Back in September 2018 we visited Little Havana and its neighbour, Voodoo In My Blood. The former was a joint design led by Sofie Janic, the latter largely the work of Megan Prumier. You can read more about that trip here). Given the length of time that has passed, together with catching an image taken by Cecilia Nansen whilst she visited the region set me to thinking a return might be in order.
Little Havana has now gone – possibly for a while, given the amount of time since our last visit – and it has been replaced by Little World, a design again led by Sofie, together with Abaracdabra, and that is apparently still under construction. It’s a place very different to Little Havana but it retains the same photogenic attractiveness that has already brought it to the attention of SL photographers.
The landing point sits on the south side of the region on the bridge linking it to Voodoo Land (which was called Voodoo In My Blood back in 2018, and of which more anon). From here, a road climbs to the east behind tall buildings with their backs to the water, steps point the way north and up to where an urban scene sits under a default sunset sky.
Neon is very much the order of things here, bright signs thrusting out into a narrow street that is in places made narrower by parked vehicles. Street-side eateries fill the air with steam from cooking foods, while steel shutters denote places of business that have closed for the night. Overall, the sense that this is a little corner of Japan is strong along this street – but that’s not to say the build as a whole is meant to represent a location in Japan.
A second north-south street is home to an open market, rich with fruit, vegetables, fish, flowers and, in a throwback to times past, VHS tapes. While the signage on the buildings either side might be Japanese, the price tags and signs in the market are distinctly western. Thus, the sense that Little World is a melting pot of influences in the way of so many urban centres around the globe so often are.
Connecting the two streets at their northern ends is a cobbled square offering an open air café and a space for music. West of this sits an echo of Little Havana in the form of a narrow ribbon of beach. Little fishing boats that look to be more for decoration then for fishing sit moored against a deck sitting over the waves.
While the buildings are shells, Little World offers many opportunities for photography, with locations further brought to life thanks to the local “residents” – human and feline! Photos are welcome at the region’s Flickr group.
Across the bridge, Megan Prumier’s Voodoo Land remains much as we remembered it from 2018. There’s a “new” store area on the west side, with Voodoo still sitting on the east side of the region overlooking the bay. South of this, the region retains its run-down Americana look, complete with ageing buildings and its tired, open beach front that is packed with detail and extends around to a fun fair in the south-west corner.
There are other subtle changes here as well – the high pier and boat moorings have gone, but a new English-style pub appears to have been plonked down on the hedgerows and paved paths on the west side of the region. I’m assuming this is a temporary location for the pub, and that it may yet be moved. There’s also an underground section I don’t remember from 2018 – but that could have simply been missed during that visit.
Like Little World, Voodoo Land presents multiple opportunities for photography and exploration, with both making for an ideal joint visit.