BOBBY MAGILL

Journalist • Photographer

Bobby Magill is a journalist and photographer based in Port Jervis, NY and Alexandria, Va.

From Colorado to Cuba, Part III: Little Havana to Suffice for Havana Itself

The Cuba trip is off.

I learned a few days ago that the Cuban government denied the Society of Environmental Journalists' group visa at the last minute, asking us to come next year. No further explanation provided. That effectively scuttles the trip.

We're speculating that the Cuban government isn't interested in a bunch of nosy American journalists asking prying questions about possible Cuban deepwater oil drilling between Havana and Key West. Perhaps the prospect of legally visiting Cuba for a week was too much to expect.

So, Little Havana in Miami will have to suffice. We're staying on the cheap in Little Havana, even though the SEJ conference is at the opulent Intercontinental hotel in downtown Miami. When you're at a conference in a full-service hotel, it's easy to shelter yourself from the city outside. We, however, are having the full Miami experience, with abundant Cuban restaurants and languages of probably six different Latin American countries represented in the people we pass on the sidewalk each day. This place is truly rich, if not in money, certainly in culture.

On the way here, we spent two nights in Atlanta, two nights in Charleston, S.C., where I grew up, a few hours in Savannah and a night in Vero Beach, Florida, where we pulled off the highway because of torrential downpours and other weather we didn't feel like driving through on Interstate 95.