Archive for the ‘DVD’ tag
“My mojito in La Bodeguita, my daiquiri in El Floridita.”
- Ernest Hemingway
About 15 minutes into the documentary Discovering Havana: In the Footsteps of Hemingway, I realized there had only been one brief mention of the author right at the beginning. Thankfully it was right at that moment that El Floridita finally appeared on the screen.
A short walk from the Ambos Mundos, the hotel Hemingway stayed at while in Havana, El Floridita is the bar where Hemingway famously sipped (many) daiquiris. The documentary shows how they make their original daiquiri and also the version Hemingway preferred, which is on their menu today.
It moves on from there to the pretty pink hotel down the road. The Ambos Mundos has Hemingway’s room on the 5th floor exactly as it was when he stayed there in the 30s. You can see for yourself in the clip below.
Next is La Bodeguita, another place Hemingway enjoyed stopping for a drink. Here you learn that the secret to a good mojito is all in the mixing, something I’m sure Papa knew quite well.
While a good portion of this documentary is about the drinks that Hemingway liked best (no surprise there), it also gives you a glimpse at his time spent fishing with friends, which was the inspiration behind the Pulitzer and Nobel Prize winning novel The Old Man and the Sea.
And you also get to see Finca Vigía, the home just outside Havana where Hemingway lived and wrote on and off for about 20 years.
After Hemingway’s death, the Cuban government took ownership of the house and got to work on its restoration and preservation. Today you can visit Finca Vigía and see his famous fishing boat Pilar, which is on display there.
(The Finca Vigía Foundation has an excellent list of resources if you’re interested in reading more about the home.)
Discovering Havana was definitely worth watching, and since the Hemingway section is bookended between other interesting info about Cuba, including a bit on Castro, Guevara, cigars, and rum, I’m pretty sure anyone, not just fans of the author, would enjoy this short and informative documentary.
Now can someone please explain to me why I haven’t visited Havana yet?
Charles Dickens visited America and Canada in 1842. His itinerary is one that I would gladly follow even today:
Boston → New England → New York → Philadelphia → Washington → Richmond → Pittsburgh →
Cincinnati → Louisville → Midwest & St. Louis → Niagara → Toronto → Montreal → New York
You can read what he thought about each place in his book, American Notes.
I confess that I haven’t read it but that I’m currently searching for a really nice edition of this travelogue to add to my Dickens collection.
When I heard about the DVD series Dickens in America hosted by British actress Miriam Margolyes (I know she seems like a random choice, but she’s a huge Dickens fan), I decided to commit five hours of my life to watching all 10 episodes.
This should be obvious, but I think the only people who would like this series would be really, really big fans of Charles Dickens. But that being said, while I was a fan going in, I’m definitely an even bigger fan now and am more interested in reading everything he’s ever written.
Here are some of the highlights of the Dickens in America series:
- Watching the stops at the Omni Parker House in Boston, the Berg collection at the NYPL, and Niagara Falls. I’ll be doing a separate post on Dickens’ time in Canada, it’s just that good.
And now for the, um, lowlights:
I’m curious to hear what others think of this series. There are only two reviews on Amazon (one five star, the other only one star). If you’ve seen it, let me know your thoughts by posting a comment!