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May 29th, 2009 No Comments

A Tale of 2 Cities in Brazil — by Jonathan Keyes (a friend of mine backpacking around Brazil.  Jealous?? I am!)

I´m in Brazil, where I have been traveling for the past couple weeks.
Just a backpack, no plans, no cell phone, taking things day by day…a
real adventure!

The first two weeks I spent in Rio De Janeiro— a
fantastic city with beaches,mountains, lakes, and forests. Sundays,
they close down one side of the street that runs along the beach so
everyone can walk, run, and ride their bikes. So far, I have heard and
seen concerts with samba, bossa nova, forro (pronouned Fo-Ho),
brazilian jazz music, brazilian funk, and from famous singer Caetano
Veloso. I took a tour of the city, went to the Cristo (a massive
statue of Jesus that overlooks the city), Sugar Loaf (two look out
points on mountains accessible by cable car), visited a Favela
(settlement town), and got to know some locals. The Lapa Steps are
really unbelievable. An Argetinian artist named Selaron decided to set
tiles (with cement) from different countries all over the 215 steps
(located in Lapa) and is constantly replacing the tiles with new ones
and has been doing so for decades now. He´s vowed to work on the
stairs until the day he dies. Check out his brilliant work.

I am writing you from Sao Paolo which has a totally different
landscape than Rio and it is a massive city. I believe there are close
to 20 million people who live here and it is a business center for the
country. The subways are crowded and the city is very vibrant. First I
stayed in Vila Madalena which is an area with cafes, bars, interesting
stores, and some cool graffiti art. My buddy Mark “The Cobrasnake”
Hunter who is a photographer in L.A, was also in Sao Paolo, and
invited me to a really great Adidas party. I also visited the MASP
museum in Sao Paolo and saw the work of Vik Muniz who is a phenomenal
artist. It was a fantastic experience! 

(Pictured Above – Left, Rio de Janiero, Right: San Paolo.  Both via Google search)