The Bushwick Sagas: Three Young Men From Brooklyn Go to Iceland

01/11/2010 4:02 PM |

Traveling to Iceland

Now, I didn’t go to journalism school, but I know that when your favorite polyglot, prolix contributor emails you to say he’s going on a field trip to Iceland and would like to report daily to you in the form of the Icelandic sagas (a form you’ve always loved) you tell him “HELLS YES, THIS SHIT IS GOLD.” So it is that beloved and orotund friend of The L Paul D’Agostino (who among other things runs a gallery in Bushwick) will be telling us all about his crazy times in Iceland this week. Behold his first report, written in the style of the Sagas, after the jump…

I. Pál, Rykkí and Daustyn are Renamed and Depart

It was during the week of the new moon at the outset of this new year that a certain group of young men, once known as Paul, Richard and Dustin, departed from their homestead in the County of Kings in search of dramatic landscapes, extensive nights, luminous skies, curious forms of sustenance and somewhat warmer climes in a not-so-distant, though allegedly quite different land, Iceland, a place known rather well for all such things as mentioned above, except for perhaps the mild winter temperatures, though at the time one could make such claims in truth.

One could also claim in truth that the territory they left behind, Bushwick, located in the general environs of what some consider a possible setting for a place once known as Vinland, was itself once known for its many trees, of which more than a few, if not nearly all, have by now become lifeless poles connected by thick black strings. Their territory of destination, on the other hand, this place called Iceland, was once thought to have dense woods, though in fact the timber there, mostly dwarf birch, is quite scarce; it is also a land of very few native mammals, though a great many and great variety of birds do there thrive.

There was a time when Iceland’s chief wares to be traded abroad were wool, tweed, sheepskins, hides, cheese, tallow, falcons and sulphur. In Bushwick, meanwhile, there are times when certain parts of certain streets smell like forsaken piles of all of those things, even when such things are not present. These invisible sources of rotten perfume are sometimes thought to be ghosts or apparitions.

Although there are many other things to be said about both of these territories, these things will not be said here, at least not now, for the beginning of the journey should first be told.

However, prior to embarking on their trip, Paul, Richard and Dustin decided that they should adopt Icelandic names, and so this was done.

Paul became Pál Vincenzosson, son of Vincenzo Vincenzosson. Richard became Rykkí Richardsson, son of Richard Richardsson. Dustin became Daustyn Ericsson, son of Eric Albertsson. These new patronymic names became very official, for they were recorded in very official spiral notebook.

It was then agreed that the story of their journey, this very story, should be told in saga form, as the Icelandic sagas are very rich and splendid narratives indeed. For this reason, they thought it proper and perhaps advantageous to adopt saga-like names, and so this too was done.

Pál Vincenzosson became Pál Able-Tongue; Rykkí Richardson became Rykkí of Archives; Daustyn Ericsson became Daustyn the Composed. Their reasons they were thusly named will not be discussed here, at least not now.

The homestead they left behind, called Centotto, had been known for some time to host various gatherings in recognition and celebration of regularly changing exhibitions of objects adorning its interior quarters. These objects are commonly referred to as artworks, and Centotto is commonly referred to as an art gallery.

Since the immediate provenance then common to Pál, Rykkí and Daustyn was this place, Centotto, the collected tales of their day-to-day exploits and encounters, to which all of the above should be considered an introduction, was called Hundraðogátta Saga.