Boise’s iconic Library! sign. An exclamation point could also be added to my recent travels around the United States.

After the end of the spring semester I took two weeks of to travel around the United States. I visited amazing places, such as, Chicago, South Bend (Indiana), Michigan, and Boise. In Chicago for instance, my favorite icon was The Bean in Millennium Park. Taking photos there is such a funny experience. The Art Institute of Chicago is near the Bean, it is a beautiful building in which you can spend hours admiring the artwork: Day of the God (Paul Gauguin), Stacks of Wheat (Claude Monet), American Gothic (Grant Wood), The Bedroom (Vincent van Gogh), etc.
South Bend was another interesting stop on the road, the University of Notre Dame founded in 1842, is considered by many to be among the most beautiful campuses of any US university.
In Michigan I spent one of the best days of the trip just relaxing in the lake. Lake Michigan is one of the five Great Lakes of North America and the only one located entirely within the United States. Lake Michigan is shared, from west to east, by the U.S. states of Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, and Michigan.
I finished the holidays in Boise (Idaho). One of the biggest Basque communities in the U.S is located there. The vast majority of the Basques living in the Boise area came from the province of Bizkaia. It was so nice to visit the Basque Block: The Basque Center built in 1940. The Cyrus Jacobs-Uberuaga Boaring house built in 1864. The basque museum and cultural center, the Fronton, and different bars, such as Gernika and Leku-Ona make you feel like at home. To read more about the immigration experiences of Boise see these books: Boise Basques: Dreamers and Doers and From Bizkaia to Boise: The Memoirs of Pete T. Cenarrusa.

However, one of the most interesting things of my trip was the Library of Boise.
It was the first time I saw a library with an exclamation sign: “LIBRARY !”. It really surprised me, I’d never seen anything like this before. So I started finding the reason behind this. OMG! I was astonished when I found the answer.
Everything started in 1984 when Howard Olivier and his wife Megan moved to Boise to help run the Flying Pie (Pizzeria). Howard Olivier mentions that: “Over the first ten years of living in Boise I grew to love the BPL (Boise Public Library)”. He remarks how one day in October of 1994, he was driving down 9th St. to the library, and while waiting for the light to change, he saw a brand new illuminated sign on the building, reading: LIBRARY. In the first second of taking it in, his thought was, “No – it’s a better library than that.” He spoke with the members of library and he told them that he was sure that Flying Pie would be happy to pay for the exclamation point. And the rest is history! He called the sign company that had produced the signage, and told them that he would like to buy the exclamation point to add to the LIBRARY. In 1995 they added the exclamation point to make it LIBRARY!