Saturday, 29 October 2011

Vintage video of São Paulo in 1943

Yesterday I came across this footage of São Paulo in 1943. It's full of clichés but nontheless quite entertaining to watch from the vantage point of the "future" and an interesting way of appreciating the scale of the change that the city has experienced in less than 70 years:

The film sponsored by the U.S. Office of the Coordinator of Inter-American Affairs to promote friendly relations with South American countries

Thursday, 27 October 2011

Seen on the streets of São Paulo: Playing video games whilst you get your hair cut

This is going to be a really short post because the picture says it all:

Peeping through the window at a customer playing as the barber works..

A personal TV screen and console to play with whilst you get your hair cut. How cool is that?!

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Dual-function tooth pick discovered in São Paulo's best "pastel" café

“Pasteis” or “Wind pasties” as the bad ones are called are a sort of pastry envelope with some sort of filling (and air) inside.  Love them or hate them they are a local favourite and believe it or not there are serious  competitions as to who does them best. 

I had heard for a while now that Pastel da Maria on Fradique Coutinho has the best pasteis in town and in the official competitions Maria always seems to make the finals. Here’s her with her certificates in case you don’t believe me:

And here she is with one of her "pasteis":

Anyway, today seemed like a good day to try them…

..And they were good. But the real surprise was the tooth pick on the table. At first it seemed like a normal toothpick. Here it is:

Apparently normal tooth pick

But then! Then I discovered that it had special powers:

Special tooth pick

The green tip is a mint coated spike so that your mouth feels fresh (after picking out stubborn bits of “pasteis”) and as far as I’m concerned that’s the first ever high-tech dual-function tooth pick I’ve seen. For that alone Maria Pasteis is the one for me..

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Cute Words in Portuguese Part 4

 A hyper-distorted portuguese anglicism AKA a cheeseburger

There are a number of anglicisms which have been adopted and integrated into Brazilian Portuguese. A lot of them have been distorted or morphed along the way which makes for some interesting and amusing reading for those lucky enough to be bilingual.

Here are some examples:

"Picape" (pick-up truck).
"Bife" (whiche derives from "beef" but actually is closer to "steak" in meaning)

and my personal favourite "X-burger"

The letter "x", in Brazilian Portuguese makes a "ch" sound and is spelt "xis"  So a cheeseburger is written X-burger and as "tudo" is "all" you can be sure that if you order a X-tudo you will get a mighty big burger as in the menu below:

Burger brazil sao paulo
Add caption

See also:
Cute words in Portuguese Part 3
Cute words in Portuguese Part 2
Cute words in Portuguese Part 1

Monday, 17 October 2011

São Paulo in Statistics: Most common vehicles

In São Paulo you quite often seen members of the CET, a municipal road traffic organisation which motorists love to hate for its application of traffic penalties and fines. Quite often they're not applying fines but collecting traffic data.

Here is some of that data summed up in a nice interactive infographic courtesy of the Folha de São Paulo.

It is interesting to see the high density of motorbikes on the roads (a probable consequence of the traffic congestion), the concentration of lorries and trucks in the East of the city and the high number of buses operating close to the centro zone.

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

São Paulo in Statistics: where are we from?

The IPEA (Institute for Applied Economic Research) just pulled demographic data from the IBGE (Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics). It shows where adult residents of different cities were born by federal state.

It shows that barring Brasilia, which is a new city and has a huge migrant population, São Paulo is the city with the highest proportion of adults born outside the state, 46% in total. Bahía, in the North East, is the state which contributes the most to São Paulo city's population followed by Minas Gerais and another North Eastern state Pernambuco. Interestingly, although central São Paulo feels quite multicultural, people born in foreign countries such as myself still only contribute 1% of the city's adults.

Of the remaining 54% we can assume from population growth figures that a large part were not born in the city itself either but in the surrounding towns of the state of São Paulo.

See more statistics on São Paulo here.

Thursday, 6 October 2011

Surprising item in São Paulo toilets No.2

Fruit and ice is what I normally find in my cocktail glass. Occasionally it appears on my dinner plate but never before have I seen it in a toilet! You can therefore imagine my surprise on finding lime and ice toilet freshener in the urinals at the male toilets of a local restaurant.

São Paulo never ceases to surprise me but I'm sure the next caipirinha is not going to taste the same...
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