It's really hard to describe Cuba, but here's my initial take: Imagine the beautiful architecture of a city
like Paris, but even more colorful. Tarnish  that with the sort of dilapidation of downtown Detroit after
its hard times and imagine some of it being worse. Then imagine people are still living in most all the
buildings, even when it looks like they are on the verge of collapse. There is great poverty in a lot of
areas like old Havana and then apparent wealth in other areas – a huge disparity of wealth.

I spent many hours walking aimlessly through many sections of Havana with my camera trying to soak
it all in. It was overwhelming and fascinating at the same time.

Each turn down a new street presented a unique and interesting visual - old men playing dominoes,
kids roasting a whole pig in the street, kids playing ball, people dancing in their homes and people
hanging over their balconies watching it all happen. Most doors you walk past on the ground level are
open and give you an intimate perspective into the lives of families living in small spaces.
Photographing people is something I typically avoid, but the people of Cuba are captivating. Even with
all they've been through and continue to go through they are warm and friendly and inviting, often
inviting you into their houses to sit with them.

Despite appearing that Cuba is frozen in time change has come, albeit slowly. People I spoke with say
the change has been big over the past year alone.  I tried not to be an 'ugly American' but
unfortunately I was not alone and saw busloads of my fellow Americans, probably being shuttled from
a nearby cruise ship, being bused into tourist areas who did fit that category. It made me feel glad to
be able to go to Cuba before its natural beauty is whitewashed and sterilized in anticipation for the
Western tourists, but I'd go back in a heartbeat.

This is one of my favorite photos from the trip.  It captures the essence of one of the most interesting
and unique cities I've ever been to along with its warm and friendly people who are still trapped in a
largely oppressive environment.

When I travel to any place, even if I've been there before, I tend to find a theme to my photography. Cuba
was no different, although it was hard to just choose one so I ended up focusing on a few interconnected
themes. Before I arrived I thought I might focus on the cars, but it seemed that would be expected. The
thing that initially caught my eye was the plethora of laundry hanging on balconies or out windows, and it
fascinated me. It was almost like artwork adorning the sides of the buildings with the colors and variations.
However, while focusing on the laundry my eye was drawn to the people who were hanging out on their
balconies looking down on all of the activities in the streets. The candid views of the people of Cuba totally
captivated me, from the young children laughing and smiling to the elderly with their serious and focused
expressions. Of course it's hard not to focus on the cars, the architecture, and the fantastic street art too.

I came home with around 1550 photos taken over a 5 day period and I managed cull that to a little over 400,
which is still overwhelming. The way I decided to present my photos from my experience is to break them
out into various groups. For the main page of each grouping I'm sharing my 10 or so favorite photos from
that group. At the bottom of those photos I'll have a link that will take you to the entire group on the 2nd
page, which is usually a LOT of photos. Not all of the photos in the groups are great, but these pages on my
website are mainly to share the overall experience and not just the best photos I took, but I did try to select
my 30 favorites and put them into a group.

Cuba is a fascinating place, but it's not for everyone. It's more of an adventure than a vacation, and I'm
ready to get back there soon to continue my adventure!

I called these photos "CUBA: The Land Time Hasn't Forgotten" because we, Americans, expect it to be a
place that is frozen in the 50's, but time has passed and left its mark. An old man talked to me on the street
and asked me if I was having fun taking photos of his ugly Havana and I replied that I thought it was
beautiful, and so were the people. He said he was proud of his country. He said time has definitely taken its
toll on the buildings and the people. He said "time has been here, time hasn't forgotten us."


I hope you'll enjoy the photos.
La Lavandería (coming soon)
Los Edificios
(coming soon)
Arte Callejero
(coming soon)
With so many photos, the best place to start is with My 30 Favorite Photos from the trip
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