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Old 11-11-2008, 02:57 PM
 
1,133 posts, read 2,487,944 times
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I know both cities well.
Boise has by far a more vibrant downtown area. Boise is much cleaner, and more shops and restaurants in store fronts. I really think there are more cultural offerings in Boise mainly because of the vibrant downtown area and the downtown University. Boise is becoming known as an artistic haven and it is obvious. Boise has been ranked before as one of the best smaller cities for young professionals and has a healthy business climate.
Not to be rude but Spokane is kind of dirty, has extremely run down areas, grimey, but has a great collection of historic structures. Smart developers would really look towards Spokane and moreso the downtown area to rehab and beautify.
Boise has more extensive historic neighborhoods, and is very bike friendly.
Both cities have great parks, but Boise seems to take better care of the string of city parks along the river. The 25 mile long Boise River Greenbelt is one of a kind.

Boise has a more diverse economy and seems to attract more of the yuppie outdoorsy people from the West Coast.
It seems like there is more $$ in Boise.
Spokane is more green and greener the closer you get to Idaho.
Boise is in a larger river/mountain valley with ranges 30 miles apart from North to South, with great diversity with the mix of deserts, canyons, and mountains, and nearby forests, one of the largest national forests in the states is less than a half hour drive from downtown Boise and some of the most rugged, treed, mountain wilderness areas in the Nation are at Boise's back door full of rivers, hotsprings, canyons, lush forests, and lakes. Boise is a outdoors city and can back that claim up until the world ends.
Spokane has some very beautiful natual areas nearby too.
Idaho and Washington are both very beautiful states with a lot of similar areas, topography, desert, and wilderness. The major difference is of course is the coastal areas of Washington.

Boise itself is somewhat liberal when comparing to the rest of Idaho with a lot of conservatives in the suburbs. The recent presidential election was almost split down the middle with votes cast in the city.

Last edited by TohobitPeak; 11-11-2008 at 03:06 PM..
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Old 11-11-2008, 03:07 PM
 
Location: ***Spokane***
1,092 posts, read 2,994,616 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TohobitPeak View Post
I know both cities well.
Boise has by far a more vibrant downtown area by far with almost no comparison to downtown Spokane, Boise is much cleaner, and more shops and restaurants in store fronts. I really think there are more cultural offerings in Boise mainly because of the vibrant downtown area and the downtown University. Boise is becoming known as an artistic haven and it is obvious.
Not to be rude but Spokane is kind of dumpy, grimey, but has a great collection of historic structures. Smart developers would really look towards Spokane and moreso the downtown area to rehab and beautify.
Both cities have great parks, but Boise seems to take better care of the string of city parks along the river. The 25 mile long Boise River Greenbelt is one of a kind.

Boise has a more diverse economy and seems to attract more of the yuppie outdoorsy people from the West Coast.
Spokane is more green and greener the closer you get to Idaho.
Boise is in a larger river/mountain valley with ranges 30 miles apart from North to South, but one of the largest national forests in the states is less than a half hour drive from downtown Boise and some of the most rugged, treed, mountain wilderness areas in the Nation are at Boise's back door full of rivers, hotsprings, canyons, lush forests, and lakes.
Spokane has some very beautiful natual areas nearby too.
Idaho and Washington are both very beautiful states with a lot of similar areas, topography, desert, and wilderness. THe major difference is of course the coastal areas of Washington.

Boise itself is somewhat liberal when comparing to the rest of Idaho with a lot of conservatives in the suburbs. The recent presidential election was almost split down the middle with votescase in the city.
Not to be rude, LOL, well you were...and incorrect, Spokane is clean and a beautiful city. Check out some of the beautiful pictures on this blog in "search"...Yes, I am familar with the 2 cities and we chose Spokane to retire in over Boise , a personal choice obviously considering both have a high population, ppl seem to like both for their own reason, such as parks, lakes and rivers...Oh and Spokane is quite a ride from the coastal areas of Washington, let's say 6 hours..We are a spit away from Idaho.., love the 4 seasons ..in regards to the vote, Spokane reflected red by the stat's shown on the major networks, for what that may be worth...
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Old 11-11-2008, 03:12 PM
 
1,133 posts, read 2,487,944 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vette-dude View Post
Not to be rude, LOL, well you were...and incorrect, Spokane is clean and a beautiful city. Check out some of the beautiful pictures on this blog in "search"...Yes, I am familar with the 2 cities and we chose Spokane to retire in over Boise , a personal choice obviously considering both have a high population, ppl seem to like both for their own reason, such as parks, lakes and rivers...Oh and Spokane is quite a ride from the coastal areas of Washington, let's say 6 hours..We are a spit away from Idaho.., love the 4 seasons ..in regards to the vote, Spokane reflected red by the stat's shown on the major networks, for what that may be worth...
I didn't say Spokane was not beautiful, but it is not nearly as clean as Boise.
If somebody wants an honest answer to their questions, such as the starter of this thread, then some things have to be talked about that might not make certain people happy.
I have been in Spokane many times and there is a lot of clean up that needs to take place there. If I had money I would love to buy a few downtown Spokane buildings and refurbish them because I feel there is a ton of potential in Spokane.
No need to start an argument, I was just stating opinions as a person who is familier with both cities.
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Old 07-21-2009, 05:43 AM
 
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What are the run down areas of Spokane? I know each city has these areas, but where are they in Spokane? Please give both the broad neighborhoods, but then also specific corners! Thanks!
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Old 07-21-2009, 03:11 PM
 
Location: Idaho
221 posts, read 1,016,295 times
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Spokane does in fact have some run down spots and seems to be "dirtier" in some parts than some other cities I've visited. HOWEVER, I LOVE SPOKANE! There are many beautiful parts to Spokane and the surrounding area.

The Spokane area has so much to offer in the way of outdoor recreation, culture, shopping, parks, beauty, education, homes, etc., etc., etc.

We currently live in the Boise area, and I just want to move back to Spokane. Boise doesn't seem like a "real city" to me. It seems like it has grown so much so fast that it doesn't know what to do or how to be a "real city." Yes, the mountain biking here is fantastic, and there are a lot of outdoor recreational opportunities, but it's not enough for me. I love being outdoors and being active, but I like Spokane's options better. More trees, more lakes, more green. I feel land-locked here with only two nearby lakes, both man-made.

Spokane has so many options for all age ranges when it comes to whatever lifestyle you enjoy. The Boise area is very college-y and there just isn't a lot to do. It also feels very crowded, and the streets drive me crazy. Plus, the people overall are much kinder in the Spokane area than they are in the Boise area. At least that's been our experience.

Spokane is my choice all the way. I hope we can get back up there to raise our family...and soon.

Last edited by jessysunshine; 07-21-2009 at 04:03 PM..
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Old 07-29-2009, 10:39 AM
 
Location: Milwaukee
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I haven't lived in the Pacific Northwest since the early 90s, but I do remember that Boise has a much cleaner and vibrant downtown area; whereas, Spokane has a rundown and industrial like central area. And Spokane certainly has that "redneck" appeal unlike Boise which has a large professional, artistic and cultural scene. I am not making any big judgements on Spokane, and the city probably has a lot of good people, but the area does have the stigma and the reputation as a haven for "white supremacists." As a minority, I would feel somewhat uncomfortable living in the area even though Spokane has more blacks than Boise. Yes, Boise is politically conservative but the city and has been trending liberal over recent years especially after the election of a Democratic mayor. And the "North-end" of Boise has always been liberal. People forget that Spokane is still very conservative especially compared to the "wetland" part of Washington state. I will say that Spokane has a more attractive natural setting than Boise.
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Old 07-29-2009, 12:33 PM
 
Location: Palmer, AK
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I have spent the first 28 years of my life in Northern Idaho and I think this is a terrific topic. When it comes to the 2 cities, my opinion is that there is a tie between them. They both have their ups and downs. Most of the comments within this thread are accurate, because beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Here is the perspective of a once Idahoan who's experienced both of these cities often.

We used to call Spokane-SpokiVegas, Spokompton- for many of reasons, but that was 15 years ago and maybe there has been a change. I experienced more crime in Spokane/N. Idaho because of living so close to it. I know Boise and its surrounding communities have its crime issues as well though. People from Boise may disagree, but the reality lies 15 miles west of Boise's city center.

Being from Northern Idaho (climate and outdoor activities that I enjoyed) Spokane has a definite 4 season's feel, and the skiing (maximum 1.5 hrs drive to furthest mnt.) around Spokane is terrific. Also, Boise cannot even compare to the terrific lakes that are at least an hour away from Spokane. That being said, the best are in N. Idaho.

In Boise's defense though, it acts and feels like a very progressive, up-and-coming cities. Boise’s night life is picking up if you are into that. Spokane has a been there-done that feel to it. I know people have said this already but it is true, Spokane has its run down areas. It is blatantly obvious once you drive both cities that Boise has a cleaner feel to it. I imagine that the state capital has something to do with that though.
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Old 07-29-2009, 08:01 PM
 
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I have lived just North of Spokane for almost 5 years - before that it was 30+ years in Los Angeles / San Bernardino Counties. I have also lived in Miami, New York, Nashville, Hawaii and parts of Europe.

Before we moved to Spokane we (my wife and I) spent 4 years traveling (on & off) across the US, Canada, Puerto Rico and New Zealand to find a place to retire to. After about 3 years we narrowed down the choice to an area from Spokane east to Missoula OR New Zealand.

We also looked at Boise early in our search we even went there and planed on spending about 5 days but after 3 days we left, ruling boise out. There were many reasons and these are just some.

#1 Air Quality - was an issue when we were looking there, Boise suffers from some severe inversion layers (worst then LAís) that cause the smog to build up and haze out the city. Winter, when people are burning wood turns into a terrible time with many yellow flag days. The air was bad 4 years ago and it has only gotten worse, even the NY Times just wrote a recent article on it.

#2 Desert Heat - Boise is actually the northern part of a desert and is a very brownish city to look at, the climate in the summer can get very oppressive with quite a few days topping 100+ degrees, while this can happen in Spokane it is not the norm as it is in Boise.

#3 City Infrastructure - I am not a person who loves the government intruding into my life, but there are certain areas where the government should have a say so and one of them is sensible planning for cities inevitable growth. A simple drive around Boise will show you that the cooks are running kitchen while the chef is out to lunch. You will find that the rapid growth Boise saw in 1996-2003(7) was unregulated, housing tracts with no street lights, sidewalks in some not in others, illogical road designs, no central planning of major thoroughfares, and dismal bike lanes and very little if any public transportation and when there is it is a disaster.

#4 Traffic - Since Boise took a hands off approach to planning they are paying a very heavy price in massive congestion, there are not enough on or off ramps of I 84 commutes from Meridian that were 10 minutes 5 years ago are up to 45 minutes today. Thoroughfares are jammed, and streets are in disrepair.

#5 Education - There are NO real community colleges in Boise and only 1 University, compare that to Spokane that has 2 CCís and 3 universities. Plus when you take the dismal high school placement of seniors into top tiered colleges plus their overall under performing on standardized tests plus the lack of a strong AP programs, Boiseís educational system seems to be one of the most antiquated and poorest performing in the country.

We were moving to escape LA so this is how we viewed Boise at the time.

LA has smog Boise has possibly worse - Spokane has none.
LA is a desert and the inland areas can get oppressively hot, Boise the same - Spokane is cooler in summer and is not considered a desert.
LA suffered greatly from lack of central planning in the 60ís-early 80ís - Boise is the mirror image of those failures today - Spokane also suffered but started getting itís act together about 1998 and now they are more proactive in the design and implementation of a livable city for all.
LA has bad traffic, Boise has bad traffic and itís getting worse, Spokaneís traffic is moderate in some areas and negligible in others.
LAís education system is in shambles with under performing schools all over, Boise seems to be a mirror image, Spokane has two school districts that continually rank in the top 100 in the nation, plus Spokane has a very high rate of placing graduating seniors into top tier universities.

Boise is a mini LA with none of the entertainment venues or activities that LA has to offer so one must really ask - Why move?

The good things about Boise:

There was more culture and nightlife then Spokane, however I have heard that downtown has been hit hard by this recession and many restaurants have closed, Spokane has not suffered as much.

Ample outdoor recreation activities, about the same as Spokane but good skiing in more accessible.

Nice parks

Other comments,

Boise is more conservative then Spokane.
The people in Boise seemed more intrusive into your affairs then SpokaneĎs Live and Let live mentality.
Very high population of Mormons.

Hope this helps.
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Old 07-29-2009, 08:04 PM
 
Location: Arvada, CO
12,841 posts, read 23,205,680 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by windhoek7 View Post
I haven't lived in the Pacific Northwest since the early 90s, but I do remember that Boise has a much cleaner and vibrant downtown area; whereas, Spokane has a rundown and industrial like central area. And Spokane certainly has that "redneck" appeal unlike Boise which has a large professional, artistic and cultural scene. I am not making any big judgements on Spokane, and the city probably has a lot of good people, but the area does have the stigma and the reputation as a haven for "white supremacists." As a minority, I would feel somewhat uncomfortable living in the area even though Spokane has more blacks than Boise. Yes, Boise is politically conservative but the city and has been trending liberal over recent years especially after the election of a Democratic mayor. And the "North-end" of Boise has always been liberal. People forget that Spokane is still very conservative especially compared to the "wetland" part of Washington state. I will say that Spokane has a more attractive natural setting than Boise.
Spokane's downtown is pretty nice in spots, especially near Riverfront Park. The downtown is pretty large when you consider the city's population.

I don't see what's wrong with "redneck appeal". Many people here could be considered rednecks but that doesn't make them bad people, and I find the people in Spokane to be great.

I am what could be considered a "minority", and I don't feel the least bit uncomfortable in Spokane, nor have I seen any current, direct evidence of Spokane (or NID) being a "haven for white supremacists". Yes, most people here are white, but that doesn't make them racists, not to mention, liberal doesn't necessarily mean non-racist. I have lived in liberal and conservative places, and diverse and non-diverse places, and as I've said time and again, Spokane is the LEAST racist place I've ever lived.

FWIW, Spokane County went 49-48 for McCain, which wouldn't make the county a terribly conservative hotbed, and Spokane itself is actually quite liberal.

I can't comment on Boise since I haven't been there since I was a kid, but what I remember about it wasn't remarkable, but I will give it a chance if I ever go there again.
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Old 07-30-2009, 11:31 AM
 
Location: Milwaukee
37 posts, read 109,629 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Aguilar View Post
Spokane's downtown is pretty nice in spots, especially near Riverfront Park. The downtown is pretty large when you consider the city's population.

I don't see what's wrong with "redneck appeal". Many people here could be considered rednecks but that doesn't make them bad people, and I find the people in Spokane to be great.

I am what could be considered a "minority", and I don't feel the least bit uncomfortable in Spokane, nor have I seen any current, direct evidence of Spokane (or NID) being a "haven for white supremacists". Yes, most people here are white, but that doesn't make them racists, not to mention, liberal doesn't necessarily mean non-racist. I have lived in liberal and conservative places, and diverse and non-diverse places, and as I've said time and again, Spokane is the LEAST racist place I've ever lived.

FWIW, Spokane County went 49-48 for McCain, which wouldn't make the county a terribly conservative hotbed, and Spokane itself is actually quite liberal.

I can't comment on Boise since I haven't been there since I was a kid, but what I remember about it wasn't remarkable, but I will give it a chance if I ever go there again.
I'm not trying to paint Spokane with a broad brush, and I'm sure most people there are good, but it only takes a few bad apples.....and it's just a fact that Northern Idaho (Kootenai County) has traditionally been a hotbed of white supremacist activity, and some of this has spilled over into the Spokane valley. The KKK has 2 active chapters in Spokane. Also you have the Christian Identity, Aryan Nations, Phinneas Brotherhood and other racist organizations in the area. I'm sorry to say, as an African-American, I would feel uncomfortable walking around certain parts of the valley. And you may like living around rednecks, but I would not like living around rednecks just as they would not like living in an urban ghetto.

Spokane vs Boise...how should I say, Spokane is missing something in the way of culture, a certain vibe that dominates other Northwest cities like Portland, Seattle, Vancouver, and Edmonton (where I used to live) and Madison, WI (where I currently live). Boise falls into this category. It has a developed downtown, an art and nightlife scene, a clean cut affluent and educated population. Spokane has none of this. For the most part, it is dull, blue-collar, gritty and rundown. And another thing, Spokane has a crime problem. Their crime stats soar when compared against my city (Madison) which is bigger, more diverse, and more urban with a far greater number of people of color than Spokane has. Folks don't call your town "Spoke-Compton" for nothing. It's also the "meth" capital of the Northwest. I'll take the safety and culture of Madison or Boise, over your town, any day.

Last edited by windhoek7; 07-30-2009 at 11:52 AM..
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