A Bright mural to brighten my week (PPAC #30)

I was going through my old photos and came across this mural from my 2017 Iceland trip. I guess I was drawn to a more colorful photo to brighten my week. I’ve been working from home this week due to the rise of omicron and reducing our exposure by going to the office less. Since my kid’s daycare is at my work, I have not been taking her to daycare this week so she’s with me all day. Even before having a kid, I have never been a fan of working from home.

Continue reading A Bright mural to brighten my week (PPAC #30)

Construction barriers as canvases (PPAC #15)

Reykjavik, Iceland has a lot of stunning public art, but this caught my eye because someone used a construction barrier as their canvas.

Pre-pandemic in LA, it seemed construction was going on all the time: new apartment building, new stores, reviving abandoned buildings, etc. I don’t recall seeing any art on any construction barrier — it would be nice there was. It would have made my work lunch walks more enjoyable than seeing blank eyesores. It’s like a pop-up art display or a temporary exhibit.

gorilla mural


Sun Voyager (PPAC #10)

Since I posted photos from Reykjavik for this week’s Lens-Artist photo challenge, I thought to continue the theme this week with public art. But also it happens to be the 10th PPAC! I decided every 5th and 10th PPAC for my blog would be public art outside of Los Angeles County just to break it up.

Anyways, if you leave the Harpa Concert Hall in Reyjavik, you would find this sculpture of what looks like a boat — it’s not a Viking boat! It is however a dream boat representing “a promise of undiscovered territory, a dream of hope, progress and freedom.” Viking boats are much larger — though this boat could have been a scale representation.

Sailing to uncharted territories


Catching the light

For this week’s Lens-Artists photo challenge, It’s All About the Light, I immediately thought about Reykjavik and its two main landmarks: the Hallgrimskirkja church and the Harpa Concert Hall. I love the way those buildings capture light.

Hallgrimskirkja Icelandic church

Hallgrimskirkja church – at eight in the morning…on a November day.

harpa concert hall early morning ceiling

Harpa Concert Hall early in the morning.

harpa concert hall daytime ceiling

Harpa Concert Hall later in the day when the sun was high. Looking at the above photo, there’s this cool transition where on the right side, it almost looks like a pencil drawing. Quite a cool effect. There’s no filter needed.

See you next time, Iceland.

Ways to save money while traveling in Iceland

We were warned that Iceland was going to be expensive…very expensive. Our two hamburgers with minimal vegetables and one tray of fries cost near 35 U.S. dollars. We did not dare to buy another tray of fries nor bought any drinks — this would have added another 10 dollars to our meal.

So how did we “bootstrap” one of the most expensive countries in the world?

  1. We took advantage of our complimentary (generous) breakfast buffet each day we were there. We made sure breakfast was our largest meal for the day. And we packed a few things from the buffet.
  2. Buy snacks at the grocery stores.
  3. Bring a reusable water bottle — there’s a potable water everywhere!
  4. Face the facts that produce is going to be EXPENSIVE even if you are shopping in a budget grocery store. The produce aisle in Iceland is small. In California, our produce aisle takes about one-third of the store. In Iceland the produce aisle is a small shelf, while the cured meats and cheese had large section to have its own refrigerated room. Think about it, if you have seen the landscape in Iceland there is barely any vegetation and I must add, very few trees. The fruit and vegetables are either imported or grown in greenhouses which explains the high cost. This leads me back to taking advantage of the hotel breakfast buffet — we packed some fruit for our day trips.
  5. When it comes to buying souvenirs from ornaments to chocolate, it is better to buy them at the airport. If only we knew earl ier– there’s no sales tax in the airport which is why chocolate was cheaper than in any grocery store we’ve been to.
  6. Take advantage of the free things to do around Reykjavik – Just like living in Los Angeles, we take advantage of the things that are free: hiking, free musuem days, views, going to the beach. Reykjavik is a small city, but we still seek for things that were free such as:


Going into the Harpa Concert Hall


Northern Light Center – I highly recommend going to there before going out to the Northern Lights. You learn the science of how the Northern Lights are produced, what the expect, and you get to practice your camera skills on a Northern Lights simulator.20171126_114704.jpg

Go to the lake in the center of town. When the lake turns into ice, this turns into an instant park. I swear this really is a lake once all the snow and ice is melted.


Hang around the Hallgrímskirkja Church


Admire the Christmas decorations around town



… the public art



…and views from the harbor