Virtuoso Life - July/August 2018 - 96

Like the rest of the world, they're unsure
of what the future holds as the Castro
era ends after 59 years of rule (Miguel
Díaz-Canel recently became president,
replacing Fidel Castro's brother Raúl) -
but they persevere.

MEET ME IN MIAMI
We kicked things off at the 169-room Faena
Hotel Miami Beach, a glamorous, sexy hotel
that set a festive mood for our party. By day,
hit the pool or Tierra Santa Healing House spa.
Come cocktail hour, sip a rose-scented Faena
Spritz in The Living Room, then order sharing
plates of high-style modern Asian in the shadow of Damien Hirst's gold-leaf unicorn at Pao
by Paul Qui. Later, see a show at Faena Theater
or retreat to Saxony Bar, a swank speakeasy.
With standout red-and-teal decor, guest rooms
are as richly appointed as the hotel's public
spaces. Doubles from $525, including breakfast
daily and a $100 resort credit.

96

V I RT U O S O L I F E

ONE AFTERNOON WE WANDERED
the picturesque squares of Old Havana,
with a photographer arranged by Lee
documenting our day as we navigated
narrow cobblestoned streets, peeking at
courtyards and balconies for a glimpse of
everyday life. A deluge forced us to duck
into a covered café patio on a sixteenthcentury plaza and wait out the rain with
rounds of mojitos, Cristal beer, and daiquiris while a live band played traditional
Cuban music - setting the mood for
private salsa lessons later that day.
We ate and drank well the entire trip.
Though Havana's culinary scene is evolving, practically every menu included
Moros y Cristianos (black beans and rice),
and most meals weren't as memorable
as the settings themselves. Eschewing
state-run restaurants, we dined exclusively at privately owned paladares.
La Guarida is the most famous one in
Havana, located in a former colonialmansion-turned-tenement, with ornately carved stone columns, a sweeping

staircase, and an aging mural that pays
homage to Fidel Castro. (The building
was also the setting for Strawberry and
Chocolate, Cuba's only Oscar-nominated
film.) Statement-making art covered the
walls of the second-story dining room,
and a warm breeze wafted through the
open balcony doors as we dined on tuna
tiradito, smoked duck with Brie, and beef
tenderloin with pepper sauce. The whole
experience was a collision of trendy and
historic, then and now, high and low.
Those walls gave us a taste for Cuba's
flourishing art scene, which we explored
more in depth with private appointments
at galleries showcasing emerging artists.
We even met Fidel Castro's photographer son, Alex, and his business partner,
Ramses Batista, at their studio. Art and
entertainment merge at the Cuban Art
Factory, a former peanut oil factory that's
been transformed into a sophisticated
contemporary nightclub and gallery
space, attracting a bustling late-night
crowd with rotating exhibits, video installations, and a concert venue.
Our final night, we took in a show by the
Buena Vista Social Club, the acclaimed
ensemble known for their romantic, oldfashioned ballads. As we danced onstage
with the band (hey, it was my birthday),
I was warmed by a "life is good" feeling
of gratitude for my life, my friends, and
my terrific fortune to be there.
Even though I probably picked Cuba
initially for the buzz factor, it turned
out to be so much more than a passport
stamp, impacting me - and my friends -
far beyond the usual birthday bash. I've
been lucky enough to travel the world,
but Havana stands out as a place that
demands you pay attention, where every
interaction makes you hyperaware of the
past, present, and future. It's much like
the introspection a milestone birthday
begets: Learn from yesterday's mistakes,
celebrate the moment, and be hopeful
about what tomorrow holds.

REALYEASYSTAR/DANIELE BELLUCCI/ALAMY

Kitschy and cool: Performers with Buena
Vista Social Club put on a show.



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Virtuoso Life - July/August 2018

Virtuoso Life - July/August 2018
Contents
Editor’s Note
Contributors
The Virtuoso Life
Passport
Bon Voyage
Suite Talk
Inspired By
City to Go
Interview
Seat at the Bar
On the Table
Out & About
In My Bag
Be Right Back
Cuba Calling
Insiders’ Amsterdam
Lens on the World
Travel for Good
First Person
Need to Know
Souvenir
Virtuoso Life - July/August 2018 - Intro
Virtuoso Life - July/August 2018 - Virtuoso Life - July/August 2018
Virtuoso Life - July/August 2018 - Cover2
Virtuoso Life - July/August 2018 - 1
Virtuoso Life - July/August 2018 - 2
Virtuoso Life - July/August 2018 - 3
Virtuoso Life - July/August 2018 - 4
Virtuoso Life - July/August 2018 - 5
Virtuoso Life - July/August 2018 - 6
Virtuoso Life - July/August 2018 - 7
Virtuoso Life - July/August 2018 - Contents
Virtuoso Life - July/August 2018 - 9
Virtuoso Life - July/August 2018 - 10
Virtuoso Life - July/August 2018 - 11
Virtuoso Life - July/August 2018 - Editor’s Note
Virtuoso Life - July/August 2018 - 13
Virtuoso Life - July/August 2018 - 14
Virtuoso Life - July/August 2018 - 15
Virtuoso Life - July/August 2018 - Contributors
Virtuoso Life - July/August 2018 - 17
Virtuoso Life - July/August 2018 - 18
Virtuoso Life - July/August 2018 - 19
Virtuoso Life - July/August 2018 - The Virtuoso Life
Virtuoso Life - July/August 2018 - 21
Virtuoso Life - July/August 2018 - 22
Virtuoso Life - July/August 2018 - 23
Virtuoso Life - July/August 2018 - 24
Virtuoso Life - July/August 2018 - 25
Virtuoso Life - July/August 2018 - 26
Virtuoso Life - July/August 2018 - Passport
Virtuoso Life - July/August 2018 - 28
Virtuoso Life - July/August 2018 - 29
Virtuoso Life - July/August 2018 - 30
Virtuoso Life - July/August 2018 - 31
Virtuoso Life - July/August 2018 - 32
Virtuoso Life - July/August 2018 - 33
Virtuoso Life - July/August 2018 - 34
Virtuoso Life - July/August 2018 - 35
Virtuoso Life - July/August 2018 - 36
Virtuoso Life - July/August 2018 - 37
Virtuoso Life - July/August 2018 - Bon Voyage
Virtuoso Life - July/August 2018 - 39
Virtuoso Life - July/August 2018 - 40
Virtuoso Life - July/August 2018 - 41
Virtuoso Life - July/August 2018 - Suite Talk
Virtuoso Life - July/August 2018 - 43
Virtuoso Life - July/August 2018 - 44
Virtuoso Life - July/August 2018 - 45
Virtuoso Life - July/August 2018 - 46
Virtuoso Life - July/August 2018 - 47
Virtuoso Life - July/August 2018 - Inspired By
Virtuoso Life - July/August 2018 - 49
Virtuoso Life - July/August 2018 - City to Go
Virtuoso Life - July/August 2018 - 51
Virtuoso Life - July/August 2018 - 52
Virtuoso Life - July/August 2018 - 53
Virtuoso Life - July/August 2018 - Interview
Virtuoso Life - July/August 2018 - 55
Virtuoso Life - July/August 2018 - Seat at the Bar
Virtuoso Life - July/August 2018 - 57
Virtuoso Life - July/August 2018 - 58
Virtuoso Life - July/August 2018 - 59
Virtuoso Life - July/August 2018 - On the Table
Virtuoso Life - July/August 2018 - 61
Virtuoso Life - July/August 2018 - 62
Virtuoso Life - July/August 2018 - 63
Virtuoso Life - July/August 2018 - 64
Virtuoso Life - July/August 2018 - 65
Virtuoso Life - July/August 2018 - Out & About
Virtuoso Life - July/August 2018 - 67
Virtuoso Life - July/August 2018 - 68
Virtuoso Life - July/August 2018 - 69
Virtuoso Life - July/August 2018 - 70
Virtuoso Life - July/August 2018 - 71
Virtuoso Life - July/August 2018 - 72
Virtuoso Life - July/August 2018 - 73
Virtuoso Life - July/August 2018 - In My Bag
Virtuoso Life - July/August 2018 - 75
Virtuoso Life - July/August 2018 - 76
Virtuoso Life - July/August 2018 - Be Right Back
Virtuoso Life - July/August 2018 - 78
Virtuoso Life - July/August 2018 - 79
Virtuoso Life - July/August 2018 - 80
Virtuoso Life - July/August 2018 - 81
Virtuoso Life - July/August 2018 - 82
Virtuoso Life - July/August 2018 - 83
Virtuoso Life - July/August 2018 - 84
Virtuoso Life - July/August 2018 - 85
Virtuoso Life - July/August 2018 - 86
Virtuoso Life - July/August 2018 - 87
Virtuoso Life - July/August 2018 - Cuba Calling
Virtuoso Life - July/August 2018 - 89
Virtuoso Life - July/August 2018 - 90
Virtuoso Life - July/August 2018 - 91
Virtuoso Life - July/August 2018 - 92
Virtuoso Life - July/August 2018 - 93
Virtuoso Life - July/August 2018 - 94
Virtuoso Life - July/August 2018 - 95
Virtuoso Life - July/August 2018 - 96
Virtuoso Life - July/August 2018 - 97
Virtuoso Life - July/August 2018 - Insiders’ Amsterdam
Virtuoso Life - July/August 2018 - 99
Virtuoso Life - July/August 2018 - 100
Virtuoso Life - July/August 2018 - 101
Virtuoso Life - July/August 2018 - 102
Virtuoso Life - July/August 2018 - 103
Virtuoso Life - July/August 2018 - 104
Virtuoso Life - July/August 2018 - 105
Virtuoso Life - July/August 2018 - Lens on the World
Virtuoso Life - July/August 2018 - 107
Virtuoso Life - July/August 2018 - 108
Virtuoso Life - July/August 2018 - 109
Virtuoso Life - July/August 2018 - 110
Virtuoso Life - July/August 2018 - 111
Virtuoso Life - July/August 2018 - 112
Virtuoso Life - July/August 2018 - Travel for Good
Virtuoso Life - July/August 2018 - 114
Virtuoso Life - July/August 2018 - 115
Virtuoso Life - July/August 2018 - 116
Virtuoso Life - July/August 2018 - 117
Virtuoso Life - July/August 2018 - 118
Virtuoso Life - July/August 2018 - 119
Virtuoso Life - July/August 2018 - 120
Virtuoso Life - July/August 2018 - 121
Virtuoso Life - July/August 2018 - 122
Virtuoso Life - July/August 2018 - 123
Virtuoso Life - July/August 2018 - First Person
Virtuoso Life - July/August 2018 - 125
Virtuoso Life - July/August 2018 - 126
Virtuoso Life - July/August 2018 - 127
Virtuoso Life - July/August 2018 - Need to Know
Virtuoso Life - July/August 2018 - 129
Virtuoso Life - July/August 2018 - 130
Virtuoso Life - July/August 2018 - 131
Virtuoso Life - July/August 2018 - Souvenir
Virtuoso Life - July/August 2018 - Cover3
Virtuoso Life - July/August 2018 - Cover4
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