Archive for August 24th, 2022

August 24, 2022

My tunnels of Havana !!!

It’s not easy to find pictures that are in several modes from paper to usb , vhs videos to cd roms but finally got to these ones. I like to have it in my blog and hope you enjoy it as much as I. This is going back deep back in my life when as a boy lived in Havana or La Habana or San Cristobal de la Habana! I remembered walking a lot around the main points there and was able to visit again as recently as 2012 to see it more dilipated than ever ; like if I really was born here ? I like to tell you my story from old books and brochures of my Havana on the Tunnels of Havana. Memories forever ! Hope you enjoy it as I.

For years, communications between the urban center of Havana and the west of the city were established by crossing the Almendares River through the existing bridges: Puentes Grandes, built by the French engineer La Carriere de la Tour at the beginning of the 19C on the Almendares river in the neighborhood of ​​the Cerro. The Calle 23rd Bridge, in the first decade of the 20C; the iron one in the second decade, and the old Pote bridge, built in 1919 for the Miramar residential development, which was demolished to replace it with the Tunel de Calzada tunnel, also known as the Tunel de la Quinta tunnel, which crosses the Almendares River near the Torreón de la Chorrera through the place occupied by the old Pote Bridge, connecting 5ta Avenida (Fifth Avenue) in Miramar with Calle Calzada street and the Malecón in Havana.

The Tunel de Calzada or Quinta Avenida (5th avenue) has two caissons with a total length of 200 meters and a longitudinal slope of 6% on each side. It has 4 tracks (two in each direction) of 3.35 meters wide each, and a free height of 4.25 meters in the center. Like the other tunnels, 3 levels of lighting were planned in the entrance areas and in the central area to adjust them to the external light. The problem of evacuating rainwater was solved by means of a drainage system towards the sea by a main pumping installation with two self-starting pumps of 600 m3/h each. Four cisterns with a total capacity of 300 m3 ensured the water tank during heavy rains and would be used in case of fire. It is done below the Almendares river near its mouth.  The work, inaugurated on June 12, 1959, was carried out by the construction company Societé des Grands Travaux de Marseille (France).

Havana tunnel quinta avenida apr12

The Tunel de Linea tunnel aka Almendares (my tunnel when a child taken to the city center) in the Vedado neighborhood built by Cuban engineers and builders with construction work starting in 1951 and ending in 1953. This one done with architect and construction company from Cuba. All the electromechanical equipment of the tunnel could be activated from the boards in the control booths. According to the original project, the 6 installed pumps could evacuate the flow of water coming from heavy rains. The Tunel de Linea or Almendares was the first, inaugurated in the middle of 1953. It is equipped with a lighting system that uses 880 cold cathode tubes of 8 feet each, and the lighting is graduated by means of a photoelectric cell according to the brightness of the day. The tunnel light is more intense at the entrance than at the exit, which prevents sudden changes in vision. The ventilation system is served by four air extractors of 75,000 cubic feet each, and all four work automatically through a carbon monoxide analyzer that acts according to the accumulation of this gas inside the tunnel. Three cisterns collect rainwater from the tunnel approaches, water that is drained by six bilge pumps, two for each cistern, capable of discharging 3,000 gallons per minute. The tunnel has a total width of 16.85 meters, with two drainage ways. 6.57 meters each one and two paths each way, divided by a resounding separator that indicates to the driver when the vehicle is diverted. The ventilation gallery, 1.70 meters wide, in the center, separates the two tracks and divides the tunnel into two equal halves. The height is 4.30 meters. The thickness of the floor plate measures 3.35 meters, and the river runs 1.50 meters above the roof level. The length of the tunnel in its covered part is 216 meters, and the two ramps that give access to the tunnel on both sides measure 306.40, thus, the work has a total of 522.40 meters.

The Tunel de la Bahía (bay tunnel) with entrance also through the Ave. del Puerto. the preliminary works of the future tunnel to the North American firm Raymon Concrete Pile Company, which is associated with the designers Palmer and Baker, Inc., and with Coverdale and Colpitt that would be in charge of carrying out the traffic census , Then, came a French company, which not only presents a project, but also offers the financing and the budget for the works. The project was awarded to the French company, the Societé des Grands Travaux de Marseille (France); the on-site inspection was carried out by the Frederick Snare Corporation and the higher management by the National Development Commission of Cuba, According to the approved project, the central zone of the tunnel is made up of five sections or prefabricated concrete boxes, four of which which have a length of 107.50 meters and a central box of 90 meters. The layout of this tunnel runs under the bottom of the Bay of Havana, between 12 and 14 meters. The drainage system was made taking advantage of the topographical characteristics where drains collect rainwater and take it to the sea. In addition to this, two tanks with a capacity of 500 m3 each were built for the accumulation of rainwater. Water is extracted from the cisterns with six pumping equipment of 2,200 g/m each, two on the Havana city side and four on the Cabaña fortress side. The tunnel allows the passage of four traffic lanes, each 3.35 meters wide. and it is 733 meters long and a total length of the connection work of more than 1,600 meters, which also includes the West (Havana) and East (Toll Zone) accesses. A telephone line with an automatic exchange of 28 pairs linked different places in the tunnel with 7 telephones installed in series within it.

havana tunnel de la bahia under the bay aug98

There is no specific webpage for the Tunnels of Havana, but the info above taken from my old books/brochures of my Tunnels of Havana. The pictures taken from paper pictures that I took in my last trip there in 2012. Again, hope you enjoy the post and see my other posts on Havana in my blog.

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

August 24, 2022

Havana , a step back in time !

Again was looking in my vault of photos, and I came up with some older photos of a time gone by ,of memories not to be forgotten, and family roots. I have written several posts on this native experience of mine very translucent as the times goes by and memory starts to flicker. Let me update this older post and tell you a bit more of my dear Havana or La Habana or San Cristobal de La Habana.

It was the ultimate Caribbean destination, the “Paris of the Americas” (Hemingway ), the “key to the gulf (of Mexico) the bulkward of the West Indies (Caribbean ; King Philip II of Spain), to the whole of Cuba. It brings back memories of childhood, and still vibrates the world from no matter what place on the fence you might be. It is a beautiful city, if only can be kept in one piece. It was once the Pearl of the Antilles, the most chic city of Latin America until the revolution destroyed everything; streets names were changed, city names were change, province names were change, people left in hordes (over 2M), and more poverty than ever sets in all under the betraying revolution still there. I need to say this.

We spent many times by the Malecon and going in by the Paseo del Prado going into the Capitol (see post) last trip we were on a Ford 1954 lol!! things indeed change. All the Malecon area now is half and half some renovated with the help of Unesco and other crumbling.

havana-ent-paseo-del-prado-c1998

We just saw the inner soul of the buildings like the fabled Riviera hotel, by the Malecon, and tried to remember what they were before…

havana-malecon-riviera-hotel-c1998

And we passed by the University of Havana, where my Mom did studies before transfering to the Catholic Univ ,sister univ of Villanova in Philadelphia , PA USA at the time.

havana-univ-stairs-c1998

We passed by another favorite of my family that took me there still very early in my life. This is the Cinema Trianon!  It is at Linea (orLline because old tramway passed by here) beween A & B streets. It was built in 1920 ,and completely re-modeled in 1955 and became the release theatre for 20th Century Fox films. My picture is from when it was renovated back in 1998.

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And we move on to the Morro Castle (Castillo de los Tres Reyes Magos del Morro) where they had remodeled the castle , and ate at the nice restaurant call the 12 Apostoles or apostles; which my Martine really enjoyed already with a few extra pounds.

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The official Cuba tourist board on Havana today : https://www.cuba.travel/en/destinations/havana-cuba

The official Infotur tourist guide to Cuba on Havana todayhttps://infotur.cu/en/destinos/havana

I found, bear in mind these are paper photos that I took a picture from. The pictures all date from 1998 when I made a family trip to introduce to my family there to my French wife.  One more post down memory lane, many moments spent with the family now almost all gone from there. I was the first one out 51 years ago !! Hope you enjoy the post as I. Havana is a city to fall in love for no matter what period of time in history you may choose to visit.  Enjoy the ride into nostalgia land. My dear late wife Martine enjoyed the trip down to my roots.

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

August 24, 2022

The Bayside Marketplace of Miami !!!

So coming back at you in memory lane of yesteryear and never forgotten, why should I , spent 18 years in Central/South Florida, and my boys were born in Florida! I like to update this old, even it has change from my time living there. I will post on our  last visit there in 2009. It was one of our hangouts on weekends and holidays, and gladly still there ; let me tell you about the Bayside Marketplace of Miami !!!Pictures are from old paper photos, bear with me please.

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The Bayside Marketplace at 401 Biscayne Boulevard; Miami downtown is a wonderful tropical escape with boating cruises on Miami harbor and passing by the home of the famous. Souvenirs stores and great restaurants , all by the entrance to the Port of Miami cruise heaven. Bayside Marketplace is a two-story open air shopping center The banks of Biscayne Bay wrap around the property with the City of Miami marina at its side. Different from typical shopping malls, Bayside offers an entertainment experience with live music daily, restaurants, bars, open-container policy, family events, and the picturesque settings that come with a waterfront property. The shopping center was frequently featured on the crime drama TV series, Miami Vice! yes remember them?. The marina that runs alongside Bayside gives this Miami place a special cachet. You will particularly enjoy strolling there at the end of the evening. The mall is located on Biscayne Boulevard, (US 1) one of Miami’s largest avenues, at the edge of the marina preceding the harbor.

miami-bayside marina boats

The Bayside Marketplace is a shopping center where you can do your shopping in a very Latin atmosphere. An American mall, but also a Cuban one, in all its splendor and grandeur. It’s the perfect place to relax while being in the heart of Miami! Salsa musicians and dancers provide the relaxed atmosphere of the place. On the shopping side, more than 150 shops will allow you to find everything you need. Before or after your shopping, you can also stop and sit down at midday or in the evening. The Bayside Marketplace has the very big advantage of offering restaurants right by the water!  Finally, Bayside Marketplace is also the starting point for many cruises if you want to visit the bay in complete relaxation. Many companies await you for tours to discover the most beautiful villas of the stars.

miami-bayside-Heritage of Miami boat rides

The Miami tramway, otherwise known as MetroMover, is the most convenient way to get to Bayside. Get off at the College / Bayside station then walk 3 minutes on 4th Street and you’re there! The Government Center metro/subway/tube station or known as Monorail is the closest to Bayside. Once down, allow 10 to 15 minutes of walking via 2nd or 3rd Street towards the sea. The bus lines that take you there are: 3 (this one also goes to Aventura Mall), 93 (only runs during the week), 95 (only runs during the week during peak hours), and no. 103, and no. 119. There is great parking we always use at the Bayside car park undeground. Check for the latest schedule on public transports as they may have change.  The Bayside Marketplace is right across from downtown or city center Miami with a plethora of shopping and restaurant/bars choices from all corners of the Earth. Also, a bit down on chic Brickell you now find plenty more newer shops at Brickell City Centre and the Mary Brickell Village.

The official Bayside Marketplace : https://www.baysidemarketplace.com/

The Miami and the Beaches tourist office on shopping/eating in city center : https://www.miamiandbeaches.com/things-to-do/shopping/where-to-shop-in-downtown-miami

Time change and do not know now, but for us back then ,it was a must stop on our go around road warrior trips in the area of Miami which is a lot more than just a city with about 7 different towns with Miami on their name. This one Bayside Marketplace is in Miami proper, and lots of family fun times. Hope you enjoy the post as I, and me will see for a return visit, eventually.

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

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