Traveling in Time to Cuba
The subtle melody of Buena Vista Social Club fills the air. I scan this three-dimensional mural, taking in the intricate details, and bold colors, cold Mojito in hand. This mural that is being painted by the artist, more precisely the Cubans, is slowly transforming. With each additional brush stroke, each layer of paint, a small piece of it falls. This mural has been actively crafted for five hundred years, and within its heavily coated yet spotted image you can see each century shimmer through. This mesmerizing mural is called Havana, Cuba.
Traveling to Havana, Cuba is traveling in time. Down interwoven streets that make up this painfully beautiful canvas, you see strokes of the past. Wet, dried, wet, then dried again after the Cuban Missile Crisis, Havana is beginning to soak in a new coat of paint. Hopefully this stroke of color from the influx of tourism isn’t short lived. President Trump considering reversing the efforts of Barack Obama is threatening to dry that paint. It would truly be a loss to both parties if such a limit were to be reinstated.
Old Havana possesses buildings seemingly plucked from Rome. With their baroque flair, some stand side-by-side with contrasting dilapidated apartment buildings. Small alleyways open up to a grand Plaza de la Catedral. 1920s Great Gatsby style apartments flank modernly appointed monochromatic structures. These buildings, colorful, varied, and finely detailed in both man-made architectural design and natural derelict are adorned with bold splashes of classic cars from the 50s.
Traveling in time to Cuba is truly a trip not so different from a chemically induced one. Bright colors, shifting shapes, get the right dosage and a chill runs over your skin lasting the rest of your life. It’s an addicting trip, truly one that I recommend to those yearning to appreciate the effect of its high. Havana is transformative, scarred, yet gorgeous. This immortal mural will constantly grow revealing new layers all the while capturing candid reflections of its past. However, whatever the future holds for this enchanting city it will always have its artists, the Cubans.