'Life Is Happening On The Balconies Of Havana'!
One of my favorite things to explore, when walking through the crowded city, was the balconies that adorn so many of the buildings on every street. Especially in Old Havana where the streets are very narrow and full of people, vintage cars, bicycles and street vendors. Balconies can be very large or very small, made of wood, wrought iron and stucco. In fact, the often cluttered balconies that are on many different levels of most buildings add to the visual cacophony that makeup the urban neighborhoods, such as Old Havana.
As colorful and aesthetic as balconies are, their functionally is of greater importance. Many people have turned their balconies into gardens, growing food that they can sell to neighbors and consume themselves. More often than not there will be a clothes line full of clean laundry drying in the breezes. The balconies let additional light into the homes and fresh air in hot weather. They also make a great place to socialize, talking across the way to neighbors, who are on their balconies. Sitting and relaxing or eating with family and friends. Even a place to purchase food from street vendors below. Everyone seems to have long ropes with baskets or bags on the end that are lowered down with money inside to purchase fruit, vegetables, breads and other staple items from passing street vendors, who are singing songs or blowing whistles as the go. And time and time again I saw smoke from Cuban cigars wafting from those balconies full of life.
These colorful buildings with 'Fancy' and somewhat un-cluttered balconies with shiny wrought iron railings are directly across the street from El Capitolio, the National Capitol Building in Havana. Without a doubt the more upscale part of town.
Pat Corlin Photography
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