From Iceland — Just Sayings: Hallærisplanið ("The Cringe Zone"

Just Sayings: Hallærisplanið (“The Cringe Zone”

Published August 11, 2021

Just Sayings: Hallærisplanið (“The Cringe Zone”
Andie Sophia Fontaine
Photo by
Ljósmyndasafn Reykjavíkur

This edition of Just Sayings isn’t so much about an Icelandic catchphrase as it is about a cultural institution: Hallærisplanið.

Hallærisplanið literally means “the tacky lot” and can be more precisely translated as “the cringe zone.” But it’s more than a concept; it’s an actual place, located where Ingólfstorg is now. In the 60s, 70s, and even much of the 80s, it was the de rigeur hangout spot for Reykjavík teenagers. Kids from all over town would meet here to drink, chat and put on their best tryhard airs to showcase how cool they were.

Today, young people go to the internet to do these things, but Hallærisplanið still lives in the hearts of many Boomer-aged Icelanders, who in all likelihood have many embarrassing memories of their time there.

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