Ampersands & Ampersands

The stewardess was giving me sharp, directed looks to turn off my iPod – but I was torn between disturbing her authority and finishing Ray LaMontagne’s new album. His music is an enchanted wood, but a dirty wood – maybe somewhere between Grangeville & Knoxville.

And the thing I couldn’t get over was the ampersand (&). The title is : God Willing & the Creek Don't Rise.

But this is not about the music. This is about the album title - the AMPERSAND.

Nothing says “I’m starting a cool business,” “opening a trendy restaurant,” or making stylin’ music” like an ampersand (&). It’s a ticket to the inside track.

Think about it, just here in Seattle:

- Needle & Thread (pre-prohibition upstairs room of Tavern Law that serves cocktails out of this vast array of bowl-style champagne glasses)

- Emmer & Rye

- Sway & Cake (Malibu-like boutique on 5th)

- Anchovies & Olives (another of Ethan Stowell’s babies on Capitol Hill)

- Flora & Henri (magical children’s boutique with Pima cotton folded like cacoons on the displays)

- The Walrus & the Carpenter (new oyster bar in Ballard)

A majority of the new Melrose Market:

Sitka & Spruce (ok, their bar just uses the apostrophe: Bar Ferd’nand)

Marigold & Mint

Calf & Kid

Anyway, you get the idea.

The Ampersand (&) really is this swirling bit of magic - so much better looking that the word “and” all spelled out to be exposed to the next thought.

I like it because it implies that there’s a tension going on. It’s not all just black, or white – it’s Black & White. There’s more than one story; it’s multi-dimensional. I also like it because when I bought my grandma’s 1996 Forest Green GMC Jimmy for college, she gave me an Ampersand (&) keychain that I’ve kept ever sense. Grandma & Me.


  1. I have never really thought about this but its so true. It's such a trendy piece of punctuation!

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  3. i love this, and i can't wait to see how this evolves for you as you attend mhgs. one of the biggest things they always say (and damn them, it's so TRUE) is that most things in life are BOTH/&. it's like the super-ampersand of concepts. i.e. - a moment is both sour & sweet. a process is both ugly & beautiful. a statement is both true & false. the real problem here is both yours & mine. i am both an evangelist & a liberal. this blog post is both whimsical & profound. (you get the picture.)

    SO GLAD YOU'RE IN THIS WITH ME. i love you.

  4. Great post! So true!

    What's the font of the ampersand at the end of the first row, top right?

  5. Awesome post! Thanks! P.S. I'm using the ampersand I found in your post in my wedding invitation! :)