Published April 13, 2012
Whenever we share a photo of the view from our offices on Facebook, there’s always that person who points out that our view is rather boring and ordinary. But there’s really a lot to see.
We, for instance, overlook Bæjarins Bestu—a hot dog stand arguably selling the town’s best hot dogs. There’s almost always a queue and we like to monitor its guests closely. “Yep, there’s Steingrímur J. Sigfússon eating another hot dog,” someone in the office announces. Okay, no, he’s not really one of the more avid hot dog eaters, but there certainly are some regulars.
Then, looking past the hot dog stand, there’s a large parking lot with two hundred spaces. In fact, Reykjavík has a surprisingly large number of parking spaces. Hjálmar Sveinsson, a member of Reykjavík’s Environment and Transportation Committee, wrote last year that there were between 700 and 800 parking spots per thousand jobs in downtown Reykjavík, which is one of the largest ratios in the world. We also have a lot of cars (more about this on page 10).
Finally, past that parking lot we have a small view of the harbour. Our resident designer not only monitors people eating hot dogs, but he also monitors the ships in the harbour and keeps us abreast of any exciting developments. “See that ship,” he says, “it’s called Sóléy. It used to be a freighter, but it ran aground. The insurance company couldn’t get it loose to float so this man came along and said, ‘if I can get it loose, can I keep it?’ and they said, ‘fine.’ So he came and he sawed it in two and pulled it to the harbour where he put it back together again and from this ship he made an empire of selling sand, which he pumped from the sea. He’s now dead. But his company Björgun, which means rescue, is still around.”
We don’t see much of Esja anymore, as Harpa—our conference centre and concert hall—stands in the way. It’s been almost one year since we featured it on the cover of this publication. The Financial Times recently called it a symbol of our recovery (pages 12 and 14). Perhaps the author was onto something; Harpa happens to feature in a number of articles this issue—being the venue of EVE FanFest (page 16) and The Reykjavík Fashion Festival (page 28), as well as hosting a number of concerts, which you can read about in our listings pull-out inside.
Anyways, enjoy your stay in Reykjavík, and don’t be shy about those hot dogs… we promise not to tell.