Recap :: Long Studio to Havana, Days 8, 9 + 10

Photo by Ruthie Kuhlman
By John Pilling, Havana Long Studio Instructor 

Thursday, February 16, 2012
The morning concentrated on two places: Cementerio de Colon and the Casa de Amistad (Casa Catalina Lasa and Juan Pedro Baro).  Cementerio de Colon is one of the largest and most impressive necropolises in Latin America.  Among the many monuments noteworthy ones include that of La Millagrosa, whom John petitioned to remove the curse of the blue-shirted pan handler in La Regla from the day before; the tomb of Catalina Lasa, designed by Lalique; and the monument to the Martyrs, designed by Mario Coyula and colleagues.  

Photo by John Pilling
We had lunch at the Union Francesca with Mario Coyula, who described the fine points of the design for the monument to us while also telling us about his most recent work, a fictional novel entitled ‘Catalina.’  The book is about an architect who wants to know more about Catalina Lasa.  His explorations disturb Catalina’s eternal rest.  The book is in Spanish.  Mario is unsure it can be translated properly into English.

After lunch with Mario we visited the Plaza de la Revolución and then explored several places on the Calzada de Cerro: the Quinta Santovenia and the Terminal del Aqueducto de La Habana. Luis and John did some additional plans in the evening for the studio to meet some Cuban Friends.

Photo by John Pilling 

Friday, February 17, 2012
The studio used its free day to visit the studios and homes of Cuban friends who are artists.  In the morning, we organized cabs to go to the gallery of ‘The Merger,’  a three-artist partnership which includes Alain Pino Hernandez.  Alain was there to describe his work and ideas.  Luis and John suggested to members of the studio that the work of the Merger was a good inspiration for the quality and kind of work they should do in the studio to describe their concepts for their buildings.

Photo by John Pilling 

We had lunch at a place suggested by Alain, the Bodegón del Alsado (Big Warehouse of Roasting).  This place has been open since early in January, and it’s really busy.  One of its three partners was affiliated with the Paladar Huron Azul.

After lunch we visited another venture of ‘The Meger’ called ‘La Lavanderia.’  It used to be a car wash and garage.  They’re converting it into a workshop and gallery that will have two apartments for artists and office space for ‘The Merger.’

Photo by John Pilling 

We spent the afternoon and evening at the house of the artist, Franklin Alvarez Fortun.  Franklin’s wife, Madelin, created a spectacular dinner for us with one specialty after another: pierna del puerco asado, frijoles negros, yucca, tostones, ensalada, and two flans.  Loren brought two other flans.  It was quite a night.

Photos by John Pilling 

After dinner, some of the group went dancing at the Don Cangrejo (Sir Crab) in Miramar.  Others had a full, ‘Taxi Particular’ experience on the way back to the Tulipan. 

Saturday, February 18, 2012
This became our beach day at Santa Maria in the Playas del Este.  Yule and the driver picked us up in the morning for the trip.  Yule knew a place where we could get snacks and refreshments for the day.  The weather was perfect, and everyone had a great time.  We were all pretty tired at the end of the day, which we spent at the snack bar at the Hotel Tulipan.

Photo by: John Pilling