Switchplates

Jackie had not ever washed light switch covers, but now she was noticing them for the first time. She noticed they were dirty. She ran a finger over the off-white plastic and noticed her nails were dirty, too, and leaned against the wall and looked…

Ivory Christmas

It’s axiomatic the holidays are complicated. The 
combination of diminishing light, inclement weather, family entanglements, copious food, myriad booze and, oh yeah, religion, makes the real holiday miracle the fact we still often enjoy ourselves….

Those Damn Art Walks

I really like going out with non-artists on art walk nights. My brain has been flogged by art and art history and artspeak enough over the years that it’s easy to lose track of who’s making art for whom, why it matters, to whom it matters. Other…

(Un)frozen in Time: The Record at the Henry

Records are heavy, in every sense of the word.
Whether or not we are old enough to revel in nostalgia for their heyday as the dominant format for recorded music, vinyl records are intensely evocative objects. More than CDs—and certainly more than…

Public Ridicule: Seattle’s Golden Hour

It’s hard to hate in the Seattle Summertime. It’s too beautiful outside. The Seattleite’s natural defenses against joy and spontaneity break down and warm, alien feelings swarm the heart like a virus attacking a cell. It’s a Vitamin D rave up…

What Have I Done?

Last summer I pitched an idea for bringing the Intiman back to life. I wanted a collective, an army of masters—people I admired, who were angry and hungry for more, the disgruntled, the mischievous, the anxious and the energetic.

Public Ridicule: Nerd Pride

Hey nerd, let’s talk.
I bet you’re feeling pretty good about yourself, what with society’s near-total acquiescence to your emotionally stunted, morally simplistic brand of entertainment. I bet it feels like everything’s comin’ up nerd. Your…

Public Ridicule: Your Stupid Moustache

What’s with the novelty facial hair? When did this become a thing to do, festooning your upper lip like a Dr. Seuss landscape, like a cross-section of Coolio’s scalp? Am I on Pike Street, or did I just wander into the casting call for a Snidely…

Your Stupid Bike

Recumbent bicyclists. Have you seen these guys? Weaving through traffic in those ridiculous contraptions with their little safety-orange flags flapping knee-high to an SUV? Did the inventor of the recumbent bike think to himself, “I love biking, but…

B.C. (Before Coffee)

Special to Ampersand: a personal essay that remembers the early days of Starbucks and Howard Schultz, before rechargeable gift cards and the death of the Sonics. By Anonymous.
Illustration (detail) by Sean Alexander for City Arts.
I was one of the…

As It Should Be

If I have one ambition for the Seattle Erotic Art Festival, it’s to upend the notion that erotic art exists only for a fringe audience.
Art history shows us that the subject of sex has always been relevant: Bernini’s Ecstasy of St. Theresa,…