Fremont, Centers of the Universe

Fremont is one the reasons I miss Seattle.  I used to live close enough to walk there, and the Fremont Fair every Summer Solstice felt like a local festival.  There are photos of the 2011 fair on their website, probably the most unusual event of its kind you’ve ever seen.  Fremont thinks of itself as something special, an artists’ republic where freedom of expression is not so self-censored as in other more constrained neighbourhoods.  Hence the idea of being the Center of the Universe, and the signpost pointing to other interesting places.  When I took the photo in 2009, they were getting a spiffy new signpost, and the old one was still up.

I’m really bad at taking photos of moving events, so the Festival Parade pictures aren’t worth posting.  Mostly the backs of people’s heads.  But the Art Cars actually hold still for a decent photo – you can see them here, as well as the Mull of Kintyre Music Festival Parade in Campbeltown, where I got a front row position.

Bohemian chic in Fremont costs a lot of money these days, so the latest place in Seattle where poor artists can afford the rent is way down south in Georgetown.  They have their own Carnival.  Home to my favourite band, The Bad Things, who inhabit a Vaudevillean universe of their own that’s impossible to resist.  If Fremont is one Center of the Universe, then Georgetown can lay claim to being another.  One more reason to feel homesick.

I will leave you with The Bad Things performing Kill Yourself, a huge crowd-pleaser.  Note the innovative use of percussion instruments, which boldly go where no percussion instrument has gone before.