China’s capital is at its most magical early in the morning. Few cities have such a profound sense of history as Beijing. It whispers down the grand boulevards, cries out from its megaliths and monuments, echoes in its palatial courts. And despite the fact that Chairman Mao’s mausoleum now looks over the Colonel’s Kentucky Fried, nothing of the past.

Tiantan Park - Beijing - China
Tiantan Park – Beijing – China

Unlike its more sassy sister cities of Shanghai and Hong Kong, where an energized nightlife rocks into the wee hours, Beijing seemingly slumbers after 10. But, like most Chinese communities, its parks and plazas spring alive to greet the rising sun with tai chi and other sports, some I could recognize, others I don’t. We visited Tiantan Park early in the morning to see thousands of Beijingers starting the day with tai chi. Tiantan Park, hugely popular among locals as a venue not only for tai chi, but also for myriad of activities from ballroom dancing to croquet to Chinese martial arts, and as we experienced, massive opera singing activities as can be seen on the video we made this summer. So Tiantan park is an ethereal place to visit,especially in the gentle morning light when old folks are practicing their tai chi and qigong, opera singing and sword dancing. A place where Beijing can catch its breath from the relentless and perplexing change of recent years.

Vieuw Gallery Tiantan Park – Beijing – China

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Habana - Cuba
Habana – Cuba

Che Guevara, byname of Ernesto Guevara de la Serna, (born June 14, 1928, Rosario, Argentina—died October 9, 1967, La Higuera, Bolivia), was an theoretician and tactician of guerrilla warfare, prominent communist figure in the Cuban Revolution (1956–59), and guerrilla leader in South America. After his execution by the Bolivian army, he was regarded as a martyred hero by generations of leftists worldwide, and his image became an icon of leftist radicalism and anti-imperialism.

Che Guevara

Fashion photographer Alberto Korda took Che Guevara’s pictures hundreds of times in the 1960s. But this one from Che Guevara was epic.

While in Habana – Cuba the band Angerona performed in our hotel lobby the song Hasta Siempre Commandante. “Hasta Siempre, Comandante”, or simply “Hasta Siempre”, is a 1965 song by Cuban composer Carlos Puebla. The song’s lyrics are a reply to revolutionary Che Guevara’s farewell letter when he left Cuba, in order to foster revolution in the Congo and later Bolivia. Watch the video we made from Angerona:


Angerona - Havana - Cuba
Angerona – Havana – Cuba

VIEW ORIGINAL HASTA SIEMPRE COMANDANTE CHE GUEVARA from Carlos PUEBLA :

Carlos Puebla

 

Aprendimos a quererte
desde la histórica altura
donde el sol de tu bravura
le puso un cerco a la muerte.

Aquí se queda la clara,
la entrañable transparencia,
de tu querida presencia
Comandante Che Guevara.

Tu mano gloriosa y fuerte
sobre la historia dispara
cuando todo Santa Clara
se despierta para verte.

Aquí se queda la clara,
la entrañable transparencia,
de tu querida presencia
Comandante Che Guevara.

Vienes quemando la brisa
con soles de primavera
para plantar la bandera
con la luz de tu sonrisa.

Aquí se queda la clara,
la entrañable transparencia,
de tu querida presencia
Comandante Che Guevara.

Tu amor revolucionario
te conduce a nueva empresa
donde esperan la firmeza
de tu brazo libertario.

Aquí se queda la clara,
la entrañable transparencia,
de tu querida presencia
Comandante Che Guevara.

Seguiremos adelante
como junto a ti seguimos
y con Fidel te decimos:
hasta siempre Comandante.

Aquí se queda la clara,
la entrañable transparencia,
de tu querida presencia
Comandante Che Guevara.

(Carlos Puebla, 1965)


A few images from our journey to Cuba:




You can find the complete Cuba gallery overhere..