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And not everybody is happy about that! You can see bumper stickers and t-shirs that read "FREE BALLARD," or "Visualize Ballard." All in good fun, though. This bust of Leif Erikson sits in front of the Sons of Norway's Leif Erikson Hall in the Ballard neighborhood of Seattle , Ballard was an independent city just over the northern border of Seattle until it was annexed to Seattle in 1907. Those that settled Ballard were primarily northern Europeans who made their livelihood from the fishing and boat building industries. One can still hear Norwegian, Swedish, and Finnish spoken in the streets and in shops. The flags of Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, and Iceland all fly throughout the neighborhood, and the Nordic Heritage Museum is located there. Ballard has seen rapid gentrification of it's historic shopping district in the past few years. There are several music clubs and lots of restaurants and specialty bars that make it a very popular destination for nightlife. But most of Ballard is made up of quiet residential streets, parks, and schools. There are a couple of exotic dance places on the main avenue that cuts through the area and there are taverns and chili dives to counter balance the fine cuisine of it's famed seafood restaurants near the large marina at Shilshole Bay. The Chittendon Locks take boats from the Puget Sound to the level of Salmon Bay and Lake Union, linking the salt and fresh water bodies through the long ship canal that forms Ballard's southern border. Puget Sound is on the west and north, and Phinney Ridge forms the eastern edge of this neighborhood.