From Iceland — Sour Grapes And Stuff: Issue 12

Sour Grapes And Stuff: Issue 12

Published August 16, 2013

Sour Grapes And Stuff: Issue 12

Dear Grapevine
I have visited Reykjavik every year for the past 4 years. I love this city, but there is one thing that I despise. Every time I walk by Svarta Kaffið , I get a sharp pain in my stomach. Their signage, depicting a minstrel-esque character as their mascot, is pretty damn offensive. How can people feel OK about patronizing this establishment? Not cool, Reykjavik, not cool.
Dear Lizanne,
Ugh. Dude… we know. It’s rough, yeah? Yours is not the first letter we get about it! This place reminds us of that part in Ghost World where Enid finds the old racist Cook’s Chicken poster and brings it into her art class as a statement that the world is just as racist but it’s more white-washed and hidden away now.
This place basically never bothered to cover up their bigotry. It’s so blatantly stupid that it makes one wonder if they don’t even realise how fucked up their “mascot” is. Are they trying to be post-racial? What is even going on? On the plus side, it’s right out there in the open for people to see and make the choice about whether or not to patronise such an establishment. Like with the Ghost World premise, other places might harbour the same (or worse) attitudes but have maybe just learned to cover it up and be “politically correct” to the naked eye. It is complicated and maddening.
Maybe next time you come back you should go in there and take them to task about it, since you feel very strongly. Then you can swing by our offices and get your prize. Come back soon!
The Grapevine

Good morning or afternoon
we are Rick and Sally , live in Atlanta Ga., USA. 3 weeks ago we attended an estate sale.
The estate sale was for 2 sisters that passed away and they were from New York City. The entire contents of the estate sale had been in storage for over 45 years.
We purchased several items and one the items, thru some google research are commemorative spoons made in 1926 by a gold smith from Iceland named
Ari B. Bjornsson.
These spoon were commissioned by the Icelandic government for the 1000th Anniversary of the Icelandic Alpingi from 930 to 1930.
We are not sure of the historic value nor the value in general of these spoons.
We have reach a dead end in trying to get information about the commemorative spoons which appear to be historic.
Can you provide a contact of anyone who can help us , any information would be helpful. we are really trying to find out the historic value , and would like for someone at the national museum to get in touch with us. You are more that welcome to print the story and we would entertain any inquiries.
Thanks for your time
Rick and Sally
Rick and Sally, you lucky devils you!
Sounds like you are sitting on a goldmine, probably. We aren’t much of the commemorative spoon experts around our offices – our staffers are into thimbles, teacups, bottled sailships and Elvis-on-velvet paintings, but not spoons! But those sound really great and probably have a cool story attached.
Unfortunately we couldn’t find any info about this Ari B. Björnsson character, probably because he’s has his estate sold off too if you know what we mean, but hopefully someone reading this has some helpful information. If anyone does, they should write us at and we will send them your way!
Take care,
The Grapevine

hello! your magazine is awesome! Coming to Iceland at the end of September and wanted some more hints and tips on bars and clubs in reykjavik ? Any info would be great!
Vikram Khagram
Check out our Bar Guide. It’s in our back issues and on the front page of our website. Also, download our Appy Hour app. It’ll help you get super shitfaced when you’re here.
The Grapevine

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