This is the continuation of a multi-part series on Cuba. Read the previous collection of vignettes: “Deciphering Cuba: Of streets, gardens, churches and kitchen tables”
“A woman can never forget”
HAVANA – It’s 9:45 a.m., and Lesbia is having breakfast. She is using her favorite mug, the one that Kiki, her husband, got her years ago. It says “the world’s best lover.”
While Lesbia dips a slice of bread in milk, I set my eyes on her hands. Today her nails are painted with a glittered pink polish. Yesterday they were burgundy. A couple of days before, as she sat on her porch doing her nails, she looked at me and said: “A woman can never forget to bring nail polish in her purse.”
Lesbia and Kiki have been married for 27 years, dividing their time between Havana and Matanzas, where they first met in 1990. In the early years, not long after the collapse of the Soviet Union, Cuba was in the middle of its economic crisis, the so-called “special period.”
By Yunyi(Jessie) Liu
Haji Healing Salon in Hyde Park, about a 15-minutey bus ride from the Red Line, can be challenging to find without help from a friend.
But customers entered the salon steadily on a recent Sunday morning and salon owner Aya-Nikole Cook greets them as they arrive.
“It’s such a beautiful place,” says Khadijah Kysia, an acupuncturist at the salon who lives in Humboldt Park on the West Side. When Cook invited her to work at the salon and provide community acupuncture treatments, Kysia intended to reject the offer at the very beginning. Continue reading
By Athena Liu
For some young people in China, the Chinese New Year has become a time to get away from daily life and follow their passion. This year, instead of celebrating the festival with their families, some Chinese youngsters traveled to Los Angeles to treat themselves at the 2018 NBA All-Star Weekend.
After a long year working at a bank in Hangzhou, China, Johnny Chen, 27, said he decided to take his girlfriend to do something exciting for the holiday. A self-described huge NBA fan, Chen believed if he ever traveled to the United States, it would be to see at least some of the All-Star festivities.
The couple spent six days sightseeing in LA, watched the Rising Stars Challenge on Friday, then went to the All-Star practice session on Saturday before heading back home.
Although travelling to LA meant not being able to gather with family, Chen said his parents were unexpectedly supportive. He, on the other hand, felt a bit upset upon arriving. Continue reading
Text by Shelby Fleig, Elizabeth Beyer and Hannah Wiley
Audio by Sofi LaLonde and Griselda Flores
An explosion and fire at the Monacillo power station in San Juan caused power outages across 10 municipalities late at night on Feb. 11, a reminder that even in areas where the grid has been fixed since Hurricane Maria, the island’s electric infrastructure is still precarious and troubled.
Shortly after 9 p.m., the lights went out abruptly in the capital San Juan, along with towns including Caguas, Barceloneta and Aricebo on the North half of the island. Some regained power after about 30 minutes, while others remained dark through the night. By midnight the fire was extinguished, but some residents said the outage provoked feelings of PTSD and sparked bad memories of the harrowing weeks following the hurricane.
By Hogan Davis
The roar of the crowd increased incrementally as ball after ball swished through, as if the rim didn’t exist. Each shot caused the decibel level in the Staples Center to rise until the final moneyball found the bottom of the net.
That flame-throwing final round by the Phoenix Suns’ Devin Booker Saturday, won the NBA All-Star Three-Point Contest, pushing aside hometown favorite Klay Thompson. Booker’s 28 points on 20 of 25 shooting were a final-round record, beating the previous mark of 27 held by Thompson and his Golden State Warriors teammate Stephen Curry.
It was a performance that evoked the most iconic moment in NBA three-point history, when Larry Bird walked into the locker room before the 1987 competition and reportedly asked, “Which one of you guys is going to finish second?”
By Patrick Engel
COMPTON, Calif. – Torrel Harris hopped into a Mercedes van Friday morning, unsure of its exact destination. He knew he and his son, Los Angeles Clippers forward Tobias Harris, were going to a Compton school as part of Friday’s NBA Cares day of service. He had no idea which one.
The van rolled down East 133rd Street, past a sign for Jefferson Elementary School, then pulled into the school’s parking lot. That’s when the surprise became a special one. Torrel immediately told Tobias why: It was his elementary school.
By Yvaine Ye
Chicago’s beloved Tyrannosaurus rex, known as “Sue” at The Field Museum, is moving to a new exhibition space on the second floor after 18 years in the museum’s main hall.
Because most of its bones are real, scientists have to take Sue down piece by piece with extra care, said Bill Simpson, a paleontologist at The Field Museum. The entire process of disassembly and reassembly will take approximately a month.
By Richard Foster-Shelton
LOS ANGELES – NBA Commissioner Adam Silver emphasized his belief that the NBA should receive a 1% “integrity fee” if the Supreme Court gives all 50 states the option to legalize sports gambling as expected later this year.
“From the NBA’s standpoint, we will spend this year roughly $7.5 billion creating this content, creating these games,” Silver said during his annual state of the league address. “This notion that as the intellectual property creators that we should receive a one percent fee seems very fair to me.”
By Patrick Engel
LOS ANGELES – Larry Nance Jr.’s life is pretty good these days.
He plays alongside LeBron James for his home state’s NBA team. He moved from a team out of the playoff picture to one that, with the addition of him and a few others, looks like title contenders once again.
Nance participated in the Verizon Slam Dunk contest Saturday night, and narrowly missed winning. It’s same event his father, Larry Sr., ushered into basketball popularity with a victory in the inaugural version in 1984. The younger Nance spent countless hours watching clips of it when he was younger.
“For me, that was like Sesame Street,” Larry Jr. said earlier Saturday.
He admits, though, he has one shortcoming compared with another member of his family.
By Jourdan Kerl and Brianna Williams
LOS ANGELES – The 2018 NBA Celebrity Game pit some of the most recognizable names against one another for bragging rights and a possible MVP selection by fan vote. Late additions Justin Bieber and Quavo of the rap group Migos would play for Team Lakers and Team Clippers, respectively, and they proved to be the main attractions for the event.
“If we was on the same team, we would’ve been the greatest 1-2 punch ever,” Quavo said.
While the two would not play together in this All-Star event, other individual moments throughout the competitive game became equally as memorable for attendees as their guest appearances. In the end for many of the players, the goal was to raise money for the Thurgood Marshall College Fund, which received $20,000 from Ruffles at the event.