Cuba is so exquisitely atmospheric — and so veiled in the allure of the forbidden — that many who go are misled into thinking they can take artful photos there. After all, every image of the place seems to carry a tingling extra valence, like the little shock you get when you brush against threadbare wiring. In the facade of the elegant villa: all the paint has flaked away and the cornice fallen. In the beauty of the nubile girl (or boy): desirability, desire, and the locally well-known survival option of prostitution with foreign tourists. Even from 36,000 feet on a jet crossing the island en route to the sanitized resorts of Grand Cayman or the funky bustle of Montego Bay, the view of Cuba is a paradox of improbability.
— Jonathan Lerner’s essay which appears in our first issue of “Fall Out” is now available on We’ll have a page up on the site for Fall Out soon. (And when we do, we’ll delete that last sentence!)