Reykjavík
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Culture

Feature of the Week: Tea Time

“Would you like more tea?” David Noble, an expat Englishman living in Reykjavík appears at the table, carrying colorful ceramic teapots. At café Babalú, he serves relaxed afternoon tea complete with neat rows of cucumber sandwiches and scones alongside a selection of chutneys, jams and clotted...

Feature of the Week: At The Flea Market

On weekends in Reykjavík, the Kolaportid flea market draws young and old alike to Tryggvagata 19, the ground floor of the Customs Offices at the Old Harbor. Inside the building from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m., you can find a wide selection of items for sale. Don’t worry about remembering the street...

Feature of the Week: No Ordinary Journey

There can’t be many novels that are heralded as being “a purification for body and soul” recommended to “those who enjoy experimental cookery” (review of November Rain in DV newspaper) and “as beautiful as a painting from the golden age” (review of The Offspring by Danish newspaper Politiken)...

Feature of the Week: Welcome to Hverfisgata

Historically, Hverfisgata has been Iceland’s working class neighborhood squeezed onto one street. Like its international equivalents Shoreditch in London, Brooklyn in New York, Södermalm in Stockholm, in a few years, it might just be the hippest place around. Rugged yet charming, derelict but...

Feature of the Week: A Feast Fit for Kings

Once upon a time, a Danish adventurer by the name of Jorgen Jorgensen sailed to Iceland. When the Governor of Iceland refused the ship access to the local market, Jorgensen arrested him, declared Iceland free of Danish rule and appointed himself as interim Protector. A great feast was held in honor...

Feature of the Week: Karmic Payback

For someone who is not a believer in the supernatural, Christina Sunley has had her share of strange coincidences, laying out the path towards her becoming a bestselling author. The Tricking of Freya , her debut, is set in an Icelandic fishing village in Canada as well as in Iceland itself and...

Feature of the Week: Paradoxical Painting

After wrapping up his last exhibit in January, Thrándur Thórarinsson wastes little time getting to work on his next project. “I’m thinking of calling it Capricci Paintings,” he says and motions to the large 2 by 2.5 meter work in progress behind me, which depicts a familiar scene in Reykjavík...

Feature of the Week: The Good Food

As my son Conor toured the Settlement Exhibition in downtown Reykjavík, I leafed through Icelandic cookbooks in the shops. I purchased Nanna Rögnvaldardóttir’s Cool Dishes: Traditional Icelandic Cuisine , a tiny hardcover gem, written in English, that offers a satisfying tour of everyday Icelandic...

Feature of the Week: Chameleon of Many Colors

There’s an annual event in Iceland that can best be described as New Year’s Eve in the spring. Everyone is caught up in a flurry of excitement. I am, of course, speaking of the Eurovision Song Contest. Atlantica traces the national history of the contest and meets with Hera Björk, Iceland’s entry...

Feature of the Week: Spring Fever in the City

For the tourist industry in Iceland the first of May marks the beginning of the bustling summer season. Visitors who take advantage of the improving weather conditions can also imbibe of Icelandic culture at its finest, in the form of the prestigious Icelandic Arts Festival.

Feature of the Week: Jónsi on the Go

“Would you like a nammi ball?” asks Jón Thór ‘Jónsi’ Birgisson, 34, a tall, thin man, folded into the armchair, Tin Tin tuft for hair. He offers a paper bag full of homemade sweets. Known for his trademark falsetto fronting the world famous Sigur Rós, Jónsi is releasing his first solo album ‘go’...

Feature of the Week: The Case of the Woolen Sweater

Like most things in Iceland, fashion has strong ties to the sheep. But where this most famous pattern originates, is a mystery. What is known is that the wool for a lopapeysa always comes from the Icelandic sheep, whose two-layered hair provides the perfect material for the harsh Northern climate.

Feature of the Week: Hope and Choice for All

Hope Knútsson , a former psychiatric occupational therapist hailing from New York City, first came to Iceland nearly 40 years ago on a brief stopover en route to Europe. The country instantly captivated her, and Iceland’s freedom, choice and social welfare system became the ultimate magnet for her...

Feature of the Week: Changing Iceland’s Culture

Facing the aftermath of an unprecedented economic shock the Icelandic nation will review 2009 as anno horribilis. Icelandic journalist Íris Erlingsdóttir has been following events from the US covering the kreppa for Huffington Post and other publications. She wonders whether her countrymen can...

Feature of the Week: A Four Organ Conclusion? – Far From It

Few bands exist in Iceland today that could be described as seminal, brave or completely unique. But Apparat Organ Quartet, who celebrate a decade together this year, are one of the few to have produced genuinely ground-breaking music, to the extent that they effectively invented their own synth-...

Feature of the Week: Passion and Delight

Fresh back from Brazil, where she was one of 28 international judges at the ‘Cup of Excellence’ awards, Kaffitár founder and owner Adalheidur Hédinsdóttir sat down with Atlantica ’s Mica Allan in Kaffitár’s Bankastraeti cafe to talk about her passion and delight: coffee.

Feature of the Week: Northern Lights Supper

Iceland has experienced a gastronomic boom in recent years and, despite its small size, Reykjavík now boasts over 100 restaurants. With his roots in the Westman Islands and a career that has taken him from Lyon to the Bahamas, Chef Sigurdur Gíslason has come back to Iceland to work with local...

Feature of the Week: Dirty Pictures

Home to the European championship in swamp soccer/football is Ísafjördur, the biggest town in the West Fjords. This year 600 people played in 18 female teams and 27 male teams. Wakiki Nullrock won the male division, and Ofurkonurnar [The Superwomen] the female league. Both teams are from Ísafjördur.

Feature of the Week: The Ageless Style of ELM

ELM Design is a favorite with intellectual women of all ages who like to dress in a sophisticated manner, albeit with an edge. Its timeless pieces instantly become wardrobe staples. Inspired by Iceland’s dramatic landscape, art and culture, ELM Design’s exquisite clothing, designed by women for...

Feature of the Week: Leafing Through to Christmas

With the holidays approaching, Eygló Svala Arnarsdóttir heads north to Akureyri to observe the making of laufabraud , the uniquely decorated Icelandic Christmas bread. While decorated bread is also a tradition in other countries, round, leaf-thin, deep-fried cakes with patterns created by making...

Feature of the Week: In Reykjavík

The newly opened Einstakar Ostakökur [unique cheesecakes] on Klapparstígur may strike you as an unusual name for a women’s clothing shop. However, what the shop fails to deliver in terms of satisfying a sweet tooth, it more than delivers in bringing nostalgia, glamour and a glorious burst of color...

Feature of the Week: Legends and Landscape

Terry Gunnell is not your run-of-the-mill academic. Since 2001, he has been Senior Lecturer in Folkloristics at the University of Iceland, a rather unusual position for a foreigner to occupy. John Boyce talks to Gunnell about his latest publication, Legends and Landscape , and his enduring...

Feature of the Week: Flying Out

When phys ed teacher Hafthór Thórhallsson decided in early spring 2008 to open a small workshop in his tiny village of Hólmavík in Strandir he thought he was venturing into something light and easy. His business is carving small birds out of birch logs and demand quickly surpassed his production...

Feature of the Week: The Shape of a Nation

Icelandic designers have a chic sense for drawing inspiration from their environments. Tinna Gunnarsdóttir shaped her Starkadur hook into a whale tooth and Tuesday Project planted metal saplings of Arctic Birch in their stools. The cultural heritage serves as a national romantic idea pool: memories...

Feature of the Week: It Came from the Dark Side

With his 2008 novel The Blue Fox winning the Nordic Council’s book prize, Sjón , Reykjavík’s foremost man of letters and air guitar, sits down with IR ’s Jonas Moody on Independence Day to discuss a writerly take on widespread national misbehavior, grumpy old men and the monsters that lurk within...

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