Sunday, October 25, 2015

Ruins for Tourists

Ruins for Tourists / 14ymedio, Reinaldo Escobar
Posted on October 24, 2015

14ymedio, Reinaldo Escobar, Havana, 23 October 2015 — Tourists like to
portray ruins. They do this at the Greek Parthenon, the Roman Coliseum
and the crumbling Mexican pyramids. But Havana's ruins have "another
charm." As in this picture, where a good telephoto lens can capture a
tiled wall with enclosed shower, the bowels of an electrical
installation, truncated stairs and, hopefully, even the innocent
graffiti a teenager scribbled on the wall of his bedroom.

This is the corner of Prado and Teniente Rey, where until recently a
seedy little bar served as a meeting point for the gay community. A
hunting ground, where the roles of prey and hunter were happily played
out between prostitutes and middle-aged tourists.

Perhaps this desolate landscape will not last as long as others that
have become emblematic of the capital city. With its privileged
position, facing the National Capitol, it can be expected that the
debris will be cleared away very soon. Perhaps at first there will be a
parking lot, and with time a hotel, a store, an office complex.

I fantasize that the ground floor will house a café where deputies will
finish settling the arguments still pending in the Parliament. I see
lobbyists, stalking like new hunters, the most influential
parliamentarians and I also imagine that the odd nostalgic tourist will
lament the crime of what they did with the beautiful ruins.

Source: Ruins for Tourists / 14ymedio, Reinaldo Escobar | Translating
Cuba -

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