A Grapevine service announcement Be patient: That eruption is expected to last until 2015
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Editorial
The Strength of Street Knowledge

The Strength of Street Knowledge

Published June 29, 2007

As I write this, we are putting the finishing touches on the issue you are now holding before shipping it out to print. Coincidently, it is June 13, and the date marks the four-year anniversary of the Grapevine, as the first ever issue of the Grapevine hit the streets Friday, June 13 2003.

A funny thing happened yesterday. A friend sent me an e-mail with the subject line: The strength of street knowledge. OK, it is not funny per se, but in my mind, the subject line accurately portrays what the Grapevine stands for, although N.W.A. might have had something entirely different in mind when writing that song. My point is this: the Grapevine is a street paper and we try to keep our ears to the ground to bring the info you need to experience Reykjavík the way the locals do. The strength of street knowledge, you know. I would like to think that if Easy E were alive today, he would appreciate the effort.

In this issue we focus on the lives of gays in this city. As Haukur Magnússon’s article will reveal, Iceland is in many ways an ideal place for gay people. Gay people are generally accepted in Icelandic society with a few exceptions. Gays have the right to adopt children, to a legally recognised union and most other rights that other members of our society enjoy. The most glaring omission is the right to a marriage recognised by the Icelandic church. Toshiki Toma, a pastor and a member of the Icelandic Church society deals with this issue on our pages.

Haukur Magnússon also spent hours upon hours researching gay nightlife in the city. He reports on his findings in our feature article, entitled Gaykjavík! It is a curious report by all accounts, and you would be wise to read it.

I would also like to direct your attention to an interview with Jonathan Levine, Professor of Urban Planning at the University of Michigan. I believe his insight into the future of our city is a good contribution to an ongoing debate.

Other than that, carefully read the listings and keep the party going. After all, summer is finally here.



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So Long, And Thanks For All The Cheese!

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For someone who is used to having an entire aisle at their disposal when they run out of toothpaste, Icelandic grocery stores can seem, shall we say, a little mundane. Of course when it comes to toothpaste, all that choice is perhaps excessive. Ever since I started spending considerable amounts of time in Iceland, this ‘paradox of choice,’ and what it might mean, has been on my mind. As I noted in my 27th editorial a few years back: there’s Crest, there’s Colgate, there’s All-Natural, there’s Aquafresh, there’s Arm & Hammer, there’s Oral B, there’s Sensodyne, there’s Mentadent. There’s gel.

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You Probably Just Want To Read About The Eruption, Huh?

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The biggest news from Iceland these days is undoubtedly the eruption. Of course it’s not everyday that a volcano erupts. But it’s hardly a once-in-a-lifetime event either. Holuhraun is actually the fourth Icelandic volcano to erupt in the last four years, and it’s been hurling lava for nearly a month now. Sprawled across three seats on a half-empty flight back to Iceland shortly after the latest eruption began, I found myself wondering if it was an unusually slow day for travel or if the eruption was scaring people off. The Eyjafjallajökull eruption certainly showed the world that our volcanoes are

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Halló, I’m Back!

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I went on a vacation last month. It was wonderful. I left the country. I spent very little time sitting behind a computer. I stopped following Icelandic news. I browsed our website and Facebook a few times. It was really wonderful. I tuned out (and all but turned on, tuned in, dropped out). To say that nothing much happened while I was gone would be an understatement. The Icelandic media seems to be in shambles (turn to page 16 for the scoop on that). The office ate Thai food last print week (we usually subsist on burgers and pizza). They

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Free Pink Street Boys Album! Free Editorial! Free Love!

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Here is a short editorial, inspired by the late, great Bill Gates and his vision, which continues to warm our hearts and our thighs through our pockets, via sturdy, glowing Gorilla Glass: Here’s to the volcanos. The eruptions. The shaking moneymakers. The ones who remind the world that, yes, we exist. While some may see them as extremely dangerous and not to be trifled with, we see them as tremendous opportunities for market expansion, advanced brand awareness building and vast merchandizing profits. Because the people who are arrogant enough to shamelessly exploit potentially catastrophic events, are the ones who make bank.

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I CHOOSE TREASON

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I just signed up to become a founding member of Fylkisflokkurinn (“The County-Party”), which has the stated purpose and sole platform of campaigning for Iceland to re-join Norway and become its twentieth county. I was the 573rd Icelander to do so according to the would-be political party’s website (fylkisflokkurinn.is), while the Facebook group that launched it currently lists over 4,600 members (many of them very enthusiastic!) and counting. Proponents of Iceland’s independence might call me a traitor to the country that bore me—they might even go so far as to accuse me of treason. And I won’t lie: I felt

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A Growing Divide?

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It’s that time of year again, when everybody is talking about everybody else’s salary. “Did you see? Grímur Karl Sæmundsen [CEO of the Blue Lagoon] makes 6.2 million per month [645,000 USD per year],” someone will say. “Wow, Davíð Oddsson [Editor of daily newspaper Morgunblaðið and former Prime Minister and head of the Central Bank] makes 3,3 million per month [345,000 USD per year],” another will say. “Did you see how grossly underrepresented women are amongst the top earners?” It might sound strange to foreign readers, but Icelanders’ salaries come under scrutiny every July, when income tax data becomes publicly

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