creativity

Wonder: Alex, the Beyoncé of Ice Cream in Havana

Alex, the Beyonce of Ice Cream in Havana
Alex, the Beyoncé of Ice Cream in Havana

On a crowded corner of Plaza Vieja in Old Havana, you’ll find the best ice cream you’ve ever had. Coco Glace is nothing more than coconut milk, coconut water, and pieces of coconut served in a half coconut shell and it’s incredible. I devoured it with my new friends on our last day in Cuba under a brutal sun and sky-high humidity.

Alex, the maker of Coco Glace, is pleased to tell you that he loves Madonna and Beyoncé, hates Taylor Swift, loves America, hates Chris Brown, loves being gay, and will see you on Broadway as soon as he sells enough Coco Glace to get himself out of Cuba. He calls himself the Beyoncé of ice cream, and in my humble opinion he isn’t exaggerating. Coco Glace is incredible. I’ve been dreaming about it ever since eating that first marvelous spoonful.

Cuba was full of simple pleasures like Coco Glace. Nothing there is extravagant, but it’s honest, pure, and real. There are no additives – in the food, in the people, or in their way of life. There are no pretenses. People and things are exactly what they appear to be, and in this day and age that is a triumph.

After finishing my ice cream, I made my way back to Alex and told him how amazing his ice cream is.

“Mami, ju don’t know how happy you just made me,” said Alex. I love ju. I love America. I’ll see you there soon! Look for me. Tell Beyoncé!” I just smiled and said I would. So Beyoncé, consider yourself told that you have a Cuban compatriot who puts on a show for all his customers and he is fabulous.

I hope someday I’m strolling down the Great White Way and that I look up and see Alex’s joyful smile and unapologetic moxie plastered all over a giant marquee. And I hope Coco Glace is one of the many things we exchange with our Cuban neighbors. Maybe Beyoncé could make both those dreams come true.

creativity

Wonder: Further thoughts on simplicity

“Simplicity is the most difficult thing to secure in this world; it is the last limit of experience and the last effort of genius. “ ~George Sand

It takes a lot of time and talent to create something simple, elegant, and intuitive. It should be easy for those who consume it. So easy and effortless that it seems that anyone can do it. The truth is that simplicity and elegance aren’t simple to create at all. It’s difficult and mind-bending work but it’s so worth it. To see the delight of the people who consume whatever you’ve created, to have them instinctively understand its value, is an enormous accomplishment. It’s something I strive for in my work and my life. I rarely get there, but when I do, it’s a magical feeling.

creativity

Wonder: The genius of simplicity

This week I’m thinking a lot about simplicity and am inspired by this quote:

Any fool can make things bigger, more complex. It takes a touch of genius—and a lot of courage—to move in the opposite direction.” — E. F. Schumacker”

Here’s to finding the genius within each of us to get to solutions in our lives and in our work that are simple, elegant, and effective.