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The Cuban born, Oscar-nominated actor is best known for his roles in such movies as The Godfather Part III When a Man Loves a Woman , the Ocean's  franchise, and The Untouchables , Garcia loves music almost as much as travel and he also composes music for film and has produced Grammy-winning albums for the legendary Cuban musician Israel "Cachao" Lopez, about whom he also directed a feature-length documentary.Here he reveals why his film City Island provided a great trip for him.

Andy Garcia

"City Island is a small island a mile long off the coast of New York which has been part of the Bronx since 1898. It's right next to Manhattan.  I'd never heard of it before I received the film script although a few people I spoke to had heard of it. You have to drive through the Bronx to get to it and then through a very large park and take a little bridge from a public beach, Orchard Beach. It's a little strip about a mile long and has less than 5,000 residents most of whom have lived there for generations. It's there where the late king of Latin music Tito Puente had his famous restaurant and I discovered been there before, years and years ago, we'd had a great jazz jam session after dinner. His restaurant was on the street by The Shrimp Box."   

"I loved going on the plane and looking down on Cuba and then Miami from the air was so cool and stimulating."

"The most important trip of my life was on the last 'freedom' flights out of Havana, Cuba in 1961, when I was four and the Castro regime and its indoctrination process was making it impossible for people to live there. I was sitting on the steps of our apartment in El Nautico and my mother came up to me with a glass of orange juice and said : 'We are going to go to Miami'. She didn't say we're not coming back. I loved going on the plane and looking down on Cuba and then Miami from the air was so cool and stimulating. Miami was, and is still, full of old classic buildings and no skyscrapers. I have a home there on Key Biscayne. If you want a really great hotel at Key Biscayne go to the Ritz Carlton which is very nice."


"My best holidays are to the Bahamas on my boat with my family. We love boating and fishing and the laid back culture there. It has 29 islands and more than 600 cays and thousands of islets. Bimini is the closest island to America and we like to go to Cat Island and into Cat Cay, which is a private island. I love to sail deeper and deeper into the islands to Treasure Cay in the Abaco Islands and Harbour Island in Eleuthera. They are very exotic and the fishing is great, both inland and into the Gulf Stream. We go fishing rather than catching fish. For us it's the process of being."


"London is a great place to travel. I enjoy it. It is much more laid back than New York with a real walking culture. It's so expansive, with so many little villages. I've always come to London to work and used to stay a lot at the Dorchester but if I were here for pure pleasure I'd stay in Soho. What a quirky place that is!"   



Ritz Carlton Key Biscayne: www.ritzcarlton.com/en/Properties/KeyBiscayne
Cuba: www.cuba.comcuba.com
New York: www.nycgo.com
Bahamas: www.bahamas.com

Marianne Gray. Update 9/8/10
This article appeared on WhereAndNow.com WhereAndNow is a London-centric magazine that provides inspiration on where to eat, sleep, drink, travel as well as upcoming events in the English capital.

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