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.
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:
John doing Proclaimers' "I Would Walk 5,000 Miles":
Exiting The Plank, I posed with the excellent Polaroid collage:
Marquee near The Plank: Bueno, Cheapo, Vino:
The Foxy show begins that night, back at Antonio's Neverland Ranch:
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.
El gato Tomás:
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.
Driving in Downtown Boise with view of Capitol building:
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.
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.
Sidewalk art outside Basque Museum:
Basque lunch at Leka Ona Restaurant: Patatas Bravas and Calimari strips served with the spicy red sauce.
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.
Next stop was the Old Idaho Penitentiary. We started with a short hike.
Then, we explored the grounds of the Old Idaho Pen.
Peek inside bag at Foxy.
The museum hosted an Idaho State Historical Society exhibit called Marked Men - Tattoo History.It was excellent. Highlights:
When an inmate entered the prison, all tattoos were noted and kept in their file.
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.
Botanical garden on Old Idaho Pen grounds.
Night on the town.
To conclude, Boise is a blue oasis in a red state. It rocks!