Tuesday, August 19, 2008
my dear friend ilisa needed to get away and she asked if i would go somewhere with her. i said "sure, where?" to which she replied: "how about iceland?"
i've always wanted to go to iceland, the urine and lye cured shark meat, glaciers etc...i mean, they did produce björk and artist olafur eliasson [one of my favorite artists. check out his waterfalls in NYC if you have a chance]. and they certainly are obsessed with björk here, you hear her music everywhere and she is still on their women's magazine covers.
we're staying at home, a cute well designed apartment style hotel right in the city center designed by parsons graduate agnar agnarsson. he's working on a new hotel which we talked about my participation as a collaborating artist or designer. it may be a perfect place to showcase our soon to be released desk clock!
we visited the geysirs [and they pronounce it just like that – Gay Sirs – the icelandic language has 3 genders, i guess 'gay' is one of them and since geysers are revered here, they get a lot of respect. i asked, and there are no "straightsirs" in terms of geological features, i was told just the gey ones. (geyser in english)
we had many an overpriced meal. iceland is not for anyone on a budget, especially if you start with us dollars. there is no meal with even one cocktail or beer under $70us/person at night. The best restaurant for value we found was orange which offers the ever so trendy molecular cuisine made popular in barcelona a few years back. still 100 bucks a person, but it tasted like it. the more popular fish market was a disappointment in their sad attempts of traditional japanese cooking techniques – they definitely tried too hard. otherwise, it is a lovely place if you've never been to a good japanese restaurant and have the money to burn.
some highlights include the public pools [only $10us with a rental towel. great hot tubs], hotdogs which they are proud to tell you are a mix of lamb, pork, and beef [aren't they all?], chocolate covered licorice, and the smell of sulfur everywhere, especially out of the water faucet [wait,that's a bad thing right? unless you consider that you can fart anywhere without anyone noticing:)]. also, there seems to be a lot of vintage art deco and bauhaus-style architecture though you rarely hear reykjavik mentioned as a place to visit to see that kind of stuff. oh, and they have a dessert called "krap".
anyway, i can write a longer guide or email me if you want particulars, but i'm off to eat puffin before my flight back to nyc this afternoon!