Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Smell of books

I love it. I regret not having come into the library. The thing with São Paulo is that it's so huge we forget to do stuff. Lasar Segall is such a nice place, only a few blocks from where I live and I think I've been there only once or twice.


Tuesday, May 30, 2006


Chão de flores

Petals on floor.

Monday, May 29, 2006



Saturday morning, from my new window. :)

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Sao Paulo's flag

On top of the Banespa Building.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Parque do Ibirapuera

Friday, May 26, 2006

Lasar Segall


There are 71 museums in São Paulo. One of them is Museu Lasar Segall (this was taken at the garden and shows a sculpture made by Lasar Segall). There's a movie theather, a library with art books and they also offer classes and workshops on photograpy, writing and stuff.

Thursday, May 25, 2006


Dinosaurs shown at Parque do Ibirapuera.

My neighbor's doggie would love this! :-)

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Grande Sertão: Veredas

One of the stories at Museu da Língua Portuguesa shows a Brazilian literary masterpiece (considered by many as the most important one): Grande Sertão: Veredas (or, as translated, The Devil to Pay in the Backlands), by Guimarães Rosa. There are copies, on fabric, of the pages of the book, with the editing marks made by hand by the author.

Spread all around, many pieces of art in different media, show excerpts of the book. Some of these pieces are curious, because you have to be standing at an especific spot to make out what's written, as you can see below:

One of the sentences on this is one of the most important ones: Viver é muito perigoso, or Living is extremely dangerous.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Shoeshine guy


I was having coffee and thinking and drawing dumb stuff and he came in again and asked me for something to eat and drink. He was speaking really fast, so I said to the waitress it was okay and she could give him whatever he asked for to eat. But because I didn't get the part he asked for something to drink, they thought I'd only pay for food. So he came to the table and asked if it was okay if he got a Coke, instead of food. I told him he was welcome to get something to eat as well. I asked him if I could take a picture of him. He's 18, he lives on the streets and he polishes shoes (BRL 3.00). So I took the pictures, showed them to him and thanked him. He said he thought he looked good on them, thanked me and left.

I'm not telling the story because I want you to think how nice of me it was to pay for stuff, or because I wanted to do it so I wouldn't feel guilty for not doing enough to help the situation as a whole (except for voting, I guess). I wanted to tell this story because to some people, having what to eat and what to drink seems like something impossible. I wonder if there are people who would only pay for one or the other, as if it is asking too much if a person asks for something to drink and something to eat. I know for sure there are people who wouldn't have paid for anything.

Of course charity is not the answer to social problems, and inequality - which I believe is the main reason why we have people in Brazil living like this - won't just go away, but then I wasn't thinking about it. I was thinking about this person, Anderson, and wondered why *he* got to be homeless. I'm sorry, I didn't mean to lecture you. Anyway, these are people almost no one cares about and they, like Beth Marcos and I, live in São Paulo.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Portuguese Language Museum @ Julio Prestes Station

SP fact: More than 120 theaters, 71 museums e 11 cultural centers.

You've seen Júlio Prestes train station before. This is what it looks like on the outside. After going through renovation, the station now holds projects sponsored by the State Secretariat of Culture, and a room for our simphonic orchestra to perform. One of these days I'll show you the Portuguese Language Museum.

Sunday, May 21, 2006


This one I took from the bus, and my not being a photoshop expert, I couldn't get rid of the reflections on the window. Marcos, I need help! :)

Monumento às Bandeiras

São Paulo was founded in 1555, by Jesuit priests who built a school (located downtown and that amazingly still exists). Back then, not much happened in São Paulo. We were basically a bunch of priests and native people being slaved (or converted to Catholicism, so they would be "real people", as they thought back at the time). São Paulo is up in the mountains - okay, the mountains may not be that high - 760 m above sea level (2,493 feet), but it was right in the middle of the tropical forest, so you can imagine how hard it was for people to get here.

  1. A map of Brazil, where you can see where we are.
  2. Here you can check a map showing Mata Atlântica - how much of it we had back then in light beige; in brown, what's left of the forest.
Anyway, after some time, people living in São Paulo organized - with or without help from Portugal - many expeditions to the country side (heh) and were lucky enought to find gold and precious stones (and also to capture natives to work as slaves). These expeditions helped us form the borders of the country and, of course, got the attention of Portugal to Brazil.

The monument shown in these pictures shows an expedition like that. If you click on them to see a larger version, you'll see natives, horses - although I think they used mules and not horses, "white people", etc.

Monumento às Bandeiras

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Everything - everything! - World Cup

Hanging outside a pet store, cages "dressed" for the World Cup.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Sushi for lunch

SP fact: 16,800 sushis are made per hour in São Paulo.

Sushi we ate

So I tutor (or used to, as Marcos has missed, like, 6 classes in a row) Marcos - teach him English - and occasionally he invites me for lunch. I always choose to go to this place that used to be a fish store. They started serving sashimi to some of the customers and turned the place into a fish store/Japanese restaurant. On their menu, grilled fish, sashimi, sushi and missoshiro.

Fish store/Japanese restaurant

We eat a lot - really, a lot! - and we spend BRL25.00 each (approx. US$12.50).

Thursday, May 18, 2006

CGH Airport - view from my old place

My dad taking a look at Congonhas traffic.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006


It seems like the three of us are living busy, hectic days. So, here's a boring, shitty picture for you.

About the madness going on in São Paulo: it's much calmer now and we're all safe. Thanks, everybody.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

A little church

On Largo do Paissandu.

Monday, May 15, 2006


Things have been quite rough down here for the past 3 days, as you'll read here (CNN article). Situation is just crazy. There's a 220km traffic, which is absolutely insane, even for São Paulo, and people are scared to leave their homes. Instead of the 5,000 buses we usually have around, only 1,000 were available today (several have been burned down yesterday night) and many stores haven't even opend their doors because employees weren't able to get to work. There's been a bombing in a subway station, schools have sent students back home. Extra-officially 90 people have been killed so far - police officers and criminals.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Just a shot of an ordinary street

I feel totally uncreative, so here's a boring picture of Avenida Domingos de Moraes, near my house. SP fact: More than 5.5 thousand crossroads with traffic lights in the city. The good thing about this neighborhood is that it's very convenient - it's near the subway station, drugstores, markets, everything. The bad thing is that because it's convenient, there are lot of buildings being built around here and it gets noisy as early as 7 am. Nothing's perfect I guess.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Please pick up your dog's poo. Thank you.

On a tree at the the place I take my dog for walks, a sign saying "Please pick up your dog's poo". And, yes, I always do - so, you're welcome. SP fact: There are approximately 5,000 pet stores in the city. The biggest pet store, Cobasi, makes BRL1,000,000.00/month (roughly US$500,000.00), if we only consider the sales during the weekend. Each person spends approximately BRL 46.00 each time they go there. There are more than 1.5 million pets living in our houses. Amongst them, Cuca, the cutest dog ever:

Friday, May 12, 2006


These guys sweep our streets everyday. SP fact: There are more than 5,000 garis (street-sweepers) working in the city, where more than 10 million people leave. They have this uniform in bright colors so we don't hit them with our cars. They're paid minimum wage, BRL 350/month (approx. US$170). Now, you really have to be an honest person to work for such low money. I can only imagine how hard it is to decide to do a crappy job like this for money that is far from enough to live a decent life instead of becoming a drug dealer or a thief. The problem with these guys - and many other workers - is that they don't have much education and if they do, it's public education, which is really, really bad, except for our universities, that are among the best in Latin America.

Marlene, the cleaning lady who comes to my house once a week, makes more than that. She gets paid BRL 55.00/day (approx. US$26.00), so she probably makes, like, BRL 800.00/month (US$388). As you can see, unlike what happens in other countries, we get paid by month - with few exceptions - and not by the hour or by week.

Okay, I don't mean to shock you, but the best EFL (English as a Foreign Language) schools pay approx. BRL 13.00/hour (US$7.50). Classes are 1 or 1.5 hour long. So we have to get as many classes as we can to get decent money. Of course there will be teachers who'll make more money, depending on the qualification they have.

Photo by Beth; text by Ione.

Thursday, May 11, 2006


SP fact: There are more than 15,000 buses in the city. The guy in blue shirt, he collects money. They tried to make it all automatic, but we couldn't just fire all these people working as "bus-money collectors". It costs BRL 2.00 for a ride, which is now approximately a dollar. There's also this program that allows you to pay the same for a two-hour ride, so you can change buses as many times as you need during that period. You can also buy a ticket that allows you to take a bus and then the subway and it costs approximately BRL 3.60.

I enjoy taking buses. It's nice to look out the window and not have to be all stressed with traffic - let the driver do that for me. I can read or take pictures (cof), and eavesdropping is a must. I remember being on a bus reading Lolita and getting weird looks from a lady. Like I were a pervert for reading Lolita. Ha!

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Welcome to the jungle

Mural on a School's wall in Cambuci.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Museu do Ipiranga

Brazil was a colony of Portugal until September 7, 1822 when we then became an Empire, ruled by D. Pedro I, and after by D. Pedro II, both part of the royal families who run Portugal. Yeah, it's weird. According to a legend, D. Pedro I shouted "Independence or death!", while riding his horse close to the place where later this builiding in the picture got built. Although it was meant to be the symbol of independence, it was only ready in 1895.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Parque do Ibirapuera

A nice place for skating.

Ione, you said you were only going to post bad pictures. No deal, huh? :-)

SP fact: 2.5 million people/day take the subway.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Everything World Cup II

The real jerseys cost a lot of money, so we have pirated shirts being sold everywhere. Number 9 is the shirt Ronaldo wears. Number 10 is the shirt everyone wants to have, though, because Pelé used to wear it. The black shirt is Corinthians', one of the most popular teams, with approximately 25 million fans all around the country. Beth, as far as I know, is a Corinthians fan, but Marcos and I are fans of São Paulo Futebol Clube.

SP fact: There are more than 5.5 million cars in the city.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Soccer table

I won't be able to post tomorrow (Saturday), so I will use a blogger trick to post it with a different date. Okay, that's cheating... I know!

Our love for soccer is so huge we don't play it only on the field (or the beach or anywhere). We have these tables to play soccer too.

The rules are almost the same as in "real" soccer. Except the game doesn't last for 90 minutes.

You can check my dad and my cousing playing here: my cousin Zé, and my dad.

SP fact: Over 30 thousand taxis in the city (3rd largest number in Latin America).

Friday, May 05, 2006

Memorial da América Latina

A project of Oscar Niemeyer, the most famous Brazilian architect - he designed Brasília, our capital - Memorial da América Latina, with its buildings, is one of the most modern cultural centers of São Paulo.

There you can find information on the Latin American culture, as well as expositions of crafts, library, music files and a film collection. There's also a room for musical/dance/theatrical performances.

This picture shows the symbol of the place, an open hand where you can see the map of Latin American as if drawn in blood.

SP fact: 30 mi people/month go to the shopping malls in the city.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Everything World Cup

This is for Nicola, who's mentioned The World Cup recently. We'll certainly have many other pictures on World Cup. Such a fever. Bunnies, bracelets, flags, purses, everything is yellow, blue and green these days. This picture was taken on Avenida Paulista, that you've seen here a couple of times, after having had lunch with Marcos.

A friend from the States who doesn't understand the first thing about soccer asked me if Brazil's supposed to win this year. The answer is: Brazil's supposed to win every time. There has never been a time we thought Brazil didn't stand a chance. The country stops to watch Brazilian soccer team games. We'll go as far as having TVs in our workplaces so the staff can watch them. Nobody expects life to go on as normal during the World Cup.

SP fact: We have more than 70 shopping malls in the city, more than any other city in Brazil.

Actually, people from other cities make fun of people from SP - they say our idea of fun is going to the shopping mall.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

My favorite bookshop

Here's where I spend a lot of my money buying books. I love reading. Last month I made the terrible mistake of buying A million little pieces, by James Frey. Dude, don't ever spend a second reading it. Trust me. I wouldn't believe when they told me it was bad. It's worse than bad. Also, I thought I'd give JF a chance. What if the story was really good, or that he was really a talented author? Woops, my mistake. This guy won't deserve my giving a second chance. I also bought Diary - a novel, by Chuck Palahniuk - but I haven't started that one yet, and A short history of nearly everything, by Bill Brison - I love it so far.

GDP of São Paulo is US$76 billions.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006


I'm not sure there's such a thing in other places around the world, but I'd like to know (please tell me!), but 3 years from now a weird job has been created in Brazil: dog walker. You pay for someone to get your friend at home and exercise.

Your dog might find his/her soulmate, because they usually take a group of dogs to walk. Take a look at the couple on the left. :-)


SP fact: There are more than 240 thousand commercial venues in the city.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Playing at Ibirapuera

Ibirapuera is the biggest park in the city, with 1.6m m2; 200 thousand people go there each weekend.

Important art and culture centers are located there, such as the Modern Art Museum (MAM), Oca, o Pavilhão da Bienal (Biannual pavilion) and the Japanese Pavilion - with a replica of Kyoto's Imperial Palace (in Japan) - and the Folklore and the Airforce museums.

I've got tons of pictures of this park and I promise I'll show you all of them. :-)

SP fact: There are 10,000 restaurants, which made it the world's gastronomy capital.