I was reading what a colleague wrote in a very sympathetic and critical way about the current state of Reina Street in the heart of Havana.
My youth is closely linked to that street, ‘cause every day I walked around, visiting friends, and spent much time with my group of friends in the so called "Yogurt Corner" in the convergence with Escobar Street. Let’s take a look to what my colleague said.
This is not an epoch of kings and queens. Maybe that’s why crud and collapsing buildings are what reigns on this street where, despite it all, one can still find true architectural beauty.
You only have to walk slowly so your eyes reach the points where the columns of the porticos end. That’s where there still remain classical Baroque or Gothic elements.
This is Reina Street, where commerce once flourished in trades of all types.
Today there are still a few shops and some thriving independently owned businesses, though all of them have a faded look. They suffer from both the soot and long-term neglect.
Recently some of them were given a fresh coat of green paint in an effort to remedy what had been left in the hands of time.
It’s a relief to people’s eyes, even though we know the paint won’t last longer than the next good rain. It does little more than hide moisture built up in the walls, the catalyst of the collapse that can occur at any moment in yet another building here.
In any case, going up and down Reina Street is a must if you visit Havana.