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Author Topic: Havana photography (and food)  (Read 1630 times)
ednazarko
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« on: June 19, 2012, 06:29:57 PM »
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Just spent two weeks in Cuba - 2/3 in Havana, 1/3 in Trinidad - with a small photographic workshop group, and while I agree with Daniel Webb on the photographic climate in Cuba, I had a radically different food experience.

I never had someone say no to being photographed, in fact it was sometimes hard to get them to NOT ham it up and mug for the camera.  Probably the best street shooting environment I've ever been in. The colors of the buildings and old cars contrasting with the tropical decay of buildings that have been abandoned made for a really visually rich environment. We shot from rooftops in a few locations and it was very, very hard to stop.

On food, though, we didn't have the problem with being served what I call "fried matter" anyplace except in the one "all inclusive" resort we were bumped to by the Pope's visit taking rooms away in the regular hotels.  I've traveled extensively for business for 30 years, eating in great restaurants around the world, and I count some of the lunches and dinners in Cuba among the best I've ever had.  We ate dinner at La Guarida in Havana, lunch at Sol y Son in Trinidad, lunch at Los Nardos in Havana... I'll stop there, but it got to the point where I had to pick either lunch or dinner on any of the days because it was impossible to eat and enjoy both.  Add in the costs - four courses with lobster main course, drinks, and wine coming in around $20-25 at the most expensive of the locations.

Even at the roadside rest stops there were pleasant food surprises - like having the chicken and cheese sandwich come out in bread rolls shaped like sea crabs.  I grabbed lunches or breakfasts at small bakery/cafes from time to time, absolutely on par with similar cafes in Western Europe.

It is possible to have bad meals, mostly by eating in the hotels, although we had breakfast buffet several mornings after sunrise shooting at a hotel with a buffet that rivals any Four Seasons I've ever stayed in.  There are fast food "hole in the wall" places around Havana that are as awful as many of them are in New York City.  And, it's not really a place for vegetarians - some restaurants do OK by vegetarian dishes, but it's a pork and seafood kind of culture.  I lost weight on the trip, but mostly because I was walking from before sunrise to late in the night, not because of any deficiencies in the food opportunities.

A few photos of the food, samples from the "I can't believe this meal" photos.
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hsteeves
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« Reply #1 on: June 24, 2012, 01:12:43 PM »
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if I may ask, which workshop?
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ednazarko
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« Reply #2 on: June 30, 2012, 01:04:30 PM »
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Went with Lorne Resnick's workshop. He's got quite a book full of restaurant info and location info. I never thought I'd take a vacation and get fatigued with eating spectacular food.

Looks like the images got deleted, a shame.  The crab shaped bread was a hoot.
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