Numbers are rarely enough in Havana, you need the cross streets, you have to be able to say, entre la calle Luz y la calle Porvenir, between Light Street and Future Street, or, entre la calle Amargura y la calle Lamparilla, between Bitterness Street and Little Lamp Street. . .
I used to visit a cousin who lived on Vista Alegre, but just giving the taxi driver a few numbers and saying Happy View was never enough to take me to my goal. The taxista drove me in ever-widening concentric circles, meter running, until I remembered my place in the universe. . .
There are exceptions, of course. . .Key West, for instance, has a numerical address, no cross streets needed at sea. . .all you have to say is, el Malec
Copyright © Margarita Engle