Freaky Fremont was looking a whole lot more mainstream on a recent visit. While it was once THE place to live if you favored tie-dye, nude bike riding during the Solstice and feasting on organic granola, you now had better make some major bucks to call this your home and enjoy the trendy cafes, boutiques and bars. Fremont is still a cool place no doubt but definitely more trendy and sophisticated than in the past.
After a quick Metro ride from our Lower Queen Anne hood, I wandered Fremont to check out all it has to offer in an urban community. We don’t get up here often but did recently enjoy The Barrel Thief with friends for an Ardbeg whiskey tasting. Right up the street, our friends told us there was a great place to satisfy our foot massage yearnings. Two Smiling Feet does a 60 minute foot massage for $35 which we plan to check out soon. One of the experiences I miss most from living in China is our weekly foot massage date. Damn that was habit-forming! I look forward to seeing if Two Smiling Feet delivers a true Chinese foot massage that makes me cry with pain but leaves me smiling with happy feet.
Fremont does has a movie theater, Century at Pacific Commons, as well as Ophelia’s Books where you can get a .50 book bargain from the outside rack or wander the many titles inside while the shop cat prowls the book stacks. I never leave there without at least a bag full of “must read” used books. Next door to Ophelia’s is Jive Time Used Record Store where Thom likes to browse to feed his vinyl habit.
Of course, there are bakeries, cool cafes, gelato places and more to feed your appetite for anything you could want to eat plus a downtown PCC Market for a wide selection of groceries. The shopping is good too with an always packed Warby Parker store (trendy and inexpensive glasses) and boutiques selling $200+ upscale clothes as well as some vintage bargain places. A great walking neighborhood with a concentrated few blocks of everything you could want and need, you can also take advantage of a gorgeous river trail that is shaded and lovely to stroll on a sunny Seattle day.
Fremont is also known for their Solstice Parade in June where a Mardi-Gras style parade proceeds with Solstice Cyclists stripping down and painting their bodies to lead the merriment. I’ve never been to the parade but look forward to experiencing it soon. Their Sunday Farmer’s Market is also top notch and showcases lots of vintage clothing, accessories and kitschy stuff along with food trucks/stalls galore. Not a “farmer’s” market with produce but more a place to shop and eat that is very dog friendly. All in all, Fremont would be a good place to call home if you want to be outside the Seattle downtown core but close enough for a quick commute.