Habana Ahora (Havana Now) opens at Orange Studio Friday

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Photographs by
  • Photographs by

Photographs by Stephen Allen

It’s still not easy for an American to (legally) experience Cuba — the travel ban has been relaxed somewhat, but tourists still need to book with a U.S. State Department-licensed travel organization, which will schedule up the trip with group activities that prevent lazy wandering and individual exploration. So we count on our friends who get over there to show us what it’s really like – and it ain’t Boardwalk Empire these days. Those magnificent buildings are decaying in their grandeur, suffering from decades of neglect under Communist rule, yet the vibrant mélange of Spanish, French, African, American, Jamaican and indigenous cultures still shines.

Or at least, that’s what we glean from the photos local photographer (and erstwhile Park Ave CDs owner) Stephen Allen took on a recent trip to Havana. Though he shoots for local as well as national clients, Allen has not until now shared his work in a gallery setting; this one-night-only show is a first. Zaza New Cuban Diner brings the food, DJ Kittybat brings the tunes, and Allen brings the behind-the-scenes look at a way of life few of us will ever see firsthand.

The details:

When: 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 26

Where: Orange Studio,1121 N. Mills Ave.

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