René Boonekamp is part of the arts collective ‘the Travelling Embassy of Rockall,’ which works on “speculative scenarios for utopian and dystopian futures.” He is also the friendly face of IÐNÓ, which been reborn this year with a new café, music studio, coworking space and a diverse events programme. “It’s quite a manageable task to have a perfect day in Reykjavík,” says René. “The great thing about this town is that all the good things are very close by, so you can high five a lot of nice people during a day. You can mostly find me in IÐNÓ—it’s truly is a lovely place, and it’s an honour to be part of a team making this such a lively public house. Like I said, living in Reykjavík is easy, but to have the perfect day it’s all about timing. So here we go.”
Waking up is the worst part of life. Only curling up against my girlfriend, Lemke, and a coffee can cure my morning sickness. Lemke makes perfect morning coffee, served in the perfect cup. Bangsi the dog enthusiastically greets me, and the day can start. Before I leave the house, the rain stops; I’ll put Ragnar Kjartansson’s ‘A Lot of Sorrow’ on my headphones. Me and the dog go play football along Ægisíða. He always wins.
In the morning
By now, it’s 11:00, so let’s have a quick dip into Vesturbærlaug. Today locker 210 is still free, the steambath is the right temperature and the hot pot doesn’t make that slurping sound. Refreshed after the dip, I stop at Kaffi Vest, the lovely bar in my hood, started by people from the neighbourhood. Quickly downing an espresso, I get straight back on the bike, right before the laptop army takes over.
I cycle towards the old harbour area of Grandi. There’s a nice view, with Snæfellsness on one side, and Esja on the other. We’ll stop for lunch at Bergsson RE and look over the harbour as we enjoy the fish of the day and watch the fishing boats come into the harbour with the eagerly circling gulls.
In the afternoon
After lunch we’ll stop at the Marshall House to sniff up some art. It’s always a surprise what the Nýlo and Kling og Bang have put up. Ólafur Elíasson’s stuff is also very, very nice. Then it’s about time for an aperitivo. Coocoo’s Nest is great for that; a cosy and friendly place. A natural wine and a little bite later and your mind wanders off to southern Europe.
By now I really feel like having a burger. My favourite is BioBorgari, which makes proper, no bullshit burgers from scratch. There’s a simple menu choice between the special of the month or the classic. Try the vegan one, it’s the best you can get in Reykjavík.
In the heat of the night
Having filled up the stomach, it’s time for a show. The lovely people at Mengi put on a quality programme. You can basically go there any night, without knowing what’s on and you won’t be disappointed. And then later, when it gets dark, we go home. There’s no better way to end this day than a stroll along the seaside with the dog, with the green lights waving the day away.
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