Friday, April 23, 2010

Some of Seattle's Finest

Although we haven't been to these spots on this trip to Seattle, here are some places worth mentioning that we've visited in the past.

If you ever have some time, you should really drop by the Fremont area, a quirky, touristy, artsy neighborhood of Seattle. They consider themselves the center of the universe. Throughout the several blocks you'll see odd signs like, "Set your watch ahead five minutes", "Set your watch back five minutes" and "Throw your watch away." (1)

This is the famous "Fremont Bridge Troll" (although the bridge he is under is really called the Aurora Bridge). This big guy is 18 feet tall and weighs 2 tons, made of concrete, back in 1989. He is clutching a Volkswagen Beetle in one hand.

Last year some idiots tagged Mr. Troll with graffiti. The paint didn't come off so more concrete was slathered over the statue to cover up the paint.

Photo courtesy of

Here's a quirky statue called, "Waiting for the Interurban." They are six cast aluminum figures that include a dog that are waiting for a bus that never comes. So, you might think, "Oh, that's nice. Look at that statue/sculpture." Well, it's become a comedy relief icon. People come by and dress up the statues, put signs around their necks. "Happy Birthday, John!" or whatever! They may be wearing leis, or party hats or whatever.

They even have a 16-foot bronze statue of Lenin in the neighborhood, thanks to Lewis Carpenter. The statue was first erected in Slovakia in 1988, and torn down the following year at the end of the Soviet Empire. Lewis Carpenter was teaching in the area at the time, mortgaged his house to buy the statue and brought it back to Fremont.

Leaving the Fremont area, next is the Olympic Sculpture Garden, part of the Seattle Art Museum, which has wonderful, sometimes eclectic, sculptures. The garden is free to walk through. I recommend you take a gander.

How many of you can remember what this is? Before computers. I used a few of these in my time! "Typewriter Eraser" by Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen

Eyeball these "Eye Benches I" by Louise Bourgeois.

This is called "Wake" by Richard Serra.

I'm not sure what this sculpture was titled, so I'm just going with, "Rusty Tall Sculptures." It must have been part of a temporary exhibit because it is no longer there. Or, at least it's not listed as part of the park's exhisting permanent collection. These are very tall structures, maybe 12-15 feet. I'm taking the photo from up on the hill, looking down on the sculptures.

Walking down the street, I saw these garbage cans planted with tulips. Who knew garbage cans could be so pretty?

(1) Wikipedia - Fremont, Seattle


Steven Anthony said...

what wonderful art....the idiots who defaced the troll should be sent off to an island alone! my favorite is wave...breathtaking

;) as always thanx for the view

SquirrelQueen said...

What amazing sculptures. I remember those typewriter erasers, that is cool. And the troll, that is a fantastic piece. Not to wander under that bridge at night if you don't know its there.

Nancy said...

I love Seattle. Portland also has art strewn about the city. In fact there is a contest with big pieces in Lake Oswego each year, with one piece winning a place on the street.

Betty said...

Awww, that is so interesting art!
Thanks for sharing,Pat.
Wishing you a great weekend!
Betty xx

Brian Miller said...

great stuff...been way too long since i was in the art! have a wonderful weekend!

A New England Life said...

The trash cans still look like trash cans to me. Maybe I just can't appreciate art ; )

Quite an eclectic place. Sad to see the bridge troll being marked up but I imagine it's happened before too. LOL to the typewriter eraser! Isn't that something!

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

OK. Now I officially miss Seattle. Next time we're back in the Northwest, we are staying there for a week.

Bon'O said...

Memories of graduating from SPU, just across the canal from Fremont☺.

Will you still be in/around Seattle for Opening Day of boating season, Pat? Would love to see you get shots from the I-90 lid park on Mercer Island (my home turf of 20 yrs.), or watching the 'crazy' opening day boaters go through the (Ballard) Hiram M. Chittenden Locks...super photo opp!

Gail said...


WhisperingWriter said...

Interesting art, that's for sure.

Jientje said...

I love the "canned" tulips!