The concept is excellent. With all the parts of extensive non-tourist urban daily life going on in habana vieja, and the twisty calles wide enough for carts and pedestrians only, it's the most intense, authentic time machine experience you can have -- and there are several eras into which can travel back.
I've also had the privilege of going on tours of habana vieja led by him, and others led by his students.
[ " All these years later, at 69, Leal’s mad passion has made him a beloved figure in Cuba and a globally admired hero of the historic preservation movement. With the unlikely title of city historian, he has rescued hundreds of landmark buildings in Old Havana — Habana Vieja — the colonial section of the city founded in 1519. He devised a mechanism to use tourist dollars to fund preservation, making the city more attractive to visitors — thus begetting more tourist dollars and more preservation.
He did it while taking a stand against gentrification, and against the theme-parking of history, by insisting that real people must continue to live, work, study and retire amid the historic plazas, palaces, museums and boutique hotels. " ]
Full feature article here.