Habana, Cuba part 2 of several

Before I continue with my glowing review of Cuba and it’s people, you must remember that I went home each night to a plush hotel, ate at the fanciest restaurants, and slept like a baby. These picturesque buildings that you will see are ‘homes’, all of them. I am from America, the land of the free, and cannot comprehend what these people have been thru.

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We arrived in Habana in the late afternoon, our hotel was the Parque Central. Wow!  the lobby was bustling, you could feel the excitement in the air, and you could almost see Sinatra and Hemingway working the crowd, along with Mr. Lansky.  I was elated. Thanks to MW our rooms were ready and check-in was a breeze.  We were to meet back in the lobby, on the couches, in one hour. Well, needless to say, the couch ain’t my style, so I sauntered up to the bar, pulled up a stool, ordered a Bucanero, and lit up a smoke !  I’m in Habana !!  ( had Babaloo been playing I’d still be there )

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Before we headed to dinner we strolled along the Malecon with camera in hand, taking in the city lights, the ambience, the smells, and the reality.

“The Malecón (officially Avenida de Maceo) is a broad esplanade, roadway and seawall which stretches for 8 km (5 miles) along the coast in Havana, Cuba, from the mouth of Havana Harbor in Old Havana, along the north side of the Centro Habana neighborhood, ending in the Vedado neighborhood. New businesses are appearing on the esplanade due to economic reforms in Cuba that now allow Cubans to own private businesses.”  wiki

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While shooting, from sunrise to sunset, our fearless leaders were there to suggest camera settings, new techniques, bracketing, back button focus, function button, HDR …. my head was spinning!  I was finally learning how to use this very complicated camera.

Again the beauty of Muench Workshops was their keen sense of what to see, and what to photograph.  We visited the local boxing gym where we were able to shoot the athletes in action.  What a trip, and again the Cuban warmth spilled out of their souls and into my lens.

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        This is their coach, better know as Le Black Prince.

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These two boxers are the Cuban Champions. I think this was my favorite shoot, I loved the personal interaction with these athletes.

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The champ and his manager.  This shot was taken in her office, she was writing down her address so I could send her copies of my photos ….. and I will.

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Also hanging around the gym were these two darling future champs.  They posed for me and they loved it, true boxers at heart ! As I was leaving I gave them each 1 CUC, an amount equivalent to one US dollar … they were giddy with delight !

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Yes, this was my favorite shoot. I had planned to move right along with my post but these boxers had an impact on me.  I feel that I owe them more than a sentence or two.  As we left the ring I photographed their neighborhood.  The Cubans are resilient, we think they have nothing, but that’s not true, they have something,  I could see it in their smiles.

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To be continued …..

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8 thoughts on “Habana, Cuba part 2 of several

  1. Michelle – These photos are so great. I can see how taken you were with the boxers! What a trip!

  2. I just love the excitement in your missives and photography. Michelle, you are so compassionate about your hobby, people, etc., “GO BIG OR GO HOME”
    .. you, my friend, have gone much bigger than ever imagined. Loving this Cuba trip that you are taking us on! xoxo

  3. Just stunning — words, images — and reality. I remember TH-IV telling stories about the Miami to Havana sailing races in the 50s. What amazing potential could be let loose!

  4. You brought me back to the days I heard about Cuba from my Uncle Felix and my grandfather in their fedoras.

  5. Wow, I love learning about Havana through your eyes and camera. The pictures of the boxers are stunning. So happy you got to experience this, and we get to experience it thanks to you.

  6. Thanks for capturing and sharing these incredible photos. I feel as though I was there with you walking along the water, through the streets and talking and laughing with the boxers.

  7. You certainly captured the people’s spirits in these shots! So much beauty! What an adventure for you! So glad you are sharing this shots and these stories. It shows how affected you were by Cuba and its people.

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