Day Off, Boise
BOY-see not BOY-zee says Wikipedia. Well, the streets are immaculately clean and everyone exudes that rural hospitality so typical of the US beyond the megacities. There’s blossom on the trees and snow on the hills and probably a fair bit of Trumpism in the wings. I breakfast at Bacon, a disgustingly porcine themed place a few blocks from the hotel. They’re playing country music and all the bacon tastes of Coke. They serve a little board of five different grades of crispy rasher in shot glasses. It’s a dreich day but not too chilly so it’s time for another bout of aimless walking. Presently I find myself glaring into the void of a window in the Egyptian Theatre when a man swims up from the dark interior and waves at me. I wave back uncertainly. I stare at a weird poster for a Joe Jackson show. He looks like a baddie in a John Waters movie. The rain starts to eat away at my morale so I decide to shelter at base camp for a few hours.
After forty or fifty winks I mosey on out again, my destination the Boise river. On the way I stop by a vinyl emporium. The storekeeper says they like my hat. Thanks, I say. I like their T-Shirt. It just says Local Queer or Queen, the last letter unresolved as I don’t wish to stare. Glad to meet you, Quee. There’s a warm wind whipping about bringing a change, one senses. Crossing the highway I spot a lone puff of tumbleweed, blown in from the wild. At the river I pass through a genocide memorial with various poems and quotations embossed onto stone monuments. One has a list of genocides with approximate death tolls appended. There are quotes from Ann Frank and Ronald Reagan and I sense years of committee wrangling behind this design. I take a seat on a stone bench and listen to a gang of geese gabbling obstreperously. There appears to be a territorial dispute going on over some fallen trees on a boulder island in the river. After a while they calm down and start preening. I find a statue of Lincoln, seated with his big hat beside him. He’s rendered in a very discomfiting scale – not quite twice larger than life. It’s almost as if HE WAS JUST A VERY BIG MAN. As if he had a hell of a hormone condition. His head is about the size of a suitcase.
I dine in a dimly lit pan-Asian joint, the waiter sporting a clinically trimmed beard and fetching turquoise nail polish. My food comes in Lincoln statue proportions and I have to box up most of it for another time. I meander back to luxuriate in the cool, clean white sheets of my room, reading of Cary Grant’s vaudeville days in 1920s America. One of his fellow acts was called “Swayne’s Rats and Cats” which consisted of a small arena set on the stage whereupon a dozen rats would chase a dozen cats. One hundred years on and popular entertainment has little improved. As we shall prove tomorrow.
9 Responses to “Day Off, Boise”
I love reading your wonderfully crafted entries here… So looking forward to Toronto – please let the stars align and get you all here safely! Hoping “Just Like a Man’ and “Mother Nature’s Writing” pop up by then (5 more days). It’s been too long since I was seeing you play at THAT MALL in Indiana, Cincinatti, Nashville, etc. I’ve been stuck in Canada for half my life and now you’re coming to me. The new album is so good and I seriously can’t wait – “With the sweet drip of every raindrop
Time brings you closer to me” – see you at the Horseshoe!
We are here in Salina (pronounced Sa- lie-na) having a pint at the Blue Skye Brewery. Looking forward to the Del Amitri concert tonight. Thank you for coming to the Midwest we are not all Trumpeters! Saw you all in the UK, Edinburgh and London 2018.
Hello Justin, I had to laugh when I read this one as I was reading it in our Salt Lake City Hotel room, the morning after your show in Salt Lake after we made the drive down from Boise to see this show. Well worth the 6 hour drive and sincerely ecstatic to have been there after trying for 30 years to see a Del’s show. The show was fantastic and I thank you for coming back to the states. Next visit, book a Boise show and I will round up a couple thousand folks to welcome you!
Well it beats watching ex-tory travelogues on BBC 2, with some pompous buffoon managing to catch a train in some little coastal village and get a seat….no sign of bus replacement happening there….
Just came home from your concert in Salt Lake City and it was wonderful and beautiful and made me very happy. My first concert since the pandemic began and I didn’t mind at all going alone. I was not gonna miss Del Amitri, even if I had to go by myself. It was worth it. Thanks for coming to our town. Looking forward to seeing what you write about it.
Couple of ideas for Wednesday in Colorado… Check out the eccentric assortment of stuff at the Army Surplus store that’s been there since at least the early ’70s and if you’re thirsty Mick Mullen’s. Both just a couple blocks south of Gothic. Got a group looking forward to seeing the whole band in Denver again – thanks for including our town on your tour
You’re too modest Dustbin.
Saw you guys many times all over Southern California in the 90s. Tonight it’s Salt Lake City, and I have to admit I haven’t been so happy about seeing a band in about as long as it’s been since I last saw Del Amitri. Imagine that…
Hey, Justin, did you know there’s a statue of Abraham Lincoln in Scotland? My daughter found it in Edinburgh’s Old Calton Cemetery. My family is from “the Land of Lincoln,” aka Illinois, and it was a real learning experience finding out why it exists.