City of Sound is about cities, design, architecture, music, media, politics and more. Written by Dan Hill since 2001.

“Havana is a ripe haunting-ground for ghosts”

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More fabulous writing about complex cities with Tim Weed writing about Havana, at The Morning News:

“Eduardo and María Elena’s apartment is in a subdivided former mansion in the crowded Vedado district; there are probably a few dozen families living within a fifty-foot radius. Nearby a television blasts, competing with a stereo playing loud rap music. People shout to be heard over the din, loud mufflerless trucks rumble by on the street, dogs bark, a mysterious polytonal chittering in the background sounds like a great horde of rats. Although the background noise is more varied and intense than that of a North American city – the decibel level is roughly comparable to a crowded bus station in the middle of the day – there is something serenely domestic about it, a sense of being nestled in the embrace of an immense human den. The fan stirs up a cool breeze, and outside the slatted-pane window I can see the moon. There is a gentle, soothing magic in the tropical air, and soon I am asleep.”

Weed writes beautifully about the colliding meanings witnessed everyday in a Havana opulent, rotting, decaying, seductive:

“Havana’s like that: enigmatic, difficult to nail down. It’s not Moscow, and it’s not Mexico. It’s a city where you can see the moon at night, a unique city – at once poor and very rich – where music, magic and dread waft together in the warm breeze blowing in off the Caribbean.”

The Morning News: A Few Hours In Havana


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