Hometown Tourist in Little Havana, Miami

I parked the silver Toyota Camry in the first unoccupied spot on the street; parallel parked to be precise – something I had never done before. In Miami, you’re not taught or tested on parallel parking because you’re unlikely to need it. At least this was how things were when I got my license. The successful parking job raised my already high spirits, the sun was high in the sky + I could hear Latin music playing loudly on the street. 

In Miami’s Little Havana [La Pequeña Habana] – a predominantly Cuban neighborhood, there’s one famous street; Southwest 8th Street, fondly called“Calle Ocho”. Pronounced [kaye – ocho]. On this afternoon, I decided to head down here with my boyfriend to check out what the street had to offer.

VSCO Cam-1-2.jpgVSCO Cam-1-9.jpgVSCO Cam-1-4.jpgAs we turned a corner, we were greeted by a medium-sized statue of a chicken whose breast read Calle Ocho. If you’ve been reading the blog, you’d know that I don’t care for any kind of bird, but since this one was inanimate, I got up close to take a photo.VSCO Cam-1-1.jpgThere are quite a few chicken statues in the area which got me wondering if chickens are significant to Cuban culture. Turns out the answer to that is yes; male chickens, roosters are part of Cuban folklore. VSCO Cam-1.jpgJust like the rooster marks the entry to Calle Ocho, it also marks the entry into a small Cuban city called Moron. As legend has it, the rooster monument was placed as a reminder to people not to mistreat others thanks to a guy who called himself a rooster, mistreated people and wound up lynched by the same wronged people. Gruesome, but there’s more to the story which you can read here.

Behind the colorful rooster is the famous El Pub whose Cuban food I’m [incredibly] sad to say I wasn’t hungry enough to try. Instead, we made a beeline for an ice cream shop- Azucar.D6335C25-3C61-400C-81F3-08C3690C5790.jpgThe weather was hot and the air heavy with moisture [as per normal] so I needed something to cool off with. The ice-cream was definitely cool, but that’s about all the pleasure I got from it which is sad because I read reviews that said it was excellent.

I thought that my shortcoming was ordering a guava-flavored one but it wasn’t so much the taste as it was the consistency. I like my ice-cream to be creamy and smooth and this was not that. However, since it cost almost $5 for a tiny cup, I begrudgingly finished it.

Post ice-cream-fail, we walked into the bar+club – Ball & Chain where a live band was playing their version of some of my favorite Latin hits. I hear this is the place to go out dancing on Calle Ocho and I don’t doubt it. At 4pm the music was good enough to make me want to pull out some salsa spins.

VSCO Cam-1-12.jpgWe sat in here for happy hour mojitos before making our way across the water to South Beach.

Unluckily we visited Calle Ocho on the wrong Friday and missed the monthly “Viernes culturales” or “cultural Fridays” which is a celebration of Cuban history, art, music, and food. Of course, there’s dancing. It’s held on the last Friday of every month.VSCO Cam-1-3.jpgVSCO Cam-1-7.jpgThere isn’t a whole lot to do on Calle Ocho so I would recommend it as a brief stop -maybe 1-2hrs- on your itinerary. Besides food and drinks, there’s a domino park where locals play, a few art galleries, cigar shops, and of course the trusted gift shop for all your branded knick-knacks. If you’re not feeling up to exploring on your own, there are guided tours from LittleHavanaGuide.com.VSCO Cam-1-6.jpgI like finding ways to enjoy and celebrate Latin culture and I see myself coming back here to indulge in Cuban food, dance and learn to roll a cigar or two. It’s as close as I’m getting to Cuba thanks to a certain president, and I’ll take it!VSCO Cam-1-10.jpgHave any of you visited Little Havana, what did you think? If you haven’t would you want to? + What aspects of Cuban culture have you encountered?

As always, 

Thanks for reading! 

All photos shot by Obie & Myself on iPhone 6S+


Same footprints, Different Sands

10 Comments Add yours

  1. Roselinde says:

    Such cool visuals, loving all the colours! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Tiesé says:

      Thank you so much, Roselinde

      Like

  2. Zinny says:

    Oh my… I enjoyed reading this. Such great story telling. The pictures were also so beautiful and it felt like I was there with you. Thanks for sharing.

    http://www.zinnyfactor.com

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Tiesé says:

      Aww thank you so much, Ezinne!

      Like

  3. Ufuoma says:

    Love this girl. You know I’m such a fan of your blog and photos. You tell your stories so well. Thank you for always being so refreshing. You’re a joy to read!

    And girl, Trump needs to fix up with the Cuban restrictions but La Pequeña habana en Miami looks really poppin’ anyway.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Tiesé says:

      You’re too sweet, babe. Thank you so so much for the kind + encouraging words ❤️

      Don’t even get me started on that guy. So annoying. Oh for sure. There’s no way I’m not coming back here!

      Like

  4. Sivylla says:

    So beautiful post! Gorgeous photos and such a well written text! Thanks for sharing and keep up the great work!
    http://www.thisissivylla.com

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Tiesé says:

      Thank you so much, Sivylla!

      Like

  5. sewa247 says:

    I love your story telling style and the pictures are lovely. I really want togo to Cuba. Was almost going to go this month, but plans changed. Sigh. Hoping to go next year tho.
    sewafolie.com

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Tiesé says:

      Thanks so much girl!! This was me.. I was supposed to go this month but life & a president happened smh. Hope you get to go!

      Like

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