News blog for Seattle's Fremont neighborhood


Entries from April 2014

A Doodle Distraction

April 30th, 2014 by master

Stuck inside on this lovely day? Distract yourself with these Doodles! Google is polling for their 7th annual Doodle 4 Google competition. All across the country students from Kindergarten through 12th grade are invited to submit their Doodle idea following the theme announced by Google. The 2014 theme is:

“If I Could Invent One Thing to Make the World a Better Place…”

Not a bad thing to think about on such a beautiful day! Here is the State Finalist from Washington:

The State Finalist from Washington

Image from the Doodle 4 Google competition site

Title: Brighter World through Binoculars
: Renaise Kim, Lake Washington High School, WA

The Doodle 4 Google Competition

From the initial group of entries Google employees and Guest Judges narrow the Doodles down to 250 State Finalist and from there selects the 50 State Winners. This is when the public comes in! Everyone is invited to vote for their favorites amongst the 50 by selecting one from each group of grades (K-3, 4-5, 6-7, 8-9, 10-12). Votes may be cast until 11:59PM on May 9th.

The results of this voting will be announced at Google Headquarters on May 21st. One finalist for each grade group will be selected for a total of 5 National Finalists. Finally, the National Winner will have their Doodle displayed on the Google homepage for 24hours on June 9th.

The grand prize? In addition to some cool tech stuff the winning student receives a $30,000 college scholarship and their school receives a $50,000 Google for Education grant.  The other 4 National Finalists receive a $5,000 college scholarship.

Not quite sure what a Doodle is? Read the history here!

Vote here!

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Seattle due for a sunny week!

April 28th, 2014 by master

As many people’s allergies will tell you, it has been a lovely spring, showers included. Seattle has been in full bloom, the grass has gone haywire, and we have seen some dramatic skies. There have been clouds of course, many of them dark and delivering downpours, but the temperatures have remained rather temperate and Seattlites appear eager to be outside again.

This week forecasters are calling for not just sun (note it is forecasted to be “Sunny” not just “Mostly Sunny” for a few days!) but also warmer temperatures. Get ready to bare that sun-deprived skin, dig out your sunglasses, and enjoy!

Screen shot 2014-04-28 at 12.44.13 PM

Forecast from the National Weather Service.

What are you going to do during this nice weather? BBQ, sun bathe, swim, build something awesome?! Share your plans with us on our Facebook page!


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Really Responsible Recycling

April 28th, 2014 by master

The future is here! Electronics, devices, and screens are everywhere in our lives! But as we approach more milestones since the inventions of our many devices; for example, color television is 60 years old, home computers have been around for over 35 years, and digital cell phones are 23 years old. As new generations of products come and go whatever will we do with the ones we aren’t using?

Luckily Seattle residents have a couple of options. The Seattle Public Utilities department recommends the following two programs for recycling unwanted electronics, TVs and Computers being some of the most common. Many of these electronics are banned from curbside containers as they contain toxic materials (so that’s how it works!).

Here are some options when it’s time to ditch those old electronics:

– Contact or 1-800-RECYCLE for free computer and TV drop-off locations.

–  Visit  for cell phone and fluorescent light bulb drop-off locations. Some charge a fee.

– Seattle Public Utilities will pick up and recycle TVs, computers and other electronic items from your curb for a $20 fee. Call 206-684-3000 to request an electronics collection. Apartment residents should contact their building manager to arrange for electronics collection.

For Fremont residents the InterConnection Computer Reuse and Learning Center is located just over on Stone Way and 34th.

“InterConnection’s focus is charitable reuse and responsible recycling. The Computer Reuse Center makes proper use of the tons of usable electronic items that are discarded daily, teaches computer maintenance and repair skills to local community members, and provides refurbished computers and monitors to organizations in underserved communities around the world. All data is securely erased from computers received and InterConnection complies with all federal and state regulations for data destruction. A tax deductible receipt is provided for donations.”

This donation site is also InterConnection‘s outlet store with refurbished electronics, low income specials, and trade in offers. InterConnection has been providing recycling, refurbishment, and charitable services since 1999.

SPU also deal with mattresses too! So if you can’t give it away to a college kid or on Craigslist (ever heard of FreeCycle?) please don’t leave it on the street! Contact the Take It Back Network for options.

Earth Day was just a week ago, but we can be aware of our impact everyday! As Fremont and Seattle residents we are fortunate to have a wealth of resources focused on sustainable and environmental causes. If you are unsure how to recycle something or interested in learning more about certain public programs email us at and we will be happy to look into it for you!



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The Sixgill Celebrates Anniversary with the Aquarium

April 24th, 2014 by master

Today the Sixgill will be celebrating their one year anniversary with drinks, a raffle, and a fundraiser for the sharks! $1 from every beer and cider poured tonight will be donated to the Seattle Aquarium and their Sixgill shark research.

Sixgill sharks are notable in that rather than having five gills they have, you guessed it, six! Because of this they are considered more primitive and are one of the largest predatory sharks in the oceans. While they are typically found in deep waters around the world here in the Northwest they have been sighted in shallower waters allowing researchers learn more about the species.

The party starts as soon as Sixgill opens at 4:00PM and the raffle runs from 6:00-10:00PM.

Happy Anniversary Sixgill! Celebrate the sharks!

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Happy Earth Day!

April 22nd, 2014 by master

Happy Earth Day everyone!

All across the media, at schools, workplaces, and on the Google homepage our society is recognizing Earth Day. We are lucky to live in a place that places such great emphasis on sustainability, innovation, and recognizing our environmental impact.

For what takes place on Earth Day beyond the shared images of planet earth, healing hands, and woodland critters (which are very cute) visit According to their site, “More than 1 billion people now participate in Earth Day activities each year, making it the largest civic observance in the world.”

More Celebrations to Come

Less than 2 months until we can celebrate the Earth in a uniquely Fremont fashion! The Solstice Festival and Fremont Fair will take place on June 20-22 and you don’t want to miss a minute of it!

New this year will be the Solstice Concert Series and the parade moves to a new time. Keep an eye out for Fremont Universe’s coverage of the event and our Festive Fremonster Guide with tips for local Fremonsters and friends during the festivities.


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Simple and Sunny: The Yellow Dot Cafe

April 16th, 2014 by master

One morning this week I was desperately in need of three things: coffee, breakfast, and wifi. Fremont has many options for cafe culture but I had yet to try the Yellow Dot Cafe at the intersection of Fremont Ave and N 34th.

On this particular morning a tasty scone or pastry would not satisfy my hunger so I thought Yellow Dot’s selection of breakfast burritos might do the trick. I crossed Fremont Ave just near the Fremont Bridge, passed behind the Interurban Sculpture, and stepped into a crisp and brightly lit environment.

This is the second Yellow Dot Cafe location, the original is located on Westlake in South Lake Union. The Fremont location opened last November, occupying a space that had been vacant for sometime just east of the Fremont Bridge. Business has been slowly picking up since then and the Cafe recently added an outdoor seating area that is sure to be popular in warm weather.

Owner Ziyi Li explained that she opened the Yellow Dot Cafe as a result of her own dining experience and finding something lacking. Her objective was for a “casual” and “convenient” dining environment that provides quality food options while keeping things simple and easy. One of the ways the cafe delivers this convenience is by having customers order at the counter in lieu of table service. Ziyi feels this allows patrons to order and dine more at their own pace. Additionally, the breakfast menu includes savory items because she herself is often dissatisfied with sugary options at coffee shops.

Originally from China, Ziyi spent time in Florida and later Manhattan before moving to Seattle with her husband. She says misses Manhattan but loves the urban environment here. The sleek and modern interior, both practical and intriguing shows she has brought some New York influences with her.

The interior of the Yellow Dot Cafe. From the Yellow Dot Cafe’s Facebook page

Why the “Yellow Dot” cafe? Ziyi says that when she first moved to the United States certain business names were difficult to remember and she wanted to avoid that. She wanted a name that was east to remember, happy, and simple much like her cafe.

The Fremont location of the Yellow Dot Cafe is also unique in that it provides dinner options, staying open until 8:00PM and offering beer and wine. Menu items range from $5-10 and include wraps, sandwiches, salads, and of course, burritos! Happy Hour is from 3PM until close and features $4 beers and $5 BBQ Sliders.

More information about the Yellow Dot Cafe’s Menu and hours can be found here. The cafe regularly posts the Soup of the Day on their Facebook page as well.

Although it’s somewhat belated, Welcome to Fremont Yellow Dot Cafe!

The Yellow Dot Cafe’s new outdoor seating area. Image from Yellow Dot Cafe’s Facebook page.

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It’s Time for the Fremont Troll Stroll!

April 10th, 2014 by master

Of course Trolls stroll! And so should you! The 13th Annual Troll Stroll takes place this Saturday April 12th from 1:00-5:00PM throughout the Fremont Neighborhood.

What does this Troll Stroll entail? Besides a fabulous rhyme, it also supports The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, while participants get to enjoy some sipping and tasting their way through Fremont. That’s right, as participants stroll about the Center of Universe they get to do a Fremonster’s favorite activity: eating and drinking.

Remember, this is consumption for a cause! The event benefits The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, whose focus is searching for a cure to this disease which affects approximately 30,000 people in the United States.

“Cystic fibrosis (CF) is a life-threatening, genetic disease that primarily affects the lungs and digestive system. People with CF inherit a defective gene that causes a buildup of thick mucus in the lungs, pancreas and other organs.” – from

While research and new developments have increased the life expectancy for those with Cystic fibrosis there is still much to be done. So this Saturday do what you can, have a drink, and raise awareness!

Today is the last day to register at the $45 price ($60 day of) or there is the option for VIP Check-In for $75 ($20 tax deductible). Participants receive a drink ticket for each participating bar and select appetizers will be available as well.

Participating locations include:

Nectar Lounge
Norm’s Eatery and Alehouse
The Dubliner
High Dive
Nickerson Street Saloon
Red Star Taco Bar
9 Million in Unmarked Bills
The Red Door
LTD Bar & Grill
The George & Dragon Pub

Fremont Troll Stroll


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Some Fun Fremont Bridge Facts!

April 9th, 2014 by master

There are other bridges out there, other Fremont bridges in fact, but the history, color combo, and operation of our Fremont Bridge adds up unlike any other. Of course its unique, its Fremont!

The bridge raises an average of 35 times a day

The Fremont Bridge opened on June 15, 1917 (it’s 97!) and the centennial is not that far off. The blue and orange paint job was chosen by a 1985 poll by Fremont residents and facilitated by the Fremont Arts Council. Below the surface, the Fremont Bridge had some serious maintenance done starting in 2006. It was a $41.6 million restoration to be specific, with the final tests conducted in 2008.

Pedestrians, cars, buses, trucks, motorcycles, bikes, and boats. Every day the Fremont Bridge sees it all. The bridge crosses the Fremont Cut, part of the Lake Washington Ship canal, which is part of several inter-connected bodies of water linking Lake Washington to the Ballard Locks and through the Locks, the Puget Sound.

It is a “double-leaf bascule bridge” yes, we had to look that one up. For the casual observer it is essentially a drawbridge and opens in the center. What the casual observer may not see but might appreciate knowing is that it is opened with a weighted system using huge concrete weights and minimal motor power. Oh and there is someone up there in that tower! The bridgetender!

While it’s obviously shorter than the neighboring Aurora Bridge, by any standards the Fremont Bridge is not very tall at all. The clearance below the bridge is only 30 feet! This means any sailboat with a mast taller than that has to signal (one long horn, one short horn) and request the bridge be raised.

For obvious reasons the bridge isn’t raised from 7-9AM and 4-6PM. However, it is still very frequently raised, sometimes as often as 35 times a day. Often times the Fremont Bridge is referred to as one of the busiest drawbridges in the U.S. or even the world. Since we don’t have the data to back that up we’ll just say it is a VERY busy bridge.

Some other fun bridge facts:

The Bicycle Counter is Seattle’s first bicycle counter and came to be through the efforts of the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) and the Cascade Bicycle Club. It is located on the Northwest side of the bridge and greets cyclist and pedestrians alike with the count of how many bicycles have cross the bridge for the current day and over the current year. Bonus: The data collected by the bike counter is presented with Tableau software, a Fremont-based tech company!

Rapunzel, Rapunzel! Let the bridge down! Oh…wait a minute…

Located in the Northwest tower of the Fremont Bridge Rapunzel stands out just above the Bicycle Counter and enlivens our imaginations as we pass by. The artist, Rodman Miller, is a Fremonster and had a hand in much of the art that characterizes Fremont. Be sure to wave Rapunzel a “hello” next time you go by! It looks rather lonely up there.

Image courtesy of

Image courtesy of

The Elephant and the Alligator located in the Northeast tower of the bridge is based on a tale from Just So Stories For Little Children by Rudyard Kipling, the author of The Jungle Book. The scene depicted here is from “How the Elephant Got His Trunk.” (Hint: the alligator tugs on it!) This is another neon installation by local artist Rodman Miller.

Image courtesy of

Image courtesy of

More information about these two neon installations can be found in the Fremocentrist’s Public Art Inventory.

So next time you find yourself crossing the Fremont Bridge, take a look around and consider just how old, colorful, well-functioning, and quirky that bridge is!

Also, an interesting piece from the Seattle Times archives by Connie McDougall which includes the bridgetenders’ perspective.

Sources from SDOT, the Seattle Times, and the City of Seattle.

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Poetry Reading Tonight at the Fremont Library

April 7th, 2014 by master

April is recognized as National Poetry Month by the Academy of American Poets and with spring in the air it seems the perfect time for Fremonsters to embrace their inner poet.

This evening from 6:30-7:45 pm the Fremont Library will host An Evening of Poetry featuring Sylvia Byrne Pollack, Jennifer Bullis, and Michael Schmeltzer.

An Evening of Poetry is a quarterly event series hosted by Seattle Public Libraries where local poets read from their work and discuss poetry with the audience. Tonight’s event is presented in partnership with Floating Bridge Press, a local non-profit focused on recognizing and promoting the work of Washington State’s poets.

Don’t let National Poetry Month end this evening! Check out 4Culture’s Poetry Bus program or the Academy of American Poet’s list of 30 ways to celebrate National Poetry Month.

Fancy yourself a poet? Send us your Fremont inspired poetry by Friday April 18th and you could be featured on the blog! Email us at

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Check out Fremont Universe on Instagram!

April 4th, 2014 by master

While we are all about words here at Fremont Universe sometimes in Fremont you need to see it to believe it! Check out Fremont Universe’s new Instagram for all the wonderful things, big and small, in Fremont we want to share with you.

Hey #Rapunzel I dig your long locks #publicart #fluorescent #Fremont
Have a photo you’d like us to share? Send it our way at with the appropriate photo credit. And heck, while we’re at it #fremontuniverse

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