The condor has landed. Photos coming out of Havana today show the impatient patient entertaining Fidel. They both appeared to be wearing clothing from the Empire of the North—Nike sweats. It swelled my proletarian heart to see them both smiling. While the celebration continues in Havana, I took the opportunity to visit La Rosa Blanca, a local Sacramento Mexican restaurant. Below is a short clip:
In my novel, La Rosa Blanca is the name of a sail boat that is skippered by the protagonist, Father Pedro Villanueva. No ropa vieja on the menu, but they serve a wonderful Margarita and chile relleno. The place was packed, thanks to a new Groupon promotion ($25 worth of food for $10). We decided not to use our coupon, since it did not apply to drinks and saved it for another day.
I asked the owner why her restaurant was named La Rosa Blanca, wondering if it had anything to do with the Marti poem that is the leitmotif of my novel. She cast my literary illusions aside with the simple truth that it was the name of the place when she bought it twenty-five years ago and couldn’t afford to change it at the time. I told her of the significance that the name held for me and for Cuba. She nodded appreciatively, but knew of no connection to the Marti poem, "I Cultivate a White Rose." While the experience was metaphorically disappointing, the food was delicious and I can’t wait to go back. Looks a great place for a kick-off party when the novel is published. You’re all invited!