set up our cameras on tripods and put one hand on the sandwich and one on the shutter button :P.

An early 1920s Ford Model T cruising along the Malecon:






The official city taxis were all old Soviet Ladas:



Morro Castle was built in 1589 and has been watching over Havana ever since:



Photo by CITH:



CITH shooting cars:



[whYME] The car situation was actually somewhat different once we got to the Malecon. While the cars we saw in Old Havana were pretty much all classics or old soviet cars, on the Melecon we were seeing some more modern (mostly Korean and European) cars alongside all the classics. After what we'd been seeing all day, a scene like this seemed anachronistic. What's this bus from the future doing here?

Photo by whYME:




We. are. not. alone. Photo by whYME:



Photo by whYME:



This guy was not happy to see us there and he certainly was not happy when I took his picture. In fact, I think he just wasn't happy at all.

Photo by whYME:




[Something Fishy] Having rested up we turned down a different side street:



A Citroen from the late '30s or early '40s:



Photo by whYME:



Some great colors:









Photo by whYME:



An unexpected splash of merriment. Photo by whYME:



A restaurant entrance:



More decay:



Apparently keeping onions in fans is a minhag hamedina here:



Pretty, hand-lettered sign for the Triple A Provincial Trading Company, whatever that is:







Photo by CITH:



Continuing experiments in electricity:



It was cool how often the colors of the cars and the buildings lined up nicely:







We found ourselves on a bigger street, lined with stores and apartment buildings, which lent itself perfectly for some more car shooting:





Photo by whYME:



Photo by whYME:



Photo by whYME:



Photos by Something Fishy:





An old propaganda poster:



On this street we found a (relatively) well stocked supermarket. This was for tourists to shop, no CUP or coupons accepted here... Once again, we filled up our water bottles.

"Here we live in peace". Photo by whYME:



The classic cars are kept going by cannibalizing parts from others. Typically, those cars are converted to Korean diesel engines which are easier to maintain: Photo by whYME:



That is certainly not the engine that came with this car. Photo by whYME:



As we were watching, we suddenly heard a jovial "Shalom!" An Israeli was standing there, happy as a lark to see us and firing away in rapid Hebrew. Before long he had invited us up to his house for a visit and to meet his family. We happily agreed and followed him the few short blocks to his apartment.

Photo by whYME:



Turns out he came to Cuba years ago on a diving trip, met a local girl, eloped, and lived here ever since.

On the way:




His house is the blue one in the middle:



He took us up and introduced us to his wife, kids, and her parents and siblings - all sharing the same apartment. Right away his mother in law offered to cook us supper, before remembering "it's no kosher!". We had a nice conversation, with him and his wife (who spoke a passable Hebrew) translating for everyone else. We didn't really take pictures of their apartment out of respect for them, but I couldn't resist a shot of this Birchas Habayis:



I did take some pictures of the views off their balcony:



Grabbing a cab:



A view of what is considered a park and playground here:



This courtyard-slash-hallway thing is very common in Havana. Each half is actually one apartment's hallway; the living and kitchen areas are behind me, and the doors to the right lead to the bedrooms, bathroom, and so on. So if you wake up in the middle of the night to answer the call of nature, you could have the opportunity to schmooze with everyone in the building too...



Photo by whYME:



Photo by whYME:



We left the house and went back to the Malecon, where we met this guy playing a guitar/harmonica combo:





Photo by CITH:



Photo by whYME:



It was later in the afternoon by now and the light was lovely. We crossed the Malecon and got comfortable on the seawall, enjoying the breeze and the sights:







Not the typical architecture for this neighborhood... This was an expensive bar and restaurant catering to rich tourists. Photo by whYME:



Fishing for dinner. Photo by whYME:



This is called a Cocotaxi and is straight out of Richard Scarry's Busytown. We were debating if we should hire one, just to see if it will tip over when attempting to make a turn. We decided against it :



The number one touristy must-do in Cuba is to take a classic convertible for a ride down the Malecon at sunset. Who were we to buck the trend? Off we went:







Awesome tape deck:



We quickly left Old Havana behind and got to Vedado, which is the "affluent" neighborhood in Havana. This is where all the government buildings are located, including the American Embassy, which had opened up 3 days before after the reinstatement of diplomatic relations:





The American flag looked a bit lonely, flying all by itself... Photo by whYME:



I feel like this needs a clown or circus music soundtrack... Photo by whYME:



Some memorial or other. Photo by whYME:



A baseball stadium:



This area is arguably nicer than Old Havana, with lots of greenery:


(The driver's buddy came along for the first part of the ride. We weren't thrilled about it, but in the end it was perfectly fine; he wasn't in the way at all.)

The former elite Vedado Tennis and Yacht Club building retains its elegance, but, like everything else in Havana, is actually crumbling once you look a bit closer:






Photo by whYME:



Another memorial:



We arrived at Plaza de la Revolución, or Revolution Plaza. This is where more than a million people would gather to hear Fidel's words of infinite wisdom, and is surrounded by government offices and monuments:



The Ministries of the Interior building, with the famous sculpture of Che Guevara on the outside:



Its counterpart, the Ministries of the Interior and Communications building, featuring Camilo Cienfuegos, another hero of the revolution:



Photo by whYME:



Photo by whYME:



Jose Marti is Cuba's national hero, even before the revolution. His memorial is the tallest building in Havana. I think the vultures circling around is very symbolic:



Heading back, we went through Centro Habana, yet another neighborhood:



A gas station:





Back on the Malecon, the sun was setting.

Looking towards Florida, 90 miles for us yet a different planet for those around us:






These guys were just chilling on the seawall. Photo by whYME:



CITH shooting. Photo by whYME:



Passing the famous Hotel Habana Riviera, formerly owned by the Jewish mob boss Mayer Lansky and from where he ran his empire:



Hotel Nacional de Cuba, another one of Lansky's "business interests". Photo by whYME:



Galerías de Paseo is an upscale shopping center and car dealership where the ruling elite go to spend their country's money:



The Cuban flag:



Taking some video with my FishyStickTM, a GoPro mounted on a 3-axis gimbal mounted on a long monopod:



A cafe, under the ever-watchful eye of Fidel:



Back in Old Havana, with the Capitolio in the background:



A row of beautifully colored buildings. Photo by whYME:



We paid the driver his 36 CUC, and headed over to the seawall to shoot the sunset:



Photo by whYME:



Photo by CITH:



Photo by CITH:



A few minutes later, in the opposite direction. Photo by Something Fishy:



Photo by whYME:



It was now that I was to have my only negative interaction with a Cuban citizen. Overall we found them incredibly friendly and warm.

This guy, however, was stone drunk. He hung around me so close that he was touching me, while announcing that he has a brother who who's Fidel's best friend, another brother in ISIS, and yet a third in Boko Hiram. Unless I gave him what he wanted right now, he'll tell on me and bitter will be my end. What exactly he wanted from me was known only to his drunk brain.

I was getting worried, not for my personal safety (the place was packed with locals), but for my camera, which was on the tripod and perched precariously on top of the seawall. It seemed like he was gonna give it a shove at any moment, and then goodbye camera. In the end I said that I'll give him a couple of CUC if he goes and sits on the other side of the Malecon, and whaddya know, it worked.

Once it got dark we began making our way back home for the night. As we were crossing the Malecon, my belt buckle decided it had had enough and popped right off. Being that a 40 oz HydroFlash was on a carabiner off my belt, the next logical thing happened: my pants dropped right down .

So there I was, in the middle of Havana's busiest street, traffic flying past me in both directions, quite literally standing in my underwear. It was like a bad dream come true. Not an experience I'll ever forget, I'll tell you that.

By and by I picked up my pants, collected what was left of my dignity, and hobbled to the other side.

The rest of the way home was a fun dance. I had obviously removed all the weight from my pants, but it kept on slipping and sliding at inopportune moments. But eventually I made it back ...

Right before our house we passed by the Gran Teatro de La Habana (Grand Theater), arguably the most beautiful building in Havana. Being this dark we didn't really get a very good picture, but there will be plenty of time tomorrow for that:






We finally arrived back home, weary to the bone. We wolfed down some dinner and fell into bed.
Check out all my Trip Reports here!

Offline good sam

  • Dansdeals Lifetime Platinum Elite
  • *******
  • Join Date: Jun 2011
  • Posts: 2106
  • Total likes: 34
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 9
    • View Profile
Just amazing. The cars, the buildings, and especially the portraits. The ones of the guy with the guitar should get an award!
If you don't care why would you comment?
HT: DMYD

Offline davidmal

  • Dansdeals Lifetime Presidential Platinum Elite
  • *********
  • Join Date: Dec 2013
  • Posts: 5354
  • Total likes: 275
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 152
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
    • Pintrest
  • Location: New York
These photos are so good they look fake.
-DMC
"Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it ~Ferris Bueller"

Offline shulem92

  • Dansdeals Presidential Platinum Elite
  • ********
  • Join Date: Feb 2015
  • Posts: 2617
  • Total likes: 65
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 1
    • View Profile
  • Location: Lakewood
Finally! The FishyStick™