(Week of 6/17/18)

A recent inability to get the song ‘Havana, nah-nah-nah’ out of her head (it is so damn catchy, isn’t it?) got Michelle thinking about Cuba, and wanting to delve a little deeper into the snippets she knew about its history, art and America’s relationship to it. This week’s list just scratches the surface, but what a deliciously rich treat it’s been to explore. Hope you enjoy.

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Watch this documentary about Fidel Castro, listen to a lost interview on the Blank on Blank podcast, and read up on US-Cuban relations.


1950s Havana

Read this Vanity Fair oral history of the Tropicana, Havana’s hottest club & peruse photos from the 1950s when Cuba was the destination of choice for jet-set Americans.


contemporary art

A lot of art collectors are more than a little excited about Cuban art. To understand why, read this NYTimes review of the Havana Biennial, peruse the digital gallery of The Farber Collection & follow dealer Bryant Toth on Instagram.



The Bacardi family & the rum empire they've built create a delicious portrait of life before, during and in exile from Castro's rule. Listen to this NPR story from Tom Gjelten who wrote a book on the matter, read the Wikipedia article about the company and, of course, make a mojito.


Buena Vista Social Club

Listen to Buena Vista Social Club, the iconic 1996 album that brought together some of Cubas greatest musicians, while perusing the website for videos and more about the musicians.