I hate to be the one to do this, but I’m here to tell you that the frozen-in-time utopia of 1950s American cars, sherbet-colored neoclassical architecture, and Buena Vista Social Clubs on every corner is not a realistic picture of present-day Cuba.
HAVANA — This could have been an average, muggy night in Brooklyn. I had a late rooftop dinner at El Cocinero, a cooking oil factory that had been converted into a chic restaurant and cocktail bar.
There was a party next door at the Art Factory, a multilevel industrial building where a hoard of 20- and 30-somethings gathered in multiple rooms to view films, art, and concerts. A mix of hipsters in skinny jeans and art sophisticates in cocktail dresses squeezed shoulder-to-shoulder everywhere in the complex’s many bars and galleries. It was delicious sensory overload.