I have a whole new appreciation for the Fremont neighborhood now that my schedule allows me to do more than zoom over, hunt frantically for parking, race to a lunch meeting, and then fight the road-repair traffic back out again.
Friday afternoon I parked on the Fremont-Ballard border and strolled East along N. 36th to meet friends for lunch at the Tawon Thai in the heart of Fremont.
I noticed tall piles of ominous-looking stones on the muddy parking strip and realized that the cairns were being guarded by a wild-looking, weather-beaten man sitting on a bench and growling incoherently. He was apparently the artist. He had placed strips of masking tape on the sidewalk at the entrance and exit to his display, warning pedestrians not to disturb the rocks. I certainly didn't.
After lunch (discussions of movies, the internet, web design, local real estate development, and books), two of us headed back along N 35th. A Starbucks employee carrying a tray of drink samples offered us iced green-tea lattes and they were wonderful enough that we turned around and headed back around the corner to Starbucks to get full-size versions of the drink and sit and chat for more than an hour.
When we parted ways, I stopped in at Frankie and got a lovely pair of what I hope will be dancing shoes, a fanciful European brand called Campers I'd never heard of before. So, can you guess which of these Campers I bought? Yeah, right.
On the next block over, I checked out a store selling exotic import items. One of the saleswomen was pounding nails into the wall to hang some items. An employee from the hair salon next door rushed in, looking distinctly annoyed, and explained that all the mirrors on the salon's side of the wall were bouncing up and down. "Oh, wow, really?" said the surprised and clueless saleswoman.
It was on to Fetch, a pet supply boutique with a canine emphasis. I did, however, see some really fabulous pet beds in washable faux suede (aka ultrasuede) in designer colors (purple, lime) that any cat would be delighted to shed on. Finally, I swung by The Refeathered Nest at 309 N. 36th. It's a small and very tasteful store selling "reclaimed" home furnishings, definitely worth a visit.