whit.typepad.com > Sao Paolo, April 2004

Tropicalia

Tropicalia

This was no sycamore.


Keep Out

Keep Out

The fences have spikes and the plants have thorns.


Beware Of Anti-Social Dog

Beware Of Anti-Social Dog

Deep in the coleus lurks a dog that doesn't like parties.


Fierce Vines

Fierce Vines

Got plenty of rain and hot weather? Strategy #1: Grow fast, grow tall. Strategy #2: Take advantage of someone who did.


Walls Upon Walls

Walls Upon Walls

In the neighborhood where I stayed, the houses typically have a fence, or wall, that abuts the sidewalk. Inside that was a courtyard, sometimes paved for cars and sometimes with just a few flowers, like crown of thorns or cacti. Sometimes the wall was more absolute.


Tall orders

Tall orders

Everything was under construction: Roads, parks, buildings. Boom.


Shady

Shady

The landscape looked like Los Angeles but the architecture seemed more European. Walls along the streets were the norm, sometimes with a ribbon for a few social flowers (or bamboo).


The Passion

The Passion

As my mother put it, a "crown of thorns on steroids." Common North American houseplants thrive in Brazil (and elsewhere, of course) without even giving it a thought.


Truck Farmers

Truck Farmers

One street was lines for blocks with fruit: Limes, mangoes, papayas, pineapples, even starfruit. Bananas and bananas and after that? Bananas.


Steelwork

Steelwork

Room for cars to pull forward; no way for people to lean back; pedestrians must go around.


Horizon

Horizon

The city's scale defies description.


Showing Design

Showing Design

A European focus on design sensibility is endemic to Sao Paolo. The hotel was right next to a huge furniture mart that was deep in nicely conceived brushed steel, warm wood and bright plastic accompaniments to living.


Mechanics' Halls

Mechanics' Halls

In the crowded, narrow streets, auto mechanics' bays open up straight back from the sidewalk. In the walls are hung exhaust systems and parts in gunmetal gray.


A Very Long Commute

A Very Long Commute

In a city of 18 million people spread across an impossibly vast landscape, the buses are thronged and the bus stops filled with dozens and dozens of people, two deep on the corners, looking up the street.


Fogo do Chão: The Grill

Fogo do Chão: The Grill

Hot like a tandoor. Meat on skewers brought out to the dining room, where individual portions are sliced or slid off for diners.


Kitchen at Fogo do Chão

Kitchen at Fogo do Chão

Outside the grill was the support system. All public-ready bright shiny steel.


At Supremo in Sao Paolo: Chico Saraiva

At Supremo in Sao Paolo: Chico Saraiva

I saw Chico Saraiva, who played guitar and sung, along with a female vocalist, another guitarist and a pianist.