Floridita is the first painting I do in Cuba. They call the Floridita the "cradle of the daiquiri." It's expensive. By Cuban standards it's ridiculous. A chick with a little red purse tries to hustle me. She's 19. I'm trying to say to her in Spanish, "No way." I have a crab-meat salad. It's bland and way overpriced. I paint the Floridita at night. I work with a MagLite rigged to my baseball cap. The next thing I know, 80 people are standing around looking at me. I'm used to maybe two people watching, but 80! The second night they're touching me and yammering at me in Spanish and little kids are wheezing on me. There're a lot of sick kids there. And they're asking me in English where I'm from. I say, "Canada." I was told to say that. This guy comes up. He speaks really good English. He says he really likes what I'm doing. He brings me a poem he wrote for me. He rebends a staple to hold the pages of the poem together. He reuses a staple.


Floridita's Hemingway Special Daiquiri

In the electric mixer:

Juice of a medium-size green lemon
2 teaspoons of grapefruit juice
2 teaspoons of maraschino
4 ounces of white rum
Crushed ice

Blend. Serve in a chilled champagne glass.

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