The Bohemian Barber Walk & Drive - detailed description


Here you will find a detailed description of The Bohemian Barber Walk & Drive.

In 1999, Gilberto Valladares Reina, pet name Papito, gets a license to start a small private hair salon at home. He lives in Santo Ángel, a run-down neighborhood in Old Havana. Papito cuts and cuts, but he also collects, antique hairdressing supplies and art. And he gathers people around him and he connects.

Papito has a dream.

To express the passion of the hairdressing vocation, to upgrade the craft and to tell its history. Walls full of paintings, showcases with the most wonderful tools of former barbers illustrate his mission.

Papito connects.

His project is like a magnet to other Cubans; volunteers, artists. Catering services make their appearance. The restaurant El Figaro settles here and there are hairdressers, so many hairdressers, that the now cobbled alley is renamed Callejón de los Peluqueros.
Partially owing to the historian of the city, Eusebio Leal, who is leading the restorations in Old Havana, the hairdresser alley, 100 meters long, is now a lively and colorful street, such as the ones you can see in glossy travel magazines.

Arte Corte is typically Cuban.

The project is officially recognized as a Local Development Community Non-profit Organization. With the revenues, a training course has been started, where (underprivileged) young people from the neighborhood are trained at a significant level. The neighborhood revives. Santo Angel gets color on its cheeks again.
Artecorte’s goals increase every day and are focused on the social, cultural, ecological and economic development of the neighborhood of the Holy Angel (Santo Ángel).
You can see all this during a guided walk. 

Obama named Papito in his speech. In March 2016 he was the first American president to visit the island since 1928. Papito deserves a statue in his own alley. Or even better, let's plant a tree in his honor, he can trim it himself.

Our driver will pick you up at 02.30pm at restaurant El Figaro. Check in the mirror of one of our American vintage cars if your hair is still in place, and then we'll leave for a classic car cruise through Havana's beautiful other neighborhoods.

Districts Old Havana and Centro Habana

Muralla, the name of the street that leads us to the train station, passing the Parque de la Fraternidad towards the Cuban Capitol.
Do not focus too much on the tourist attractions only, as you can find beauty in every corner.

Through the streets Reina and Carlos III, we reach Centro Habana, one of the most populated districts. In the current urban pattern, Centro Habana is the center and connects the historic district with the (modern) neighborhoods. Hence the name. This is everyday Havana, Habaneros busy getting their groceries, busy with the most wonderful things, busy with their game of dominoes, less glamor here. Several families live in one and the house.

Continue to the iconic Plaza de la Revolución for a stop.

Districts Vedado and Nuevo Vedado

You'll pass Cementerio de Cristóbal Colón (1876), one of the most impressive cemeteries in the world. We are on our way to Almendares, the city forest of Havana.

District Miramar

A fairy-tale road leads to Miramar, the youngest district of Havana. You will be surprised by the luxury villas and mansions and by the lush gardens mostly with swimming pool. In the 1940s and 1950s - when Cuba was still the sunny backyard of the United States - the upper-class settled here. Broad avenues with hedges (still well maintained) and green parks recall those days.

Districts Vedado and Old Havana

Returning to the boulevard Malecón we cross the Vedado district, a residential area in the 30s - 40s, and still, but also a social-cultural center of the capital. It is cozy and lively. Green as well, with trees along the streets and with various parks. One is the John Lennon Park.

Surprising, but in the first decades after the revolution, the music of the Beatles was banned on the island. Cuba made up for it by placing a bronze statue of John Lennon in a nice city park. It is a real pleasure to drive through Vedado and greet John. Imagine, you got a ticket to ride!

After this panoramic drive, we are back in the historical center, UNESCO World Heritage since 1982. Here ends this Classic City Drive (unless you want to be dropped elsewhere).

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