Nightfall in Havana, Cuba
When the light fades in Havana and the mercury drops a notch, Havana takes on a distinctly different character.
The streets, normally so full of people and scorching hot, are now largely empty. The flicker from the television sets in the houses cast a bluish glow on the threadbare curtains on the windows, like a strange deep sea jellyfish. Some streets remain brightly lit, whilst yet many others are now cast into shadow, with dim streetlights spaced well apart. The potholes and puddles in the streets have now disappeared into the darkness, until you inadvertently step into one.
The chatter from houses either side of the streets tell of families gathered round dinner tables, television sets and domino games. Brief bouts of laughter punctuate the otherwise still night. The fragrant smell of cigar smoke can also be smelt coming from the windows and balconies of the houses.
In the darkness, I still hear bicitaxi (bicycle taxis) riders touting their services, always promising a ‘special price’. Although dark and run down, the streets do not have a threatening air about them, more like someone turned off the lights on Daytime Havana and the volume down to a whisper. Like an unruly child asleep.
I love the shadows cast by the disparate light sources at night in the streets of Havana. The already heavily textured walls and buildings of the city take on a new layer of mystery and suspense. Characters casting long shadows on the uneven ground dart and disappear around corners into the pools of darkness, adding to the drama of the scene.
In each city that I visit, I make it a point to experience both the daytime atmosphere as well as the ‘night life’ and Havana has certainly not disappointed with her offerings.
I left my job as an advertising Creative Director in August 2012 to travel Africa and South America for a year with my wife, documenting these beautiful places with my Fuji X-Pro1. View the rest of my RTW adventures on Handcarry Only and follow me on my journey by subscribing/following/bookmarking.