A Building in the Middle of Paseo Del Prado in Havana Defies the Law of Gravity

The building, long and narrow, looks like one of the structures made with the Jenga game / 14ymedio

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Juan Diego Rodríguez, Havana, 8 June 2024 — One, two, three and four floors create a giant Jenga on Paseo del Prado, on the corner of Virtudes Street. As in the British game, time has been making pieces out of the building and now Havana is waiting for its imminent fall, in the middle of one of the busiest and most popular streets in the capital.

Next to the Andalusian Center, the house of the republican era, skeletal and with steel bars that look like bones, doesn’t cause shame to anyone, even if it is in sight of all the foreigners who walk through the city. Inside, an old man on the second floor watches the gray and rainy sky of this Saturday, so that the threadbare pieces of clothing that hang on his balcony don’t get wet.

The columns that support the building, elongated and narrow like the Island – and in the same condition of construction – seem strong, but to others, “you just have to blow on it and it will fall down,” says a passer-by sarcastically.

The republican-era house, skeletal and with steel bars that look like bones, doesn’t make anyone ashamed / 14ymedio

On the lower floors, the colors of street art have taken possession of a metal gate and moldy walls. The phrases of peace and love on the portal look like the last desperate cry of the building, which evokes Martí and some other unidentified martyr with its drawings. They ask for a ransom: “love is repaid with love.”

A star of David, the sun and the moon kissing and colorful stripes complete the fresco but are overshadowed by the rust and worm-eaten wood. For the onlooker, an image comes to mind, especially with all the building collapses: playing Jenga in Cuba is dangerous; it can fall on top of you.

Translated by Regina Anavy


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