Always look in the back alley. In Iceland, its the contrast between glitz and reality that sells the place.
It makes humans feel right at home. At the same time, always check out the windows.
They aren’t for seeing into, as alleys are, but for giving you eyes in the back of your head, and multiple perspectives at once. And while you’re at it in Reykjavik, always pay attention to advertising posters. They are the user’s manual for the art installation.
Note how the sign is a smart phone screen, the guy on the right has the idea, as do the tourists behind the woman in red. Well done, everyone!
Granted, the sky is falling, but still. In Reykjavik, however, the catchers are caught by the light. Granted, the light is an artifice, but still.
Somehow, it is the same impulse, one that Icelanders have been walking in circles around for 1100 years, as they try to figure it out. Out on Snæfellsnes, one just gives up and leaves it as an open gesture…
…while on Vesturgata in Reykjavik, one tries to shelter from the cold of that gesture and ignore the frostbite on the nose.
These are deep mysteries. One can only rejoice at the courage with which they are met!
So, the climber who never gets anywhere, that works. Kind of a dream climber. Nothing like a tree to give you a leg up! Note the guy up front. In that sweater, not a climber.
That’s the fun part. Here’s the next window in the store on Laugavegur. Same stricken climber dude, hanging on now without his tree, and a woman up front in a tank top AND a climbing jacket, so, like ready for a night on the town, but look at the background:
PURE Mountain, the Dolomites. When did Reykjavik move to Italy? It must have been an expensive purchase. Is this why the Italian economy has been in a shambles?
The beautiful view is closed off now, although the sun still shines in and statues still look out.
And for a palm tree just south of the Arctic Circle, where better? Is it Icelandic? The question is: what isn’t?
But the violinist playing to his city, now playing to an international hotel chain?
It can be exhausting to grow old and famous. Even three years ago, Harpa stood proudly out in the sea. Ten years ago, she was an open public space, with art shows and cool shops everywhere. Now she’s growing up, the dear.