Check it out–Reykjavik has a free press newspaper, The Grapevine. Complete with inappropriate cartoons, ranting political commentary (though last week’s edition contained an excellent article about the controversial ICESAVE , bailout plan for the country), music and art reviews, lists of favorite places around town, and some inconsequential bits (like why there are so many cats around downtown), all laced with sarcasm, expletives, mentions of drinking and hangovers, and the general false apathy one expects from such publications. Or perhaps you don’t expect it, which I didn’t the first time I picked up a paper like this. I was too young (high school) to understand that this type of writing isn’t strictly journalism (though how can one really judge journalism in the age of CNN andFOX?). I thought it was brilliant, edgy, radical. Ha, how much I’ve learned.
Despite the often tiresome supercool rhetoric, I do enjoy these papers–Philly’s City Paper, St. Louis’s Riverfront Times, The Memphis Flyer, Nashville Scene–and to be sure, they provide a more interesting view on local goings on than the mainstream publications. Perhaps it’s because they openly acknowledge the prevalence of opinion, even frequently referring to the views of the staff point blank, instead of making advertisers happy (maybe why they often have more ads for strip clubs than department stores?)
Last week, I relied on The Grapevine’s list of Places We Like (complete with map!) to scope out good hangouts and found some of my favorites (post on three favorite cafes coming soon) and I’m a little sad that this weeks edition includes the quintessential free press annual ritual: the Best Of. . . issue. We’re going exploring up north (yes, even farther north) tomorrow through Friday and I fly home on Saturday so I won’t have a chance to explore all the Best of Reykjavik. . .though I think what I’ve discovered so far is pretty great.
Tell me about your favorite free independent publications–grossest cartoons, most outrageous rants, or just the sweetest rhetoric about a city the staff clearly adores. I wanna hear it!