A Look Inside Issue 11

  • Havana

Few places in the world have a story quite like Havana’s: Spanish colonization, repeated attacks by the (original) pirates of the Caribbean, independence, prosperity and glamour, revolution, cold war, mass emigration, economic crisis. Yet, in spite of its storied past and its tourist label as a “time capsule,” the heart of Havana beats entirely in the present. Walk the streets at any time of day or night and you’ll see what I mean: loud and chaotic, Havana is always right here, right now.

This wonderful trait adds some complexity to producing a magazine here; the phrase we heard most often when inquiring about interviews or covering a story was have patience. Every meeting started with a tiny cup of Cuba’s famously strong and sugary coffee, and a good long gossip. Conversations don’t get serious before laughing until your face hurts, if they ever get serious at all. The people of Havana move in their own way and on their own time.

For an island slightly smaller than the state of Pennsylvania, and one with a history so tumultuous it’s almost unbelievable, the distinct character that Cuba has forged and maintained feels nothing short of a miracle. The music, dancing, poetry, food, style and attitude have always belonged to the people, even when nothing else has. This issue of Boat Magazine takes a look at these aspects of Cuban culture and how they have adapted to the country’s incredible shifts and shocks, yet still remain so perfectly Cuban.

From the explosive energy of Havana’s youth to its wise and skeptical elders; the architectural dreams of the Revolution to the island’s revered ballet; from Yoruba to jazz; organic urban farming to surfing Cuba’s virgin waves, this issue digs into some of the things that make the city unmistakably Havana.

-Erin Spens, Editor

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