- Happy 500th birthday Havana!“You are always on my mind...”Got my Cuban identity card renewed today, which is always a bit of a process. The good news is I get to stay for another year apparently and more things happen to you in Cuba in one year than five years spent anywhere else.Going to visit the neighbors.Lights shining on Calle Galiano tonight to celebrate Havana’s 500th anniversary. This is one of my favorite streets in Havana and it’s the first time I have seen it closed off to cars. The lights are a gift from Turin, Italy.Had the pleasure of seeing one of my favorite paintings again in person today. “El gran apagón” or “the Great Blackout” by Pedro Pablo Oliva, one of Cuba’s greatest living artists, has been described as the Cuban Guernica. It shows the madness and chaos 25 years ago as Cuba tried to survive the collapse of the Soviet Union. Themes that are relevant today as Cuba deals with a new economic crisis. See more of Oliva’s works at @estudio_pedro_pablo_olivaSeems like just yesterday I was covering with my Cuban crew the first US airline flight to Cuba in over 50 years. Today the Trump administration announced they are canceling US flights to nine destinations in Cuba; everywhere but Havana. The administration says this action will keep money from going to the Cuban government. That may be true but it will also hurt Cuban families, US travelers and the airlines that spent a great deal of time and money opening these routes. Nearly every Cuban I have ever met wants more contact —not less— with their neighbors in the US. So many other administrations have tried isolation and it didn’t work.Sad to see this giant sea turtle dead on the beach in Havana. I couldn’t tell how it died. A boat? A plastic bag? Old age? It had been around for a while....Looking out.Fantastic to catch two amazing Cuba related events in NYC last night. The @hectorfrankheredia show at @tothbry’s gallery was wonderful. He is one of the greatest Cuban artists painting today. Then the launch of my friend @lisettepoole’s new book of photography “la paloma y la ley” was very moving. Lisette documented two Cuban women on their epic journey from Ecuador to the US. An incredible feat of journalism. ¡Felicidades a todos!A very different view this am... on a quick work trip to New York. My first time here in four years.Bring your car to the beach day.Havana moon.A little strange to no longer see all the flagpoles in front of the US embassy in Havana. Originally the Cuban government put them up to block a news ticker the American diplomats had erected on the front of the embassy that broadcast news and messages Cuban officials didn’t care for. Apparently the sound of the wind going through all those Cuban flags was really annoying and the two governments reached a Cold War compromise: the ticker and the flags would both come down. The flagpoles stayed as did the “anti-imperialist tribunal” where Fidel led massive demonstrations against the US. Cuban officials say they are repairing both the flagpoles and tribunal.It’s been a month since Hurricane Dorian devastated parts of the Bahamas. Immediately after the storm we met a fisherman -Howard Armstrong- who had lost his house and his wife. It took weeks but we tracked him down to tell his haunting story of survival. To read more about what Howard has gone through, go to the link in my profile. Thanks to my stellar team @jaaydaay and @josecnn.“Want to try and find my car?” said Greg, the owner of the house where we are staying on Marsh Harbour. We did. In about twelve feet of water.Ain’t playing.Flying into Marsh Harbour today nearly a month after Hurricane Dorian slammed into the Abacos and Grand Bahama. The devastation is still astounding and beyond tragic.A very special day today opening my first photo show. So grateful to my colleagues and friends who came to be part of this celebration of Havana. As always my kids stole the show. Thanks to @aprespinosa and @peterturnley for the photos.Beyond excited to have my first photo exhibit ever open tomorrow Thursday at 4pm at the Carmen Montilla gallery in Old Havana. Havana is celebrating its 500th anniversary and the show is my impressions of this unique, complicated and magical city that I am lucky to call home. Thanks to @cubajournal @eliaponte and @aprespinosa for helping me to realize this dream.