The Real Sao Paulo, Brazil: No Spanish, No Beach

 

For everyone who was jealous that I was tanning on a beach during my July trip to Sao Paulo, Brazil, 1.) it was winter, and Sao Paulo had record breaking cold temperatures, and 2.) here’s a taste of downtwon Sao Paulo! 

This view from Edificio Italiano only gets 1/2 of the City!  We wanted to see the view (and did, the next day) from Edificio Banesp, but it closes at 3 (why?  Who knows–it’s really a bank/business building and you are allowed 5 minutes per person to view the city from the outdoor deck–no glass or windows!)

 Growing up in St. Louis, and even living in Chicago, I”m always impressed by the density and vastness of downtown Sao Paulo.  Great restaurant, something like Varanda (a “por kilo” place) in the lobby of the building next door.  Get the mousse de maracuxa (passion fruit mousse).

And, for those who asked, my Spanish is okay, but luckily my Portuguese is better as it’s the largest Portuguese speaking country in the world.

On a final note, the density of the architecture does seem to parallel culturally how space is perceived:   “Social distance,” and in particular, ‘personal space,’ is much closer in Brazil than in the US, and you can see that on all levels.  At home, 10+ family members casually squished into a barlely 5′ x 8 ‘ space to watch a movie together (would never happen at my family home in St. Louis!); traffic lanes are much narrower in Sao Paulo than in Brazil, and granted cars are smaller, but even then motorcycles toot their horns to squeeze in between. 

And, well, don’t ride the subway during rush our if you have personal space issues.  Said my niece, Priscilla, “If you jump a few inches off the ground, you will just stay there suspended, held up by eveyone else pushing in around you!