<3 São Paulo

I love this city.

You can buy popcorn on any street corner, california maki is made with mango and strawberry instead of avocado, and pretty girls look you in the eyes and smile on the subway.

Every day around 4:00 pm a storm comes through and turns the hilly streets into rivers. Most evenings the sky looks to be signaling the end of the world.

Walking back home from the market this evening, the sky looked like this.

Today I moved into a new room at the hostel, since I officially extended my stay until Sunday. Last night we went out as a group of no less than 15, and actually required three taxis even though part of the group walked. We played a bit of pool and I was surprised to find out that in many Brazilian bars there is actually a referee that handles the table order and enforcement of proper etiquette. Just as has been the case every other night this week, it was sunny outside when we got home.

I strolled through Jardins yesterday on my way up to Avenida Paulista. Paulista is the most expensive real estate in Latin America and the most important street in Sao Paulo. It’s the highest point in the city, and because of this most of the skyscrapers are topped with gigantic pointy antennas. Jardins is full of expensive shopping and fancy shit, and is also home to the only American Apparel in Brazil, which here is marketed to the rich and is almost three times as expensive as in the states. A pair of pants goes for 250 Reals.

There is also a place called Galeria Melissa that has a bunch of plastic shoes inside of bubbles and a big elephant emerging from their facade.

I’d have loved to not have this woman in my photo, however after waiting over five minutes while her daughter shot a series of different poses, I realized she may not have been leaving for a while.

On Paulista I stumbled upon a mall, much like the ones found on Michigan Avenue in Chicago, except that it was full of photo galleries, book stores, cafes, and art supply stores. I was told to stop before I even began taking photos.

Four on the dot, the storm came through. The sky turned black, opened up, and everyone ran for shelter. I found myself hanging out in a magazine stand, in which I flipped through a Brazilian photoshop magazine only to find a two page spread with a photo of the CTA Damen stop and my apartment building in Chicago.

Consolacão Metro stop on Paulista

The Avenue

Running to the Magazine Stand for shelter

Trying to stay dry

After the storm

I decided to spend the 8 Real to buy an umbrella, and walked back to the metro to head home.

Today I took all three trains to the Republica stop in the center with the goal of shooting photos from the top of the Edeficio Santander, which is a tall bank building with an observatory and apparently a 360 degree view of skyscrapers as far as one can see. However I soon found out that they scan your passport to allow access to the elevator, and as we all can agree, only a fool would walk around central Sao Paulo with a passport in their pocket.

I did however, enjoy a delightful sandwich and smoothie at a juice bar at praca de sé while observing some first rate derelictism in the adjacent plaza. Though I’d have liked to take more photos, in this part of the center of the city you have to be discreet with your valuables, to say the least.

Walking from republica to praca de sé.

Old buildings downtown

Praca de sé

Praca de sé is a metro hub, connecting two of the busiest subway lines.

Back at Clinicas it’s a five block walk home.

Going out in Vila Madalena again tonight.

Apparently I may not have an apartment to come home to in Chicago? Stay tuned!

This entry was written by brett, posted on February 26, 2009 at 5:26 pm, filed under São Paulo, Travel. Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.



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