It appears that the origins of the name Cuba are uncertain, but the fact that it is close to words meaning "where fertile land is abundant" (cubao) and "great place" (coabana), speaks well of the land. Though controversial in the United States, this New Year's Eve millions around the world will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Cuban Revolution, which overthrew U.S.-backed dictator Fulgencio Batista. Those who attend the party here will experience a hearty celebration filled with tasty Cuban food, refreshing mojitos, and live music. International vocalist Gloria "La Niña" Rivera, who hails from Havana, Cuba, is slated to perform. Her father "El Niño" Rivera was a famous musician as well and has been credited with pioneering big-band Afro-Cuban music. Cuban-but-local pianist and vocalist Viviana Pintado will also perform. The party room of the Marquette Place Apartments is located on the 35th floor of the building, so the view of downtown fireworks should be spectacular.
Wed., Dec. 31, 8 p.m., 2008