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Located on the northern edge of the Lake Washington Ship Canal, Fremont is a neighborhood with a long history as a family-oriented, residential but working-class area filled with idiosyncratic individuals. It’s the self-proclaimed “Center of the Universe” and features a bohemian, offbeat lifestyle.

The neighborhood is often characterized by its quirky public art: the Troll under the Aurora Bridge who clasps a Volkswagen Bug; a seven-ton statue of Lenin that is perpetually for sale; a rocket built into the side of a building; and dinosaur topiaries that once graced the roof of Pacific Science Center.

Fremont’s brick-and-mortar businesses bring both pop-culture treasures in the two-story Fremont Vin- tage Mall, and funky, new fashions at more than a dozen unique and local spots. These include clothiers, used books and music stores and hilarious gift shops such as Portage Bay Goods, with its “full bottle of wine” glasses and other modern keepsakes. Fremont also offers the country’s only 100 percent organic, fair-trade chocolate factory, a bar with more than 50 beer taps and a Sunday ice cream cruise around Lake Union.

The Fremont Sunday Market is a highlight for locals and visitors, with goodies such as wood oven-baked pizzas, fresh fruits or crepes. On sunny days, grab the makings for a picnic at PCC Natural Market, and enjoy it while watching kayakers glide down the Ship Canal.

While Fremont has historically been a working-class neighborhood, industry over time has shifted from sawmills and manufacturing to high-tech businesses. The neighborhood is home to campuses for Adobe Systems, Impinj, Google and many small tech companies. But Fremont’s manufacturing sector is still in operation, which you can see as you bike the Burke Gilman Trail. The combination of manufacturing and tech has created a diverse community with a great mix of old and new architecture.

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