Tuesday, May 21, 2013
So this just happened.
I assume there are a couple things in play here. One, obviously, is City’s planned visit to play Chelsea at Yankee Stadium on Saturday. Secondly, I think that since there is no current place for this team to actually, you know, play games, they need to figure out a stadium situation as soon as possible.
Thoughts on this news?
Where do I apply?
After being asked how my day was, I got free steak.
Butcher boyfriend is a weird serial killeresque hashtag but I’m not mad at free meat so…
#butcherboyfriend it is.
#SINGLELADIESTOUR São Paulo, Brazil (IV of IV)
Our Brazilian Deezer hosts brought us to dinner at Bar da Dona Onça, which is literally a leopard print themed restaurant. I ordered the catch of the day, which happened to be dorado, a popular Brazilian fish.
Sidenote: I just spent twenty minutes googling variations on “São Paulo leopard”, failing to find the actual name of the restaurant. Then I remember someone pointing out Love Story, a club slash whore house down the street, which had me pulling up the brothel on Google Maps and zooming around nearby until I found what I was looking for. #sleuth
In any event, the name of the bar translates to “Lady Jaguar’s Bar” and they serve a mean cocktail and deliciously fresh fish. Perhaps most importantly, everything that could be in not leopard but jaguarprint, is. (Turns out that the jaguar is sort of Brazil’s version of the Bald Eagle.) My favorite decorations were the paintings of famous locations all over the world, where a jaguar was poorly photoshopped in and the whole thing was blown up into giant wall hangings. So silly and yet so perfect. And the restaurant is located on the ground floor of Edificio COPAN, one of the architectural gems of the city. Blame it on the low light or the multiple maracuja caipirinhas, I didn’t get any fotos of the decor. Internet to the rescue! Photo credits here & here.
After dinner and drinks, I ended up going with a few of the band dudes and our local production team to a bar in Villa Madalena, graffiti arthood, called Ó do Borogodó. I was promised live music.
What I got was an amazing six piece samba band with a seventy year old lady vocalist in a small sweaty dive bar that serves beers so huge you have to share them amongst friends in small juice glasses on a crowded dance floor.
It was truly magical.
#SINGLELADIESTOUR São Paulo, Brazil (III of IV)
As previously mentioned, the official opportunity to travel down to Brazil was because my friend T, who works on the management team for Chicago band, Wild Belle, was invited to play an event down in São Paulo. I can’t say enough nice things about the band for being genuinely sweet and legitimately talented folks. You should probably check them out.
Deezer is sort of the South American version of Spotify, and there were our hosts in SP. They threw a party at Cine Joia where Wild Belle and an electronic dance party group, Gang do Eletro, performed. ADORE.
“One of the most important band of Techno Brega scenario. The Pará-based group Gang do Eletro was founded by DJ Waldo Squash and singer Marcos Maderito, and came to public attention in 2008. While focusing on life in the suburbs of Belém, the band produces the new electronic music from Amazonia, a blend of techno, Caribbean music, electro and house, creating a new rhythm - electromelody.”
Translation: They’re rad Brazilian electronic music that isn’t Diplo related.
Anyways, within minutes of getting into the party, our production host handed me a glass of cachaça, the liquor caipirinhas are made out of, so I knew this was going to be a good time. Wild Belle was really well received by the foreign crowd and Gang do Eletro wore neon outfits and turned the party into a dancehall. I wore heels and a sequin skirt. A good time was had.
PS You guys: Brazilian dudes can move.
#SINGLELADIESTOUR São Paulo, Brazil (I of IV)
We spent two nights and two days in the city. Our hotel, TRYP Paulista, was perfectly located in the center of town and conveniently close to a 24 hour restaurant/ grocery store with an exceptional bakery.
Brazil is all about their bread and cheese, in any combination. Pão de queijo (literally cheese filled bread) is a Brazilian staple food item. You’ll see people ordering them alongside espressos in the morning, as afternoon snacks, or at a late night stand. Delicious in any form you get em. I had researched the city’s best pão and found it to be a brief but steep walk away from our hotel on Rue Haddock Lobo 1408 in the Jardim Paulista neighborhood. It is just an unassuming storefront with a single bench outside but it had a line of people waiting for the freshly baked pão to come out of the oven. The baker arrived and dumped the bread into the big basket above and within minutes, they were all sold out again. Hot item, literally. These guys were pros and even offered to move out of the way so I could photograph their product. The bread itself is best served fresh and has a nice crewy center. The cheese is incorporated into the bread so it’s not really like a grilled cheese where the cheese oozes out when you pull it apart.
The 24 hour mart (Bella Paulista)’s bakery is phenomenal. After the show on Thursday night, we headed there to pick up some desserts and night pão which as if the regular bread isn’t delicious enough, they slice it in half and slather it in a cream cheese. Insane good. I picked up a pasteis de nata, the custard tart pictured above, which I learned about in Lisbon. Flakey and not overly sweet. Lethal combination.
When I researched shopping in Brazil, every site told me that I HADDDD to go to a shopping mall and that’s where all cool Brazilians went. So one day when T was working with the band, I hopped on a bus for 40 minutes by myself to a mall. I’ve never been more retail’ly underwhelmed, sadly. Nothing seemed particularly unique and the majority all of the stores were glorified closets. Spoiled American perspective, I’m aware. I’d much rather spend time getting lost in the boutiques and outdoor urban gallerias, which are sort of mini malls that happen in-between buildings.
I would say that the best part about going to the mall was proving to myself that I could conquer a bus system in a land where I don’t speak the language and have no orientating sensibilities. I not only did that, but I never paid a dime for my rides since I couldn’t figure out how to pay for the damn bus. Good thing a smile goes a long way.
Now the money sitch. The physical bills are gorgeous. And even though the entire internet seems to claim that Brazil is super expensive, I was never mad about the price of anything I ate, drank or purchased. So maybe people can’t do the conversion math or they’re just really cheap. Either way, the most expensive thing about Brazil is getting there.
Hey! I finally started trying to back update VCM with Brazil details. Check it out.
#SINGLELADIESTOUR São Paulo, Brazil (II of IV)
São Paulo is a hustler of a city. Every street is covered in foot or motorcycle traffic. Every building goes sky high, maximizing occupancy possibilities in the smallest amount of square footage. Every wall is covered in graffiti. SP is visually B U S Y.
This busyness creates an amazing atmosphere for nightlife and artistry, which is where bars, graffiti and samba music come in. I was lucky enough to experience brilliant versions of all three in my short stay.
I’ve always been a sucker for street art and have countless images of beautiful wall paintings from all over the world in various iPhoto libraries. I spent afternoon in Beco do Batman (Batman’s Alley), which is the most famous home to spraypainting art in the city.
“Every inch of this street art landmark is covered with graffiti of the finest order. Much of it is produced by artists associated with São Paulo’s urban intervention schemes, but the Beco do Batman also attracts sprayers and stencilers from all over the world.
I found half of my way over to the Villa Madalena after a brief session of getting lost near a cemetery. My lostness was aided greatly by some stolen wifi from a local library, where I was accosted when I walked in the door for daring to try and bring my purse into the library instead of locking it up with the security officer at the desk. The five minutes of me as an English/Spanish speaking American figure out what a Portuguese speaking Brazilian library policeman was saying to me about my purse was probably a mildly entertaining scene. In a city where you spend a lot of time being extra cautious about your belongings, leaving your purse in a gym locker with a padlock and a fake cop seems questionable, but apparently was normal. Either way, I found one spot in the entire building with a free wifi signal, loaded my google map again, and was on my way towards the alley.
I spent a while just wandering the neighborhoods, admiring the free gallery of my favorite style of art. When I found the LOVE steps, I paused to take some obvious fotos and out of nowhere, a dude started walking towards me. Instead of getting my lame nervous tourist on, I quickly put two and two together and realized that I was standing on his street desk. He started to set up shop and I turned to take a look at the piece he was about to work on. (It’s the one with the ladder against the wall.) I complimented his artistry in Spanish, hoping that would maybe work. He introduced himself as Milo and graciously engaged me in a larger conversation about his history in SP street art scene and his global work. Luckily he’s spent a lot of time in England, so we got to chatting in English.
What I found most interesting is that the alley art is a very serious endeavor and it’s a social crime to paint over someone else’s space. Milo said he’d had the space he’s currently working on in one form or another since he was young. I felt lucky to have happened upon an artist in process who was so nice to share his experience with me on a gorgeous Paulista day.
I decided to look him up for the purposes of this blog post and come to find out that he’s definitely a world renowned graffiti artist. The first picture above is of him, which I found here. More of Milo’s work can be found on his facebook, instagram or homepage.