By DAVID KLINGER
Boise’s “growth tsunami” continues unabated. And while realtors and chamber of commerce boosters breathlessly extol the virtues of this unique and lovely community, they’re short on providing newcomers with a handy list of 10 tips to ease their personal transition to their new home — a place that’s under severe stress at the moment from the continued pangs of unbridled change and in-migration.
So here are my “Top 10” tips, learned from experience when I came to Boise from rural West Virginia a decade ago. I’ve practiced them, and they’ve served me fairly well. I’ve tried to follow them daily. Hopefully, they’ll serve you equally well in 2022:
–Pick up your dog crap. It’s not neighborly to leave “calling cards” of varying amounts and consistencies throughout the neighborhood. And that means carrying the poop bag out with you, not leaving it on any convenient doorstep.
–Swap your California or Oregon license plates for Idaho tags … promptly. It’s the law. It’s also just good form. Starting to pay the taxes to cope with the infrastructure demands your arrival has caused is only fair. Not doing so is a deliberate “eye-poke” to the community. It marks you as not caring.
–Know and respect your neighbors. In mega-states with tens of millions of residents, like Texas and Florida and California, it’s possible to live an anonymous and detached life. Not here. We have barely 1.8 million people. It’s your job as a new resident to get to know most of them, on a first-name basis.
–Recycle those glossy, granite countertop “Boise lifestyle” magazines from realtors that lured you here. They’re no more reflective of this place than fantasy comic books.
–Remember that while you are busy living a lifestyle, others are simply just trying to live a life. Those shelf-stockers, field pickers, and dirt farmers are the ones who make your tenancy here possible. Understand that they are the ones who are getting unfairly priced out of a city now on growth steroids.
–While you may have just moved in, know and respect that others have been here their entire lives. Their pioneering families may have lived here since Idaho first became a state. History didn’t begin with your arrival.
–Humanize your driving habits. You no longer have a 4-hour daily commute to Bellevue or Marina del Rey. Slow down through the neighborhoods, cool it with the “rolling stops”, and yield to people in the crosswalks instead of flipping them off. There’s no place in Idaho that you need to be that’s that important.
–Fully assume your new Idaho citizenship. Vote, read the newspaper, and take an active interest in what local government is doing. In California, you were just one of 40 million people. Here, it’s possible to be on a first-name basis with the Governor and the Mayor.
–Remember that worth in Idaho is traditionally not determined by the glitz of your house, the cost of your car, or the heft of your bank balance. Here, where your word is your bond, you look people in the eye, keep your word, help others, and treat the place with respect. Adjust to “western” … not “West Coast” … behavior.
–Appreciate all of the good qualities of this place. Work to conserve and protect them for they will be gone soon enough.
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