Friday, October 31, 2008

American Journeys: A Quirky Seattle That Won't Blend In (Vladimir Lenin, Hattie's Hat, and the Fremont Rocket Ship.)

Read about my latest adventure in the New York Times Escapes section.

I had a big time up in Seattle earlier this fall. I especially loved the neighborhoods of Ballard and Fremont. Ballard has a maritime theme, and Fremont looks like a psychedelic fever dream. (although I am not saying that from direct experience.)Click here for a Ballard/Fremont mini slide show.

By the way, I mentioned a seven-ton statue of Mr. Vladimir Lenin that was erected some years back right in the middle of Fremont. While in Seattle, I heard that the statue is on sale for approximately $250 K. Try to imagine how this might look in your front lawn. It's a lot more original than pink flamingos.
This is not the first time I've seen a controversial piece of public art or signage go up for sale. A few years back, while at the Santa Cruz Sentinel, I wrote about an attempt to auction off the city's kooky, oversized "WELCOME TO RIVER STREET'' sign, known to Santa Cruzans as "Signzilla.'' However, no one bit, and the sign is still there.

Stay tuned for more 'urban hiking' adventures. I've got another one coming up this winter.


Anonymous said...

Loved the article. How do you find these out of the way gems? MIL

cactuseaters said...

hi there, M.I.L. I spent three days up there and hit the ground running, while fueled on many cups of organic shade-grown coffee, along with some vegan muffins from the Flying Apron bakery of Fremont. Unfortunately, I didn't get to see one or two things, including the famous Topiary Dinosaur of Fremont, but I'll have to check it out next time I'm up there.

Charlie said...

Wow, I live just a few blocks from all the things you wrote about in Ballard. It's sure refreshing to read a fresh perspective on all the things that seem so "everyday" to us locals. I go running by the locks all the time. I love your style of writing, and I loved your book cactuseaters, which I finished about a month ago. I have just been section hiking the PCT in Washington the last few years and this year I just finished the last section.

cactuseaters said...

Thanks, and congratulations on finishing up that last section. You live in a beautiful neighborhood. A few months back, I spoke at the Ballard branch of the Seattle Public Library. That was the first time I'd ever ventured out of downtown when visiting Seattle. Alas, during that first trip, I only had a chance to take a quick look around Ballard. That's why I made a point of coming back for a few days and exploring the neighborhood.