Tuesday, January 29, 2019

South America 2019: Trip Notes # 3 

Jerry's Uber-USA App works here - it's so easy once we figured things out. Each ride might be $3-$5 or perhaps $6 if the travel time is > 20 minutes. This is so much better than renting a car and looking for a place to park. We book a car, it arrives within a few minutes, we get dropped off at our destination and the process keeps repeating. Maybe, we spend $20 for the day - no stress, no strain...

We needed more water - returned to the market and discovered that the entire neighborhood "loves' takeout.

Uber Shops - Uber Delivers

The local market is quite large and believes in service. If a customer needs information or forgets something, a customer service person takes off on - skates!

The Customer Service Position Knew When An Opportunity Strikes
She Fixed Her hair And Angled Herself For The Best Photo Op Possible
Waiting To Be Discovered!

*                   *                   *

 While walking throughout the multi-storied market complex, we discovered  an "Inter-Active" experience. There are paintings or other art-type items that encourage a visitor to be part of the art item.

We also found a variety of restaurants located on different levels - stumbled onto a "Portuguese-style" restaurant - met the owner - decided to return later for dinner. When we returned, the owner sat down with us providing an opportunity to learn about her restaurant, some of Brazil's politics and to share life's experiences.

"Christina" changed professions. She was a high-tech marketing manager (knew many of PMI's customers) and wanted to make more money. She (and her husband) started a restaurant and catering business. They work 12 hours each day. It's hard work. We learned that there was a political parallel between USA and Brazil. The new president was elected as an anti-vote against the previous (very) corrupt president. The new president (offering opportunities for small business growth) has not met his many promises causing (very) recent protests/riots in nearby areas.

We had a local dish: Chunks of sausage, slices of ham and beef with grilled cheese, piled high on large pieces of crusty bread and smothered in a very tasty tomato-based type soup. Scalloped french-fried potatoes accompanied this dish. We each ordered one of these monster sandwiches. Too much to eat in one sitting. 

A large bottle of local beer was perfect for this meal.

*                 *                  *

Sunday's are "Fiesta Days" in the town center. The main boulevard (Av. Paulista) is closed off providing a lengthy pedestrian and bicycle zone

Our next stop on Paulista (one of the main boulevards) is MASP - (Art Museum of Sao Paulo). 

Although small, this museum was a - WOW! This is the only art museum in the world that places the art pieces on a glass stands allowing visitors to walk around them. The stands are called - "Crystal Easels." 

Although a small collection ranging from the 1600's to the present, still there was a wonderful representation of famous artists and styles. 

We Love The Impressionist Artists


Close-ups of pieces is permitted  
Complete Painting
Close-Up Permitted - See Picture To Right



More close-ups

Complete Painting
Close-up To Right ---->

 Modern Art - Material Woven Around Driftwood

A different style...

 There are many art and food vendors lining the streets. 

We wanted to try something really local. A young English-speaking couple (lucky us) introduced us to a Northeastern (West African) Brazilian concoction - a bean/pea-type "shell" -- filled with chopped veggies, soft-shelled shrimp, an unusual saffron sauce and exotic spices. It was quite good.

Dish Was Called "Acaraje"

Bands (playing different types of music) are station on each block. 

There was a very unusual happening at one part of Paulista - Street Dancing! Hundreds of locals were all doing line dancing and circle dancing. This must be relatively common. Most of the people knew the hand motions and steps. Think in terms of the "hustle" with a modern, quick samba-type beat.

Locals buy, eat, dance, drink and have fun. Although there was a "police presence" (along with other security people), no one was acting stupid or causing a disturbance. It was a warm and beautiful day - locals wanted to have a good time.

There was one band with a woman lead singer that sang "What's Going On?" by 4 Non Blonds. It was a perfect rendition. There was quite a crowd listening to her sing. (Google the song - it's a good one!)

This leads to what the radio stations are playing - Everyone listens to American music - all types from famous easy listening to the latest rap. The focus is more 80's to the present.

Time For a Treat. Maracuja is "Passion Fruit" ice cream - a little sour and seedy but very good. It goes well with dark chocolate.  

Also time for a rest in a nearby park. It has been close to 90 degrees mid-day.

*                  *                  *

Monday, January 28, 2019

South America 2019: Trip Notes # 2

South America 2019: Trip Notes # 2

Friends asked us why would we want to visit Sao Paulo - it's just a big city.

Looking Out From Apartment 

True - it's a big city. But, it is also packed with wonderful places to visit, many things to see and (as cities go) and they all have their unique feel.

Paulista Avenue

 One of the city's areas was devoted entirely to wedding gowns. This was not just one street with a few wedding dress stores - this was many square blocks - all having wedding dress establishments and, of course there were many stores that sold other items that would accompany a wedding such as tuxedos, cakes and flowers.
There are very few people that speak English. When it was obvious that we were struggling with trying to decipher what was in a cafe's food case, or in a market trying to find yogurt without sugar or helping to order food, there seemed to be a local that spoke just enough English that would come up and assist us.

Overall, Sao Palo is very clean. Drivers are good - they are polite,   and there is no honking.

We often hear many emergency vehicle sirens in other cities. Here, it is very quiet.

Few people smoke. There are "Prohibited" signs throughout the area.

This is a dog-friendly city - they seem to be everywhere. However, they are all on a leash, the owners clean up the poop and, if the dog is small and tired of walking, they are put in a baby carriage and pushed for a while.

Graffiti is everywhere - . even on public phones.

However, may walls are decorated with sophisticated graffiti murals.


*                  *                 

Pioncateca de Estado - This is a museum situated in a turn of the century (1900's) beautiful, ornate building. Inside, it is modern, minimalist in style and quite nice. The focus is to emphasize works from the early 20th century to the present times - simple but well done.

There was one room showing the relationship between the artist and the model.

Jerry's mother had an artist friend. As an adult the friend painted a beach scene of Jerry's mother and the friend when they were small children. The below painting is quite similar to what we have at our  beach house.

Close Up

Complete Painting

*                    *                    *

Calixto Open Market - mostly arts and crafts - few artists were good. But, the ambiance was electric.

Interesting Food Stalls

Live Music

 Drinking In The Streets - Everyone Is Well Behaved.

 Interesting People

*                  *                 * 

Drove through different neighborhoods - looking for graffiti murals. One graffiti area is called "Beco do Batman."

People Line Up For a Photo Op

Another Photo Op

 Jerry's Photo Op

Artist Tools

*                    *              *
Having a good time exploring this new area.