Boise's Basque Population
Don't be surprised to find a Basque restaurant or two in town (Gernika on Capitol Boulevard comes to mind), as well as chorizo stands on the streets here (I mainly remember this as a late-night snack possibility after bar hopping!). Boise has the largest population of Basques outside of the Basque region in Spain. They started immigrating here in the late 1800's. Many went into the sheepherding business, not because that's what they used to do in Spain, but simply because sheepherders were in demand around Boise at the time. There's a Basque Market and a Basque Museum and Cultural Center on Grove Street where Basque language classes are offered. Basques meet here to practice dances (which they perform at various festivals) and just to socialize. You can even minor in Basque Studies at Boise State University. It's impressive to me how these people have kept up their culture throughout the decades.
Picture courtesy of my sister Stephanie.
Basque Museum and Cultural Center
The Basques are one of the most mysterious races of people in the world. No one is certain of their origins, but Boise became a mecca for Basque immigrants, maybe there are similarities in climate, I don't know. It was interesting to see this museum and learn more about the Basques.
611 Grove Street
Boise, Idaho 83702 USA
Tuesday - Friday: 10:00am to 4:00pm
Saturday: 11:00am to 3:00pm
Sunday, Monday and Holidays Closed
Capitol Boulevard Memorial Bridge
The second oldest of the bridges spanning the river near the Boise capitol is the Capitol Boulevard Memorial Bridge, which is dedicated to the pioneers of Idaho. A concrete span finished in 1931, it is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The style is art deco, having a modest ornamentation of concrete railing on it's span, entrance capitols, iron work, and decorative tile at both ends, in addition to the commemorative bronze plates. On a summer day, one can peer over and see rafters float under the bridge. The river is very nicely kept in its natural landscaping, incidentally, and the water appears clean and rapid in its flow.
Boise - Idaho's "Primate City"
Boise is, in every way, Idaho's primate city, the capital and leading population, economic, and cultural centre. There are, of course, other regional economic and cultural centres, such as Twin Falls, centre of the "Magic Valley" agricultural area, Idaho Falls and Pocatello, the primary transportation and commercial centres of east/south-east Idaho, or Coeur d'Alene in the north. However, Boise in every category is the leader for the state and it is by far the state's biggest city. Boise has about 200,000 people in the city itself and about 500,000 in the city's metro area. The state's 2nd and 3rd largest cities, moreover, are in Boise's metro area, with the largest cities outside the Boise area being Idaho Falls and Pocatello, 4th and 5th largest cities in Idaho.
A winter spectacle.
You gotta love the inversion, it is the closest thing you get here to San Francisco, except that it really isn't fog...In fact, it kind of smells bad and the air really doesn't move, so it sort of stays here and keeps the city cold, like a nuclear winter.