When I first moved to Milwaukee and noticed about 7 million signs/tee shirts/companies that featured "Cream City" in the name, I figured Milwaukee, which has great root beer, was also known for cream soda. Or that its beer was really frothy.
Yes, I realize this was foolish, particularly because frothy beer is no-no rule number one for good brewing. Jon is thanking his lucky stars I never uttered this theory in public company. (I'm already known as the 'girl who drinks wine.' When it's available. Some bars literally only serve beer.)
In fact, Milwaukee got the name "Cream City" from the yellow bricks that many of its East Side and downtown buildings were constructed from. This particular brick was made from a clay found in the Menomonee River Valley and along the banks of Lake Michigan that, when fired, turned light yellow. Very popular as a building material in the mid to late 1800s, a majority of the local historic buildings are made from this Cream City brick, though some of these have now turned black (the brick is very porous and absorbs pollutants easily). The buildings and houses that have retained their color (or been cleaned) are truly beautiful and Una has now decided, that if we are to purchase a home, he would like a Cream City brick house. Hah. We found one within budget and it was a block from the airport.
Here is a photo of Cream City brick at its best:
Robert Patrick Fitzgerald house on the East Side of Milwaukee
I'll take some photos this week of local houses and buildings and post them later. It's a really beautiful look that is unique to this area of the midwest.