Rolling into the Neurolux in downtown Boise, Idaho, I marvel that it is so cozy and intimate. A dark and narrow music lounge with a bar, small stage and dance floor, it’s a world away from big concert arenas. And tonight, a true Texas boy, Dale Watson, is performing. The Potato State is being treated to Dale’s brand of authentic Texas dance hall music, Ameripolitan.
It’s warm in Nashville on this Thursday night before Memorial Day 2018. My guy, Bryan, and I are walking from our high rise hotel in trendy, corporate downtown toward Nashville’s Broadway District. We’re here for a weekend of music—U2’s eXPERIENCE & iNNOCENCE concert and the Grand Ole Opry.
The streets and sidewalks are mostly empty in downtown Nashville. After only a block or so from downtown, the scenery changes. There are more people out and about. People are drinking, talking, and hanging out on bar patio decks. The noise level is steadily rising. We round the corner onto Broadway.
And are enveloped in the sound of live music.
The breeze is gently blowing through the trees. A wind chime sounds, and mourning doves murmur. Here and there I hear voices, people outside enjoying the summer evening, children playing. These are the sounds of my neighborhood. I’m walking through the Boise North End from the local gas station, carrying a 6-pack of beer and a stick of beef jerky. And I’m in love with my new hood.
Somehow, I ended up living in Denver for almost 20 years. That’s as long as I lived in Texas. I say “somehow” because I never intended to live in Denver as long as I did. I moved there to finish my bachelor’s degree, and then just never left. I love Colorado but Denver was definitely getting too big and crowded for me. My rent had steadily increased every year and the traffic was nuts. Getting anywhere in the city took forever. I had been jonesing to try another town for quite awhile. So, when life recently gave me the opportunity to move to Boise, I jumped at the chance. (My mom says wanderlust runs in the family so I come by it naturally.)
I’d heard nothing but good things about Boise. It’s frequently described as a smaller Denver, with tons of outdoor activities like biking, hiking, and skiing, breweries, mountains, a music scene, and a fun vibe. Plus, the Boise River runs right through the middle of town, with easy access to tubing, kayaking, and rafting!