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Another Portland Blog

Monday, November 29, 2004

 

Commie Week # 1

While I was in Seattle over the weekend, I made a pit stop in the city's trendy Freemont neighborhood, north of downtown. With its bookstores, cafes and coffee shops, it's a lot like Portland's Hawthorne district...if Hawthorne was overrun with communists (!!!).

Amidst all the quaintness and couples sipping latt├ęs, Freemont contains a good deal of Cold War-era relics. I took plenty of pictures so I hereby declare this Commie Week on Welcome to Blog. Everyday I'll be running a new shot of Freemont's not-so-subtle, socialist undercurrent.




This first one is of Freemont's lovable, huggable Vladimir Lenin statute. When I came across it on Saturday, it was splattered with pigeon poop. A concert-promo, partially torn off, was hanging on his chest like Superman's S. According to rumor, at 7 tons and 18 feet tall, it's the largest Lenin statue left in the world. Alongside the revolutionary are what appear to be rockets and flames.

According to what little info I could find on the internet, in 1989 Lewis Carpenter, an American working in Slovakia, found the statue lying face down after it was toppled in the revolution. He mortgaged his home and paid for shipping back to Washington. He was hoping to sell the sculpture but, apparently, no one was willing to buy it. Lenin is still up for grabs for the low, low price of $150,000.

I found enough material to warrant a feature on Freemont but I'm going to do this one in installments instead. Why, you ask? In the spirit of communism, each day of the week deserves a post instead of everything going into a single article. Moving along, here's another picture:




Maybe Lenin has a thing for the free market after all. I should have probably added a "Mmmmm...capitalist tacos" thought bubble.

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