March 11, 2018

Plaza de la Revolución, Habana, Cuba. February, 2012

Yes, the great cars. This lovely example, just one of the fascinating beauties seen all the time on the streets of Havana, on the highways, even in the smaller towns outside the main cities. Old Chryslers, Chevrolets, Packards, Cadillacs, the occasional Edsel or DeSoto. I stood on a corner counting one afternoon and one in every four cars that passed was from the American 1950s. (My friend Jane, who’d visited Cuba last Christmastime, told me that, “You’ll be amazed when you see them for the first few days, but then you’ll get so used to them, you’ll almost forget to notice.” Hard to believe, but somewhat true.) Many of these cars, like this one, are colectivo taxis, following certain preordained routes, stopping for people on street corners, packing in as many folks as can be managed, then dropping passengers off at their desired destinations. (I was told that until recently it was illegal for the colectivos to pick up tourists. But “illegal” is a pretty flexible word in Cuba and while I didn't see many tourists in these cars, I did see some.)

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