Beautiful ramshackle Habana Vieja

Photographed December 1999

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This account really isn't about abandoned places, but it does contain a high dosage of flaking paint, crumbling walls, moss covered facades, trashy backyards, and rusty hinges.


Havana has the most exquisite collection of run down palaces and colonial houses. The districts of Habana Vieja, and Vedado, have an especially high concentration. Havana is one of the safest cities in the world. Simply shake off the cigar-sellers (by offering them cigars as a joke), and take a walk. Pass through an open door to discover a colorful courtyard. Don't be afraid to accept an invitation to enter, and climb all the way to the roof.


old lady

This, once beautiful lady, wouldn't let her husband out on the balcony, until I was finished taking her picture.

Cuba is an exceptional country in many ways (politically, economically, tourist travel).
Many people are poor. Despite this, there is a very strong and contagious joy for life, music, and humor. Cuba has the most beautiful women of the world…so they say! (Pictures not included in this account)




Boys playing basketball…this could be anywhere in the world,
except these boys will sell you the best puros (cigars) on earth!




skyscrapers at night


Barbershop at night ...



Beautiful stairwell in some exceptionally run down building.

Don't be surprised to find marble steps in most of the houses. 


Courtyard. The lady of the house invited us in for a visit. The place was incredibly clean. There were chicken and three pigs on the rooftop.


Entrance way; photographed at night. These were some of the worst, run down places...


Entrance way





Five years later

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