The Icelandic language is the closest Nordic language to the old Norse of the Viking, as the other Scandinavian countries have customized it to nigh unrecognizable. Fine. We elevate and climb to the top of the unpronounceable church Hallgrímskirkja, we look out on the houses of Reyjkavik, the capital city that holds two thirds of Iceland’s entire population. I pull out the kind of gigantic lens that makes everyone in the church tower raise their eyebrows, jab it through the narrow slot between stone columns, and I flatten the vivid colored houses that I can only assume the Icelanders paint to brighten spirits in lengthy winters with 4 hours of daylight. Mission accomplished.
Ah, The bus terminal. The old American tradition of the 1950’s – 1970’s until it began it’s long slow decline to a reputation as a refuge for society’s marginalized, its homeless, its drifters and beggers and miscreants alike. Transit is always fun for people watching, but taking a Greyhound bus cross country takes it to a new level. A Scottish musician trying to make it big “I’m going to LA!”. A rotund elderly lady who forces the bus to stop in the Arizona desert because she doesn’t want to throw up around the other passengers (she sprinted to the back of the bus, and we all watched her heave). The dreamy throwback hippy millenial with her tie die and long straight hair all scarfed up. A wisecracking Asian bus driver, telling jokes that only a few of us understand, but we laugh because he’s laughing so hard at himself.
In any case, you’re looking at something temporary in this picture; By late 2016, San Francisco’s ultra modern Transbay Terminal (e.g. our first true Grand Central Station) will have opened, and the terminal before you will become a park with skyscraping views of shiny glass towers, with folks on lunch break nibbling their organic wheatberry salads as they sit awkwardly in the grass. Go West and gentrify, by gum, and don’t forget to bring your Pez dispenser!