2005 A&E Reader's Choices

Readers' Picks


Flying M Coffeehouse

We all know that Flying M Coffeehouse serves up a great cup o' Joe, has wonderful and unique gifts and provides a comfortable space for lively debate and discussion. But apparently you also felt that so many people see the M's rotating artist's exhibitions on their walls that the place deserved to be named the best art gallery in town as well. And seeing is in the eye of the beholder.

500 W. Idaho St., 345-4320

Second Place: Basement Gallery

Third Place: Woman of Steel Gallery


Boise Art Museum

From Degas to the Triennial to Georgia O'Keefe, this year the Boise Art Museum has attracted thousands of visitors to its exhibitions. BAM is a great place to show off the wonderful art that comes to Boise to visitors, the kids and relatives. It's a great place to go and sit, in quiet, and contemplate art as well.

670 Julia Davis Dr., 345-8330

Second Place: Old Idaho State Penitentiary

Third Place: Anne Frank Human Rights Memorial


Idaho Anne Frank Human Rights Memorial

A contemplative space, a spiritual space, a place to enjoy the weather, look at the water, a sculpture--it all comes together at the Idaho Anne Frank Human Rights Memorial. After a couple years, it seems as if it has been here all along. People are surprised to see it, and when visitors ask, "Why here?" a simple answer of, "Why not?" suffices. If it gets people to consider human rights amongst a beautifully designed setting, it has done its job as public art, public space and public service. And our readers agree.

South end of 8th Street at the Boise River, 345-0304

Second Place: Freak Alley

Third Place: Boise Co-op's 9th Street Mural


Flying M Coffeehouse

So you're out and about on a First Thursday, drinking wine, eating snacks, perusing art at all of the galleries. Say you need an interesting greeting card. Say you need a pick-me-up in the form of a caffeinated beverage. You can get your complete fill all in one stop at Flying M Coffeehouse.

500 W. Idaho St., 345-4320

Second Place: Record Exchange

Third Place: Boise Art Museum


Eric Payne

While he doesn't show all that often in a gallery, Eric Payne's creative work is perhaps some of the most visible in town. His tattoos grace the skin of discriminating souls who seek him out, some coming from far away places to have his work grace their epidermis. Appointments are made months, sometimes years, in advance and anyone who has one of his creations is proud to throw around the name of the creator. But Eric's other work, not on skin, is just as fascinating and good. And we'd like to see more.

Second Place: Ward Hooper

Third Place: Mark Lisk


Rebecca Scott

Once again, our readers choose the lovely Rebecca Scott as their favorite hometown music-maker (she won last year, too). And we couldn't be happier about it. Scott has graced the Boise music scene for over a decade, performing her original, folky tunes and has garnered not just local fame, but national acclaim. Such a talent deserves all the recognition it garners.

Second Place: Doug Martsch

Third Place: Marcus Eaton


Idaho Shakespeare Theater

A perennial reader favorite, the Idaho Shakespeare Festival brings together thespians from Boise and the globe to recreate original plays that were first performed at the Globe Theater. But that's not all! The Green Shows, for those that show up early, are perhaps--nay--are even more entertaining. A little wine and cheese picnic on the lawn helps you enjoy the top-notch space, actors and performances.

5657 Warm Springs Ave., 429-9908

Second Place: Boise Contemporary Theater

Third Place: Boise Little Theater


Bill Cope

This year, we added the modifier "living" to the reader's poll question because some nominees felt a little "weird" about competing against the likes of Ernest Hemingway and Ezra Pound. Although some living Idaho writers write like they are dead, the best one won out. Who people read day-in and day-out is important. And name recognition is key. Bill Cope topped this year's list and, like a good wine, he seems to be getting better and better with age.

Second Place: Dan Popkey

Third Place: Tim Woodward


The Flicks

In years past, this reader's choice category was more evenly balanced as far as votes with the big trinity of theaters duking it out. This year, however, a clear frontrunner emerged quite early in the polling and stayed on top. The Flicks has consistently brought in the types of movies that appeal to an intellectual, creative audience. You won't see blockbusters here, but more and more, people don't want blockbusters--they want good movies and documentaries, which is what they'll get here (not to mention an awesome food selection and our favorite movie snack, beer). Hail to The Flicks. Support your local art house movie theater.

646 Fulton St., 342-4222

Second Place: The Egyptian Theatre

Third Place: Edwards on Overland


Built to Spill

Admit it: Whether you love them, love to hate them or just say, "Those guys are still around?" Built to Spill is your band, Boise. You tell all your friends whenever you've seen Doug shopping at the Co-op, or Doug grabbing a bite down at Guido's, or Doug just shooting hoops in the North End--and you always identify him only as "Doug," to leave open the possibility that you and he are best friends. Every town needs a band like Built to Spill, and every band dreams of being what Built to Spill is to Boise.

That said, isn't it about time for somebody to take on the definitive Treepeople/Built to Spill reissue box set? Get on the ball, people!

Second Place: Rebecca Scott

Third Place: Frim Fram Fellas


Built to Spill

Short answer: We don't know what it meant then, and we don't know what it means now. Long answer: An unfortunate side-effect of greater environmental responsibility on a societal level is that coffee drinkers around the Northwest no longer have access to Styrofoam coffee cups. Admittedly, Styrofoam is far from an ideal material, both because it contains the known carcinogen benzene, and because it is non-biodegradable, but Styrofoam cups do have one distinct advantage over paper: They are not hot to the touch, even when filled with boiling liquids. Paper cups, however, are hot. Mercilessly effing hot. Thus, because said cups get so hot, and because multitasking is a given in many of our lives, many of us are regularly put in positions wherein we accidentally touch a very hot surface and recoil in pain, spilling the very beverage that burned us in the first place. It could be said, then, that one of the defining accoutrements in many Boiseans' days is, indeed, "built" to "spill." The commentary provided by the name of this particular band is as relevant as ever, and our readers very smartly reflected this in their voting.

Second Place: TIE - Wilt Chamberlain's Baby & Frim Fram Fellas

Third: Fat John & the Three Slims


Rock Rob

At the risk of sounding Thr!ve-y, this kick-ass DJ--doing his thing on a regular basis down at Neurolux--was not really on our radar prior to winning the readers' poll. We plan to take great pains to rectify that.

Second Place: DJ Revolve

Third Place: DJ Pat Benolkin


Big Easy

Sometimes is fun to see a band in an intimate, small house setting. But, it's always fun to see them in a venue with lots of space, great lights and a hi-tech, kick ass sound system. The Big Easy provides all of this, plus if you are one of those smaller, closer setting kind of people, The Bourbon Street Saloon upstairs is the perfect spot. Upstairs and down, the bartenders are dreamy and make some super tasty cocktails, the cocktail waitresses are hopping and the bouncers keep everything in check without making the scene uncomfortable for anyone. A smoke-free joint, The Big Easy is comfortable for everyone and some of the once-in-a-lifetime shows that come through there (Elvis Costello, Ted Nugent, Blonde Redhead, Blackalicious, and thousands more) make this venue one of the best places in town to spend your discretionary Washingtons and Lincolns.

416 S. 9th St., 367-1212

Second Place: Neurolux

Third Place: The Bouquet


Cactus Pete's, Nevada

When you're going to go for it, what's a three-hour drive to the Nevada border? Cactus Pete's seems to be Boiseans' favorite place to entice lady luck. Play craps, blackjack or everybody's new favorite ... poker. Stay up all night, and if you throw down enough, they might even comp you a room.

Second Place: Idaho Lottery

Third Place: Les Bois Racetrack


Art in the Park

Complainers aside, Art in the Park, traditionally the second weekend in September, is still Boise's premier community event. Bringing together artists from all over the Northwest, fun stuff to do for the kids, food and drink, it's the festival for all. This year it grew so big that a sub-group calling itself "Art in the Parking Lot" set up as well.

Second Place: Hyde Park Street Fair

Third Place: Twilight Criterium


Rebecca Scott

We can just imagine her saying, "You love me! You really love me!" And we really do. Her all-around musicianship doesn't take away from the fact that Rebecca Scott has a great singing voice, too.

Second Place: Curtis Stigers

Third Place: Jonah Shue


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