Café Crem

Art, Music and Words around The Coffee Table

My First Memphis Mug

Next step in my travel diary in mugs… Memphis!

We got this mug at the Information centre about 20 miles away from Memphis, coming from Nashville along the Music Highway. It was the first time that we had entered such an Information centre, and I must say that You Americans make a great job of these places. Later on on the trip we would always go to these centres before we arrived to our destination, mainly to ask for city and road maps, which are provided for free and with a big welcoming smile… some of these places offer the visitors  some free coffee too… simply amazing! One really feels welcome and cared for… what a difference to the treatment we are used to in our modern touristic Spain!!!

Before I went to Memphis, I did know something about the town, and not only that I had heard the name before ( not like with Nashville, see my last post “Starbucks Mug Nashville”). As far as I remember I had heard it for the first time in a Spanish bar in Benidorm, many years ago, where an English singer was singing for the tourists, one of the songs being “Walking in Memphis”. I loved the song and since then, I had always dreamt to go to Memphis… the power of music! Also, I knew that the Mississippi runs through the town… the Mississippi, such a wonderful name to my French ears, enough to feed another romantic dream: to see the Mississippi! But this is about the sum of my own Memphis knowledge! As we had planned the trip, Kevin had told me that Memphis is deeply connected to Elvis Presley, to B.B. King and to Martin Luther King. But frankly, I had no idea how!

Anyway, as I saw that lovely mug there in the centre, I could not resist, I had to get it.  Kevin was not that happy about my choice, he thought it was quite kitschy, and he might be right, but I love it! And today I can say, that I drink my milk coffee out of it with a big pleasure… kitsch or not, the mug has its place in my heart! One can’t really see it on my painting, but it has some relief on it, and some musical instruments are flying through the sky… on the other side of the mug! If you want to see them, I guess you will have to buy the mug… by the way cheaper in downtown Memphis than in the centre  🙂 (I ‘m glad I bought it there though, the lady was so nice!)


March 17, 2010 Posted by | Art, Cafe L'Arte, Miki's Paintings | , , , , | 10 Comments

Starbucks Mug Nashville

As I wrote in my last post, “A suitcase full of mugs”, we have brought 15 new mugs from the USA, and I have the intention to show them all here in Cafe Crem…  a kind of belated travel diary in mugs!

After some painful hours spent  in JFK New York, our first real stay in the USA was in Nashville, where we stayed from the 9th until the 16th of January 2010. I will be honest with you: before we planned the trip some months ago, I had no idea where Nashville was, neither had I heard about it! And I guess I am not the only one in Europe. As we first went to a Spanish travel agency to book the flights, the woman, who had been recommended to us as a specialist in organising trips to the USA and from city to city there, had never heard of Nashville either. And in Madrid, at the airport, by the passport control, the guy asked me which was our destination, and when I said “Nashville”, he looked at me very suspiciously. He asked again, and his eyes turned black.  Then he asked to see my boarding pass, saw “New York”, and said to me:

“You mean New York?”

with an ironic smile, meaning: you are not even able to say New York well! Not wanting to create more problems then we already had, I said yes, of course, New York…  I also think then, within my generally well- and world-educated family nobody knew what or where Nashville was, but well, it is well known that French are bad in geography, supposedly believing that they are La Grande Nation  in the centre of the Universe and there is nothing else for miles around…

Except the fact that the word Nashville was the first time I heard it, Nashville itself was for me a first time for many things. It was my first town in the USA (New York does not count, we were just in the airport). It was also the first time that I saw some skyscrapers which I really found beautiful. Until that moment, skyscrapers were for me awful boring cold buildings lacking any aesthetics.  But the AT&T building in the painting was a real beauty to my eyes.

It was also the first time that I went to a Hard Rock Cafe. Kevin has at home a proud collection of Hard Rock Cafe memorabilia, especially T’Shirts, and he always told me about them. He also spoke passionately about the food there, and he could not wait to go there. The first day in Nashville, an awfully cold day, so cold that the water pipes had fractured downtown, we accidently stood in front of the Rock Cafe, and we were both very excited. No doubt that we had to enter it at once. Well… I was quite disappointed, I must say. It was a very modern design, and I was expecting a place with a lot of atmosphere. Then, the coffee we ordered was cold, and we had to get it replaced. Kevin got some cookie if I remember well, it was nice he said, but all together I found it very expensive for what it was and not really exciting. Honestly, it was not at all what I was expecting… so much so that it would be much later on the trip that I was ready to again enter a Hard Rock Cafe!

Nashville was also the first time that I heard Country Music live, and although I generally don’t like country music, I must say that it is quite a difference to hear it live. I simply enjoyed it

Nashville was the first town I saw with so many churches… amazing! They are everywhere, and have such incredible names!

I guess there were many other ‘firsts’ in Nashville -certainly some of the fast food chains Kevin was dreaming about when we were in Spain… Ihop, for example… Taco Bell…

And more important than anything, Nashville was the first time I met American people. And I can say only one thing: you guys are great, so naturally welcoming… I loved that!

And concerning Starbucks Nashville: we just entered one of the places to buy the mug, we didn’t have any coffee there, and today I can say that I am glad about it. Starbucks coffee is not made for my tummy, as the following weeks will gradually show! But at least I love their mugs.

By Miki

March 13, 2010 Posted by | Art, Cafe L'Arte, coffee, culture, Miki's Paintings, travel | , , , , , | 3 Comments

I sold our soul…

Hello Cafe Cremers….

I told you some days ago that there was perhaps a project in the pipeline concerning our (former) Cafe Crem logo painting.

Well, it has become reality now:

I have sold the copyright outright from that painting!

For the ones who don’t know what that exactly means: we are not allowed anymore to use this painting as a logo, or for anything else, and much more than that, the painting does not belong to me anymore, I have lost all the rights on it.

But to tell the truth, although some people say that selling a painting copyright outright is like selling one’s soul, I don’t feel guilty at all, on the contrary. Our former Cafe Crem logo will now be the logo of a REAL Coffee Shop in Chula Vista, California, which will soon open its doors

The owner, a very kind guy, wrote to me

“… the painting will be on everything for my coffee shop. My  cups, business cards, advertisements, everything, so it will be used a lot. “

And now I think, if we Cafe Cremers should meet one day – which has been my dream for a long time! – we should all meet in Chula Vista at that coffee shop where our soul lives now!

What do you think?

By Miki

August 25, 2009 Posted by | Art, Cafe L'Arte, coffee, culture, friends, life, Miki's Paintings, painting | , | 8 Comments