Sculpture Park Booty Call

Journalists don safety gear for a press preview of Seattle Art Museum's new outdoor wing.

A Walk in the Park

Journalists in rubber boots, hard hats, and orange safety vests tromped across the hot, dusty site of the future Olympic Sculpture Park earlier this week to watch the installation of a massive Richard Serra sculpture, Wake. The sun was blazing, and not a lick of grass or shade was in sight. But the location is so spectacular (with its sweeping views of Elliott Bay), it's not hard to imagine what it might be when it opens to the public this fall: a serene, welcoming oasis bordering the north end of downtown. Seattle Art Museum planners are doing everything they can to make the park accessible and functional: It'll be open most daylight hours (patrolled by 20 guards for safety) and full of bright, movable chairs for public use. At the press preview, Serra predicted the Oct. 28–29 opening of the sculpture park will be "a defining moment" for the city and the art world. For more park info, go to www.seattleartmuseum.org. LYNN JACOBSON

In the Money

There was a time when Seattle proper got all the good ink about livability, culture, climate, etc. Now, Bellevue leaves the rest of the metro area in the dust, turning up at No. 21 on Money magazine's annual list of the 100 best places to live. Fort Collins, Colo., is No. 1. To be fair, there aren't any big cities on the list these days. Money doesn't even consider cities with a population of more than 300,000. So the eligible places are suburbs, exurbs, and university towns like Ann Arbor (25th). There are a few "big" cities in small states, like Boise (eighth) and Portland, Maine (89th). Money's report goes well beyond picking the 100 best places, based on factors like affordability and culture. Every city of more than 50,000 people is listed with these criteria; see www.money.cnn.com to browse and compare. CHUCK TAYLOR

Seattle's Finest

Announced Friday, July 21, the winners of the fourth annual Mayor's Arts Awards, chosen from 80 nominees: Seattle Children's Theater, the second largest such theater in the country, and artistic director Linda Hartzell; Northwest Folklife and Michael J. Herschensohn, executive director since 1998; Rainier Vista Cambodian Youth Program; visual-arts family Michael Spafford, Elizabeth Sandvig (husband and wife), and Spike Mafford (son); musician/comedian Reggie Watts, and Gerard Schwarz, music director of the Seattle Symphony. The honor comes at an especially nice time for Schwarz, who's been dealing with no small amount of turmoil at SSO lately (go to www.seattleweekly.com/arts/blogs/postalley, click on Classical Music, and see "SSO Fracas"). All the award winners will be recognized at a public ceremony at Bumbershoot on Friday, Sept. 1 (see www.bumbershoot.org for festival info). GAVIN BORCHERT

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