Bremerton For The Boorish

Your mother would cry if she saw what you’ve become.

The Seattle Times published a story Thursday about the sight-seeing potential of downtown Bremerton, which includes an action-packed itinerary for day-trippers.

Bremerton has much to offer the casual tourist, unlike like other Times day travel stories, “Take A Chill At The Strip Malls of the Kent East Hill” and “Getaway To The Underpasses of Spanaway.”

If you’re a well-adjusted sight-seer from Seattle, the Bremerton Beat recommends following the Times’ minute-by-minute itinerary for catching this city-on-the-move, all tore up and verging on nine months of rainy gloom.

But if you are a maladjusted jerk from Seattle, we here at the Bremerton Beat have crafted an itinerary to make your Kitsap experience complete.

8:45 a.m. – Curious, yet not curious enough to ask yourself, “Isn’t there anything better I could do with my day?” you decide to ride the ferry to God’s county on the other side of the Puget Sound. The longest ferry ride is to Bremerton, which sparkles like a concrete jewel in the forest. “Why not?” You ask yourself, in a rare moment of self-reflection. However, you fail to answer your own question and disembark for foreign sands.

10:30 a.m. – Arrive in Bremerton late after the aging ferry springs a leak when scraping against an underwater mountain range of old television sets. They were dumped there when Bainbridge Island bought flat screens en masse. Be put at ease by the disembodied voice booming over the ferry PA system, “There is no need for concern.”

10:35 a.m. – “Exit the ferry terminal and walk straight ahead to Washington Avenue” and buy a 99-cent tall boy of cheap, powerful beer at the convenience store between two bars. You can’t miss it, those two bars and that seedy convenience store are the first two things you’ll see.*

10:37 a.m. – Buy another. It’s going to be a long day.

10:40 a.m. – Now you’ve done it. Your day is ruined. You’re drunk in public and it’s not even noon. You should be ashamed of yourself.

10:42 a.m. – If the weather is nice, go to the Harborside Fountain Park. Ignore the fences and no trespassing signs around you. Watch the fountain, take in your surroundings and get in touch with your inner bully. Find a child, or an adult smaller than you, and shove them into the water.

11:10 a.m. – Leave quickly, you fool! The police have probably been called, you just assaulted a child! But as you flee, observe how the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard “dominates the skyline.” Lay low in one of Bremerton’s many historic parking lots. Hiding in some bushes is encouraged.

12:09 p.m. – You’ve sobered up, but not so much that you can think clearly. Hang around the Bremerton Harborside and encourage the people you meet to complain. They can complain about the fact that downtown is tore up with construction projects, or that more of downtown isn’t being torn up, or they could take a different angle and complain that Port Orchard is getting ripped off for being forced to support the tearing up of things. If you can’t find anyone with something to complain about, do some complaining yourself. Here’s a good one: complain that the Kitsap Sun’s Bremerton reporter is lame and more interested in writing low-rent blog items than responsible journalism.

1:00 p.m. – Dodge the swift current of cars racing off the ferry. Then dodge cars leaving the shipyard at shift change. Trespass into construction sites and dodge heavy machinery. Dodge the overly-cautious construction workers trying to ruin your fun. Make a game out of it. For every car you dodge, you get 10 points. For every car that hits you, subtract two points. If you are run over by a bulldozer, subtract five points.

2:06 p.m. – Get a hot dog at one of the stands near the ferry terminal, drink a coffee at Calvary Chapel’s espresso bar and also at Fraiche Cup Espresso and Gallery. Hit the Puget Sound Navy Museum, the Downtown Arts District, the Aurora Valentinetti Puppet Museum, the Kitsap County Historical Society Museum, climb aboard the USS Turner Joy and take a shot of Jagermeister at the Boat Shed in Manette. Do everything the squares would do, only make off-color remarks to the employees while doing it. Remember, you are from Seattle and Wherever-This-Is could benefit from hearing about how things get done back home.

2:17 p.m. – Skip the foot ferry to Port Orchard and instead get arrested by a Bremerton police officer. Take a scenic, and free, drive around Sinclair Inlet through cheerful Gorst to the county jail in Port Orchard. Don’t worry about staying silent with your new Bremerton friend. Chat them up. Here’s a conversation starter: they might not know about each and every illegal thing you’ve done during your visit, so tell them. And don’t forget to remind the officer that YOU have rights and pay THEIR salary. They love that.

An Undetermined Time Later – Bail out of jail after making several new friends. It’s just $500,000, pocket change for you, a 45-year-old Microsoft retiree. Walk down to Bay Street, “where there’s an assortment of bail-bond businesses, bars, (and) antique shops,” and other places where you might find a child begging, or something. But make sure you are out of Port Orchard by sundown. That’s when the Others emerge from the shadows to prey on the infirm.

What’s the time? – Ride the foot ferry back to Bremerton. Contemplate the view while informing fellow passengers that you just bailed out of jail. Make it painfully clear.

Shortly after that – Arrive in Bremerton and head for the 7-Eleven at Park Avenue and Sixth Street. This is a Bremerton after-hours favorite, a great place to meet new and interesting people and then fistfight them. Select from the store’s virtually complete selection of inexpensive wines. They have it all, from the MD 20/20 of your youth, to the more sophisticated and bountiful Night Train, to the Dom Perignon of fortified wines, Boone’s Farm.

Within 20 minutes – Pass out in one of the many vacant lots behind the “Sev,” as it is known.

??? – Wake up. Your wallet is gone and your freezing cold, but you’re alive. Luckily, the trip back to Seattle is free. Unluckily, it’s the last ferry for the day, so you better get going.

Late – Safely aboard the ferry, recall your day’s adventures fondly. Wave goodbye to Bremerton. “I’ll be back,” you think to yourself, wanting nothing more than the hot tub in your Belltown condo. “Once I get a summons to appear in court, I’ll be back.”

*I spoke too soon. That convenience store is gone. The one with the 99-cent beers. Now there are only two bars.

6 thoughts on “Bremerton For The Boorish

  1. You forgot to mention the bicycle commuter benefits act has passed giving the excited visitor from Seattle some sort of write off if s/he rides her trike to the shipyard. Not sure what the benefits are, exactly, but a good pedaling reporter can tell us.

    “….“We are delighted that the bicycle commuter benefits act has passed after a lengthy and persistent campaign spearheaded by Congressman Earl Blumenauer (D-OR),” said League President Andy Clarke. “Bicycle commuters will now be extended similar benefits to people who take transit and drive to work – it’s an equitable and sensible incentive to encourage greater energy independence, improve air quality and health, and even help tackle climate change. Thanks to everyone who has helped reach this milestone, especially Walter Finch and Mele Williams, our government relations staff over the years who have worked tirelessly with Congressman Blumenauer, Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) and many others in Congress.” Thanks also to all of you around the country who have contacted your congressional leaders over the years. Keep checking back at as we work on the implementation process….”

  2. I think Poulsbo has a great welcoming look on her waterfront and plenty of interesting small stores well worth ambling through.

    Bremerton’s best face for the visitors getting off the ferry are – what?…two taverns and convenience store. And goes downhill after that….except the little park across from the taverns, a great place for the drunks to sleep it off between beers.

    I wonder how many of the tavern drunks stumble over to the park and around town whimpering “we won! we won!”
    Too bad Bremerton…you lose to the drunks….PO loses too.

    The happy visitors to Bremerton would have spilled over to the PO foot ferry expecting wonderful visitor attractions there too. Not now.

    A walk across the bridge to Manette might have been a great side trip too…but while The Manette Neighborhood Coalition is a great organization, a few strident discontents spoiled what should have been a informational meeting to discuss controlled growth. Manette could have become a charming ‘village’ type shopping area…a super place for businesses, families and community.


  3. Bremerton is what it is, no matter how much money is thrown at it.

    The kind of change you’re looking for is decades away, may as well pull out your violin and make a real show of it.

  4. Evergreen Park is a nice destination. On Thursdays you can go to the Farmer’s Market from 4pm to 7pm. Or stop in the 2nd Park Cafe and see how Robert is coming along with his new venture. That would be a good spot for pre-game “pep rallies” when the Kitsap ???? soccer team starts its season. Close to the stadium.

  5. Evergreen Park IS a nice destination, Karen…and imagining the boardwalk between downtown and Evergreen Park for cycling, pedestrians was fun. Stinky trucks – not any motorized vehicle should have been allowed to spoil the otherwise perfect nature path over our waterway and along the shore.

    The boardwalk would have been a super opportunity to show children marine life up close and personal…especially important now that the condo buildings have hogged up the downtown waterfront.

    Bremerton should have an area for bike racing and bike acrobatics too…if there is room.

    An area for showcasing unwanted pets for adoption…allowing the children to interact with them would be fun and productive whether the children were able to take a pet home or not, the pets and children could play together.

    Bremerton has plans for a dog park…why not a dog park to include Kitsap County unwanted pets?

    Many kids need the positive affection a pet gives naturally…so put unwanted kids and lonely children together in a park setting. Such a thing might well save community dollars as the child finds acceptance and love before they would get involved with drugs and drugging themselves into oblivion.

    The prison inmate training service dogs have proved to be a positive match, a valuable relationship for the inmate and dog and the dogs special needs eventual owner.

    Why not begin such relationships before prison and .give the kids the opportunity to form attachments…before they trap themselves with the drugs?

    The Kitsap County Humane Society could oversee the Pet, Children and Elder Park. The ‘iffy’ dogs – the ones cruelly treated and reactive – couldn’t go to such a facility…but most of the pets are still friendly and loving…just what some kids and seniors need.
    Such a facility would have volunteers stumbling over themselves to help out and offer their valuable time for an important outcome. Kids and dogs… Why not?

    If a drum roll will do as well as violin strings, John – I’ll get mine out now.
    Sharon O’Hara

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