Fremont: the Center of the Universe!

While it has nothing to do with the MIT Forum, I thought it would be fun to present and comment on the TurnHere video of the Republic of Fremont along the lines of Dustin’s post on Ballard.

The video is a lot of fun and gives a great perspective on the funky, hip side of Fremont, while also acknowledging Fremont’s changing demographics.

The Russian in me can’t help but comment on the statue of Lenin that sits in a parking lot of a local Taco Del Mar. Roger Wheeler gives a brief history of the statue on the Fremont Chamber of Commerce website:

Poprad, Slovakia is the place, 1978 the year our story begins. Emil Venkov won a commission to sculpt and cast a bronze statue of Vladimir Ilyich Lenin, Russian revolutionary leader. He worked for ten years, finishing in 1988 – just in time for the regime to collapse. Demand for Lenin bronzes was nil, with the exception of visiting American teacher Lewis Carpenter. He was intrigued by the bold and unusual design, Lenin striding out of – what – rifles, flames, wheat? Carpenter decided to take the statue home with him, a decoration for a Slovakian restaurant maybe. He decided big time. He mortgaged his house, bought the statue for $13,000, then paid $28,000 to truck it to Scandinavia and ship it via the Panama Canal to Washington state. Carpenter was killed in a car accident in 1994 and his mother, Lydia, was left with a seven-ton Lenin in her Issaquah back pasture. Lydia called Carpenter’s Fremont sculptor-friend, Peter Bevis. Bevis and the Fremont Artwalk Committee were looking for something big to kick off their event. Lenin was just certainly that. After much welding and grinding and banging at Bevis’ Fine Arts Foundry Lenin was ready to thrust his way into Fremont history, being unveiled at Artwalk amid much carping, griping, and fist banging from critics and former countrymen who remembered Lenin as something other than heavy-duty art. Lenin is for sale. For a mere $250,000 (obo), you too can join Lenin’s well-traveled history.

Fremont attracts many local artists there are quite a few galleries. One of my favorites is Frank and Dunya, which features art and collectibles from artists from all over the world.

Some other things mentioned in the video include:

  • The weekly Fremont Sunday Market is an outdoor European-style Market has something for everyone!
  • With the charm of an old home setting, the Fremont Coffee Company is one of the best coffee shops in Fremont (but definitely not the only great one!).
  • The Fremont Troll that sits under the Aurora Bridge is definitely a fun attraction. Interestingly, a street that leads into the troll was recently named Troll Avenue.
  • Sonic Boom Record is a great local record store.

3 thoughts on “Fremont: the Center of the Universe!

  1. How I miss Fremont. Back when I had my IT consulting business we had our offices in Fremont — great place to work. I distictly remember when Adobe was moving into their offices that several businesses had signs in their windows that said “Relax – don’t be so Adobe”. Having come from Microsoft I was amused that Freemonster’s thought the Adobe folks were going to be uptight. I think they’ve fit in nicely.

    I haven’t been over there in a while — are they still putting out bumper stickers about Susie Burke ruining Fremont? I totally disagree and just ran across an interesting post on that issue while googling her name for spelling

  2. Ahh, I always have to wonder about Americans. If u write something, think it over first… Emil Venkov DID not work on Lenin for ten years..
    The sculpture of Lenin was completed in several months. So next time when u write something, try to check it, otherwise it’s possible u will write a nonsense like this.

  3. Good morning, to Anna.

    Your article on Fremont was very interesting. The segment on the Lenin statue, however, failed to provide contact information for the potential purchase of the statue. Can you please provide that to me? Thank you.

    David Bethel

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