Inside Havana

Inside HavanaEduardo Rodriguez, Andrew Moore, Andy Grundberg

Once, years ago, our friend Rebecca asked us to come out and look at her recently deceased grandmother’s house. It had been built during the civil war and had received its only wallpapering at that time – which was still hanging in black shreds throughout the house. Going through nearly 150 years of history stacked, stored and rotting in this house was both horrifying and fascinating. Stepping out into the fresh air after discovering a vintage electric shock kit was such a relief. I can’t imagine the relief Cuban refuges must feel when they hit Florida and get away from an entire country of such monumental grand and decaying rot.

This collection of photos highlights and beautiful decrepitude that is Havana. Original deco and art nouveau buildings still stand, often with the original, and very carefully preserved, furnishings inside. Gleaming finned caddies still fill the roads. Black and white photos and posters for clubs from the 40s and 50s decorate walls. And against this worn backdrop, everyday people go about their lives, watching tv in crumbling rooms , listening to their cd players in rotting, resplendent never-changing rooms, standing in the deco streets in shorts playing cards. Other areas of Havana has been abandoned completely. The images of the dance school, now overrun with jungle vines, is particularly creepy and beautiful. This is a gorgeous and horrible book.