Bespoke Cuban Holidays for the Discerning Traveller

What is your favorite neighborhood?

Oh, Vedado, for sure. Its where I was born, live, work, walk. For me it’s like living in a magic wood. There are so many trees, flowers, plants, small parks. Plus, it’s the modern cultural centre of the city. I walk to the cinema, theatre, jazz club – and then down the street to the Malecon (Havana´s promenade).

Where do you go to relax?

There are two places for me and they´re both across the Bay. One is the Cristo statue (Estatura Cristo de La Habana) in the Casablanca district. It’s very peaceful there and has such wonderful views of the city. The other – a short walk away – is La Cabaña fortress. Again, great views of Havana, very peaceful, lots of space to walk and pleanty of room for my two kids to run around.

Where is the best place to hang out and watch the world go by?

I know many people would say the Malecon wall but I prefer to walk around different parts of the city. You can see a lot of normal Cuban life just wandering down Obispo St. in Old Havana. In Vedado I like to walk along Calle 15 – from John Lennon park in Calle 6 right along to Calle J where there’s a lovely park. People are
everywhere, out on the street, so it’s quite an easy thing!

What is your favorite gallery

I have two. One is my own house which doubles as my living and work/gallery space. The other – also for contemporary art – is Espacio Aglutinador in Calle 25 and 6 (Vedado).

Do you have a favourite Havana view?

Yes, and it doubles as my favourite building too. Some people hate it, but I love it. It was built in 1956 and, with 30-odd floors, it was one of the largest structures in the world at the time, I think. For the great view, take the lift to the top floor where the La Torre restaurant is. Its spectacular.

What’s your favourite thing to do in Havana?

Eat out! My favourite restaurant is Atelier (5ta, between Calle 2 and Paseo, Vedado) and when I sell a painting I go there and really enjoy myself. Maybe I´m biased – the owner knew my work so when they opened they offered me the whole space, to exhibit there. We´re hoping to develop this side of things together – to make it a living gallery – and already have interest from some Russian, Chinese and Mexican artists. But, back to Atelier. The food is excellent, the atmosphere elegant but very relaxed and the big pillow/sofas on the outside terraces are just brilliant.

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