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Sunday, March 17, 2013

Dreaming about Reykjavik

Johan Peter Raadsig: Ingólfr tager Island i besiddelse, 1850
on public display in Viðeyjarstofa in Viðey
source: Haukur Þorgeirsson
no copyright infringement intended

(click here for the Romanian version)

I was in SoHo, my first day alone in NY. The names of the streets weren't telling anything to me, the place seemed perfectly alien.  I saw a small restaurant cornering two streets. I decided to get in, suddenly feeling myself like doomed. Some kind of an inner voice was warning me that my fate would come to a close once I get inside, there wouldn't be an after. I opened the door anyway, feeling uncomfortably. The place was small and packed with people. Clients' faces seemed to me intimidating. I found somehow my way toward the bar and I sat down on one of the free barstools. There was a young waitress serving at the bar, her presence intimidated me too. Actually she looked gorgeous, like a rusalka from the Arctic lands. I asked shyly for a small glass of vodka. Trying to cover my timidity, I dared to ask her where she had come from. She answered casually that she was from Reykjavik. I didn't find the courage to go on talking. As I was sipping my drink I was thinking at those Vikings who had come courageously and put their foot here on the New World. I would have liked to be a man from Reykjavik, too, not afraid of cold days and polar nights, of icy seas, not afraid of New York either, simply said not caring of being there or anywhere. Well, as you know, I wasn't a Viking, I wasn't a man from Reykjavik, I was just a common guy, just arrived in NY, and speaking English with a funny accent. So I finished my drink and got out, happy to be again on the large. Years have passed, I came back to NY many times, I knew it well now, streets and places, nothing was scaring me anymore. I went to that restaurant many times, alone or with friends, and actually it was a very nice place. I never saw the rusalka again. I asked about her, they told me that she had moved back to Reykjavik. Probably she also loved the harsh lands, the cold days and polar nights, the icy seas.

(A Life in Books)

(New York, New York)

(German and Nordic Literature)


  • It's a great short piece. We stopped by there tonight on the last night. It was mobbed. Youngish drunks who must have heard as we did that it was the end for Milady's. We were looking for two or three friends, but we didn't find them, and so left.

    By Anonymous Jill Rapaport, at 12:44 AM  

  • Sad story.

    By Blogger Pierre Radulescu, at 3:02 AM  

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