Living and Walking in Centro Havana Is Dangerous

[Franklin Marquez – Age –50’s; Birthplace – Santiago de Cuba, Cuba; Residence – Miami, Florida, U.S. Recently in Havana; Lives with Wife and Children; Occupation – Attorney, Writer, Moderator of the Blog]

Maintenance is uncommon in Cuba, particularly in the dwellings within Centro Havana. You will often find balconies propped up by two by fours.  I took these photos during my 2010 visit.

I made the mistake of walking on the sidewalk on San Lazaro, and was almost struck by falling debris.

In 2012, I happened to come across workers actually propping up decrepit balconies. This was right across the street from the restaurant in the triangular building on El Prado (also known as Paseo de Marti) and San Lazaro, near the water.  The building where the balcony was propped up is the second one from the corner on the map below. The building fronts on Malecon and San Lazaro, to the right of the triangular building as seen in the photo. 

My hosts took me to see a building that fell down, killing children.  Below is a photo of what it looks like now, and one from a piece of a video of the recovery efforts.

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