by Kirby Lindsay, posted 26 September 2012
I just got roommates. My best friend and her son have moved in with me, temporarily, while they relocate to Seattle. We originally met in her hometown – a mid-size city – that I have come to know very well. Now, I’m showing her my hometown – Fremont – and introducing her to the people I know, the stores I shop, the restaurants I dine at and (particularly for her son, my godson) the places I like to play.
Small Town Charm
Fremont is a small town. It was a township in 1888, before being annexed by the City of Seattle in 1891, but the amalgamation of the community didn’t ever really take – Fremont remains Fremont at its core.
When I bring friends into Fremont, I know they will be met by friends. That they will be able to shop in the stores, and find the things they need, without hassles or hang ups. They meet people, on the streets and in the stores, who greet them with a smile, a friendly word and a showing of support.
For me, I like knowing that if my new roommates get lost – although in a neighborhood this small, and with the Walking Guide to Fremont available everywhere, I wonder how they could – they can ask for help and get it. Sometimes they even ask someone who knows me, and can give them exact directions to where I am.
It’s also been great to be able to show my godson to a school nearby (B.F. Day Elementary,) that offers a quality education. When we took a tour of the school, last week, we met – over and over – people I knew. Some were people I knew from the school, while others were folk I’d met ‘round the ‘hood. Even the people we met that were new to me, know people I know – and some of them my friends had already met – which enhanced that strong sense of community. Of connections.
It is the strength of small town.
Big City Benefits
Yet, as a part of a big city, Fremont offers my friends access to resources, and opportunities, that only a concentration of population offers. In their first four days here, we sought out the services of the Seattle School District and the Seattle Public Library System. We went to a mall for basic items not available in any Fremont store, and we may also venture outside the ‘hood to go bowling.
Fremont has culture, but as part of Seattle, it has more. We have the pick of movies, theater, music and children’s entertainment – both in Fremont and outside of it. Stone Soup Theatre and West Of Lenin, Fremont Oktoberfest and Trick-or-Treat In Fremont, shows at Nectar, High Dive and White Rabbit, all can be enjoyed by Fremonsters – but exist because of support for their attractions from city-wide audiences.
Fremont doesn’t offer everything, but Seattle gives us sports – a necessary accessory for a little boy. He already had his Mariners sweatshirt and his Sounders shirt when he got here – and he picked out a pair of Seahawks sports gloves immediately upon his arrival. The Fremont Chamber’s Wiffle Ball tournament and the Fremont Rotary Rock-Paper-Scissors championships may be enough to satisfy my taste for sports – but I’m glad to know that Little League, cross country and swimming lessons can be found just beyond Fremont’s borders.
The Best (And Worst) Of Both
Fremont is the Center of the Universe, but only the center. My friends will be able to find all the friendly faces I need in Fremont, but they may find themselves drawn out into the wider world around – making friends, finding work and being captivated by activities in the outer reaches.
Fremont has plenty to offer, but I have to accept that some can be happy outside it. As hard as it is for me to fathom, when my friends finally settle into Seattle, they may choose to live somewhere, gulp, other than Fremont.
And I may have to visit them in Ballard, or Georgetown – or even Mukilteo, or Burien.
The reason I love Fremont, however, is because when my friend had to choose a place for her and her son, and her choice came down to Seattle or Edmonton, Canada (and while it is very nice, I cannot see visiting Edmonton even to see them,) I knew that Fremont would recommend itself. She came, she saw, I took her son on a chocolate-fest tour of Theo Chocolate factory and, Fremont won her over.
Thank you all!
- Through The Eyes Of Others
- by Kirby Lindsay, September 20, 2006 in the North Seattle Herald-Outlook
- When ‘Fremont Good’ Prevails
- by Kirby Lindsay, January 25, 2010
- Fremont’s Top Fives?
- by Kirby Lindsay, August 24, 2012
©2012 Kirby Lindsay. This column is protected by intellectual property laws, including U.S. copyright laws. Reproduction, adaptation or distribution without permission is prohibited.