So, you hate Boise, Idaho. I'm sorry to hear that. Who hurt you?
It's too hot. It's too cold. The people are grumps. The locals aren't nice. You can't figure out what's so special. There aren't enough bars. There's no In-N-Out.
Maybe it's time for you to move?
Before I begin or rather, before you start to comment on this post with all sorts of heated ad hominem or "straw man" attacks, let me justify myself. Then again, who am I kidding--I'll be attacked off of this headline alone.
I make no secret of my local roots--like many of my fellow "locals" here in the Treasure Valley, I'm proud of them. Just ten years ago, folks might call me crazy. Folks call me crazy, now. However it is NO secret that "THE" secret is out: Boise, Idaho is on the map as one of the fastest growing cities in the nation and it has been for a long time now.
Maybe it's because of the slower pace of life or the "low" cost of housing for those coming in from the outside. Everyone that is new to Boise has their reasons for being here. Maybe they chose to be here or maybe an outside factor like a spouse or a job brought them here. People, generally, love it and if they don't at first the eventual love story comes together. I know many people from both schools of thought myself.
What's with the divisiveness, though?
Born and raised in Nampa, Idaho myself--a proud product of St. Paul's Catholic School and a graduate of Bishop Kelly High School--I can't imagine living anywhere else in the entire world. Before you call me sheltered--yes, I've lived elsewhere.
After spending 4-years away from the Treasure Valley to pursue a college education, I, like many locals that move away, grew a true affinity for this town. It falls under that "you don't know what you had until it's gone" umbrella. Let's not get it twisted--I loved Boise more than ever while I was away--missing its unique charm. But I swore I would never come back so soon.
I came back sooner than expected. Sooner than I promised myself that I would. Fresh out of a brutal breakup and ready for the job that brought me here.
Never, have I looked back.
Over the years I've watched this town grow--YES, I'm one of those Idahoans that can say "wow, I remember when that was a field" and I'm proud of it. I'm also one of those Idahoans that believes to be "one of us", you've got to "earn your stripes"--not in a hostile sort of way because honestly, watching Boise grow has been fun--but in more of a loving way because no, hiking Table Rock once doesn't make you a Boisean. There's a beauty to embracing the place in which you live no matter where that is and I think everyone just needs to take a deep breath.
I spoke with my fellow Idahoan, Kevin Miller, who moved here 12-years ago and has ingrained himself into our community, "earning his Idaho stripes" if you will and he has this to say:
We don't need people coming here telling us how bad things are--if they're so bad why are you here!?
For whatever reason, the internet loves to humor this divisive talk about Boise. This sucks, that sucks, and "get out of here, Californians!".
Let the record show--I wear my local badge proudly and no, I don't hate you Californians. I just ask you embrace this place I'll call home for the rest of my life--like I have every day of my life thus far.
Boise will never be Los Angeles or *insert major city here*--we're not trying to be those things, either. So when grimy bar floors gross you out compared to where you came from or perhaps the concerts you want to see are never touring through town--maybe remind yourself of where you're at: Boise, Idaho. That's not a knock--it's the truth, though--no?
I laugh at the many Boise quirks, too--because there are so many things that are "just Boise things" and no matter how funny, strange, or at times inconvenient--THIS is home.
So here's a challenge to you: instead of posting about how much this place sucks online--how about you just pack your bags and move? I mean, if it sucks here so much...
Many associate our great city with a certain type of "hatred" stemming from various religious or political factors. Yes, I've seen some hate-filled people in this town too and I wish they'd leave as much as you do. The honest thing we all have to acknowledge is that you're going to meet these people in ANY city and the change begins with us: let's drown out those folks.
If you're a racist, a sexist, a homophone, a xenophobe, or an overall hateful person--can we address the elephant in the room? We Boiseans really wish you'd take it someplace else. Where? Well, nobody deserves that in their community. But we sure don't want it here.
I think of our friend and now internet celebrity, Mark Johnson, when he so seriously condemned hate in our community. By the way, Johnson himself was a transplant as well--now also having earned his Idaho stripes:
So, Boise haters--while I'm having fun writing this tongue-in-cheek letter to you, I'm low key challenging you to just go to that place that is so much better than Boise already. I'm not sure where that is--and I'm skeptical that it even exists--but feel free to be on your way now.
As for the rest of us, no more batting an eye to the haters or amplifying their voices because we live in the greatest city in America and by only elevating one another--the Boise culture that I have known and loved my entire life will only thrive further.
May we all continue to build this city and this community up, improving it and one another--one day at a time--so that future generations can look back and appreciate us for preserving what we love: this Boise charm.
P.S. There are some pretty amazing tacos in this town and if you're on the hunt, you've got to check out my guide below:
Boise's Ultimate Taco Guide
The Amazing Views and Eats at The Tower Grill
Spirit of Boise Balloon Classic Flashback: CapEd Credit Union Kid's Day 2018