UNTIL THE MALECON DRIES OUT.
There is no place in Havana, Cuba that shows its soul like the slow crawling, seaside stretched boulevard of Malecón. Although affectionately referred to by locals as ‘the longest sofa in Havana,’ this isn’t a place reserved for just sitting. People gather to fish, swim, sell goods, and enjoy the view. Richard knows this all too well. “I come here once or twice a week to clear my mind,” he says looking out over the jagged rocks swirling in the breakwater, “and watch people jump into the sea. It’s entertaining.” A few blocks up, Miguel Angel sits perched on the esplanade’s edge, “I’m here every day,” he tells us, “this is from Cuba to Miami!” he yells, then jumps in. Kids of all ages join those at heart and dive, laugh, and cavort in the surf. After watching this for a bit, we leave them to their salty reprieve and continue our discovery of this historic boardwalk. As we casually stroll the 5-mile stretch, we pass a multitude of people out to catch up, kick back and escape the summer heat in Havana the best way they know how.
The heat is intense, but a refreshing ocean breeze offers what solace it can. As the hot afternoon sun fades to dusk, however, Malecón enters its golden hour. Musicians play live music up and down the street, snack carts come out and families from all over the city converge and congregate down the stretched beach front. Behind them, sun paled architecture that spans everything from Colonial to Art Deco crash through the ages to corner Bahia De La Habana into picturesque submission. Havana comes alive on this busy street, catering to the entertainment of its citizens, and soon, visitors from all walks of life that wish to feel what it’s like to join them.