I don’t own a record player. I’ve never purchased a vinyl. I ordered a normal latte today even though there was specialty brew available. Yet, some of my most inspiring moments have come from exploring more unconventional, artistic pathways mapped out by my hipster best friend, Angela.
She immediately embraced the relaxed, sporty culture of Iceland locals. In fact, she picked this destination in the first place.
At the top of Angela’s to-do-in-Iceland list was a record store called 12 Tonar. We stumbled upon a second one called Lucky Records. They were actually very different, but equally inspiring for my creative little heart. Let me take you on a walk through each, so you can catch a hint of artistic inspiration, too.
“Would you like some coffee?”
The blonde-mustached Icelandic man behind the counter had asked us if we needed help finding anything, but then he offered this more important question. After gratefully accepting the offer, we were handed two cups of freshly prepared espresso. We sipped it while descending the spiral staircase into the room with the vinyl.
Angela instantly started flipping through the vinyls in search of something in particular. I pulled out my camera.
Maybe it’s seeing someone so at home and dialed into something they love that makes me feel inspired to capture the moment.
The rooms in this place were small and cozy. The seating areas held vintage chairs, patterned cloths, and actual CD players with clunky headphones. Upstairs, the walls held interesting art and cases of knick-knacks.
Angela’s record search almost came to a dead end, until quintessential Icelandic hipster coffee man looked up the title and found the record she was looking for.
She was clearly at home in this place.
This one was my idea. We couldn’t walk past and not at least pop in.
Far more expansive and eclectic, I had to take a moment to figure out where to look. I was in the middle of a big, open room. Graffiti on the ceilings made for plenty to decipher, even without the packed shelves of all kinds of vinyl, CDs, and DVDs at every point of the room. There were items behind glass cases, displayed on the wall, nestled in the back corridor, and lined up on the stands in the middle of the room.
Everyone in the shop seemed to be fully interested in what they were doing. I probably annoyed the locals with my camera snip-snapping away in so many directions. One guy seemed to be trying to photo-bomb me a couple of times! I’d like to think he got a kick out of it.
Angela pulled out several vinyls, showing me and my camera what was good. There was a copy of 1989 by Taylor Swift on display, so obviously, they gain points for that one.
We weren’t offered any coffee at this one, but it was unnecessary. We had already had a second cup at Reykjavik roasters before the vinyl adventure began. Just call us quintessential hipsters, too.