MIAMI, United States. – San Isidro, one of Havana’s poorest neighborhoods, has been ranked number 14 among the “coolest” neighborhoods in the world, according to the list developed annually by the magazine Time Out.
The publication states that San Isidro has gone from being a “tolerance zone” in the early 19th century to becoming an “art mecca” in Havana.
Time Out states that San Isidro’s rebirth goes hand in hand with actor Jorge Perugorría, whose Gallery-Workshop Gorría has maintained a veritable explosion of murals since 2016 which have added lifelines to the place. It also highlights the “roof-top bars, salsa spaces in the dark, and a sound system in every corner.”
In spite of the fact that most of its members are in jail or in exile, the magazine also highlights the San Isidro movement, known for its overt opposition to the Cuban regime.
A perfect day’s routine at San Isidro, according to Time Out, includes enjoying the people, having a daiquiri at 20 Jesús María Street, taking in the art work in the open air, eating croquettes and pastries, and ending the day with mojitos and live jazz at the Yarini roof-top bar.
The magazine also summoned visitors to enjoy Havana’s Carnival, which was called off this year due to the serious crisis the country is facing.
Although Time Out assures the readership that it gathers the opinions of thousands of tourists from across the world, as well as the points of views of editors and local journalists when it comes time to develop its list of cool neighborhoods, the description of the San Isidro neighborhood seems like that of a place that undoubtedly does not exist.
It should be noted that San Isidro is not only one of the poorest neighborhoods in Havana, but also one with the worst infrastructure. In recent years, dozens of families have been displaced by frequent building collapses, and still others survive in buildings without even minimal safety conditions.
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