Photographer's Note

Oh, no, here he comes again with another lousy old scan... :D

For anyone one who has ever been interested in knowing what Havana has to offer to the tourist (should I use the more pretentious word 'traveller'? :-) who is looking for the signs of the old bohemian life of the mid 20th century, this place doesn't need any presentation. It is reputed as one of Ernest Hemingway's favourites hangouts - before he bought the house outside Habana Vieja (Old Havana) which is now a museum, he used to stay in Hotel Ambos Mundos, which is just a block away, and the legend says that he spent much of his days between the hotel, the Bodeguita del Medio and another bar/restaurant, the Floridita. I don't know the origin of his quote (famous, at least for me): "mi mojito en la Bodeguita, mi daiquiri en el Floridita".

The place is famous for his past visitors and for being the place where one of my favourite cocktails, the mojito, was invented. Mojito is a mix of rum, lime juice, sugar and soda that is prepared in a glass full of mint leaves and ice.

When this one was shot (1993) and also when I returned there in 1997, the place was a bit run down, something that somehow enhanced the atmosphere of having stopped in time more than 50 years ago. The walls were covered with inscriptions and signed photos, many of them of famous old Hollywood stars that were visitors if not frequent customers, like Errol Flynn and Ava Gardner, just to name the first ones that come to my mind. Quite a moody place, even if very touristy.

This one was shot in the morning, when only the bar had some clients. We had climbed upstairs curious to see the place and ended up sitting down for a while, while enjoying another couple of mojitos with the company of this singer that was rehearsing the songs to be performed during lunch and dinner. He had such a voice!...

Some days later we returned to have dinner. We had a pleasant time there, the atmosphere was unique and charming, but the price was too exaggerated the food that was nothing special and the place was so unsophisticated and run down.

The place is very poorly represented in TE. Here go the only posts I found besides the ones linked above: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.

I posted another touristy postcard as a WS.

Location (latitude, longitude): 23.1408,-82.35227

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Additional Photos by Jose Pires (stego) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4422 W: 612 N: 7301] (24132)
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