Saturday, 21 December 2013

São Paulo the most popular choice for World Cup teams

Fifteen of the 32 world cup teams will make São Paulo their base for the tournament, the most of any state in the country. Below is a list of the top states by number of teams choosing to set up camp there:

1. São Paulo - 15
2. Rio de Janeiro - 4
3. Minas Gerais - 3
4. Bahia - 3

Meanwhile hosts Brazil will have their HQ in Teresopolis and reigning champions Spain in Curitiba.

Monday, 16 December 2013

VIDEO: São Paulo by Like from Pac Div

Recorded in São Paulo here is the new video clip São Paulo by Like from Pac Div. 

Look out for the "beans and rice, eating nice" line. Priceless.

São Paulo by Like from Pac Div

Thursday, 12 December 2013

São Paulo: The myth of the concrete jungle

View from the terrace of the Edificio Italia
This is the view from the top of the Edificio Italia building in central São Paulo. A field of skyscrapers as far as the eye can see and what surprises the most is how little it changes if you look in one direction or another. A true urban megalopolis but is it necessarily a concrete jungle?

What is remarkable is that, invisible to the eye from the lofty hights of the Edificio Italia, there are considerable amounts of shrubs, trees and green spaces. And within it lives a massive array of wildlife.

According to data from the UN here is a list of the species currently found in the city:

Flora: 1,909 species of which 1,788 are angiosperms, 30 gymnosperms, 70 pteridophyta, 19 bryophytes, and 3 lichens.
Fauna: 285 species of birds (Ibirapuera park alone hosts 135 of them), 58 species of mammals, 40 different amphibians and 37 reptiles as well as the 9 species of fish living in the lakes of the municipal parks.

So just as humans in their millions have adapted to São Paulo's concrete, so it seems have many wild plants and animals. Or at least, they have survived the human invasion, something you wouldn't necessarily take for granted when observing the urban sprawl from the top of the Edificio Italia.

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Only in São Paulo; A hotel for Bonsai

Logo Bonsai Kai

Over in Jardim Petropolis, in the state of São Paulo, is a hotel called Bonsai Kai. But this particular hotel is not for holidaying tourists. It is, as the name suggests, for bonsai.

Bonsai Tree
It also doubles up as a hospital for those bonsai that not only require a hotel stay but also some medical treatment. Daily rates depend on the size of the tree varying between  R$ 2-8 for the hotel and R$ 3-10 for the hospital.

And in case you think it is a fad or a publicity stunt, you'll be happy to learn it has actually  been around since 1995 and the hotel is thriving with an average of 40 trees sleeping there per night! Whether this is driven by the huge local japanese population or by something else, one thing is clear; there is definitely a market for the bonsai hotel.

Bonsai Tree Picture

Friday, 6 December 2013

São Paulo Collection by Studio Swine

Designed and made in São Paulo, Studio Swine's São Paulo Collection is a series of luxury products derived directly from waste products.

São Paulo is the ‘Aluminium Capital’ of the world, recycling up to 98% of aluminium cans and tins with a turnaround time of around 30 days. But it lags behind in other forms of recycling which are less profitable.

Studio Swine explores the potential of these materials in their latest project aiming for the twin goals of luxury design and sustainablity.

The collection itself was made for Coletivo Amor de Madre Gallery and was inspired by the Brazilian tropical modernism of the 1950’s. 

Here are the results:

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

VIDEO: 5 Great Buildings of São Paulo

To the careless visitor they are hard to spot and to the tired Paulistano they are easy to forget but lost amongst the endless sea of skyscrapers are some architectural gems.

The video below, by Monstro Filmes, helps us to take a step back and appreciate 5 iconic triumphs of São Paulo architecture. In a simple but beautifully put together video we're given a chronological portrait of the following buildings:

The symbolic Banespa tower
The majestic Martinelli
Niemeyer's curvaceous Copan building
The bright and bold MASP
The watermelon-shaped 5-star hotel

Here is the video:

Monday, 25 November 2013

VIDEO: Arriving in São Paulo by plane

Here's a great video which most of you will probabaly connect with; the familiar sensation of arriving in São Paulo Guarulhos by plane. 

The clip is by Luis Filipe Gaspar, a Portuguese travel apasionado and the soundtrack he used is Svefn-g-englar by Sigur Rós.

The video is an accelerated yet slow, melancholic journey through the skies starting in Lisbon and ending in São Paulo where, unsurprisingly, the drizzle awaits. In Luis Filipe's words "every departure entails an arrival"

If you liked the video you may want to check out the Rio to São Paulo video 

Friday, 22 November 2013

Strange but True: Neymar branded cocaine capsules found in São Paulo

What happened yesterday is something to rival any of the other oddities that we like to post from time to time.

The arrest of a male suspect as part of an early morning drug haul in São Vicente, coastal São Paulo. Nothing uncommon in that. But this particular stash of cocaine was divided into handy easy to use capsules complete with nozzles and branded "Neymar". Yes, Neymar.

When questioned by police over the use of Neymar's image and the accompanying slogan "Boas Festas", the man explained that it served to highlight the product is of the highest quality.

Someone has been studying marketing..

A police picture of the offending capsules

Thursday, 21 November 2013

VIDEO: Worms eat through people's heads in São Paulo anti-drug advert

The Crack Consome ad at the Galeria do Rock, São Paulo

O Crack Consome is a governmental campaign which was launched earlier this year to highlight the dangers of drug use in particular crack cocaine. It used shock tactics in São Paulo by using larvae to eat through the photos of people's heads from the inside.

Filmed at the Galeria do Rock in the centro region of São Paulo, the clip below shows how live worms were made to eat through the poster ads. It's not the most pleasant sensation as you watch them being devoured and transformed into scarred and holey looking people.  But the campaign did win the ad agency Talent a Cannes Lions Prize in 2013

The pictures were actually produced by printing on to dough rather than paper to give the worms an apetite.

Thursday, 14 November 2013

Gustavo Lacerda's photos of Brazilian albinos

Brazil is associated with many subjects but not so often with albinism, the absence of pigment in skin, hair, and even eyes.

There are, however, many albinos in Brazil and a São Paulo-based fine art photographer has been spending time finding, researching and photographing them.

After some time photographing Brazilian albinos Gustavo Lacerda released an award winning series of colourless yet colourful portraits.

Below is a selection of his best photos.

More are available on his website

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Sunday, 10 November 2013

São Paulo versus Buenos Aires revisited

This blog's original post on the now famous São Paulo versus Buenos Aires graphics showed off some of Vivian Mota's best illustrations. 
Since then she has published many more on her tumblr blog Sampa versus Buenos Aires.

The good-humoured rivalry continues so here is an update of some the newest pictorial comparisons of the two cities.

Choose your side: San Pablo or Bons Ares..

Açai vs Dulche de Leche

Churrasco vs Parrillada

MASP vs Malba

Pingado vs Cortado

As we mentioned first time round, if you like them, they can be purchased on the official site.

Thursday, 7 November 2013

São Paulo attempts dual tunnelling a metro line for the first time

Tatuzão and Megatatuzão side by side
As of this week the extension to the Line 5 metro line is being worked on by two giant Tunnel Boring Machines (TBMs) instead of one. This is the first time ever São Paulo, or Brazil, has ever attempted dual tunnelling on a single metro line.

The extension, which runs from Campo Belo to Chácara Klabin station in Vila Mariana and costs R $7.5 billion, will add another 12km of track and 11 new stations.

However don’t expect it to be open any time soon. The new TBM humourously known as Tatuzão and it’s partner in crime Megatatuzão will only dig at a rate 15metres per day. That means the 1.9 km tunnel between LargoTreze, and the first of the new stations, Adolfo Pinheiro, is expected to be completed only by January next year.

So we can wait a while for the extended Lilac Line 5 to connect with the Blue Line 1 and Green Line 2 . Still, progress is progress.

Monday, 4 November 2013

The etymology of São Paulo’s neighbourhoods

What is the origin of your neighbourhood’s name? 

Below is a quick and dirty list of some São Paulo districts and where their names come from:

Bixiga (Bela Vista)
The saying goes that an infection of the bladder ("bexiga" in Portuguese) was common in the farmland area of Bela Vista in in the late nineteenth century and residents were labelled Bixigas as a pejorative term. Another possibility is that an Italian resident known for drinking heavily at the bars and taverns of Bela Vista, had a belly as round and big as a party balloon (which is also called "bexiga" in Portuguese), so, the area was nicknamed after him.

Ipiranga comes from the indigenous language Tupi. It means red river which is the colour the rivers take when containing a lot of the local red coloured earth.

Itaim Bibi the portuguese word bebê (baby) was adapted to Bibi by slaves referring to the son of famous doctor Leopoldo Couto Magalhães. Magalhães was also the owner of the Chácara Itaí. Hence th eneighbourhood name Itai(m) Bibi.

Jardins means gardens in Portuguese not many of which seem to have survived the passage of time.

Moema is a reference to a chracter in the poem Caramuru by Santa Rita Durão

Perdizes - Joaquim Alves was one of the better own breeders of partridges (perdizes) who live din the area at the end of the 19th century. He lived in what is now known as Largo Padre Péricles. Hence the área became known as Campo de Perdizes (partridge fields) and later simply Perdizes.

Pinheiros literally means pine trees and this because the land which this neighbourhood occupies used to be an area of dense forest which contained a Brazilian subtropical species of pine, Araucaria angustifolia, which incidentally is very common in Curitiba and is the symbol of Paraná state.

Tatuapé is another Tupi name meaning the path (apé) of the armadillos (tatu). 

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Corinthians football club launches an official funeral service

It's not the first time Corinthians has had a mention on this blog but neither is it every day that a football club launches a funeral service. 

Capitalising on its huge and often fanatical following, Corinthians has decided to team up with funeral service company Memorial to come up with a package complete with branded coffin, official wreath in club colours as well as the playing of the club anthem at the memorial service.

Under the deal the São Paulo football club pockets 7% of the proceeds of every funeral service sold.

If you're interested you can book your funeral here:

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Why São Paulo is a leader in paradiplomacy

Back in March São Paulo signed an agreement with the US, the first time a subnational entity in the Southern Hemisphere enters a legal arrangement with the US government. Last week the British were in town and also established bilateral relations with São Paulo. Canada, France, Germany are next in line.

The recognition of São Paulo as a political and economic force is now such that it is common for countries to have more staff on their payroll in São Paulo than at embassies in Brasília. Even more impressive, São Paulo as a city has the largest consular corps in the world barring New York. These are the signs of a strong paradiplomatic leader or, in other words, a region strong enough to hold foreign relations independently of the nation in which it is located, in this case Brazil. The reason is simple: economic power.

São Paulo if it were a country would be the 19th richest in the world, ahead of every country in South America with the obvious exception of Brazil itself. And globalisation means that even if national level politics dictates a certain direction it is in São Paulo’s interest as a region to own its own relationships and negotiate independently what might be in its specific economic interest.

The result is hyper regional diplomacy. Putting that in numbers, a recent article by the Council on Foreign Relations found that Geraldo Alckmin, incumbent governor of São Paulo, has “signed more international agreements (50 per year), received more foreign delegations (on average 450 per year), and managed more international cooperation programs (150) than any other regional governor in Latin America”. In fact with the exception of President Dilma Rousseff herself, Alckmin receives more heads of state and government than any Latin American leader.

And on a practical level it doesn’t only mean that projects such as public transport construction receives more foreign assistance or study abroad programs become common. It also means São Paulo gains international visibility and assumes a leadership position. As the city’s motto says, Non ducor duco (I am not led, I lead) and, already, Angola has copied São Paulo’s public housing program; Macedonia has installed its IT program; and Mexico has replicated its biofuels policy.

Look out for the states of Rio de Janeiro or Minas Gerais following in São Paulo’s footsteps in the near future...

Monday, 7 October 2013

VIDEO: Wallpaper's city short on São Paulo

video são paulo
As you would expect from Wallpaper the video they produced on São Paulo is a thoughtful pondering of the city from a design and architectural standpoint.

The clip itself is shot by Paulistano Marcelo Galvão and is a meandering collection of personal thoughts and reflections on urban aesthetics, energy and utility by architects Letícia Nobell and Trytique and designers Fernando and Humberto Campana.

Whilst I don't necessarily agree with everything they say, it is defintively another interesting perspective on a what is an incredibly complex city. And, although it is not the intention of the film, it also gives us an insight into how some foreign residents perceive the city. Well worth a watch:

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

VIDEO: Quenum & Cesare vs Disorder "Just For Fun", Serialism 021

The nice people from False Manners were in São Paulo this winter and made this dreamy video clip. The visuals are a playful criss-cross of skylines and skyscrapers, tunnels and horizons. 

Monday, 30 September 2013

Street Art in São Paulo Part 9 - TEC

Street Art in São Paulo Part 9 - TEC

Street artist TEC, an argentine who recently made the move from Buenos Aires to São Paulo has been busy decorating the local roads. Various supersize street paintings have appeared throughout the city, below are a selection of photos:

Street Art in São Paulo Part 9 - TEC

Street Art in São Paulo Part 9 - TEC

Street Art in São Paulo Part 9 - TEC

Street Art in São Paulo Part 9 - TEC

More São Paulo street art here

Friday, 27 September 2013

São Paulo's air pollution kills more people than car crashes

Air Pollution in São Paulo
Air Pollution in São Paulo

Unsurprsingly for such a large city, air quality is poor in São Paulo. Few, however, would have imagined that more people die of air pollution in the city than from road accidents.

The study by the Instituto Saúde e Sustentabilidade (Health and Sustainability Institute) found that in 2011 4,655 people died from pollution related illneses in São Paulo, more than three times the 1,556 who died in road accidents over the same period. To put that in context, breast cancer killed 1277 people in the same year and AIDs only 874.

Particulate pollution is running at 20 to 25 micrograms per cubic meter in the city, over 200% what is deemed safe by the World Health Organisation. Total deaths directly caused by respiratory diseases across the state of São Paulo form 2006 to 2011 total more than 100,000..

Click on the link for more statistics on São Paulo

Sunday, 18 August 2013

Self portraits by Fabiano Rodrigues

Fabiano Rodrigues is a former pro-skater who lives São Paulo. He's also a photographer and has just taken a wonderful series of self-portraits using a skateboard and a remote control.

If you know the city you will recognise some of the monuments of São Paulo in the background:

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