DBA Kickin' A • Art in the Park(ing lot) • First Comes Liquid, Then Comes ... • ... the Baby in the Eco-friendly Stroller 

DBA kickin' A

Congrats to the Downtown Boise Association who recently received an International Downtown Association Merit Achievement Award. The DBA's Downtown Boise Gift Card Program was honored for bringing $1.6 million to downtown businesses over the past five years. And in these shaky economic times, that's quite a laudable accomplishment.

The cards come in amounts ranging from $10 to $50 and are good at 260 downtown Boise merchants. Businesses that participate range from the Knitting Factory to Zoo Boise and everything (except, sadly, the liquor store) in between. The cards can be purchased online and at The Record Exchange, Macy's and the Boise State Bronco Shop.

For more information, visit downtownboise.org.

Art in the park(ing lot)

Grant Olsen, this week's BW cover artist, will debut his new public art installation Wise Up Gunman this First Thursday at The Record Exchange. The piece will feature a replica of this week's BW cover along with three other four-foot by six-foot pieces that invoke the "revolutionary message of reggae and punk music" and promote nonviolence and self-awareness. This will be Olsen's second installation on The Record Exchange's west-facing exterior wall; his first was 2002's Dear Betty series.

Olsen will speak about his current installation at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 2, and will have four different screen-printed editions of the wall art available for purchase. He hopes this project will serve as a call to action that will motivate community members to take personal interest in Boise's thriving art scene.

First Thursday, Oct. 2., 6 p.m.-9 p.m., The Record Exchange, 1105 W. Idaho St. For more information, call 208-344-8010 or visit therecordexchange.com.

First comes liquid, then comes ...

Adjacent to the sadly empty space that used to be 8th Street Wine Company, a new bar/music venue has sprung up. Owned by longtime Pengilly's manager Jeremy Aevermann, Elizabeth Oldenkamp and Greg Belzesky, the trio first toyed with the idea of combining their names and calling the place Oldmansky's, but finally decided on the more ethereal Liquid Lounge.

Like a Long Island iced tea, Liquid stirs together a little bit of everything. It's equal parts dance club, pool hall, live music venue, dive bar and ... charity? Yep, Liquid will be donating the money collected from the fountain at their entrance to a different charity every month. For the month of October, the money will be going to the Red Cross, and as their Web site notes, donating to charity is their way of "spreading the Life's Good feeling."

Another way Liquid will spread that feeling is through good old-fashioned drunkenness. Besides varying nightly specials, Liquid offers $1 off all drinks for those in the service industry, seven nights a week. With BoDo's remaining bars and restaurants chugging along, we have a feeling this will be the new spot where industry folk go to kick up their rubber-soled heels. (See this week's Noise News on page 31 for a lineup of upcoming bands/musicians.)

405 S. Eighth St., liquidboise.com.

... the Baby in the eco-friendly s|troller

A few doors down from the Stylish Stork, a new boutique for babies and moms-to-be has popped out. Buns in the Oven will have its grand opening this First Thursday and is a product of months of hard labor from proprietors Stacey Hopstad and Kellee Sharples.

The duo decided to open a clothing, accessories and gift store for moms who not only want to buy organic, but also fair-wage, fair-trade, independently tested and largely women-made items. The store stocks Boise-based BOB strollers, ridiculously soft Sigikid plush dolls and Schone maternity wear. No only is Schone clothing made from eco-friendly, fairly traded fabrics, but the company will also clean and repair the old garments you send back to them and donate them to the charity Momma's House.

As an ex-neuroscience drug representative, Sharples is also committed to tearing down antiquated gender stereotypes that cloak little girls in pink tutus and sparkly princess crowns. She stocks her shelves with books, games and T-shirts that encourage young girls to explore their curiosities in science and math.

Though there are more than a few high-ticket items at Buns in the Oven, Sharples and Hopstad say they have taken great care to stock items for every budget.

"I don't want anyone to walk by my store and think they can't come in," says Sharples.

412 S. Eighth St., open Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. For more information, call 208-342-5683 or visit labortolove.com.

—Tara Morgan

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