Cuban Dreams

Updated: May 14, 2019

There’s a certain surreal air to Cuba. Maybe it’s the heat, maybe it’s the teeming plazas, or the avenues of perfectly kempt buildings next to crumbling ones. Things are both worn down and immaculate, from the people to the cars to the streets themselves. Downtown Havana was, of course, far more of a tourist destination than our first location in Santa Fe. Many more people spoke English and were excited to coerce us into their taxis.

We waded through endless isles of merchandize in Almacenes San Jose to find hidden gems of handmade goods, walked through the colorful districts and dodged vintage Japanese motorcycles and classic Fords and Chevrolets in the tight cobbled side streets. Almost every corner was overflowing with bustle and spectacle.

Our second home base was the Miramar neighborhood, just west of downtown. The house had a beautiful front patio, perfect for a private little cup (or three) of coffee and breakfast before jumping into the sites of Old Havana. We were across from a park and just down the street from a lively fruit stand and combo diner/car wash.

I had an amazing time in Cuba, there’s nothing quite like it. It was a beautiful opportunity to connect with the Cuban people, soak in the art and culture, and to get immersed in a place so different from my own experience.

The National Museum of Fine Arts, Cuba

Wooden puppets of historical figures in The National Museum of Fine Arts, Cuba

Maintenance worker with purple Vans

Vintage motorcycle with a blue sidecar

Crumbling building in New Havana; no echar basura

A man pulls groceries up to his window

Police on duty being followed by a stray dog

Cuban taxi cab driver sits in the shade of his pink car's trunk

Pink and teal apartments

A dog keeps watch from the rooftop in Santa Fe, Cuba

Cafe de Cuba

Pink balcony views from a red convertible, man checks out the street

Vintage blue Chevrolet parked in Old Havana

Old Havana balcony

Surreal figures from a sculpture series in El Museo de Bellas Artes

Che Guevara, "Hasta la victoria siempre."

My Gear

Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM Lens - Very flattering, affordable prime lens for portraits

JOBY GorillaPod - Great for stabilizing on the go

Wireless Remote - I've used this for self portraits!

Canon EOS Rebel T3i Digital SLR Camera Body (discontinued) - My camera is discontinued, but they've continued the Ti series. I love the articulating screen.

Have you seen part 1, Hearts in Havana? 📷 →
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I'm Meghan Stark, a web developer and motorcycle enthusiast who resides and rides in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. I studied Graphic Design and Digital Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. For more about me and a list of my publications, click here.


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© 2021 Meghan Stark