Category Archives: Street Photography

Lenin — not John

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Yes, I know how John’s name is spelled but then there’d be no pun.

This 16 foot bronze statue of Vladimir Ilyich Lenin stands on a corner in Fremont. Anywhere else it would be controversial but here, in the original counter-culture center of Seattle, it’s just one more curiosity. It originally stood in Lenin Square in Poprad, Slovakia. After the dissolution of the Soviet Union it was sent to the scrap heap where it was bought by a Seattle artist who was teaching there at the time. He mortgaged his home to ship it here but he was killed in a car accident before he could find a permanent home for it.

It and other Fremont artworks are often dressed up for various festivities. During the annual Solstice Parade (where people ride bikes in the nude down the main street) it has been dressed up to look like John Lennon. During Gay Pride Week it has been dressed in drag. This and the fact that he is posed in front of a Masonic Lodge and a falafel shop would probably irk old Ilyich no end.
A note of interest to photographers: Fremont is the headquarters for Getty Images and Adobe Systems.

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Yes, We Have No Bananas.

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Fruit seller in an Ambalangoda market.

There are about two dozen banana varieties in Sri Lanka. Some are as small as my thumb and as sweet as candy. They grow wild around most of the island and are a ubiquitous snack food, appearing on practically every table top and counter in the country. The title of this post isn’t about the song of that name but about the South Asian practice of shaking the head “no” while saying “yes”. It still confuses me after all these years.