Saturday, July 18, 2015

Boise - The Capitol & Downtown

We are in Boise, ID for a few days so that Thomas can attend his annual WASHTO conference. Our flight from Albuquerque was early this morning so we had most of the day to do some things in Boise. Once we landed and got our bags we headed to the rental car counter and got our car. From the airport we headed toward our hotel - The Grove Hotel in downtown. It was close to noon at this time so we looked for a restaurant along the way. We found the Willowcreek Grill. We had some great sandwiches and it was perfect to get us through the afternoon. It was still too early for us to check into the hotel so we decided to head to the Capitol and take a tour. The outside of the building is typical of most state capitols with large columns and a beautiful dome. After taking a few pictures of the outside we made our way into the building. We entered through the front and were on the second level. The first thing I noticed was that there wasn't any security checkpoint. I actually love when it is like that. I feel that we have gone completely insane when it comes to security and having to go through metal detectors and pass belongs through x-ray machines take away from the experience - so I was very happy to feel this welcoming atmosphere. The next thing we noticed was how white and shiny the interior was. There was polished white marble everywhere and I mean everywhere - the floors, walls, columns, staircases - everywhere. At first it seem beautiful and bright but as we walked around it became a little uncomfortable. We started discussing why that was and we both felt it was too stark and clinical. I personally felt like I was in a giant mausoleum. A little while later we were still talking about the feeling of the place and I noticed that there wasn't any artwork or statues (except two on the fourth floor) or pictures. We started our tour on the fourth floor where the Senate and House galleries are located. and then worked our way down until we reached the Garden level where there is a visitor center and gift shop. Here I got my Capitol Collection stamp and some information about the Capitol. Don't get me wrong - we really enjoyed the building and it is very beautiful just very stark.

We left the Capitol and walked over to 8th Street to the Capital City Public Market. This is a Farmer's Market that happens every Saturday from April to December with loads of vendors. We walked about six blocks looking at all the booths. Since we were flying home we didn't buy anything but we enjoyed visiting the market. After about 40 minutes here we made our way to the hotel to get checked in. We are staying at the Grove Hotel in downtown, next to the Boise Center where Thomas' conference is being held. After getting settled in to our room and resting for a short time we decided to take a walk downtown and get a bite to eat for dinner. We weren't that hungry so we opted for teriyaki bowls at Yokozuna Teriyaki. When we were done eating we decided to walk around the downtown area for a while before heading back to the hotel. We ended up stumbling on an alley completely covered with graffiti art. We found out it is called Freak Alley and people have been painting murals and leaving graffiti for about 10 years now. Here are a few pictures that I took . . .

And here are some more websites where you can see more of the art and read more about the alley . . .

See the Street Art in Freak Alley in Boise, ID
Freak Alley Gallery Breathes Life into Boise's Art Scene
Freak Alley and Boise's Public Art
Freak Out in Boise's Freak Alley Gallery
Take a Walk Down Freak Alley in Downtown Boise

It has been a long day and we are both tired - time to get some rest for tomorrow.

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