Hole in the Donut Cultural Travel
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Art deco exterior of the Chicago Board of Trade Building in downtown Chicago features figures holding sheaves of wheat and stalks of corn, in homage to the commodities trading that still occurs here every business day

Click on above photo to view it in large format: Art deco exterior of the Chicago Board of Trade Building in downtown Chicago features figures holding sheaves of wheat and stalks of corn, in homage to the commodities trading that still occurs here every business day

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It’s been a long 15 months in the U.S., with little opportunity to travel, but that’s about to change. By the time you read this, I will be in Cuba, a place I have long dreamed of visiting. Having lived in both the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico, I am no stranger to this part of the world, but Cuba has a mystique like no other Caribbean island. Antique muscle cars, polished to a deep sheen, rumble down boulevards like deep-throated lions sizing up prey. Sensuous salsa tunes float into the street from dim and smoky music clubs. Crumbling buildings, painted in shades of peeling pastel, are a photographer’s paradise.

Map showing my travel to Cuba with Discover Corps, showing the destinations we will visit

Map showing my travel to Cuba with Discover Corps

You may be wondering if legal travel to Cuba is available for all U.S. citizens. The answer is yes and no. On January 16, 2015, regulations governing travel to Cuba were amended by the Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC). Twelve categories of travel that previously required a specific license are now allowed by OFAC. These include categories such as family visits for persons of Cuban descent; journalistic activity; professional research and meetings; educational activities; religious activities; public performances, clinics, workshops, athletic, and other competitions and exhibitions; support for the Cuban people; and humanitarian projects. Travel for general tourism, however, is still not allowed. Read More

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Once home to the downtown branch of the Chicago Public Library, today the Chicago Cultural Center serves as a venue for free music, dance, theater, films, lectures, and art exhibitions

Click on above photo to view it in large format: Once home to the downtown branch of the Chicago Public Library, today the Chicago Cultural Center serves as a venue for free music, dance, theater, films, lectures, and art exhibitions

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Flamingo, a behemoth outdoor sculpture, stands in front of the Federal Building in Chicago

Click on above photo to view it in large format: Giant Flamingo sculpture stands in front of the Federal Building in downtown Chicago

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Sunken atrium of the Hancock Tower, one of the most distinctive skyscrapers of Chicago's skyline

Click on above photo to view it in large format: Shops in the Hancock Tower atrium are a popular gathering place for lunch, coffee, or an ice cream break

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Hancock Tower, with its distinctive zig-zag black facade and twin white towers, looms over the crenelated towers of Chicago's Water Tower

Click on above photo to view it in large format: Hancock Tower, with its distinctive zig-zag black facade and twin white towers, looms over the crenelated towers of Chicago’s Water Tower