Mag
Editorial
What’s Best About Reykjavík?

What’s Best About Reykjavík?

Published July 13, 2012

I’ve been thinking about this question for the last week, as we’ve been making our fourth annual Best of Reykjavík issue. This magazine is often critical, even negative, but every year we dedicate an entire issue to that superlative, “BEST.” In fact, the word appears xx* times in this issue.

So what’s best about Reykjavík? For starters, our city is run by The Best Party—at least that’s what the party calls itself. And we elected them because they wanted the best for our city.
They campaigned/sang to the tune of Tina Turner’s “Simply The Best:” “We want a city that’s cuddly and clean and cool…and topnotch stuff as a general rule…we want water fountains, trains, and all kinds of animals…we want free towels at the swimming pools, a polar bear for the Reykjavík zoo, all kinds for the unfortunates, Disneyland in the Vatnsmýri area, a drug-free parliament by 2020…And, and we will not accept mediocre because we want the best…”
You may not agree with their ideas of what’s best, and you may not agree with our idea of what’s best, but who really knows what’s best anyways. I won’t say that this is the best “Best of Reykjavík” guide, but it’s full of a lot of the things that we like.

Much like the group of people who wrote Iceland’s new Constitution (which has yet to be approved), we “crowdsourced” it. We called up a group of people to sit around and discuss the best of this and that in Reykjavík, and we sent out a poll and asked our Facebook and Twitter fans for their input too. Ultimately it was not a democratic process though, and perhaps it’s a stretch to say that we crowd sourced it at all. Sometimes we even made up award categories for things that that we like, just to be able say: “You’re the best.” And ultimately I think what’s best about Reykjavík is the fact that there are so many things worth calling the best.

*Believe it or not, the xx wasn’t a typo! If you can guess (or count) how many times the word “best” appears in this issue, I’ll buy you a hot dog and a coke at Bæjarins Beztu.


Mag
Editorial
Healing Hands

Healing Hands

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In the above photograph, I am accompanied by one of my favourite people in the world, Dr. Haukur S. Magnússon, my paternal grandfather and my namesake (I had to make sure not to get a doctorate degree, so folks would be able to tell us apart). It was taken a couple of Christmases ago, in-between bouts of us eating, drinking and being merry. What a time we had. Dr. Haukur is 82 years old. He became a doctor in 1961, and spent the brunt of his career working as a General Practitioner, helping thousands of humans overcome illness and injury.

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Editorial
We Care A Lot

We Care A Lot

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Hey, check out the above photo. Who are those people? I’ll tell you: I’m in there, along with our designer Hrefna, along with our former interns Parker and Rebecca (currently visiting from abroad to do some writing), along with our current interns Tom and Saskia and Elín and Melissa, along with our listings editor Gabríel, along with our journalist John, along with the ghost of what should’ve been (always lurking in the background, him). Behind the camera is the lovely photographer Matt Eisman, who set up shop at our office over Airwaves, where he’ll be shooting some of our favourite

Mag
Editorial
So Long, And Thanks For All The Cheese!

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.

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

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

Mag
Editorial
Halló, I’m Back!

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

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

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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