Sunday, June 18, 2017

Quirky Seattle - Fremont

 
The very first view of Fremont that caught my eyes.
A 20 minutes’ bus ride from Downtown Seattle, and the bus would drop you off near a café next to a bridge declaring the place to be Fremont. At first sight, it would be just like any other neighbourhood of Seattle, but look closely and you would be able to notice a colourful funky but informative direction post. Lo behold! You are at the Centre of the Universe. Now notice people around you. At any time of a bright day you would notice people with kids walking or people of bikes moving in a particular direction. Follow them, out of curiosity (not stalking level) and there below the bridge you will meet the famous troll of Seattle!

Puzzled?

Welcome to a super interesting and quirky neighbourhood - Fremont!
For many people, who frequently travel to western countries – Graffiti and random statues at middle of some random street might not be an interesting encounter. But being from India, at least the statues and structures at seemingly insignificant corners of Seattle fascinated me a lot. Recently, a blogger friend of mine decided to do a series on street art across the globe and it was that series that prompted me to write this post because Fremont in Seattle is a must visit for its quirkiness!

Do you see the centre of the universe? 
Fremont, Seattle is known to be a treasure house of creativity! From the centre of the universe to life size statue of Lenin, from a troll under the bridge to Patches & Gertrude dancing away to glory – you can see it all during a languid stroll in the neighbourhood! Here are the five things to see when in Fremont Seattle:

Say Hello to the Troll!

1.   Troll under the bridge – I have already mentioned it so many times, that I am sure you knew this was a must in my list. In 1989, Fremont Arts Council decided to give some life to the folklore of troll under the Aurora Bridge and thus this troll was born. But unlike Scandinavian folklore where trolls were feared this troll is a friendly non-living being loved by kids and adults alike and is one of the most frequented sites in Fremont.
A handshake with Lenin?

2.  Statue of Lenin – This life size cast bronze sculpture of Vladimir Lenin was created by Emil Venkov and installed in Slovenia in 1988. Wondering then how it got to Seattle? In 1989, An American veteran - Lewis Carpenter found statue lying in ruin after the 1989 Revolution. As an appreciation and recognition of skill and craftsmanship of Venkov, Carpenter was determined to save the statue. Carpenter mortgaged his house to get the sculpture and got it to Issaquah. After he died the statue was owned by his family and they installed it temporarily in Fremont for viewing and sale. The reason this statue is worth seeing is because apparently, it is the only representation portraying Lenin surrounded by guns and flames instead of holding a book or waving his hat – symbolizing his violet ways of revolution.
When we made the people wear colours of University of Washington

3.  People Waiting for the Interurban – The electric trolleys don’t run from Seattle to Everett anymore, but still some people wait at Fremont to board one. Not real people, but aluminium statues with a dog at Fremont Interurban stop, installed in 1979, are the funkiest of the lot of statues in the area. You can dress them the way you want and make them as real as you want and that makes this buck really special!
Dancing away to glory!

4.  Patches & Gertrude – I didn’t know this, but Patches and Gertrude were titular characters of a famous live kids show that ran for about two decades and had a huge fan following in the Puget Sound region. In 2008, a life size statue of ‘Patches and Gertrude forever in Dance’ was installed, courtesy fan contributions. Interestingly, this installation has a place to leave buttons on Patches’ famously multi button jacket and a bronze TV box in form of a donation box. Donations left with patches makes its way to the Seattle Children’s Hospital – hence making kids happy even after all this time!
I was aiming for the moon and imaging night, in case you are wondering why my eyes are closed.

5.  The Centre of the Universe – Do you want to know exactly how far is moon from where you are standing? Do you know how much distance you need to cover to travel to Antarctica? Do you know where Paris is exactly – distance, direction, any idea? Well the answer is at the Centre of the Universe if the a colourful post right at the start of Fremont Neighbourhood. And if you like geography or are inquisitive about random distances and places – you must spend some time at the Centre of the Universe!

Apart from theses – you should also see the rocket, have some local cider, and be part of some Neighbourhood parade like the Oktober Fest or Solstice parade!
Have you been to any place that is equally fun and quirky? Do let me know in the comments below!

In case you just want to spend a peaceful evening - Fremont has that option too!



20 comments:

  1. Lovely post..and Hey! Hello to the Troll :)

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  2. Nice informative ��

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  3. That troll is sure a cute one ;)

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  4. Quirky is right! So many examples on the streets everywhere. Sounds like a fun place to spend a day.

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  5. Seattle looks so cool. Hahah The statues are so funny. Love the last shot! So peaceful.

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  6. OMG! The troll is ginormous and funny too!!! I love that road sign - Louvre? Taiwan?? Milkyway??? Lolz!!! That's loads of fun to go street art hunting!!!

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  7. Actually, Fremont is quirky and creative. I loved that signage board so colorful. The troll is funny and statue of Lenin is so huge. I am wondering how carpenter transported the sculpture.

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  8. I really enjoy your storytelling voice. I felt captivated to journey with you into the "Centre of the universe"

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  9. You guys have a funny way of posing...its so lively and entertaining. I loved the pictures just for that. The troll one especially. Cheers to your travels.

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  10. This is indeed a creative place. Love those statues esp. the Lenin one.

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  11. hahaha love the quirky statues, especially the troll under the bridge. There's been so many stories around it, its kinda cool they actually made a statue out there!

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  12. The troll under the bridge is amazing! I don't know anything about Seattle or Fremont, so this is great to read. Thanks for posting.

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  13. I love the idea of giving life to the troll under the bridge by actually putting a statue of a troll under the bridge. And the Lenin statue... the story it's quite interesting. I never thought there would be any statues of Lenin in the world, expect for the ones still existing in Russia. That's a really random thing to know about Fremont.

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  14. I had the Fremont Troll on my list of things to see when I visited last, but didn't have the time. This helps me to know all the things I can do there besides the troll. Thanks!

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  15. i love the statues that you can dress. troll looks awesome, i want a pic with him! looks like you had lots fun taking these pics

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  16. I've been to Seattle before but I never knew there was a Lenin statue in the city! How strange. It seem like you guys had a great time. Awesome!

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  17. Fremont looks like totally fun place and it's always nice to discover little gems like these that exists near bigger cities. You seem to have had a great time with your friends and I love how art and sculptures and colour are so much a part of their public places.

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  18. Fremont looks like a lot of fun. Love the quirky street art. Even the street signs are amazing.

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  19. Fremont really looks creative and colorful which is my type, as I love creative places. Centre of universe looks main attraction for me as I am very much interestef in Geography. Hand shake with huge Lenin sculpture is really funny.. it is like you arr touching only fingers

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  20. Hi, Really great effort. Everyone must read this article. Thanks for sharing.

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