Skip to main content

The Babalú Coffee House & Graffiti in Central Reykjavik

A month or two after getting back from last year's trip to Iceland, I noticed on my analytics page that my blog had attracted a massive seven visitors who were based in Iceland. 'That's strange.' I thought. 'I haven't even mentioned, let alone blogged about Iceland yet. Why am I attracting visitors?' It was at this point that I recalled scrawling my blog address on the wall of a Reykjavik coffee shop. Don't worry, readers: it was perfectly legal.

Any UK-based coffee house would have shown me the door as I graffitied this here url across their wall, but this was the Babalú Coffee House.  And you soon realise upon arriving in Iceland that it has the highest concentration of cool, calm and creative types than just about anywhere else in the world.  Iceland is like the coolest place you've ever visited...just better.  It's so hip that it could bring that very word back into fashion.  

Situated on the Skólavördustigur road and roughly between Hallgrimskirkja (the Church of Iceland) and 12 Tónar (Reykjavik's most popular music store), the Lonely Planet guide called the first-floor coffee shop "more inviting than your own living room."  And I happen to agree with them.  

As I took my seat, I noticed a small tray of chalk on my table.  I looked at it as if it were a small exotic bird.  'What is this?'  I thought.  'And how did it get here?'  Not just on my table - every table!  Agreed: it wasn't your standard condiment, but there again: this wasn't your standard coffee shop.  I wondered whether it was edible, like the flavoured cigarette-shaped sticks you used to have as a kid, but a lick soon proved otherwise.  Then I noticed the graffiti on the wall to the left of me (pictured below): a brick-sized comment from past customers that almost rose to the ceiling.

'How can I express myself in one brick?'  I thought as I tried to drink away the taste of chalk.  And then came the self-promotion.  Well, it's not every day you're invited to write on a wall.     



And now for other (assumed) legal graffiti that helps make Reykjavik such a bohemian and memorable place.  Please note: no cats, giraffes or robots were harmed in the taking of these pictures. 




Giraffe: I have come here to chew BUBBLEGUM and kick ass. 




The poem on the above wall reads as follows: 

Just look at how the mountains so very mighty be,
sharp as razors at the top they span the land and sea, 
but don't forget that though majestic spires capped with snow, 
from each and every single grain of sand they grow.





Robot Wars.  Craig Charles eat your heart out.





How do you solve a problem like melting roof tiles?    



Comments

  1. Hi there! I love the Babalú. It used to be a nooky apartment before it turned into a coffee house. I knew the guy who used to live there. Haven't been there for a while though, but my picture was hanging on the wall some time during a photo display. Reykjavik is such a small world.

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

An Expert Analysis of Michael Fassbender's Running Style From the Film 'Shame'

Tom Wiggins: What are your first impressions of Michael Fassbender/Brandon's running style? Paul Whittaker: He's running nice, smooth and relaxed. He seems like he has a good amount of fitness and he is running well within himself in terms of pace.   TW: What improvements could he make to his running style? PW: The main improvement I'd make is his foot plant.  He lands heel first and this causes a 'breaking' effect when travelling forwards.  If he landed on his mid-foot/forefoot, this would be a much better for impact stress and propulsion going forward into the next running stride. TW: Regarding his speed, how many minutes per mile is he running? PW: I would say he is running approx 7-7.30 minutes per mile. TW:  What do you make of his stride lengths?  Is he overstriding/understriding? PW: The actor is definitely overstriding in this clip.  It would help if his feet landed underneath and below his centre of gravity. TW: What's his posture like? PW: A slight forward le…

The Diary of an Apprentice Letter Carver

I qualified as a stonemason last July and completed an incredibly enjoyable and memorable stonemasonry apprenticeship with The Prince's Foundation for Building Community in which I made so many friends and worked on so many historic buildings.  During that time, I had a two-week letter carving placement with Bernard Johnson, a very talented and friendly letter carver based in Oxfordshire.  It was with him that I picked up the bug for letter carving and realised that I didn't want to do anything else.  He didn't have an apprentice opportunities at that time, but pointed me in the direction of Fergus Wessel, another letter carver in Oxfordshire.  I went to visit  Fergus at his Stonecutters workshop and after a week's trial, he was able to offer me a four-year apprenticeship.  I am both incredibly lucky to have been given the chance of being his new apprentice, not least because he himself was trained at the prestigious Kindersley Studio.  A diary of my experience as an a…