Tags Posts tagged with "Brazil"

Brazil

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Nickname: A Cidade Maravilhosa (The Marvelous City) | Population: 6.5 million cariocas/12 million in metro | Area: 486.5 sq mi | Airports: Antonio Carlos Jobim International Airport – Galeao (GIG) and Santos-Dumont Airport (SDU) | Time Zone: -3h from UTC/-2h DST | Famous for: beaches, booties, samba, soccer, Cristo Redentor, crime

Rio de Janeiro is the official calling card of Brazil. No other city in Latin America has been photographed, sung about, or dreamed about more than the Marvelous City. With world-famous beaches, stunning landscapes, spectacular views, hip-swaying music, and scores of tall, tan young-and-lovelies, Rio is the one city that should be experienced at least once in every human being’s life. True, it’s got plenty of social problems and it may not end up being your favorite city in the world, but Rio’s palpable sensuality and peerless natural beauty make it a place that you will never forget.

On arrival: Use the free airport wifi to order a ride via Uber, or take a cab from one of the prepaid taxi offices closest to the terminal exit; insist that the driver uses GPS. The best and least-expensive way to get reais (Brazilian currency) is to withdraw money from the ATM; many Brazilian ATMs do not operate using the U.S. bank card network, but at least one or two will.

Best ‘hoods: Copacabana is the world’s most famous beach, still fun despite being well past its glory days. Ipanema and Leblon hold court as the city’s chic beaches. The beaches of Barra da Tijuca are calmer, but a bit far from the in-town action. Centrally-located Lapa is home to Rio’s iconic samba spots. Santa Teresa’s curvy, cobblestone streets evoke an artsy, bohemian vibe. Flamengo, Botafogo, and Urca offer affordable, interesting dining and lodging conveniently located between the beaches and Centro (Downtown), which is great for exploring during the day. These neighborhoods are part of the Zona Sul (South Zone), which is where most of Rio’s tourist-friendly attractions are located. Be street-smart everywhere.

Best beaches: Copacabana, Ipanema, and Leblon for swimming, sunbathing, and flirting; Arpoador for great sunset views; Barra da Tijuca for surfing; São Conrado for hang gliding; Prainha for peace and quiet.

Best sights: Christ the Redeemer Statue, Sugarloaf Mountain, Tijuca Forest, Santa Teresa, Selarón Steps, Municipal Theatre, Museum of Tomorrow, Museum of Modern Art, ferry to Niterói, Maracanã Stadium, tour of Rocinha, and the Sambadrome during Carnival.

Best eats: Churrasco (Brazilian barbecue) at Porcão Rio’s, feijoada (the national dish) at Casa da Feijoada, por kilo (Brazilian buffet) at Kilograma or Couve Flor, comida mineira (rustic Brazilian food) at À Mineira, açaí na tigela (frozen açaí) at Bibi Sucos, pork sandwiches at Cervantes, pizza at Mamma Jamma, sushi at Azumi, burgers at Comuna, Brazilian vegan/veg at Vegetariano Social Clube.

Best dranks: Juices at Dona Vitamina or Frutaria Oscar Freire, beers at Espaço Carioquinha or Lapa Café, happy hour at Astor or in the Arcos dos Teles area, views and friends at Bar do Alto, Palaphita Kitch, or Bar Urca.

Best hypes: Any samba school rehearsal, Lapa at night for live Brazilian music and a wild party vibe, upscale partying at 00, LGBT club nights at The Week Rio, Copacabana for New Years (Reveillon) and during Carnival.

Best advice: Remember to be street-smart at all times; leave unnecessary valuables at home. Try to speak a little bit of Portuguese; you’ll make new friends that way. Service in restaurants and other establishments can be slow; try not to let that ruin your trip to one of the world’s most enjoyable cities. Use condoms. Have fun!

And for the ultimate luxury experience in Rio, book an Up in the Air Life adventure today!

Image credit: Christian Haugen via Flickr

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Have you ever dreamed of Rio de Janeiro? Do the rolling waves of the South Atlantic and the undulating hills of the Brazilian coast call to you? Answer the call—in style—with a luxury adventure to Brazil’s Marvelous City with Up in the Air Life luxury tour designers.

Carefully curated by on-the-ground experts and encompassing food, music, art, dance, history, and, yes, a party or three, Up in the Air Life’s Rio experience is one of unexpected wonders and tropical magic. And like the defining qualities of a diamond, this upscale excursion covers the Four Cs of a memorable, once-(or twice)-in-a-lifetime adventure into the heart and soul of Brazil.

Cuisine (and cocktails)
The various cultural components to Brazil can be best experienced through the country’s cuisine, and Up in the Air Life sets the table with an array of options for edibles that sates even the most ravenous appetite, especially if that appetite is for meat. Topping Up in the Air’s list is Rio’s talked-about steakhouse, CT Boucherie, which serves up hearty meats and sides with succulent flavor and high-class flair. Rubaiyat, with views of the racetrack at the fabled Jockey Club, cooks its meats and pours its wines with Mediterranean panache.

The less-haute, more-folksy options on the itinerary include Garota de Ipanema (Girl From Ipanema), an eatery named for the renowned paean to Rio’s supple young beach bunnies and the spot for delicious meats grilled at your table, Angu do Gomes, with its zesty classics influenced by the Afro-Brazilian fare of the country’s northeast, and at Praça dos Nordestinos for feijoada, a thick and, of course, meaty stew that is the national dish of Brazil. Of course, all of these places serve up frosty imported and domestic beers, as well as caipirinhas, the national cocktail, but the bar atop Sugarloaf Mountain has unsurpassed views, scrumptious beverages, and a thumping sound system.

Culture (and how!)
Obviously, food rates highly on the list of cultural attribute Brazil brings to the fore, but the country’s art, street style, music, dance, and joie de vivre are virtually unmatched. Up in the Air Life’s curated forays into Brazilian culture include excursions to the bohemian Santa Teresa neighborhood with its cobblestone streets and colonial-era architecture, the Ipanema Hippie and Art Fair and its unsurpassed selection of one-of-a-kind souvenirs and authentic handicrafts, the iconic Christ the Redeemer statue and striking Dois Irmaos massif, mansion-in-the-jungle Parque Lage (yes, where Snoop and Pharrell shot the “Beautiful” video), and, most interestingly, to the impactful, resilient community of Rocinha, one of Rio’s largest favelas.

Of course, music and dance reign supreme in the Marvelous City, as Rio is known, especially during the run-up to Carnival, and the Up in the Air Life sought out the best, most exciting events in town for ramp-shaking and samba-ing the night away. The central district of Lapa, tucked away under the whitewashed arches, buzzes with bars and botecos, where live musicians keep the dance floors hot while affable bartenders keep the libations flowing. Rio Scenarium is one of those oh-so-Rio nightspots where tourists and locals come together for a little flirting and foot-shuffling until the wee hours. But the real party is just getting started.

Carnival (well…pre-Carnival, actually)
During Up in the Air Life’s luxury Rio experience, the city is in the throes of Carnival season, and all the major parade organizations—called samba schools because the first one formed across the street from a teachers’ college—are wrapping up their final preparations for the big blow-out event the very next week. This means the Carnival spirit pervades every party and gathering, which may still be crowded, but without the crushing waves of revelers expected to descend on the city during Carnival itself. Up in the Air Life takes adventurers into the heart of the action, with pre-Carnival celebrations at the world-famous Sambadrome, where the samba schools perfect their dance moves in anticipation of the grand parade.

But it’s easy to join in on the fun, as escorted excursions to raucous pre-Carnival block parties, called blocos, and old school-style samba sets at various venues help revelers work off the calories from all those delectable dinners.

Comforts (aaaaaaah!)
And when the party’s finally over each night, Up in the Air Life sets you up in sparkling beachfront accommodations, such as the Sofitel Caesar Park or the iconic Belmond Copacabana Palace Hotel. The epitome of tropical luxury, the Copacabana Palace has been hosting superstars for nearly 100 years; Marilyn Monroe, Rita Hayworth, the Rolling Stones, Princess Diana, Madonna, and Michael Jackson have all rested their heads, frolicked in the pools, and dined out at the Copa. And when not relaxing in the multi-level spa, or on beds as soft as clouds, guests swim or sun themselves along some of the world’s most celebrated beaches, alongside all the other tall, tan young lovelies Rio is so famous for.

Image credit: Charlie Phillips via Flickr

Are you ready to book your Carnival of luxury with Up in the Air Life? Do it…you know you want to. 😀

FLY BROTHER hanging out in Rio with Up in the Air Life!

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DO YOU WANT TO GO TO BRAZIL? LET ME SHOW YOU HOW!

Oi gente! Let tell you about an exciting, comprehensive web course I’ve developed to give you everything you need to know about traveling to Brazil. Not only do I visit often, but I lived in Brazil for three years, working as an editor at Time Out magazine and spending my weekends on the beaches, in the clubs, and falling in love with this magnificent place. And I want to share all the tricks and tips—the jeitinhos—I’ve learned about traveling to Brazil, with you!

 

WITH THE FLY GUIDE TO BRAZIL WEBINAR, YOU’LL LEARN:
✓ About the history, culture, and beauty of Brazil

✓ How to get to Carnival in Rio, Salvador, and other party capitals

✓ How to get your Brazilian tourist visa

✓ Where to go for beaches, city breaks, or outdoor adventures

✓ How to find affordable accommodations

✓ How to enjoy yourself and stay safe while in Brazil

✓ How to say “please,” “thank you,” and “Where’s the bathroom?” in Portuguese

 

THE FLY GUIDE TO BRAZIL WEBINAR INCLUDES…

SIX 20-MINUTE VIDEO SEGMENTS:

  • Introduction and Country Overview, which describes the infinite wonders of Brazil: the culture, the people, the sights and sounds and magic of the place, and why you’ll end up returning again and again.
  • Visas and Documentation, which is all about securing your Brazilian tourist visa and navigating the process.
  • Where to Go: Rio de Janeiro? Salvador da Bahia? Florianopolis? Sao Paulo? The Amazon? Iguazu? It’s all in there.
  • Finding Accommodations: hotels, hostels, bed-and-breakfasts, CouchSurfing, apartment rentals.
  • Staying Safe and Having Fun: How to maintain your belongings and your sanity, and also how not to be an entitled foreign douchebag while traveling.
  • Introduction to Brazilian Portuguese, where I teach you the basic phrases for fun, safety, and even hook-ups.

 

TEN SINGLE-PAGE, DOWNLOADABLE PDFs

  • Fly Guide to Brazil General Overview
  • Flybrary: Brazil Primer
  • Flybrary: Brazilian Music
  • Flybrary: Brazilian Film
  • Fly Guide to Rio de Janeiro
  • Fly Guide to São Paulo
  • Fly Guide to Salvador da Bahia
  • Fly Guide to the Amazon
  • Fly Guide to Florianópolis
  • BONUS: Fly Guide to Carnival in Brazil

AND a 20-MINUTE SKYPE CALL with me to answer your specific questions about traveling to Brazil.

 

ALL THIS:
6 videos
10 downloadable PDFs
AND a 20-minute Skype session for only $149!

ORDER THE FLY GUIDE TO BRAZIL WEBINAR ON UDEMY TODAY!

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Sharon Wesilds/Flickr

After Germany’s ungentlemanly thrashing of Brazil, 7-1, during the World Cup, I thought I’d share in my adopted homeland’s grief with a little of my favorite melancholy music: seven songs for seven goals. Some of the songs are about love lost and found. One laments accusations of selling out, while another praises the magic of fairies (or lovers). Still others wax melodic about the Marvelous City or the beautiful country in its entirety. All embody, in one way or another, the bittersweet nostalgia Brazilians call saudade, the poignant yearning that comes with losses real, imagined, or inevitable. I mourn this loss with you, meu Brasil, with the intoxicating aural cocktail of happiness within sadness that you mix up so well.







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Renato Lombardero/Flickr

São Paulo and I were together for two years. She was high-maintenance from the start; this, I knew going in. She would order the most expensive thing on the menu, sometimes flirt with other guys, and make me pay dearly whenever I didn’t call at the exact time I said I would. She knew her worth and she played with my heart, but I knew deep down, she loved me: when we were in sync, when our energies mixed and we danced and played and reveled in each others’ company, we knew we had a good thing going. I won’t lie; the sex was volcanic. And be it in her brand new Mustang or her little red Corvette, we rode fast and wild, and I would always end up broke, spent, and sprung – she was The One.

But I couldn’t afford her and, one day, she let me go. And I was bitter for a while, heartbroken and rejected.

The next time we saw each other, a few weeks later, she welcomed me back to dance and play and revel. Over a cafezinho at Bella Paulista one Sunday morning, she looked at me and admitted that every once in a while, she envied what Berlin and I have because we were marrying for love. But in the very next moment, when I asked her to marry me, she just stared out the window and said nothing.

I paid for our coffees and we walked out into the bright sun, our feet hurting from the previous night’s debauchery and still a little lightheaded from the party favors. She kissed me deeply and passionately before getting into her car with a tchau, disconnecting and leaving me with only three reais to catch the bus home.

I see her less frequently these days, though our rendezvous are no less intense. Neither one of us has brought up the m-word again, especially since we’re each married to someone else.

But what if…?

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

My friend and São Paulo-native Rodrigo Pitta loves that damn place so much, he’s filmed three music videos in his hometown. Here’s the newest. I’m already booking my flight back down to see her.

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In 2014, the FIFA World Cup soccer championship will be held in Brazil from June 12 to July 13. With Brazil being a continent-sized country geographically larger than the “Lower 48,” FIFA agreed to let the country host matches in a dozen cities, exceeding the usual number by two, and ensuring spectators from Copacabana to the Amazon get a chance to witness the ultimate expression of The Beautiful Game on its most fervent home turf. Ladies and gentlemen, today I present to you the promotional posters for Brazil’s 12 World Cup host cities:

World Cup Poster Belo Horizonte

World Cup Poster Brasilia

World Cup Poster Cuiaba

World Cup Poster Curitiba

World Cup Poster Fortaleza

World Cup Poster Manaus

World Cup Poster Natal

World Cup Poster Porto Alegre

World Cup Poster Recife

World Cup Poster Rio de Janeiro

World Cup Poster Salvador

World Cup Poster Sao Paulo

Which ones do you folks like best?

Please don’t forget to follow me on Twitter @FlyBrother, and “like” me on Facebook! You can subscribe, too! ;-)

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In Brazil, “the delineation between black and white is blurred, with the overwhelming majority somewhere in the middle. But white remains the color of aspiration, and black the color of a history that some would prefer to forget.”

In continued recognition of Black Consciousness Month in Brazil, I’d like you to take a quick 45 minutes of your time to watch this eye-opening and well-produced BBC documentary released in 2000 called Brazil: An Inconvenient History. In it, the narrator and featured scholars discuss in painful detail the destruction of the indigenous population, the unmitigated brutality of Portuguese slave owners, the forced concubinage of indigenous and African women, the complicity of the Catholic church, and the reasons why African culture is much more palpable in Brazil than in other New World slave-based societies like the United States.

It’s well-known that Brazil was the last major slave-holding country to officially abolish the institution, granting its remaining slaves freedom in 1888 without any further assistance to become a productive part of society such as the Freedmen’s Bureau in the US. Keep in mind that my mother’s grandmother would have been born a slave in Brazil, and we’re talking a decade after Karl Benz (yes, that Benz) invented the damn modern automobile engine!

What does slavery have to do with modern Brazil, if it ended “so long ago?”

“The legacy of slavery to modern Brazil is huge: the racial inequality, the fact that the majority of blacks are poor, that they are not as well-educated as whites. But you also have positive results as well. Not of slavery itself but of the slaves, in terms of the music, in terms of the religion, made Brazilian culture much richer than it would have been without the presence of Africans in Brazil.”

…and more…

“The heady mix of music, religion, dance, and sport can sometimes blur the less-appealing legacy of slavery: homelessness, street children, unemployment. A country built on sugar has left a bitter taste in the mouths of many…Brazil still looks like a colonial society…[it’s] the world leader in inequality.”

Watch and learn, good people:

Starting today, Brazil celebrates Black Consciousness Month, honoring the contributions of African-descended peoples in Brazilian society and recognizing the challenges of those same peoples in the country today.

Well, that’s not entirely true…many people in Brazil are celebrating Black Consciousness Month. But many others see this particular exercise as unnecessarily divisive and alien to Brazil’s culture of “inclusiveness and miscegenation.” I see the latter as a negation and a silencing of an inextricable aspect of the culture that has long been undervalued and misrepresented, so…Happy Black Consciousness Month, todo mundo!

Stay tuned for related posts throughout the month…er, year, and in the meantime, take a look at the trailer for a documentary currently in the works about the black experience in Rio de Janeiro, called AfroCariocas. Can’t wait for the debut!

Please don’t forget to follow me on Twitter @FlyBrother, and “like” me on Facebook! You can subscribe, too! ;-)

 

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Shot in and around the vast, gritty warrens of downtown São Paulo—also known as Sampa—the short but thrilling Samparkour takes viewers through the heart of one of the world’s largest cities by way of parkour, an extreme sport that is at turns skillful acrobatics and dumb luck. Much of the action takes place in my old neck of the woods, reminding me of how much I actually love this grimy, exhilarating concrete jungle. Make sure your shoes are laced up tight before trying this at home:

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Rodrigo Soldon/Flickr

Most major news outlets report about Brazil’s economic growth, income disparities, racial issues, beaches, soccer stars, and World Cup preparations in random, infrequent bursts. Now, two journalists with feet on the ground and caipirinhas on the brain are weighing in on the economic growth, income disparities, etc., etc., on their own blogs.

Yes, everybody and their mama who ever spent a week on the beach in Rio or ever took a guided favela tour has a blog about Brazil. But these guys are oftentimes the go-to sources for reliable facts and insight that those major news outlets rely on when reporting on the country. So, for the most part, dear reader, you can turn to this pair of muckrakers for consistent, insightful commentary—in English—on that enigmatic, entrancing South American powerhouse in the tutti-frutti hat.

Sir Andrew Downie (he’s not really a knight, but he’s got a courtly disposition and “Sir” just sounds cool in front of his name) has been writing his eponymous blog for a while now, having moved to Brazil last century, I think. Originally from Scotland, Downie has worked as foreign correspondent in Haiti, Mexico, and now Brazil for the New York Times and Time magazine, among other outlets whose names do not necessarily incorporate the word “time”. Read his blog for World Cup drama and rants about Brazilian customer service.

Sir Vincent Bevins (why not?) just recently started writing the English-language blog for Brazil’s largest daily Folha de S.Paulo: the succinctly-named From Brazil. The native of La-la Land has lived in London, Berlin, and São Paulo and writes for the Financial Times and the Los Angeles Times, among other Times. He also hangs out with models in Rio and Reykjavik. No lie. Read his blog for reports on gender equality and humorous English gaffes.

And that’s all the news that’s fit to print. Well, from Brazil—in English—anyway.