Tuesday, 18 August 2015

VIDEO: The ballet school for under privileged girls from São Paulo favelas

Discover the ballet project teaching girls from one of Sao Paulo´s most brutal districts and offering hopes and dreams to children who could otherwise face exposure to crime, drugs and early pregnancy.

The dance studio in São Paulo is a world away from the neighbouring favelas most of these girls were born into. Here, they find a temporary refuge through a children's dance program.

Tuesday, 16 June 2015

Video: São Paulo from above

Take a virtual helicopter ride over São Paulo. Video courtesy of Eli Coory and his Solo on Moto project. Eli is doing a round the world motorcycle journey for children with cancer - alone, unsponsored and unsupported. Check out his page: https://www.facebook.com/SoloOnMoto

Thursday, 14 May 2015

A futuristic tower for downtown São Paulo

Projects for towering, modern skyscrapers abound in new cities like Dubai and Abu Dhabi. However, when proposed for Latin American metropolises, they're often taken with some skepticism and/or criticism. In fact, they rarely materialise. And when they do, it’s not always plain sailing.

Even projects in Europe such as The Shard in London and Agbar Tower in Barcelona have love-hate relationships with their host cities. São Paulo has already seen a few megalomaniac projects proposed and this time around, it is architect, Eduardo Camarena, who proposes a highly modern "vertical city" for a gritty part of downtown São Paulo, known as Praça da Bandeira.

Though only a concept, the tower would encompass indoor public spaces, a pay per hour capsule hotel, as well as offices, theatres and a rooftop domed garden. We’re not sure if the project will ever become reality, but it's certainly an eye-catcher!

The rooftop Garden of Eduardo Camarena's project
What do you think? Would it improve São Paulo’s centro or would it be a waste of money?

VERTICAL CITY // SAO PAULO from eduardo camarena on Vimeo.

Sunday, 10 May 2015

The Dozape, a skate crew from the East side of São Paulo

Meet The Dozape, a seven-skater crew from the Eastern neighbourhoods of São Paulo. Their friendship goes back a long way and they've been skating together for the past 10 years opening up a skate shop and launching a clothing brand along the way

The video below has them showing off some tricks and explaining where their name comes from:


Friday, 8 May 2015

Vila Zelina; the neighbourhood you should have heard of by now but haven't

Residents of Vila Zelina

São Paulo is known worldwide as one of the major destinations for immigrants during the early 20th century. It's said to be home to the largest population of Italian, Japanese and Lebanese ancestry out of each of these home countries.

But while Bixiga is well known for its cantinas and Liberdade is famous for its sushi and karaoke, a small neighborhood in South Eastern São Paulo called "Vila Zelina" gets very little attention.

For the last 80 years, it's been the home of Russian, Lithuanian, Ukranian and other Eastern European families that came to São Paulo to flee WWI and the Bolshevik revolution in Russia. Despite living in fear of repression during the Brazilian military dictatorship, the community is alive and well and making efforts to revive its home culture through popular dishes, music, costumes and festivities.

You would be excused for thinking this scene was far from São Paulo

Just as the large Jewish and Arab communities in São Paulo get on relatively well, despite recent conflicts between Ukraine and Russia, local residents in Vila Zelina get along very well. Visitors to the neighborhood can find peace and quiet is the middle of this bustling metropolis, shop for Matryoshkas (traditional Russian dolls) or even try Varenykys, smoked herring and other Eastern European dishes.

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

The faces of São Paulo`s Cracolândia

Most have already heard about São Paulo`s drug-ridden and infamous district of Cracolândia. Rarely does one get an insight look into this part of the city. Photographer Sebastian Palmer took some powerful shots of the people who live in Cracolândia, the city`s notorious crack district. 

Check out his website: http://www.sebastianpalmer.com/

About Sebastian Palmer:

He was born in 1979 and currently divides his time between London and São Paulo.

Prior to photography, Sebastian studied French, History, Economics and went to the University of London to read both Management and Sociology. Deciding he wanted to take a more artistic route in life he left to study Graphic Design at Central St.Martins, London; where he discovered photography.


Thursday, 12 March 2015

CalcaThai.com Announces Opening and Becomes First Online Store to sell Thai Trousers in Brazil

A former expat from São Paulo has just launched a Thai pants online store for the Brazilian market. Thai pants are a globally popular functional fashion that are adored both for their comfort and colourful Asian designs and the company claims to be the first in Brazil to focus exclusively on this type of clothing. 

The startup will offer a variety of custom-designed, handmade Thai trousers all available exclusively on their new website calcathai.com. It is offering free shipping to all Brazilian states as part of its push to cover a previously neglected niche in the market. Pierre Larose, the founder, believes one of the reasons they will be popular is the similarity of the climates in the two countries. “In hot weather you want loose and comfortable clothes which are still fashionable and that is exactly what we offer”.

“We're very passionate about our Thai trousers and being able to offer them in a completely authentic way designing them locally and shipping them straight from Thailand,” he says. “By working hard to establish direct relationships with the people who design and sew the pants in Thailand we are eliminating middle men completely, and are able to bring these to our Brazilian market at a very attractive price.“

According to the company, there are multiple ways to wear the Thai trousers, either as a baggy trouser or as a jumpsuit and their website showcases both Asian and Brazilian models combining the clothes with regular street wear. The photos are all shot in natural, green environments and sunny Thai beaches suggesting Calça Thai is offering not just apparel but a lifestyle choice. They will compete in the increasingly popular ethnic clothing segment and rely on their price and uniqueness to gain traction in Brazil.

Loose fitting and lightweight, Thai Trousers are popular with everyone from nature lovers, to yoga and fitness enthusiasts and women moving along in their pregnancy. Thai pants have a unique, recognizable design of beautiful coloured patterns which combines well with plain tops and sandals, making them the perfect addition to a summer wardrobe.

Calça Thai expects to expand their catalog in the months to come both in terms of the colours and patterns available as well as launching entirely new designs. “The early reviews we've been seeing have been encouraging and we are already working on new designs to increase the number of products throughout 2015.”

For more information or to make your order visit http://www.calcathai.com.

Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Photo of the Day: Way back when

Monday, 9 February 2015

Décio Araújo and his mesmerising take on São Paulo

Décio Araújo is an architect and the author of some refreshing Instagram art. We say art, because his choice and manipulation of São Paulo images is absolutely dazzling. Geometry, symmetry, surrealism form the basis of his at times claustrophic, other times liberating, work.

He is, by trade, an architect, so as you might expect there are lots of images of buildings, façades and urban structures in general. But it is the way that Décio slices and dices them, interspersing animal forms as he goes, which really cathes the eye.

The output is a series of beautiful and abstract interpretations of a city otherwise not famed for its beauty or its visual inspiration. In this sense Décio is more than just a cool artist, he forces us to rethink São Paulo, even to rethink urbanism in general.

Be sure to catch all of his work on Istagram @dearaujo 

Saturday, 7 February 2015

Thursday, 5 February 2015

Meet Letícia Bufoni, pro skategirl from São Paulo

Born on the 13th April 1993 in São Paulo, Letícia Bufoni e Silva, is a young Brazilian skater who is taking the skating world by storm.

She moved to live in the US at 14 to be close to her sport and although she spends a few months a year in Brazil, most people back in her home town of São Paulo have never heard of her depite her impressive skate record.

She hit fame when she was shot doing the so-called rockslide, an already perilous-sounding activity involving skating down a stair hand rail, in high heels. Glamour magazine USA promptly hired her for their ad campaign in a replica skate shot. But even before that she had already won a bunch of tiles and boasts a high profile array of sponsors including Nike, TNT, Oakley and GoPro.

By the age of twenty one Leticia had already been ranked the #1 women’s street skateboarder by World Cup Skate for four years in a row. And in 2013, she became the only female athlete to win three separate X Games Gold Medals. In the words of the International Skateboarding FederationLeticia is what the world of skateboarding has been waiting for. A kick-ass athlete that can hang with the best (including the boys), great looks and a magnetic personality.

We think it’s about time she was known back in SP.

Below is a recent video she shot for Nike in which she describes her passion for skateboarding:

You can follow Leticia here:

Facebook: facebook.com/LeticiaBufoni
Twitter: twitter.com/LeticiaBufoni
InstaGram: LeticiaBufoni
YouTube: youtube.com/leticiabufoni

Wednesday, 4 February 2015

VIDEO: Amigo Gringo spends his vacation in São Paulo

Do you already know the New York Times columnist Amigo Gringo? Well, if not, you should check out his tips on what to do (and not to do) in São Paulo.


Check out his Youtube Channel for other great videos: https://www.youtube.com/user/canalamigogringo/

Sunday, 1 February 2015

VIDEO: São Paulo is a Little Planet

São Paulo is a Little Planet is a short film by Idrone.tv, a pioneer in Brazilian drone filming. The company develops drones which are custom built for high quality filming from the air and include independent tilt, roll, and infinite pan functions. 

The drones they make are able to send video back to earth in real time and are operationally silent to eliminate vibrations during filming. 

Enough about the technicalities. Check out the clip below, we think it is the coolest video of São Paulo we've seen this year!

São Paulo is a Little Planet by Idrone.tv

Friday, 30 January 2015

GUEST POST: São Paulo Through the Eyes of an American: The First Impressions

After traveling to São Paulo for the first time I can say it is one of the most interesting cities in Brazil. It is a city filled with all the vibrancy of Brazilian culture as well as other international ones. It is a great place to get away from the tourist cities like Rio and Salvador and truly experience the hidden gems of a Brazilian megacity.

Before traveling to São Paulo I would say it is important to take a couple of steps to prepare. Since São Paulo is not a tourist destination, there is no guarantee that someone will speak English everywhere you go. In part my positive experience came from the fact that I took an hour each day to learn basic phrases in Portuguese. You'll be surprised how friendly the locals are if they see you took the effort to learn their language.

I would also advise others to do some research on Brazilian cultural customs. For example, as a girl the big one for me was realizing Brazilians and Americans see personal space differently. We, Americans, like 3 feet of personal space and get defensive if someone enters it uninvited. Brazilians on the other hand will hug and kiss someone they just met as their form of greeting. Keep this in mind when you think every guy is trying to pick you up because he is so close to you.Finally, contrary to what I read, most of the activities I did can be done on a budget. I stayed at a local hostel and the people were beyond friendly. It is nothing like staying in an American hostel.

Finally, contrary to what I read, most of the activities I did can be done on a budget. I stayed at a local hostel and the people were beyond friendly. It is nothing like staying in an American hostel.

Activities in Sao Paulo

Sao Paulo is a livewire, a hub of activity. The best part is since it is not a typical tourist destination prices for activity are very low, if there is any cost at all especially the feet on the ground type tourism. After all, a quality conversation with a local costs you nothing.

If you are in to dancing be sure to check out Samba Saturdays. Samba is a traditional Brazilian dance and most bars play Samba music on Saturdays. A friend told me the best place for samba was Bar Samba so I went there and I had a blast. It was amazing to see how good the locals were at dancing.

The number of quality museums in Sao Paulo is testament to how Sao Paulo is a hub of Brazilian culture. Being an art lover, my favorite museum was Museu de arte de Sao Paulo (MASP). It has the largest collection of fine art in all of Latin America. The best part about my visit was I happened to go on a Tuesday and it was free!

Another great museum is the museu Afro-Brasil. This museum gave me a deeper appreciation of the Brazilian culture and African heritage.

For fans of soccer, or futebol as it is known locally, there is the museu de futebol. No need to say Brazilians take their futebol seriously. The whole country follows the national team every 4 years during their quest for the FIFA world cup. You can always find an informal “pelada” game going on at Parque Ibirapuera, Sao Paulo's largest green space.

The Latin American Memorial is yet another landmark Sao Paulo highlight. It is composed of several buildings all designed by legendary Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer, which are works of art themselves. The buildings include a library, a research center, and the Brazilian center of Latin American studies. I spent a few hours here soaking up the struggles of the Latin American people and it gave me a new perspective on Latin American culture.

For those on a tight budget the beautiful and creative street art throughout Sao Paulo rival some of the best museums and walking the streets is always free. If you don't want to walk you can rent a bike and utilize the over 30km of car-free bike space to get around town although, be warned, you sometimes have cars encroaching on you!

The shopping in Sao Paulo was another thing that amazed me. You won't find any retail chain stores outside of shopping centres, but you will find several markets around town that sell anything you need. I had tons of fun browsing the markets for little hand-crafted trinkets and haggling with the sellers. I was thankful I took the time to learn the language a little bit so I was able to fully experience the markets.

Food in Sao Paulo

There are a ton of great places to eat in Sao Paulo. I could fill a whole article on the different restaurants I ate. What's important is experiencing the different styles of cuisine unique to Brazil.

The first is the Padarias, which is the Brazilian version of a bakery. Locals come here to enjoy fine Brazilian pastries while enjoying locally grown coffee to get their day going.

If you want cheap and organic produce and meats to make your own meals then the CEASA is a must-visit. It is the largest food market in Latin American at 7.5 million square feet. You'll find everything your taste buds could want there.

Another dining style unique to Brazil is the churrascaria. This is similar to the concept of the American buffet. You pay a flat fee to be seated and it is all you can eat. The difference is waiters bring you the food fresh from the kitchen instead of there being a buffet table. Oh, and there’s a lot of meat!

These are just a few of the dozens of things to do in Sao Paulo. I got the sense you can visit 3 or 4 times and still experience something new about the city. I found that doing things like going to the museums and the local markets were a cheap way to enjoy the city and gave me a richer experience than visiting one of Brazil's many tourist towns.

So, learn some basic Portuguese, familiarize yourself with the differences between American and Brazilian culture, and book your flight to Sao Paulo! It truly is one of Latin America's most underrated travel destinations.

Bio: Natalya Pobedova is a travelling nomad and backpacker from beautiful Brno Czech Republic. She is 27 and makes a living as a freelance web developer to support her traveling needs. She also runs a budget flight search website for backpackers as a hobby: http://www.travelsiders.com/. She dreams of visiting Cuba and speaks Portuguese fluently. She visited 14 countries already and most of them are in Asia and Europe.

Street Art in São Paulo Part 11 - ALEX SENNA

Check out the amazing street art by Alex Senna, an artist and illustrator from São Paulo. His pieces are very distinctive and can be found all over the city. His work has become an integral part of this citys`character and urban image of São Paulo. 

Alex`s work has already been featured during exhibitions and in galleries from Miami, Toronto and New York to Paris, London and Berlin. Follow Alex on Instagram (@alexsenna) and check out his website www.alexsenna.com.br.

Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Photo of the Day: SP from Space

Friday, 23 January 2015

Pre-Carnival in SP: Our favorite "Blocos"

The Carnival season is about to go into full throttle and if you want to start your pre-Rio or Salvador warm-up in São Paulo, you should go party at some of the countless block parties/mini-parades that are about to start.

The Blocos below are the authors favorites - there are many more you can choose from, all of which have their own character and are probably worth a visit. But if you are not in the mood for lengthy research, you will certainly not go wrong with the list below.

The authors personal favorite is Bloco Casa Comigo on Feb 1st - not only because it is simply a great party, but also because it was the authors first Bloco ever and as such, still holds some sentimental value. 

Without further ado:

Rua Major Maragliano 421 - V. Mariana

01.02., 12 noon,  BLOCO CASA COMIGO
Rua Beatriz - Vila Beatriz

The wedding drum call 
Who said you can only get married quickly in Vegas?

Traffic Jam V02

Facebook Event link

07.02., 10:30am, BANGALAFUMENGA EM SP
Av. Paulo VI - Sumaré

Bloco happiness

Is there a better way to spend a Saturday morning!

Facebook Event Link

08.02., 10:30am, CONFRARIA DO PASMADO
Avenida Brigadeiro Faria Lima, 64 - Pinheiros 

Full house
Facebook Event link

Veja São Paulo has compiled a comprehensive list of blocos, which you can view here.

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