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  #1  
Old Posted May 24, 2012, 3:08 PM
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does boise have "grit"?

i see a lot of photo threads in the photo thread forum threading photos that show "grit".

where's our grit? whenever someone visits me, they remark what a clean and vibrant city boise is, but they never mention our grit!!!

do we have grit? is it hiding in caldwell? does boise need more grit?!?

my gosh!!! we could be experiencing a dangerously low grit count in boise, and nobody knows it!!!!

GAH!!! BOISE NEEDS MORE GRIT!!!

WHERE'S ELCONQUISTADOR TO ACKNOWLEDGE THESE THINGS?!?!?

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Last edited by Boisebro; May 24, 2012 at 5:50 PM.
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  #2  
Old Posted May 24, 2012, 3:14 PM
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I think the closest we have as far as "grit" is concerned are some trailer parks, the one near Turners on State Street probably wins. I have been told the same thing too by friends and family who visit....Boise is so clean and tidy and manicured. There is a sketchy area in Nampa near the railroad tracks downtown.
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  #3  
Old Posted May 24, 2012, 4:18 PM
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You can have some of our grit
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  #4  
Old Posted May 24, 2012, 5:10 PM
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Yes Boise has some aspiring grit like some downtown alleys and the Fairview/Main corridor. The idea that we need more grit reminds me of Dr. Strangelove, where General Turgidson warns of a mineshaft gap with the Ruskies. Be happy Boise has a grit gap!

I don't see what the fascination with "grit" is. I've lived in 3 major US cities and traveled all over the USA and Mexico. I've been to shit holes like Trenton NJ and parts of DC in the early 90s that were still burned out wrecks from the riots of the 1960s. I prefer it here.

If there's grit it means it's a dying city/neighborhood with few jobs, few possibilities, little hope and lots of crime and a shrinking tax base where you can forget about public amenities like the greenbelt. Once grit has a toe hold it's damn hard to remove. It's like mold only much worse. I'm a big believer in the broken windows theory http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Broken_windows_theory which is not to be confused with the broken window fallacy.

Last edited by boisecynic; May 24, 2012 at 5:31 PM.
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  #5  
Old Posted May 24, 2012, 5:34 PM
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Ya, I'd say if there is any "grit" at all in the valley is can be had in Nampa (especially along the railroads). That's really about it, in my opinion.

I love how clean and tidy Boise is. Makes it one off!
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  #6  
Old Posted May 24, 2012, 5:36 PM
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There is a thin line between grit and blight.
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  #7  
Old Posted May 24, 2012, 5:41 PM
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There are a few dumpy homes on Broadway between Federal Way and Boise Avenue which need to go.
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Old Posted May 24, 2012, 5:56 PM
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'cynic touched on what i consider to be "grit."

to me, grit is urban. it's not run-down houses, it's old, empty brick warehouses and industrial zones.

boise's never been a very industrial city, and never had these large, multi-story brick warehouses many eastern cities have that are prime for renovation.

i think of grit as being more urban than suburban, and the only areas in central boise that somewhat fit the definition was the west side of downtown (which has more empty lots than true "grit"), and even the area around the connector, or under the connector where the urban parks are.

there does seem to be a fascination with grit on the city photo threads. many of those shots include a lot of old brick and concrete, graffiti and density, and a sense of loneliness.

for our many boise photographers, it would be a challenge, i think, to do a boise "grit" photo thread, simply because there doesn't seem to be much selection.

then again, i could be wrong. there could be more than any of us realize; it would take a good eye to find it and capture it before it disappears.
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Old Posted May 24, 2012, 5:57 PM
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and btw, i think the treasure valley as a whole does have some good "grit."

about 7 years ago, i attended a meeting at a coffee shop in downtown nampa, and got lost trying to find it.

saw some good grit then. not sure if it's still there.
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  #10  
Old Posted May 24, 2012, 6:22 PM
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Not only does Boise lack grit, I would even make the argument that Boise is probably the least gritty city in the US. Whether that's a good thing or a bad thing is up for debate, but we're like the antithesis of gritty.

I think it all went to Spokane somehow. I would make the reverse claim that they're probably the grittiest city at least in the Pacific Northwest, if not maybe even the western US entirely. I'm thinking in terms of some size to grit ratio which is probably impossible to calculate. Spokane is strange in how it almost feels like a city that you'd expect to find in Pennsylvania or West Virginia.
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  #11  
Old Posted May 24, 2012, 6:47 PM
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I wouldn't say Boise has grit. It's a pretty cute and tender town. I would have to guess the closest thing to grit Boise has would be various areas of the Bench.
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  #12  
Old Posted May 24, 2012, 7:08 PM
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To the people who grew up here...wasn't the Old Boise District kind of gritty back in the 70's and 80's before renovations and investments?
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  #13  
Old Posted May 24, 2012, 7:22 PM
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This is kind of a rambling post, I'm just spilling my thoughts out as they come...

Cities in the West Coast don't really have grit so much -- Seattle, Vancouver, Portland, even San Francisco to an extent -- they're all more grungy which while it might seem the same, is deceptively different than grit as I think of it. Grunge seems to cultivate a certain kind of attitude, sort of a hippie/hipster/environmentalist/artist/indie attitude. Grit... doesn't seem to as much, it seems to generate a different culture that's a bit more blue-collar, like a tougher "don't mess with me" kind of attitude. Cities back east seem to have far more grit than grunge, and vice versa back west. Which is why I say Spokane is oddly different -- I always get a vibe of East Coast grittiness that you just don't get very much in the west.

But what Boise lacks in grit we make up for in grunge. Here I don't mean grunge as dirty, but grunge as an personality. And that's why I've always thought Boise as a Pacific Northwest city and not as a Mountain West city -- Mountain West cities like in Salt Lake City and Denver, as well as most cities in Montana, Colorado, Utah, and even North and South Dakota -- they all seem to have more of that Old West, cowboy industrial sort of personality that Boise just does not seem to have (with exception to Nampa/Caldwell). And the funny thing is, from everything I know about Boise's history before I was alive, we used to be much more like Salt Lake and Denver. But it seems at some point in the 80s or 90s things changed -- I'm not really sure what the catalyst was that caused this (probably a variety of things like tech companies moving in, the development of the Grove downtown, plus the Boise River Festival) but Boise since has seemed to shed the old cowboy culture and became more of a libertarian, Pacific Northwest-cultured city.

That's just my 15-minute hypothesis, I have nothing really to back it up other than personal observation. Nonetheless it's pretty interesting stuff to think about.
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Old Posted May 24, 2012, 8:01 PM
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I have searched out grit in the past and have only been able to find a few true examples. I have some grit photos for my new city photo thread I will be posting soon.

Within Idaho, the best place to see blocks of old gritty brick warehouses is downtown Pocatello and along the rail tracks. Poky was the largest rail center in the western usa for a time which is why it has so many old brick warehouses.
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  #15  
Old Posted May 24, 2012, 10:55 PM
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Most of the "grit" along with much of the city's history was torn down by the redevelopment agency in the 1970's.

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  #16  
Old Posted May 25, 2012, 9:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BoiseAirport View Post
Grit... doesn't seem to as much, it seems to generate a different culture that's a bit more blue-collar, like a tougher "don't mess with me" kind of attitude.
That's exactly what it is. Boise is clean and personable, that's why it's so fantastic. Boise doesn't need grit. Who would want to be like Cleveland?
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  #17  
Old Posted May 25, 2012, 9:17 AM
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Originally Posted by trekkerguy View Post
That's exactly what it is. Boise is clean and personable, that's why it's so fantastic. Boise doesn't need grit. Who would want to be like Cleveland?
Yeah, I definitely have to agree. I do love gritty cities and I think one can find a lot of enjoyment in places like Cleveland, Spokane, Pittsburgh, etc if they look in the right places... but it just doesn't fit the character of Boise. Our exceptional cleanliness, energy and hospitality is what makes us unique.
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  #18  
Old Posted May 26, 2012, 12:19 AM
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This is an interesting perspective of Boise as (quote) "the antithesis of urban blight"

http://www.ttrn.com/rediscoveringame...isherboise.htm




I also like how the city is referred to as a boutique arts destination.
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Old Posted May 26, 2012, 1:32 AM
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Hi again

Wow, it's been a long time since I posted on here! Like, oh, probably 4 years. I just recently rediscovered this forum keeping track of Gardner Development's new involvement in downtown Boise and have been lurking a bit for the last month or so.

I've been spending some time in Detroit lately and the comment about Boise's grit brought about the need to comment. In light of my recent exposure to true urban grit, I'd have to say Boise has about as much grit as Kuna has skyscrapers.
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  #20  
Old Posted May 26, 2012, 4:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Props View Post
Wow, it's been a long time since I posted on here! Like, oh, probably 4 years. I just recently rediscovered this forum keeping track of Gardner Development's new involvement in downtown Boise and have been lurking a bit for the last month or so.

I've been spending some time in Detroit lately and the comment about Boise's grit brought about the need to comment. In light of my recent exposure to true urban grit, I'd have to say Boise has about as much grit as Kuna has skyscrapers.
I feel your analogy, quite well. I spent quite some time in the Detroit area a few years back myself. I was staying out in Auburn Hills.
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