Archive for October 25th, 2019

October 25, 2019

Paris, Latino sound, it’s hot!!!!

So let me tell you about another facet of mine, that is dancing and many types even if most love is Salsa. And even if less so today, I am an avid dance club fan and continue even while in Paris. I had written on it in my blog but need to do a complete update as some come and goes, you know ,yes even in Paris!

Therefore these are my favorites places in Paris for the Latin sound Latino as in the old language by which we all descend with lots of mixes of course lol!

The Barrio Latino, one of the classic for years and love it. Nestled in an impressive historic building of the 19C by Gustave Eiffel, has closed its doors to give way to Pachamama (which not try yet). Behind this establishment of 3000 m², you discover a haunting and mesmerizing scenery inspired by the regions of South America. And the trip starts from the ground floor with the Ballroom, characterized by the Latin touch of the bar and its long counter in pieces of clay. On the first floor La Cantina. To put your eyes on it, the restaurant offers a bird’s eye view of the dancefloor while a secret dining room is decorated with pieces from various locations. A beautiful patio surrounded by a spectacular green wall. Carved with boards recovered from old Brazilian cattle cars, lit by lamps diverted from ancient rides and temples to Madonnas, the Patio is the perfect place to land while sipping a drink. on the 2nd floor, to discover a magnificent bar with engravings and frescoes with flowers, bartenders in uniform as well as cocktails with tequila and other magic potions to chill until late, all with tapas Finally, on the 3rd and last floor, the Pachamama unveils its Downtown smoking room, where the Chesterfield sofas and the big American billiard will welcome guests with pleasure. As for music, trust the group of founding DJs of the Favela Chic  historic chain!  Le Pachamama 46/48 rue du Faubourg Saint-Antoine, 12éme. More info here :

Favela Chic 18, rue du Faubourg du Temple 11éme. This is Brazilian and more at its best for the dance and drinks and ambiance if the menu are a bit over price. The first part of the evening is devoted to live concerts, from midnight, you  go up to the tables where you dined to dance until the end of the night. Alcohol flows and everyone wriggles on hip-hop and funk music, but also electro-tropical and Afrobeat, until 04h on weekends. More here :

Paris Flamenco – Isabel Aguirre at 9 Rue de Montenotte, 17éme. Isabel is a pedagogue, warm, passionate, she does not count her time and knows how to transmit her passion. So it is felt in the atmosphere of the courses as in the progress of the dancers. More info at

Small club very popular of Latinos in Paris, the Peña Saint-Germain Located in a small alley in Saint-Germain, the club hosts in its basement spread over three floors lovers of salsa, bachata or cumbia. If you came to speak Spanish, you are in the right place: Colombians, Cubans and Brazilians meet regularly. Avoid even pointing too late because the room is small and quickly crowded. La Peña Saint-Germain 3, passage of the Petite-Boucherie 6éme Metro Saint-Germain .Open Wednesday to Saturday from 23h to 06h. More info here:  webpage now under construction/renovation need check if still open:

La Pachanga  is the rendez-vous of the better dancers. If you’re looking for a nice place to dance salsa at any price while sipping some delicious cocktails, I recommend you to go for a walk here. Pachanga organizes salsa lessons on weekdays from 19h to 21h!  La Pachanga,  8, rue Vandamme 14éme. Metro Gaîté or Montparnasse. Open Monday to Thursday from 19h  to 02h, Fridays and Saturdays from 19h to O5h and Sundays from  18h30  to 02h. More info here :

You can try here with Cuban salsa, Argentine tango, rumba or cha-cha-cha. The good plan for the weekend is that you can enjoy Latin dance lessons before the track is stormed by the clubbers. The average age is certainly quite high but if you are looking for a place to dance, I really advise you to go for a ride. The Retro Dancing 23, rue du Faubourg-du-Temple, 10éme Metro République .Open on Sunday, Wednesday and Thursday from 14h to 20h, Friday and Saturday from 14h to 03h . More info here :

To dance Tango with beginners and up go to the Casa del Tango 11, allée Darius-Milhaud, 19éme with plenty of Tango classes and performances more here:

The nights of  hot Latin dance music at the Romeo Club 71, boulevard Saint-Germain 6éme More info here

For Rum and Cigars go to Cubana Cafe  47, rue Vavin  6éme near Montparnasse train station. More info here:

One of the best is the Cuba Compagnie a restaurant and bar à tapas located  at 48 Blvd Beaumarchaise in the 11éme steps from the place de la Bastille.  This place has three rooms in which you can move freely. The bar room is rather festive. This space is perfect for a drink or a few tapas on the sounds of Janoy. The Havana room large dining room, can accommodate groups. Not far from the bar, it remains completely immersed in the Cuban atmosphere. The Cuban lounge upstairs is more cozy, always in a Latin atmosphere, the music is however a little less strong than elsewhere, to give free rein to discussions around a quieter meal with friends, family or in a relationship.  The terrace also heated in winter and extends in summer, you will enjoy the sun and you can enjoy delicious cocktails. More info in English here: Cuba Compagnie in English

Some other favorites places to eat with good Latino ambiance are

For a Colombian restaurant Juanchito at 69 rue Folie Regnault 11éme more here:

The Peruvian gastronomy is tops at El Picador , 9, rue Lacépède 5éme, restaurant , take home and grocery store on Peru in Paris. More here:

While the best  Argentine beef  is had at Anahi, 49, rue Volta,3éme more here:

To taste ragout of shrimps with coconut milk there.. For cocktails and tacos with Mexican traditions go to the Taqueria Candelaria ,52, rue de Saintonge,75003.  For more info here:

And one of my favorite hangouts for a drink after work was La Perla, 26 Rue François Miron 4éme just behind the Hôtel de Ville of Paris.  More info: La Perla Paris

My favorites Spanish restaurants in Paris are

The Bodega Cambronne.  Add a layer, come and revive the Spanish music to your ears with concerts organized at the Bodega Cambronne every weekend. You can,  also eat very well. The Bodega Cambronne is at 37, rue Cambronne 15éme.  More info here:

Bellota Bellota 64 Rue de Seine, 6éme More info :

Casa Pepe, 5, rue Mouffetard  5éme. More info :

Casa Paco, 13 rue de Bassano 16éme lovely nice souvenirs here. More info :

For a cultural extravaganza do come to the Latin American House or the Maison de l’Amérique Latine. The best one location to see it all music arts expositions located at  217, bd Saint-Germain 7éme. Webpage in English here:

To listen to Latin music while walking or in public transports or driving in Paris the only radio station is Latina. A selection from local Latin music radio station LATINA 99.00 FM at 167 Rue du Chevaleret, 13éme. Music is from Latin America but the DJ hosts and commercials are in French. More info at

Donc voilà , it is not a complete list of course, these are those that I have frequented and like over the years and still I believe still open. I will be by Paris next month again and more often thereafter !! Hope it helps find your Latin gem in eternal Paris

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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October 25, 2019

My trip to the roots where all begun ,Cuba!

Well this was a business trip with my company but took advantage with my assigned driver to see the family still there and nostalgic moments in my life. It all began here for me many many years ago. I left it in 1971. The comments are updated , but the photos are from 2012.

I took a long flight it seems endless from home in Brittany, went by car to Nantes airport;following the road N165 all the way to exit D201 Nantes Atlantique signs about 1h30 minutes. Then took a regional Air France flight to Amsterdam, Schiphol airport, change there to KLM for the flight to La Habana about 10 hours !!! lol!!! and finally arrive in Havana.

I stayed at a Casa Particular as was assigned this by the company in district of Playa, no fancy hotels for me!!! Stories about Cuba abound from all periods; blaming each other but no doubt the previous regime was better for the mayority. Proof over 2 millions have left already and several millions waiting for the opportunity while been politically correct.


We went to eat at EL Palenque, the resto of the Convention palace nearby, great Cuban food, why bother with all those international places if in Cuba eat like a Cuban. Calle 17 y 190, Playa.. Ciudad de La Habana tel  (53 7) 203-8222 .


We had not much time so I took a ride on the Malecon, went over to the old Church of San Francisco de Asisi, the Morro ,Fuerza ,and Cabanas castles.





We had business lunch at Restaurant 1830 at Calle Calzada esq. a 20, Vedado. Ciudad de La Habana tel(53 7) 55-3090-92 . There was a special treat at a casa paladar on a fifth floor of a house but could not remember the name as it was at night and friends rode me there, we had lobsters supreme with a view of the city.

The next day I ask my assigned driver to talke me to my native town of Punta Brava, just in the borders of the city of La Habana, visiting family aunt and cousins (which by now left Cuba too) , I ate at a typical Cuban casa paladar in pesos nacionales, a dish of roast pork,moros black beans,yucca,tostones in garlic sauce, salad of tomatos and lettuce, plus coffee and four beers for two persons at 10 CUC or about 260 Cuban Pesos Nacionales. Just in Calzada (main street Avenida 51) before turning left to Guatao, the old Carretera Central.

I went further inland to visit another aunt and cousins at Cayo La Rosa, (these still there) off Bauta, this was a huge textile plant (Ariguanabo) of 5000 workers done by Americans now in ruins. The village have not change much, and took a ride with my cousin in an electric moto on the town, crazy but a great and cheap means of transportation there now.  And proud of myself was able to take my local driver there as he did not know how,and I did it with so many years out just on good memory lol!

Of course in each visit i ate with the family and reminiscent of the old days, telling me what a nice guy I was !!!  Finally, it was time to come back again, and took my flight from La Habana Jose Marti International airport, very easily, this time in route to Paris CDG on Air France. The plane was full and cheapy company had me on economy class! but was bump up to Business Class , by asking and it shows the difference, very nice flight of 9 hours to Paris CDG. There change again on AF to Nantes, and took my car from the airport parking for the trip home after paying 54 euros of parking fees. Cheaper than renting a car lol!



I was hoping not to be the last trip like this, but this is October 2019 and not back yet; time is ticking and less family there. Even in the difficulties of that system was the same warm welcome by the family and the faces of the buildings even if change were still recognisable, and I look forward to the future when all can have a pleasant place to visit with family and no government mistreatments and inconveniences.

No webpages just for the memories update in my blog. Hoping you can enjoy a visit there under better circumstances and then tell me about it ok. And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all !!!

October 25, 2019

A Church at Arroyo Arenas, Cuba!

And coming back to the roots, a bit of my old neighborhood, its been almost 50 years but the memories lingered. I like to tell you briefly as not much info on the internet on one of my sights when my dear late Mom Gladys passed by here taking a friend’s car or the bus line 99! We always made the cross sign passing by the Church of Arroyo Arenas. The blog is also a way to keep my history for eternity I hope and future generations can see it all.

The town of Arroyo Arenas is in the municipality La Lisa, city of La Habana, Cuba. It is located on the banks of the Camino Real (Royal route), today Avenida 51 (avenue 51). It limits to the north with the municipality of Playa, to the south the Cano – Valle Grande – Bello 26 and Morado, to the east with Punta Brava (my native town!) and to the west with San Agustín

Arroyo Arenas was granted in 1672 status of village by the Spanish colonial governor. By 1778 they still subordinated its existence to the city/hall of Havana. In 1780 the local city hall were constituted, corresponding from Arroyo Arenas to Santiago de las Vegas. TheCaptaincy were subordinated to El Cano and Bauta. The first was subordinated the town of: Arroyo Arenas.

Towards the last decade of the 18C, this seat made possible the foundation of the town of Arroyo Arenas, a fact that was recorded in 1790 when a chapel was constituted that apparently was attached to a house or room, separated from common uses. Likewise, in 1794 the first tile house was built in this town and in 1795 the hermitage of Arroyo Arenas was officially erected under the invocation of Jesús Nazareno del Rescate or Jesus Nazarene of the Rescue.

The location of this site on the side of the Camino Real to Vueltabajo was enriched by the migration of Canary island peasant population initially settled in Vueltabajo (the best cigars in the world and my ancestors the Guanches of Tenerife and Grand Canaria) . Its growth as a town is evidenced by the fact that in 1843 the Spanish Army Weapons Command was established there and already in 1846 it had 12 masonry houses, 7 of wood and tiles, 36 of mud and guano, a clothing store, 3 mixed, 2 shoe stores, 2 tobacco shops, 1 carpentry, 1 blacksmith shop and 298 settlers, of which 44 were slaves.

From 1878, according to the new political-administrative division established by the colonial government on that date, the city hall of the towns of El Cano, Marianao and Santiago de las Vegas were created.. To each of them the districts were subordinated to El Cano corresponded Arroyo Arenas, Barandilla, Falcón, Jaimanitas and El Cano proper; Marianao was subordinate to La Lisa, and to Santiago de las Vegas, the districts Bauta, Punta Brava ;and Guatao were subordinated. In the judicial order, all these municipalities were subordinated to Bejucal until 1880.

In the first months of 1955, the construction of a highway that would connect Columbia (army and airport barracks) to the central highway at the exit of Arroyo Arenas was announced. In April 1956 it was finished. The Hermitage and Country Club, were projected to link with the with the Biltmore Riviera, Boulevar del Biltmore and Montecarlo, which would extend to Novia del Mediodia ( roundabout call the noon girlfriend) . These projects were interrupted with the triumph of the Cuban revolution.

The Hermitage is now a National Sanctuary of Jesus Nazareno del Rescate , located at the Central Highway (that goes from one point to the other of the island country) and here it is call Avenida 51 building no. 26455. The same route that passes by my native town. The Church was erected in 1795, under the invocation of Jesus of Nazareno del Rescate. But the church instead of one, has two stairs, the one on the right where the ladies went up distributing alms, and the one on the left that has more steps, 29 in total. In general, here, women and humble men, the true devotees, those that Jesus did not expel from his temple were climbing. Have one photos souvenir of our passing by it.

Arroyo Arenas

No webpage but the memories lingered. Hope you can appreciated and maybe one you can pass by it and make the sign of the Cross too , for me at Arroyo Arenas!

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!



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