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Six Stupid Questions People Always Ask Me About Boise

Boise. Idaho’s capitol, Idaho’s largest city, the “City Of Trees.” It’s a fantastic place to live. So why do people who aren’t from here continually ask me the same things about Boise over and over again?

If you’ve spent any considerable amount of time in Boise, it’s inevitable that you’re going to hear some of these…



So how are the potatoes?

They’re…fine? Yes “Idaho Potatoes” is a thing, but I can honestly say after living here for 18 months I have yet to see a potato anywhere other than on a plate of food. Idaho exports a lot of potatoes every year, but it’s not like we’re all growing them in our backyards. That being said, we do have some of the best french fries on earth.



Mark Hirsch / Stringer
Mark Hirsch / Stringer

What’s Iowa like?

Idaho. We live in IDAHO. They aren’t even close on the map. About 886 miles apart, to be exact. I get that both states start with with letter I, but that’s literally where the similarities end. You wouldn’t go up to someone from Colorado and ask them what it’s like to live in California, would you?



Three children playing in snow
Getty Images

Does it ever snow there?

Not often, unless you count this past winter. As you know, a Boise winter can range from zero snow to whatever the hell happened this past winter with Snowmageddon. We’re slightly above average for snowfall compared to the rest of the United States, clocking in around 30″ of snow per year.




Why is everyone so nice?

We’re nice. Really nice. So nice it can be unsettling if you’re new here. Why? Because Boise consistently makes every top 10 list of “Best places to live.” So much so it’s become an ongoing joke to us in the Treasure Valley. You’ll hear “Oh look, Boise made another top 10 list!” a lot. Trust me.



Doug Pensinger/Getty Images
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

What’s Basque?

The “Basque Block” is a big thing here in Boise, and a big part of our culture. So what does it mean exactly? I’ll let Wikipedia explain:

Approximately 15,000 Basque Americans live (in Boise). Boise is home of the Basque Museum and Cultural Center and hosts a large Basque festival known as Jaialdi every five years. A large majority of the Boise Basque community traces its ancestry to Bizkaia (Vizcaya in Spanish, Biscay in English) in northern Spain.




How do you pronounce “Boise”?

Ugh. If I hear one more radio or TV announcer say “Boi-zee” I am going to have a stroke. If you get confused (just like I did when I first moved here) I made up a simple rule. Feel free to steal and share amongst your friends:




It’s pronounced “Boy-see” as it “Boy, see that? That’s a potato.” Easy enough, right?


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