A Grapevine service announcement Pay attention: Holuhraun, still spewing lava. Bárðarbunga, still sinking.
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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.



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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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Welcome To Our Sixth Annual Best Of Issue

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As we were accenting the í’s and crossing the ð’s of our annual ‘Best of Reykjavík’ issue, a Facebook friend of Reykjavík Grapevine’s threw a bit of criticism our way that absolutely bears mention and further discussion. In response to one of the many “what’s the best X” in Reykjavík inquiries we posted last week, specifically one regarding sushi (“Have you been to Sushisamba? Is it the best sushi in Reykjavík? Why/why not?”), one of our FB friends wrote the following: “This is getting quite boring. I remember the days when RG was full of interesting articles on social issues

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