Brazilianisms at SPFW Winter 2009 Edition

domingo, 25 de janeiro de 2009

This season's edition of São Paulo Fashion Week was called "Brasileirismos," or Brazilianisms, and was an honor to Carmen Miranda, one of Brazil's biggest fashion icons, for her 100th birthday had she been alive to this day. There were paintings and pictures of her plastered on the walls of Parque Ibirapuera's walls as well as other paintings from local artists (amongst them, Catarina Gushiken).

The Winter 2009 collection brought some of the country's best designers on the week on January 18th-23rd, featuring FH (by Fause Haten), Osklen, Mario Queiroz, Cori, Priscilla Darolt, Colcci, Isabela Capeto, Ronaldo Fraga, Alexandre Herchocovitch (both Male and Female collections), Forum Tufi Duek, Do Estilista, Lino Villaventura, Iódice, Carlota Joakina, 2nd Floor, Fábia Bercsek, Triton, Cavalera, Reinaldo Lourenço, Erika Ikezili, Oestúdio, Ellus, Wilson Ranieri, V. Rom, Animale, Maria Bonita, Simone Nunes, Uma Raquel Davidowicz, Reserva, Samuel Cirnansck, André Lima, Cristine Yufon, Gloria Coelho, Amapô, Jefferson Kulig, Maria Garcia, and Neon. *whew.

Overall, I think the week would've made our Miss Miranda proud.

Los Hermanos - The Bearded Boys are Back!

quarta-feira, 21 de janeiro de 2009

In a few months, the bearded boys from the Brazilian band, Los Hermanos will be back to open for the Radiohead concert in the "Just a Fest" music festival, which takes place on March 20th in Rio de Janeiro and March 22nd in São Paulo.

The band broke up in June 2007, holding their two last shows in Rio (Fundição Progresso). According to Bruno Medina, keyboard, and now writer for the G1 website, the band will be back however for a one time performance at this concert. So, if you haven't had the opportunity to see them on stage, you better hurry up =)

For those who don't know the work of "The Brothers", here is a video from a concert at Cine Íris.

Boteco São Bento - Bar in Itaim Bibi for Business or Leisure

sexta-feira, 16 de janeiro de 2009

Boteco São Bento [pronounce boh-teck-oo, suh-ao bent-oh] is at the heart of Itaim Bibi, São Paulo's financial/prepster/pretty boy district. It is a gorgeous bar that becomes packed by 20 somethings to mid 30 somethings on weekdays after a long day of work for happy hour festivities... but especially for some singling and mingling.

I went last night, with a few also single girlfriends ready to sit back, relax, gossip, and... man hunt. Boteco São Bento plays techno as their background music, and the waiters walk around with trays topped with glasses of drafts, and is known to be the it spot to meet successful and attractive mid to late 20's men and women (but especially men)! Ok, I'll give them that. The crowd was attractive and looks were exchanged... but that's about it. Most people were in their designated groups, chatting about work and reminiscing on the times they played more. I quickly became unconvinced that I would find the man of my dreams there and decided to just chat it up with my girls and have a beer and some appetizers...

OMFG, the appetizers! Various little fried wonderfulness things that were orgasmic to the pallette and melted in my mouth. Bruschetta topped with tomatoes that were loaded on for days. And a sicilian style pizza that had mozzarella overload. If you don't believe me, see the menu on their site: The items actually look like the pictures! Apparently, the menu changes every 6 months, so I will be sure to go back in 6 months... but probably just to drool over and then proceed to the apps.

Why is that? Why am I so obsessed with the apps? I mean, really... who is this girl who is an appetiz-a-holic? Well, my friends, I spent a good 40 minutes nursing my appetizers because it took that long for me to get my first beer! The waiters carrying around the trays of drafts were clearly too busy to wait on 4 girls (and we're cute, damnit!) and when one decided to hand me over a beer, he got an attitude with me when I said I didn't want it because it was Sol and not the Heineken I had ordered. For those who are familiar with either beers, for the same price, Heineken is of MUCH better quality than Sol. I explicitly told my waiter friend that Sol is "water." The worst was my friend's Guaraná, which took an extra 15 minutes to get to us.

Needless to say... I didn't stay for long. No beer, moody waiters, techno as background music (wtf?), no point in staying. I highly recommend going to this bar when it's relatively empty. The eye candy isn't even worth it if you're not going to get the attention you deserve, especially for what you're paying.

If you're in the Itaim Bibi area for work or leisure, definitely stop by to at least savor an appetizer. They're all worth it if you're in the neighborhood.

Boteco São Bento

Rua João Cachoeira, 800

Itaim Bibi, Zona Sul

+55 (11) 3079-3650


A Poet's Pride

terça-feira, 13 de janeiro de 2009

Veja este post em português

Union Street...
How beautiful the names of streets were throughout my childhood
Sun Street
(I'm afraid today it may be named after a certain Dr. Something or Other)
Behind our home was Nostalgia Street...
... where we would secretly go to smoke
Right next to it was the berth of Aura Street...
... where we would secretly go to fish

(Manuel Bandeira)

Lierdade/ParaísoThis is why I like Vila Madalena. The streets in this neighborhood aren't named after people, well, some are, but at least there aren't any named after some "significant" historical date nobody even knows about. They aren't streets from our childhood, but streets from our adolescence, our youth. In fact, they are streets for who likes to drink... socially. This is why Vila Madalena does not "start at Paraíso (Paradise) and end at Consolação (Consolation) like Av. Paulista does. Nor does one have to choose between Liberdade (Liberty) and Paraíso. [Vila Madalena] is in the business of good company.

At Vila Madá (an endearing term those closest to the neighborhood use), Hramonia (Harmony) crosses Purpurina (Glitter) before getting to Wisard, which cross Girassol (Sunflower), which leads to Aspicuelta, of which I have yet to find the meaning... but if found, the poet would be proud.

Imagine yourself on the phone with your mother:
"Honey, where are you?"
"On Harmony with some friends...

Poetic, isn't it?

Map of Vila Madalena

São Paulo's Beaches

domingo, 14 de dezembro de 2008

If you're familiar with geography and the physcial location of the city of São Paulo, you are probably wondering how the hell I'm going to talk about beaches here. This is because they are non-existent in the city of São Paulo. So what are the "beaches" of SP?

Shopping Malls.

Yes, ladies and gentlemen... Cariocas go to the beach for family fun in the sun, and Paulistanos escape to the malls for family fun in the A/C.

There are currently
44 shopping malls in São Paulo and 13 more in the greater São Paulo area. Most if not all are relatively large with over 150 stores, a movie theater in each, and quite a few even have large supermarkets in them! Parking garages are packed and you'll encounter lines in stores at all mall operating times.

What is it people in São Paulo find so fascinating about shopping malls? I personally have never been a fan of malls. I hate the crowds; I hate the expensive window shopping (since I'm always broke; and super cheap when it comes to shopping for clothes); I'm not a fan of food court food; I get instant colds when exiting overly air conditioned spaces and then entering unbearable hot and humid weather; and I'll take a downtown boutique over a copy/paste chain store anyday. But in São Paulo... despite having all of the above... malls are almost a safe haven away from the pollution, traffic, noise (okay, not so much noise), heat/rain/wind - depending on what horrible weather is outside... not to mention, you can do everything in one place! You can go to the pharmacy, to the grocery store, get lunch, catch a movie, grab coffee, go to the bank, pay your bills, get dry cleaning, and catch some occasional in-mall entertainment (live music, fashion shows, etc.) all in one day and in one place! Sure, Paulistanos are all pale, but try to do that at the beach!

And before you start jumping to conclusions, don't take me for a small town USA girl who grew up deprived of shopping malls. I grew up shopping at the Danbury Fair, only one of the largest malls in New England (brushing dirt off my shoulder - however inappropriate that may be), and have been privy to a number of other malls in the U.S. Yet in the U.S., I suppose strip malls are more popular? I have no idea... all is know is São Paulo malls are O.D. (over done? - haha, remember when everyone said "O.D."?), but I'm not complaining, because after all... the convenience helps.

Now all they have to do is work on the ridiculousness of prices in stores at malls here! More on that some other day...


Orange Point for Cheap Food & Beer!

sábado, 6 de dezembro de 2008

Eating and drinking near the Avenida Paulista area isn't the cheapest in São Paulo. If you're visiting and are willing to spend boatloads of money on food and booze - that's the place to go. If not, we've found a place for you to eat cheap, drink cheaper, and see what a Brazilian "boteco" in the Paulista area has to offer!

"Orange Point," or "Orange" for the more intimately acquainted with the place, is on the corner of Alameda Santos with Rua Consolação, one block from Av. Paulista. It has little tables outside, a bar inside with stools for barside eating and game watching on the little TV perched in a top corner. A 600 ml bottle of SKOL will cost you less than R$4 and is as cold as a New England winter. To round it all off, they have great hot sandwiches, with our recommendation being a "Bauru," on a mini loaf, with tomato, ham, and cheese (did we mention it's no more than R$3?). The service is great and the waiters will find tables and chairs out of nowhere if you don't happen to see any outside when you show up!

A laid back environment, Orange is home to broke interns who spend all day wearing suits and ties they can't afford and are thirsty for a beer after work and the GLQT crowd escaping the other side of Paulista (namely Rua Augusta). If you are feeling like a cold beer with your friends for a happy hour, a pregame, or even to chill all night, and don't feel like spending all of your weekend budget in one spot, Orange Point is the "point" to find all of the above!

Mexico Villa in Vila Madá

terça-feira, 2 de dezembro de 2008

Veja esse post em Português

For those who enjoy cozy atmospheres in good company, enchiladas, burritos and a good tequila shot (lime & salt, please) - there's a great little, dimly-lit hole in the wall on one of the many steep hills in Vila Madalena on Rua Purpurina that has all of this and more - it's Mexico Villa. Serving up Mexican cuisine and Tex-Mex (typical of what you'll find at most Mexican places in São Paulo). When I said a hole in the wall, I was serious. There has to be no more than 10 deuce tables, with a little window where you can see into the kitchen and and through which you can witness your waitress making your juice. The place is super cute and a great place to go with friends when you're looking for a spot to just snack, drink, and chat for hours.

We went on a random night during the week, famished after getting out of work late. Besides the two of us, there was a couple in the restaurant munching on all sorts of goodies which made us salivate even further. We turned to the waitress and said, "What can we get that's a big helping and cheap?" Isn't that something we should ask any waitress ever? And so she suggested a sampler menu of four different Mexican & Tex-Mex dishes for a whopping R$25. This came to us as a little pricey, but like I had said, we were famished... and so here came our sampler which started off with LOADED nachos (loaded because? refried beans, salsa, guac, cheese, oh my!), and was followed by enchiladas, tacos, and chalupas. Needless to say, I couldn't breathe much once I was finished.

We highly recommend this spot for random nights out in Vila Madalena wher you just want peace, good company, and mm, mm good comida. One other thing that too many people don't know about is they give you and your party 50% off EVERYTHING if you book your birthday there in advance!! That's shots of José for R$6...

Mexico Villa - Rua Purpurina, 493 – tel.: 3034-3062

See Post in Portuguese