Signage and Cycle Art 

The Mode Lounge sign returns.

The Mode sign, which once graced the front of The Mode Building on the northwest corner of Eighth and Idaho streets, is getting a second life. The Kennedy-era sign will be re-installed at The Mode Lounge, which is set to open in January 2014, and will serve as the first indication that the cantina is shooting for a more mid-century aesthetic.

"It's going to be an upscale lounge; we're going to tie in a bit of the history of the building with the lounge itself," owner Russ Crawforth told Boise Weekly (BW, Food News, "Former Grape Escape to Become The Mode Lounge," Aug. 14, 2013).

The sign, which received new neon light tubes courtesy of Wil Kirkman of Rocket Neon, will be installed in the early morning hours of Monday, Nov. 11.

Meanwhile, over at The Linen Building, passersby may notice three bikes parked at the corner of 14th and Grove streets more fit for playing than for riding. That's "Bicycle Trio," a new piece of public art by Oakland, Calif., artists David Cole and Michael Brown, which the artists installed Wednesday and Thursday, Oct. 30-31.

"Bicycle Trio" comprises three bikes, each paired with a musical instrument housed in painted steel columns topped with jewel box-style observation windows--a cruiser and a drum, a kid's cruiser and a xylophone, and a delivery bike and a bass. Pedaling the bikes powers mechanisms that play the instruments in their attached houses, while using the handlebars or applying the brakes causes the instruments to change beats or octaves.

Cole and Brown won the commission for "Bicycle Trio" in 2011, and chose bikes as their subject because of their ubiquity around downtown Boise.

"We knew that if we wanted to help attract people to the Linen District, the way many of them would arrive would be on bikes, so what better way to engage them than to create a destination sculpture that honors this special relationship?" they wrote in their proposal.

That relationship has grown more complex in the wake of two bicycle-related deaths in September and October 2013, prompting a citywide debate over how best to ensure cyclist safety.

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