Bicycling took off in Cuba
in the 1990s during a period of oil scarcity, and became an important means of business and daily travel. Since then motor vehicles have returned to prominence, and new bicycle parts are in short supply. A small network of mechanics trades used parts and applies their ingenuity to maintain Cuba's aging fleet.
In April 1998, Ninja Tune duo Up Bustle & Out
traveled from Bristol to Havana. They were greeted by legendary flautist Richard Egües
, who would be their guide to meeting and recording a number of Cuban musicians over the next two months. The result was the two-volume Rebel Radio: The Master Sessions
, an adventurous meeting point
between 'the smokeyness of Bristol
and the coolness of Havana
'. UB&O's Rupert Mould kept a journal which he would later publish as The Rebel Radio Diaries
Out My Window (trailer)
is the new web documentary from the Highrise project, one of the world's first interactive 360° documentaries. Delivered entirely on the web, it explores the state of our urban planet told by people who look out on the world from highrise windows.
With more than 90 minutes of material, Out My Window features 49 stories from 13 cities, told in 13 languages
The wonderful online history journal Common-Place
is presenting a special issue entitled "Early Cities of the Americas."
Nineteen essays, each concerning a particular incident, person, place or encounter in the early life of a city, together provide a "worm's eye view" of what urban life was like in early postcolonial North and South America. Learn about vigilante justice and press sensationalism in 1856 San Francisco
, or about a day in the life of a peasant family in Lima
of the 1760s. Other essays concern the 17th-century "treasure city" of Havana
, searching for salvation as a slave in 1647 New Amsterdam (New York)
, and capital punishment in colonial Paramaribo
, Suriname. "Reading these essays cannot but help readers gain some historical perspective on the modern condition," especially as you see how many of the issues we associate with modern urban life (poverty, crime, bowling?
) are not exactly recent developments.
An American Tragedy:
; no Havana Club
; not even a dram
of that lovely new rummy Glenfiddich
malt whisky! Although the embargo is still popular with the Jesse Helms crowd and certain Cuban immigrés
. Why does it go on? From the outside, it just looks like obstinate stupidity. What is it with the Democrats, especially? Are they still covering up for JFK's mistakes? He, at least, had a good stock
of Cuban cigars [well, Petit Uppmanns...
] with which to sit the crisis
out... What gives? What could possibly justify Americans missing out
on such a massive scale? If for the pleasure of a decent smoke or even proper mojito
Manic Street Preachers play Havana tonight
- "It'll be like Wham! in China."
Following in the footsteps of agit-prop songster Billy Joel, the Boys from Blackwood take Sony-branded anti-capitalism to the last place "that really fights against the Americanisation of the world."