Story BY VANESSA BAUZA. South Florida Sun-Sentinel.
HAVANA - (KRT) - By the banks of Havana's Almendares River, the old Tropical Beer garden is the kind of place where time slows down and the present yields to a more innocent past.
Every Saturday morning vendors arrive early, arranging their wares under a leafy canopy of palm and banyan trees. Foreigners and diplomats who scavenge for modest treasures here every weekend call it a flea market, but Cubans know it by another name: the Nostalgia Market.
More than half a century of Cuban history can be traced in the clutter of the market's collectibles and tchotchkes. Tropicana swizzle sticks, Capri casino chips, 3-D comic books and 1950s lottery tickets recall Havana's heyday. There are rusted La Estrella bonbon tins and Pan American Airways flight maps advertising Miami-Havana trips.
Pocket watches from the pre-revolutionary Cuban jeweler Cuervo y Sobrinos are lined up near 1940s voter ID cards and 100-peso bonds from the Guantanamo Railway.
Each item carries the weight of its history, beckoning buyers to reclaim a piece of the past...