From Iceland — The Strength of Street Knowledge

The Strength of Street Knowledge

Published June 15, 2007

The Strength of Street Knowledge

As I write this, we are putting the finishing touches on the issue you are now holding before shipping it out to print. Coincidently, it is June 13, and the date marks the four-year anniversary of the Grapevine, as the first ever issue of the Grapevine hit the streets Friday, June 13 2003.

A funny thing happened yesterday. A friend sent me an e-mail with the subject line: The strength of street knowledge. OK, it is not funny per se, but in my mind, the subject line accurately portrays what the Grapevine stands for, although N.W.A. might have had something entirely different in mind when writing that song. My point is this: the Grapevine is a street paper and we try to keep our ears to the ground to bring the info you need to experience Reykjavík the way the locals do. The strength of street knowledge, you know. I would like to think that if Easy E were alive today, he would appreciate the effort.

In this issue we focus on the lives of gays in this city. As Haukur Magnússon’s article will reveal, Iceland is in many ways an ideal place for gay people. Gay people are generally accepted in Icelandic society with a few exceptions. Gays have the right to adopt children, to a legally recognized union and most other rights that other members of our society enjoy. The most glaring omission is the right to a marriage recognised by the Icelandic church. Toshiki Toma, a pastor and a member of the Icelandic Church society deals with this issue on our pages.

Haukur Magnússon also spent hours upon hours researching gay nightlife in the city. He reports on his findings in our feature article, entitled Gaykjavík! It is a curious report by all accounts, and you would be wise to read it.

I would also like to direct your attention to an interview with Jonathan Levine, Professor of Urban Planning at the University of Michigan. I believe his insight into the future of our city is a good contribution to an ongoing debate.

Other than that, carefully read the listings and keep the party going. After all, summer is finally here.

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