föstudagur, mars 20, 2009

landauðn nema

Will such pictures become less romantic now that everyone is crushed beneath their foreign-currency mortgages? There's been such a fashion for images of the glamorously dying districts, the falling-down houses, the dwindling ovine population, the furthest fishing stations, and the octogenarian wild-bearded stubborns who will not leave them. This has all been very quaint in boom time, or at least in the latter-day boom time when people paused just short of erasing all traces of harder and more rural days so as to preserve the remnants for contemplation. The last fishing ver on the coast of Reykjavík proper has but recently been museumified with an interpretive sign viewable from the jogging path.

Now the newest eyðibýli are in the half-built hverfi ringing the capital, some high on the heath. They -- like the empty shops on Laugarvegur -- are considerably less romantic. Financial ruin has moved to the city with everyone else.

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