This has been a banner year for First Hill. The neighborhood has never made it past the Sweet Sixteen and wasn’t even seeded last year—but a record number of nominations, more than any other neighborhood by a landslide, earned them a fourth seed spot this year.
They’ve lived up to that ranking so far. Their biggest week in this competition to date was last week, when they defeated Capitol Hill in the Elite Eight. That’s a big deal for First Hill, which is still sometimes categorized as “Capitol Hill” on Craigslist apartment listings. It helps prove what those in the neighborhood seem to already know: It stands on its own.
Here’s how they made a name for themselves in 2017: Its residents have embraced growth and all their neighbors, regularly showing up to testify and write letters in favor of low-income developments and shelters in the area. Neighborhood events like a dog show, outdoor movies, and a BINGO game keep things fun. But older, popular spots have stuck around, like the groundbreaking brutalist design of Freeway Park, the cozy and possibly haunted fireside lounge at the Sorrento, and church-turned-cultural-center Town Hall.
Fremont has its own share of community events, dating back decades, from annual draws like the Solstice Parade and Oktoberfest to the weekly Fremont Sunday Market.
Despite significant poshing-up in recent years, it remains a neighborhood designed by artists and makers. Theaters like West of Lenin and Atlas are nestled among little boutiques, like French lingerie purveyor Bellefleur and small designer destination Show Pony.
It’s also, as we’ve mentioned in pretty much every one of Fremont’s polls, one of Seattle’s most notorious public art destinations, both deliberate and accidental. The Fremont Troll and “Waiting for the Interurban” are Seattle classics. The giant Vladimir Lenin statue is one extremely visible example, and is beloved by many and reviled by others—and its accidental history is something that could pretty much only happen in Fremont.
Its location is also choice, running along a stretch of water, the Fremont Cut, lined by the Burke Gilman Trail.
Which neighborhood should advance this week? This poll closes Thursday, December 28 at 11:15, so get those votes in. (Not seeing the poll? Try exiting Apple News or Google Amp.)