by Kirby Lindsay, posted 25 August 2014
This summer I’ve personally brought one new person to Fremont, to live here for keeps. It got me thinking, what does anyone new to the Center of the Universe need to know about our decidedly quirky part-of-the-world (besides that it is the Center of the Universe, and that we’re called ‘Fremonsters’?)
This is my list, so far:
10. The Walking Guide To Fremont – Pick up a copy of the Walking Guide either at a local business or in one of the white metal Hysterical Marker kiosks. People think they are just for tourists, but the Walking Guide has a handy map to Fremont’s business district, a list of 135 interesting businesses (in 2014) and can serve as an actual Guide – use it to find all the Hysterical Markers (marked on the map as pink diamonds,) public buildings (on the map as circled black numbers,) and some major public art pieces (circled black letters.)
9. Public Art – Fremont has lots of public art. At last count, we have over 60 pieces scattered around here. Please, keep looking beyond the 15 on the Walking Guide, and seek out the others. It is, if nothing else, a fun exercise.
8. Alternate Transportation – Fremont is great for walking, and cycling. Yes, we have hills, but pedestrians can use the ‘stair-mazes’ that connect dead end streets and greatly lessen many of the hills. The Burke-Gilman Trail also provides walkers, and cyclists, a great pathway through Fremont. For those needing more ways to get here, we have great transit service, with the METRO routes #5, #16, #26, #28, and #40. Finally, if you must drive, consider parking on one of over 13 U-Park pay lots around Fremont. Yes, they cost, but it puts you safely in a central location to start and end your explorations.
7. Check Out Our Retailers – Fremont offers a grand collection of small, independent shops, but being independent makes it harder for shoppers to understand what you sell. The best way to find out what we have is to get inside the stores – all of them – and look around.
6. Old Names – Fremonsters tend to refer to buildings/locations by their occupants. Unfortunately, occupants will change but locals can take a while to catch up and change our habit. Here is a cheat sheet to what we mean when we say:
- ‘ProLab Building’ – at 123 NW 36th St, now the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and Our Beginning Child Care
- ‘Old PCC’ (also referred to as Old Capers) – at 701 N 34th St, now offices of Impinj (PCC moved down the street to 600 N 36th, and Capers closed its Fremont store but is still open in West Seattle)
- ‘Empty Space (Theatre)’ – at 3509 Fremont Ave N, now Atlas Clothing
- ‘Peet’s Coffee’ – at 3401 Fremont Ave N, now the Fremont Starbucks
- ‘Costas (Opa Restaurant)’ – at 3400 Fremont Ave N, now a Chase Bank branch
5. Fremont Library – The Fremont branch of the Seattle Public Library is located at 731 N 35th Street, and has a lot to recommend it. Sign up for a card – you must be a resident of Seattle – and get free use of books, DVD’s, CD’s, and magazines. Plus, the library also provides computers, informational programs for adults and children, and a great staff (particularly in Fremont) ready to answer questions.
4. Fremont At Night – Our community rarely sleeps, but if you do, try staying up a few nights at least. We have an amazing selection of late night eateries, nightclubs and drinking joints. Don’t make the mistake of stopping forever at the first one you like. Mix and match, and explore. They are all different…
3. Family Friendly Fremont – Another common mistake is thinking Fremont is only about our nightlife. We have lots to offer for youth, with activities (the upcoming Universe Classic Wiffleball Tournament, Fremont Oktoberfest, Trick-or-Treat In Fremont, Lenin Lighting & Fremont Festivus, etc.,) playgrounds (B.F. Day Elementary School, Upper Playfield, and Ross Playground,) and public art.
2. Join In! – Fremont has three specific organizations that promote and improve our community – and can only do a better job if you help! Check out the Fremont Chamber of Commerce, the Fremont Neighborhood Council and the Fremont Arts Council by attending one meeting of each. All three operate very differently, and there will be, hopefully, one that makes you feel welcome and ready to pitch in.
1. Events – Fremont events – every month, and sometimes weekly. Find out about them through the Fremont Chamber weekly E-Blast, the FremontUniverse.com blog, and, of course, the Fremocentrist.com calendar and news page.
Keep in mind that it’s even more fun when you work a Fremont event (like most locals,) and that is the best way to meet other Fremonsters. Right now, the Oktoberfest, the Wiffleball Tournament and the Fremont Arts Council’s Luminata and Trolloween events need volunteers. It is the best way to be introduced new found home!
Anything To Add?
And if you see a random Australian roaming the neighborhood, be kind. He’s my fiancé, and mostly harmless…
- Fremont Public Art Inventory, Part IX: Practical Pieces
- by Kirby Lindsay, May 7, 2014
- Meet The Oddfellows Hall, a.k.a. the I.O.O.F. Building
- by Kirby Lindsay, October 7, 2011
- Fremont’s Top Fives?
- by Kirby Lindsay, August 24, 2012
©2014 Kirby Lindsay. This column is protected by intellectual property laws, including U.S. copyright laws. Reproduction, adaptation or distribution without permission is prohibited.