perhaps the most famous Icelandic export is its music — from Björk to Sigur Rós to Ólafur Arnalds, the music scene has always been on the forefront of trendy, just that side of cool to the realm of the wondrously hip. (certainly the Iceland Airwaves festival doesn’t hurt…)
sidebar before i continue, though, i have to say “Hoppípolla” by Sigur Rós is the perfect track to listen to as you’re flying in. (i’ve discovered a live version is available on the Icelandair inflight entertainment system in case you don’t have it handy on one of your many devices.)
if that’s a bit too dreamy/slow for you, a chillout remix, “Poppiholla” by Chicane (one of my favorite electronica musicians, by the way) is just as good — and i think, actually, my preferred version.
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again, i digress.
but that’s not where it ends. as i’ve discovered while here, the entire place just exudes effortless cool. not only is it (and the populace) gorgeous, but it seems like the average Reykjaviker is hipsterer than the residents Portland, Silver Lake, the Mission and Brooklyn combined. and it’s not like they’re even trying. they just are (and maybe not even aware of it?). i mean shoot, even the post office clerk was a blonde Hipster Ariel (and i mean that in the most loving of ways).
pack your skinny jeans and oversized sweaters and head on over! if Portland is the Dream of the Nineties [alternate link if that won’t play], Reykjavik is the trendsetter of today. (to assuage any fears: for the most part, they’re all nice hipsters since they don’t even know it — not the self-absorbed moody and snobby type.)
and heck, even if hip isn’t your thing, Iceland is well worth a visit if you ask me. (next time i will come and do the Ring Road, dammit!)