After years of U.S. Treasury Department travel restrictions, Cuba has taken on an air of mystery. Our 45-minute charter-flight from Miami and the bus ride into Havana make us feel like astronauts of a sort, touching down for nine days in a parallel world.
The nearly half century of war between the government of Colombia and the Armed Revolutionary Forces of Colombia (FARC) that left over half a million Colombians dead and three million displaced may finally be coming to an end.
When I heard rumors about Jay-Z and Beyonce heading to Cuba, I was feeling pretty confident about my trendy choice to go that way. But then I bagged Cuba, and booked a flight to Vienna, Austria, home of the Lipizzaner stallions and Wienerschnitzel.
Not one to be left out of the discussion, Jay-Z just dropped a new track called "Open Letter" (produced by Timbaland and Swizz Beatz) in which he discusses his recent trip to Cuba. He raps: "I'm in Cuba, I love Cubans/ This talk about Communism is so confusing." I feel ya, Jay-Z.
I grew up on the hyphen between two identities. My father's family had traveled from Russia to New Haven, Connecticut via Ellis Island. My mother's family traced their roots to medieval Spain and came to Cuba by way of Greece and Turkey.
I wanted to find my bar. The bar that I would return to again and again; I would have a favorite drink; I would know the name of the barman; and every time I went, I would walk away with either interesting stories or interesting friends.
Fusterlandia is a definite must see on any sojourn to Havana. The Cuban artist has energized his community, inspiring them to create art on their own homes, and thus his vision has aesthetically inspired this part of Havana.
Eating a freshly made breakfast from antique porcelain plates beneath a teardrop chandelier in an old colonial house while being treated like an old family friend would be considered an experience possible in only hotels of the rarest kind. In Cuba, however, it's practically normal.