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Preview: Vexed in the City: Art and other urban affairs

Vexed in the City: Art and other urban affairs

Leah Baltus, the founding editor-in-chief of Seattle-based Rivet Magazine, navigates cultural phenomena from pop to politics, untangling a perplexing and poetic world where style has substance.

Last Build Date: Fri, 11 Feb 2011 18:55:13 +0000


Just in the nick of time.

Wed, 31 Jan 2007 17:29:00 +0000

It's been a busy, blogless month. A whirlwind of good stuff. The kinds of days that bear a profound sense of change, as if the clutch's engaged and the gears are turning. Stars aligning for a shocking splash of kismet.

2006, curtain.

Sat, 30 Dec 2006 10:36:00 +0000

With the year coming around its final bend, breaking into a sprint, racing to the finish line, impending celebration, champagne, I could not bear to stay in Seattle for New Year's Eve. I wasn't in the mood to manage the party scene (which always seems so promising and, at least in my case, always ends up so disappointing) and I had zero desire to sequester my revelry in some wilderness cabin. I wanted something unpredictable, something over the top, something fun. I desperately needed a high-intensity injection of perspective--so I bought a ticket to Los Angeles.

The Rapture: People Don’t Dance No More

Tue, 12 Dec 2006 17:59:00 +0000

I'm not sure what can appropriately follow a month of biblical precipitation. But, according to my friend Chris, who recently and successfully traded his graphic design skills for a ghostbuster visit to his basement, last Saturday's solar flare is a decent guess. Three cheers for last week being over. May we not revisit it.

The Knot Thickens

Sun, 26 Nov 2006 17:23:00 +0000

Today, as the big, fat snowflakes began to fall, I had just stepped out of Sonic Boom. (Purchased: TV on the Radio and PJ Harvey's Peel Sessions; narrowly resisted: Sufjan Stevens' new Christmas collection) and was making my way toward Victrola, where I scored a seat at the counter and dove headlong into the last 60 pages of On Beauty. They were gorgeous. My heart feels fuller because of that book.

Over the River

Tue, 21 Nov 2006 08:35:00 +0000

Returning to the not-remotely-snowy Midwest for Thanksgiving yesterday, I really could not contain my astonishment. Modern American air travel is whack. Period.

Notes From Underground

Sun, 12 Nov 2006 16:24:00 +0000

Okay, let's review: I've been holed up for almost three full weeks, devouring no less than 32 episodes of Entourage, 12 of which I downloaded illegally, trying to get SOMETHING out of my system in between a slew of messy drunken benders, during which I lost or destroyed three articles of clothing and failed to even flirt genuinely with a single individual. Meanwhile, my blog is wasting away in the hallows of CMS hell, hiding from the jackasses who love to hate me for trying. I'm broke as f***, still caught in the shadow of my ex semi-boyfriend and wondering if I ever should have left LA... Yeah, let's review.

Hitting the Nail on the Head

Fri, 03 Nov 2006 05:32:00 +0000

Having taken the month of October off blogging almost entirely to preserve my sanity (which was very tightly squeezed between Jobs A & B for a while there), I thought I'd ease my way back in with this inspiring Tom Friedman column. Every once and a while a writer just nails it, says something so sharp and so true that all you can do is broadcast it... This comes from today's NYT.

Because all ships rise.

Wed, 18 Oct 2006 17:45:00 +0000

Right now, at the corner of Elliott and Broad, a 19-foot-tall typewriter eraser is hanging off the side of the road. Nearby, a sweeping staircase climbs from the waterfront toward a tinted glass bridge that crosses the Burlington Northern train tracks. And ahead, at the top of the hill, Calder's majestic Eagle sits perched on the bias, silhouetted in the falling light. This is the Olympic Sculpture Park, coming into bloom.

A Useful Linguistic Invention

Sun, 24 Sep 2006 16:51:00 +0000

When I was in college, I had a professor who claimed his life's ambition was to invent a word so that his legacy would carry on in the English lexicon. (Incidentally, this man wore a bow tie every single day and I once spotted him at the gas station standing beside the pump, reading a book as he filled his tank.)

This is Your Life on Television

Sun, 17 Sep 2006 18:54:00 +0000

During an entirely unpleasant bout with some kind of nasty virus last week, I spent an inordinate amount of time lying on the couch watching TV. I checked out Katie Couric for myself. I absorbed commercial after commercial for the swath of upcoming season premiers. And I watched more detective shows in about four days than I've seen in the last six months combined.

Goodbye Rockstar, Hello Saturn

Thu, 07 Sep 2006 18:24:00 +0000

On the heels of a beautiful wedding weekend for two friends, there it was: my birthday. Hanging in the air for just a moment like some sick carnival ride designed to scare the @#$% out of you and make you want to vomit all at the same time.

Seattle v. NYC

Sun, 27 Aug 2006 18:25:00 +0000

Lately not a day goes by without some sort of reference to New York as the inevitable future, the eventual destination, a geographical aspiration and an end-all be-all for my artist friends. One by one, they head east, chasing dreams and degrees – in search of a satisfying kind of success that Seattle seems unable to provide.

I Heart Graffiti Art

Tue, 15 Aug 2006 18:56:00 +0000

As anyone who lives on Capitol Hill can attest, graffiti is on the rise. Haphazard tags stretched across construction fencing. Irreverent stickers slapped onto the bus stop. Bizarre little stencils dotting the sidewalk. And, thanks to my friend Diana, some of our local USPS mailboxes are sporting itty-bitty legwarmers.

Or, a Dance Party in the Woods

Sun, 06 Aug 2006 17:25:00 +0000

When I first came to Seattle, I made an inaugural trip to REI, where I bought a sleeping bag for my very first Northwest camping trip: a dance party in the woods.

Blue angels? Blue devils.

Sat, 05 Aug 2006 09:17:00 +0000

Right now the sky is roaring with air traffic. Murphy is hiding under the bed. My apartment is shaking.