Cuppy’s Cuppa Cheers….where everyone knows your name.

Cuppy’s is located in the Drake Professional Plaza on Drake, near College Avenue in Ft. Collins.  I started coming here in April, when I was working for the Muscular Dystrophy Association.  Once I planted myself here, it was difficult for me to expand my Ft. Collins coffee shop cruising.

When I think of Cuppy’s, I think of Joe and Krista, the owner and manager.  I also think of music, Italian coffee (they serve Caffe’ D’arte), and social media.  Late spring I was being “pushed” to dive into Facebook, but I resisted.  Joe and Krista were both having fun with it, giving me updates on their pages, and telling me that I would enjoy it.  Kicking and screaming, I started in sometime around late June.  If you know me on Facebook, then you know that I dove in without asking how deep the water was, and just started swimming (thanks, Krista!).

The coffee here is from Italy.  Yum-yum!  I have to admit, I have a special love for Italy, having worked in and managed Italian restaurants, enjoyed Italian food and wine, music, and having taken a course in Italian.  Watching an espresso being made here reminds me of Nunzio Vincitorio, the baker at Vincitorio’s restaurant in Tempe, Arizona.  If you’ve ever been there and have met Nunzio and his brother, Mario, you would know why that’s a great memory to have. 

Although it was the Italian coffee that brought me back here the second or third time, it was the customer service and personal connections that Joe and Krista make, that kept me coming back.  Not only are they friendly, but I think Joe is the reason I met and made Jim a friend of mine (I didn’t give him a choice).  As it turns out, Jim is from Iowa and actually was in my small hometown in Wisconsin many years ago for a high school band concert.  Small world, big connections.

Cuppy’s Cuppa Cheers!  One of the best experiences I’ve had in Fort Collins.


Johnstown Java Jams or…Jesus’ Juke Joint?

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Last night I decided that I would start my Saturday morning with a back roads drive, a cup of coffee, my camera, and eventually a small town coffee shop. 

It was one of the few nights I slept past 3 am, and woke up shortly after 5.  I took my time getting ready, but was out the door within an hour.  My first destination was to be a quaint little coffee shop off Taft and Highway 402 in Loveland, but I was unable to find it.  What I did “wanderabout” upon was Schmidt’s Bakery where I found coffee and an apple pastry.  I believe that I was divinely guided to start my day there. 

The sun would be my next destination, so I headed east, finding a road that must’ve been muddy yesterday with the melting snow, which was now frozen.  This took me on a slight incline where I found myself between two fields – one on the east where the sun was just beginning to rise, the other as the foreground to a view of the Rocky Mountains.  Morning heaven.  Coffee, apple pastry, Nickelback in the background, and the sunrise.  Yes, I’m living heaven on earth this morning.

After taking a few moments to enjoy the break of dawn, I hopped back in The Bluebird (my car), and headed toward Johnstown.  I was able to find an eclectic little coffee shop right away – Johnstown Java Jams.  The sandwich board outside caught my eye, so I turned my car around, parked, and headed in for a cuppa.  A non-profit coffee shop that features live music on the weekends.

Dana, the “coffee shop curator” greeted me and gave me a brief overview, but Larry and Bob, a couple of locals, filled me with information about the coffee house.  They referred to it as 3 J’s, and pointed out that it could also be known as Jesus’ Juke Joint and told me about Mississippi Blues roots in that nickname.  Music, coffee, and community seem to be what flows freely and easily here.

This is a non-profit business that benefits everyone, not just the youth in the area.  A retired group meets here on Friday mornings, a young woman who’s working on her undergrad in international business sets up her laptop every Saturday morning, and there’s a group of about eight locals who have gathered around the coffee bar area.  Discussions range from family reunions to economics to the coffee itself.  What’s so wonderful about the conversations I hear is the lack of pity party about the economy and more about how people are looking at making changes to overcome hardships. 

What a beautiful, friendly place to sit and enjoy a cuppa for a few hours, just outside the Land of Love.  I must say, the people here and around the Loveland area are some of the most friendliest I’ve met in Colorado. 

www.3jscoffeehouse.org – Johnstown’s Java Jams!


Cucuru Art Gallery and Cafe

My first visit to this eclectic cafe in Colorado Springs was two years ago. What I remembered about it I liked enough to stop by when I was wandering through Old Colorado City. An art gallery and coffee shop – perfect!

A few changes since I was there last, but nothing that disappointed me. The patio in the back has more seating, they’ve added more music, more tapas to the menu, and it’s still an art gallery. Tango lessons are still available, but unfortunately, I did not have the time to check it out.

While housesitting in Woodland Park, I made two visits to Cucuru Art Gallery and Cafe and both were enjoyable. I met a friend on the second visit and we were able to spend a couple hours catching up without noisy interruptions. Before leaving the cafe, we were able to get a taste of the Bossa Nova band playing.

The owner supports international artists, with a particular love for Cuban art. While I was there, I had just a few moments to check out the paintings, but I was sidetracked by the beautiful display of colorful, beaded necklaces and the molas in a display case. I was in my own little multicultural art cafe heaven – colors, textiles, paintings, tapas, and coffee!

Cucuru Art Gallery and Cafe
Old Colorado City
Colorado Springs, Colorado
http://www.cucurugallerycafe.com


Music as a Global Golden Thread

I was going to write more about my coffee shop cruising in Colorado Springs yesterday, but my mind kept coming back to music.

Last night, while I was making chicken tacos and playing on Facebook, I noticed that a FB friend from Saudia Arabia was posting classic rock videos on his wall. It started with Ram Jam’s Black Betty and AC/DC with TNT, and I started to send requests for The Who, The Beatles, and The Doors. He was coming through with American Woman, Help!, LA Woman, Led Zeppelin, Elvis, and others.

As I listened, I re-posted them to my wall, clicked Like, and moved to the next video while in the kitchen dancing and making the chicken for my tacos. I started to watch the response of my videos…friends from Colorado, Wisconsin, Florida, and Italy started to click Like, comment, and share on their own walls. Monday Night Rocks! on Facebook started around 4 a.m. Saudi Arabia time, which is 7 p.m. Mountain Time.

I’m not sure which I enjoyed more – the classic rock or watching what a simple music video can do around the world. This morning I was delighted to see that another Facebook friend from Saudi Arabia picked up a couple videos. Abdulaziz’s Monday night (Tuesday morning for him) Video Jockey-ing went around the world and back to his home. How amazing is that?

I began to dig a little more into the archives of some of my Facebook friends for more videos. Piter posted Be Happy and this morning, Alaa sent me a Backstreet Boys music video to me with a note about how it was one of her videos as a child. I think it’s called “I Want It That Way,” but I’m not sure. One thing I love about the lyrics is “…we are two worlds apart…” I realize it’s a love song, but it made me think about how these friends are halfway around the world from me, yet we are all one, in one world.

Music….a global golden thread sewing us back together. It’s not “the” golden thread because literature, art, philosophy, etc….it brings us all together. I was using http://www.freetranslation.com to decipher some posts and found some beautiful conversations about Shakespeare’s work, love, and of course, politics.

My hat’s off to Abdulaziz for doing his part in helping to “sew” us back together, one music video at a time!

peace,
Kristy