My first neighborhood I lived in Seattle was Fremont. Fremont is a granola, hippy dippy sort of area in the best way possible. Famously called the “Center of the Universe” it sits right along a canal that empties out into Lake Union. There is a draw bridge that always caused morning commute hell if you don’t time it right. Still, the novelty of a draw bridge makes this place cute. I have memories of riding my bike down the Burke Gilman Trail which stretches almost 20 miles east to west. The Fremont area sits along this trail. The neighborhood is now the hub for Tableau Software, Google offices and Facebook. There are several cute bars and restaurants, which has since become slightly bro-ridden since the University of Washington and Seattle Pacific University are nearby. Still, it doesn’t distract from the pure charm and magic of this place.
The Center of the Universe intersection
This neighborhood also contains one of the BEST, if not THE BEST, collection of vintage clothes, housewares, music and ALL SORTS OF THINGS: Fremont Vintage Mall. I don’t get here every time I come through Seattle, but on this particular trip I was staying in the neighborhood at my friend Stefani’s apartment. We made a point to stop in after a little hike in Discovery Park. I’ll have to put together a vlog on this place, because pictures just don’t do it complete justice!
As you enter this building, you will go down a set of stairs, surrounded by paintings of iconic figures from the past: Charlie Chaplin, Audrey Hepburn, Bob Dylan, John Lennon & Yoko, Andy Warhol, Bettie Page etc. Then your down in the underbelly smelling that dusty old smell that always settles like smog in thrift stores and estate sales. This place stretches FAR… The center of the building is where most of their vinyl (in partnership with Jive Time Records) and magazine collections live, while the parameter is home to several independent vendors that sell everything from fondue pots to tie clips.
Behind the checkout counter is home to larger home items such as vintage living room furniture, light fixtures and artwork. Then down some more stairs you can gaze into a case of jewelry until you are in yet another large room that is JUST clothes, in partnership with Atlas Vintage, which used to be its own shop in Fremont. If your looking for a quality pair Dr. Martens, cowboy boots, maybe a chunky Jeffrey Campbell… you most likely can find it or something similar.
There was an ubiquitous amount of people in denim jackets that I observed on my stay in Seattle (the staple spring/summer jacket), so I was on the hunt for that perfectly oversized mens denim jacket. I know a Levi’s or Wrangler one would be floating around somewhere. Alas, no sign of it, but on a totally unrelated note, there are so many prints I wanted to take home for my living room. Next time I make a trip out here, it will be to invest (…I mean thrift) in some artwork because there were so many prints that were perfect for 8″ by 10″ frames.
My friend Stefani admiring some talismans and antique rings
It’s kind of intimidating when you first go in, because you don’t plan on spending a lot of time in there. Most tourists are just passing through. But, there was a time in my life where I was searching a particular issue of LIFE magazine from 1965, where Edie Sedgwick, my long time style icon, had a spread.
So, there are times when your on damn mission to find a piece of history… whether you wear it, display it or worship it. I bet it’s somewhere hidden in this dress-up box of treasures. Will it into existence with aOuija board perhaps?