Sunday, March 8, 2009

Getting Lost in Boise

When I announced I was going to Boise for the weekend, the comments were in same vein: they all poked fun at Boise. "Why Boise?" "Ooh, exotic Boise." What I learned and these nay-sayers don't know is that Boise is a growing city. It's clean and culturally rich. It has a vibrant nightlife, friendly folks and lots to do!

I arrived there late on Thursday night. My host, John Mooney, picked me up at the airport. He had hot dinner waiting for me (thanks, John!). John has several roommates: Antonio and Angela are the humans. Then, there are the animals: Foxy (the best teacup Pomeranian I've ever met--she's the only one, but I'm sure she's the best), Nick the border collie, Chaoie--the long-hair Chihuahua and Tomás, the orange cat.

After dinner on Thursday, John, Antonio and I headed to a pirate-themed bar called The Plank where it was karaoke night.

Lady Pirate  






 The Plank with John and Antonio

Because we got there late, we only got to see a few rounds of karaoke. There was a group of young dudes and two of them performed Rock Lobster by the B-52s. As they began their duet, the lanky guy went crazy with his alto singing and the husky guy instructed him over the mic: "Dude, don't blow your load so early." Maybe you had to be there, but it made for a hilarious song and even better line for the remaining weekend. Here they are:

Rock Lobster duet 






John doing Proclaimers' "I Would Walk 5,000 Miles":

Devil boy doing karaoke

Exiting The Plank, I posed with the excellent Polaroid collage:

Plant Polaroids







Marquee near The Plank: Bueno, Cheapo, Vino:


The Foxy show begins that night, back at Antonio's Neverland Ranch:



More Foxy

John and Antonio

Last year when Antonio vacationed in Hawaii, he left Foxy with his grannie. Upon his arrival back, Foxy had a pretty pink sweater and a new name: Ruby.


Antonio with the Girl


El gato Tomás:

Gato Tomas

Antonio let me kidnap Foxy on Thursday night and she slept next to me under the covers. On Friday morning, as John and I were planning our day, Antonio suggested we bring Foxy. We lined a bag with a pillowcase and put her in.

Pre-bagged Foxy Bagged Foxy Ready for Adventure

Two happy girls

Driving in Downtown Boise with view of Capitol building:

Boise Capitol Building

Capitol Building

John with blue skies and Capitol Dome

When I saw the following sign on the Boise Downtown library, I was sold.


A city that proudly displays its zest for books is a friend.


Coveted Stella scooter.

Baby blue scooter

Boise has a large Basque community. We took in the Basque Museum. The museum contained cool dioramas. But, what about the language? There are theories as to where it originated but it's so different from the Indo-European languages that many theories are out there as to it's origins. The Basque were whalers and the exhibits at the museum are art pieces depicting the rich history.

Basque Museum

Whale at Basque Museum

Knot collection at Basque Museum

Sidewalk art outside Basque Museum:

Sidewalk music

Sidewalk song

Foxy and John

Basque lunch at Leka Ona Restaurant: Patatas Bravas and Calimari strips served with the spicy red sauce.

Lunch at Leka Ona

River Sculpture by Alison Sky featured on the Grove Hotel building. Constructed of granite, fused glass, neon, aluminum and fog misters (!), this piece stands 50-feet high.

River Sculpture

Next stop was the Old Idaho Penitentiary. We started with a short hike.

John on Castle Rock trail

With Foxy on Castle Rock trail

With Foxy

View of Old State Pen

Then, we explored the grounds of the Old Idaho Pen.


Door to the grounds


Cells in Maximum Security



Laundry room

Peek inside bag at Foxy.

Sweet Foxy

The museum hosted an Idaho State Historical Society exhibit called Marked Men - Tattoo History.It was excellent. Highlights:

Tattoo exhibit

Tattoo exhibit

Tattoo exhibit

Tattoo exhibit


Pachuco Cross

When an inmate entered the prison, all tattoos were noted and kept in their file.

Tattoos bio

Tattoos bio 

Tattoos bio

The most sobering part of the Old Idaho Pen was Solitary Confinement. To walk into the small stark building and into a cell, you see why it was called Siberia. The cells were tiny and cold.

Solitary Confinement cells

Inside a solitary confinement cell

Solitary confinement

Solitary confinement

Siberia display

Siberia display


other buildings on grounds

Guards' watch tower

Botanical garden on Old Idaho Pen grounds.






Saturday morning:

John with Nez Perce meet Lewis and Clark

In front of Capitol


Trying to get pic w/ Basque flag

With John and Basque flag

Basque flag

John conversing with Carrie and Andy

Night on the town.

Two funny dorks at Basque Community Center Bar

Funny dorks

Antonio at Cactus Bar

Three dorks at Cactus Bar

At Red Room

At Red Room

Bartender at Red Room

At Red Room

At Red Room with our new Basque friend, Sean

With new friends at Red Room

At Red Room

Antonio channeling Jim on his ride

To conclude, Boise is a blue oasis in a red state. It rocks!


Michelle Thomas said...

Uh oh, could the future "PACO" be a Pomeranian???
You sure did make the best of Boise! It looks like a great city.


Diana Mivelli said...

It could be in the cards for Pablo. I saw a mini Pom for adoption and he was called Picasso. I thought that would be an easy transition.