In searching for god, the spirit, purpose and hope. Your Best Life Now.
A new piece in the works inspired by Elizabeth Parris…..
While in Iceland this summer I am taking photographs for the Grapevine Magazine. We just came out with the annual Best Of Reykjavik. It is always super fun to do this issue because one aspect of it involves getting together with a group of people and deciding the which places are best. This meeting is always super heated and full of debate. The most debated issue is probably the pizza. Everyone seems to be really into the pizza which is their favorite. Personally, while I do like pizza and burgers, it doesn’t matter to me who wins this contest. The ones that do well, don’t really need our support. My favorite thing about the Best Of Issue, is getting to put out there things that haven’t been talked about as much yet.
Here is my list of favorites and why:
Ísland – ice cream store is the best ice cream around. They sell Holtsel ice cream which is ice cream made on a farm in the north of the country. The flavors of the ice cream are unusual and include Licorice, beer flavor and many different fruit and chocolate flavors. They make a few flavors with skyr as the base and some with a yogurt base. All of them are delicious and have great creamy consistency. I would take their ice cream any day over the frozen yogurt fad. Also, I think it is a fantastic activity to walk from downtown out to their ice cream shop, while it may take a while, you can enjoy the summer light, get a walk through Miklatún, and also get some exercise to make up for the ice cream you are going to eat. Suðurver, Stigahlíð 45-47, 105 Reykjavík, Iceland
Frú Lauga – I am so glad to have this wonderful shop. They are a permanent farmer’s market. Open Tuesday – Saturday from noon. They sell almost everything that one could find if they traveled the country buying directly from the farms. All in one very quaint spot. The owners have the most wonderful smiles and their kind hearted spirit makes you want to only shop their to support them, their cause and all of the farmer’s in Iceland. I recommend stopping here to get some nice things to bring back to your family if you are a tourist. They leg of lamb from sheep who have only eaten certain herbs which hopefully infuses the meat with flavors you can’t find anywhere else. They are located near the Laugardaslaug Pool on Laugalæk 6, 105 Reykjavík, Iceland
Kaffismiðjan – this place is the best coffee shop in Reykjavik. Besides its delicious coffee, I love the atmosphere. The place is always bright because of their large windows and they have nice cozy furniture. I think this might be my favorite coffee shop in the world. It is also the closest to my house, which makes it even better. The owner has a wonderful thing going and deserves all the success she can get!
Dill – this is just the best restaurant in Reykjavik. Hands down. It is an expensive meal, but it is worth paying for if you want to sample some amazing food. The chef tries to use as much locally grown food as he can, and from there he reaches out to Scandinavia. Besides the quality of the food, the innovation of how he serves it and the things he combines is extraordinary. Furthermore, the location is really perfect. The entire restaurant overlooks a pond with birds flying about. If you go during sunset, you get to see the most amazing colors with the Reykjavik skyline hidden in the background. You almost feel like you aren’t in Reykjavik. Lastly, the service is very good, which is unusual for any restaurant in Iceland. I wish I had a photograph of the food to share, but this will have to do. The entire wall is a window offering this view. It’s extremely scenic!
Places I am excited to try that have opened in Reykjavik – it’s always nice to have new places!
Kex Hostel – I tried going to the bar, I loved how scenic it is, I also love how it is decorated. It reminds me of a place in Brooklyn. Lastly, I love that there is a place in Reykjavik who serves both tourists and locals alike.
Litla Bondabær – I don’t even know if this is the exact name. I can’t seem to find them on the web. It could be my poor Icelandic or maybe becuase they are so new, they haven’t had time to get a web presence. Anyway, web presence doesn’t matter too much if you have great food. This place is a small cafe and lunch spot and they are using as much local, organic foods that they can. As you can tell, I think that is pretty important. Supporting the local small farms should be a priority for people here in Iceland. Well, I haven’t tried this place, but everyone is raving about their British-style meat pies. They have a selection of baked goods that runs out rather quickly, and they do a bunch of stuff wheat free. Glad to have you guys on board! They are on Laugavegur not too far from Sandholt bakery, but across the street.
Laundromat – I just went here once. It has a great atmosphere for meeting a friend for a drink after work or in the early evening. This is a really refreshing addition to the nightlife here. I hope it remains clean, casual and laid back. We need more places that feel like hang-outs instead of crazy binge drinking party holes–we have enough of those.
I have others, but those will have to be for other posts and they have been mentioned plenty I am sure in the Grapevine!
Thank you Reykjavik! and thank you Reykjavik Grapevine!
I found these photographs connected to the previously posted article. They are really incredible to see. There are so many development projects like this one. There are parts of Reykjavik that look the same.
This article from the New York Times is incredible. It really describes the face of the housing market in the US.
-2.8 million homes received foreclosure notices last year
-home prices have fallen from $500,000 to $150,000
-United States is expected to add another 100 million people by 2050
This opinion column really describes the state of America in the post real estate boom years. It is an interesting contrast to Iceland. Even though Iceland is going through something so similar, the real estate boom in Iceland almost felt like their efforts to catch up with modern day times. On the contrary Iceland won’t be able to fill their housing as quickly as in somewhere like the US. Americans reproduce at a much higher rate than Iceland.
Both my dad and my Grandfather live at Cathedral Village in Philadelphia, PA. Here is a photograph of my grandfather.
I have not been posting due to my overwhelming need to learn Icelandic. In addition, I have been preparing for a show about the identity of the city of Reykjavik. It involves 9 artists showing work in a few mediums about the status of Reykjavik before and after the fall of the economy.
As for learning Icelandic, it has been a struggle. I finally enrolled at the University of Iceland, where I have to show my face four times a week, sometimes as early as 8:20 in the morning to listen to teachers ramble on in Icelandic. I can only follow if I am awake, excited and totally focused. This is quite a challenge. Besides Icelandic being a very difficult language, it has been exciting to learn how the Icelandic culture comes through in the language. I have been told that the language contains far fewer words than English and that tonation and expression are used more to state ones meaning. I have yet to get to the level where I can have a feel for this. The difficult thing about this language is that every time you learn a new vocabulary word, you have to learn the same word in its 12-48 forms. This is no easy feat considering all of the exceptions to the rules. Furthermore, you have to understand when and why to use the various forms of each word.
Here is a picture of the school I am attending. Keep in mind, when I arrive there at 8am, it is totally dark!
So, anyway, besides learning Icelandic, I have been working on a show I conceptualized to present at the Nordic House. If you are following my work, you might know that I have been making work about Iceland and the city of Reykjavik’s identity. I was awarded funding from the American Scandinavian Foundation to come here and photograph this idea as I saw fit. I soon learned that I was not the only artist who saw this theme as something to focus on in their art. So, given that there was going to be and is going to be a conference on City Planning, I figured it would be a good time for an art show around this theme. The Nordic House has gladly and generously sponsered my idea to create this show.
I am calling it Ipseity – Abeyance. These are words I found that seemed approprite to the themes in te show. Here are the dictionary entries and Icelandic equivalent words.
Main Entry: abeyance > Biðstaða
Part of Speech: noun
Definition : temporary inactivity
Main Entry: ipseity > Einstaklingseðli
Part of Speech: noun
Definition: Selfhood; individual identity, individuality
And here are the artists I have chosen:
sculptur Will Schlough (no website, youll have to come to the show)
Closing reception on Friday February 27th at 19:00 until 23:00 with Swedish Performer: Malin Ståhl.