Scene on the sidewalk

The shifting sands of time have stirred up several spots in our streetscape here in Fremont. "Good, bad or indifferent," as my mom would say, these small changes can cause major ripples in daily life.

Frank & Dunya

Word that Frank & Dunya sold hit me like a blow to the solar plexus. I love the little shop and recommend it highly when friends need a rare, unusual, artistic but classy gift.

Emiliya Lane, the new owner (as of July 1) promised to keep it "all the same, plus new stuff." She's kept the name, since it has served well for 17 years, and the description - fine art, fun art, folk art - with the addition of global art.

Gypsy Trader

And then, as I wandered up Stone Way, I thought I had double vision. Gypsy Trader (3517 & 3510 Stone Way N.) has signs posted on both sides of the street.

Paula Baker, who owns the shops with her husband, Greg, described their new, second store on the east side of Stone as a coffee shop (Gypsy Java) and home store/gourmet kitchen shop.

Paula admitted, "We're very happy, but it's lots of work!"

She's also excited about expansion of the consignment gift and clothing lines in their original shop on the west side of the street.

Another favorite saying of my mom's is "bloom where you are planted." Although I doubt flowers have a choice, I've been thrilled to see my neighbors stay and thrive right here.


Pontevecchio (710 N. 34th St.), the incredibly delicious, gourmet Italian restaurant across the street from the Interurban statue, also has begun to expand. Signs cover their windows and list sidewalk dining, bistro lunches and romantic dinners coming this month, once they remodel. Increased square footage could make reservations there a little easier to come by - and maybe even I can get in occasionally.

Unfortunately, this expansion displaced their neighbor of nine years, Dandelion Botanical Co. (5424 Ballard Ave. N.W.). The natural apothecary shop sells aromatherapy and body care supplies in Ballard now.

Co-owner Mary Kachi Cassinelli said she "didn't want to leave," but their lease ended and while they looked for space in Fremont, nothing worked.

Mary gushes about the new space in a 100-year-old building with wood floors and high ceilings and supportive neighbors that include acupuncture, healing arts and a Sunday Market.

"It's an interesting mix," Mary told me. "It's a good, strong community."

I'm unhappy to see Dandelion move on, but I'm elated by Mary's excitement and enthusiasm for her new home.

Fusion Beads

Fusion Beads (3830 Stone Way N.), recently relocated from west Fremont to east Fremont (technically from Ballard to Wallingford). When I asked the owner, Mari, about her choice of locations, she admitted that she didn't want to go far; the needed parking and the increased space (up to 5,000 square feet from 2,000) decided for her.

She nearly broke my heart when she said that the neighborhood didn't come into her decision. From the location on Stone, she feels just as close to North 45th Street and Wallingford Avenue North as to North 35th Street and Fremont Avenue North.

I love beading, and I feel lucky at the continual patience of Fusion Beads' staff in answering my incredibly silly questions. In the new, more spacious and open shop, the staff gained more counter space on which to explain or spread out a customer's order.

It wouldn't help me. As a craftsperson, I have no innate talent. When I tried to whine to Mari, she gave me little sympathy. "Take a class," she advised.

Fusion Beads probably holds the current title as the largest bead store in Seattle.

It also offers a comprehensive calendar of classes. Beginning classes focus on technique and give a novice a little knowledge of everything in just three hours for $25. More project-oriented intermediate and advanced classes take place several times a week.

Display cabinets in the shop show examples of pieces made in each class.

Guest instructors fly in regularly to teach special classes over the course of several days.

I guess I could take a class, rather than simply despairing over my lack of talent. I guess I could even go all the way to Ballard to pick up my fragrant soaps and oils.

My least favorite of all my mom's sayings is, "It'll build character!" She only uses it when I'm trying to resist change. OK, Mother, if Fremont can grow, maybe I will, too.

Kirby Lindsay wanders aimlessly around Fremont as a cheap form of entertainment. She welcomes your comments at

[[In-content Ad]]