Except for certain morning shopping hours, Havana is still a largely male city. The tide of pedestrians along narrow Obispo Street, with its cavernous cool dark stores, or under the Prado portals, wall-papered with magazines and multicolored lottery tickets, the idlers in the open air cafes--nearly all are men in white linen, now and then a bright tie under a dark chin shaded by a straw hat tilted effectively.
Walker Evans's photograph is the exact embodiment of writer Carleton Beals's description of Havana in his book Crimes of Cuba. Tall, dark, and handsome in a crisp white linen suit and straw boater, this "Havana Citizen" standing down by the newsstand filled with glamorous movie magazines casts a wary glance at a subject just out of camera range. Although Evans contributed photographs he made in Cuba to Beals's book, this evocative image did not appear in the publication.