The Lighting of Lagoa Christmas Tree in Rio last night -The Rio Times (Nov 27th, 2011)

By Ben Tavener, Senior Contributing Reporter

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Rio’s famous Lagoa Christmas tree was officially opened last night in spectacular style, accompanied by fireworks, concerts and ballet shows. The enormous structure sits in the Lagoa Rodrigo de Freitas lagoon in Rio’s Zona Sul (South Zone).

The 2011 lighting of the Lagoa Christmas Tree in Rio de janeiro, Brazil news
The 2011 lighting of the Lagoa Christmas Tree in Rio, photo by Rogerio Santana/Imprensa RJ. (November 27th, 2011)

The theme for this year’s tree, sponsored by Bradesco Seguros, is “A Present for the Brazilian Family”, and has some impressive specs:

It stands 279ft (85m) tall, weighs 542 tonnes, and has 3.3 million bulbs and 65 miles (105km) of tube lights, all of which is mounted on a floating base of some 8,719 sq ft (810m²), according to its website.

Crowds were treated to performances by famous singers Gal Costa and Frejat and the Barra Mansa Symphonic Orchestra, and although the event only opened to the public at 6PM in the evening, people had started taking their places from earlier in the afternoon.

A number of illegal vendors who were hoping to cash in on the crowds have been caught out by police, it was reported, with many vehicles fined or towed away.

Many consider the event – which first started in 1996 and is now in its sixteenth reincarnation – the start of the festive season in the Cidade Maravilhosa, and sits in third place in terms of events in the city after Carnaval and New Year’s.

Read more (in Portuguese).

Meet the Nominees for the Sexiest Spot in the 2011 NewNowNext Travel Awards

BUT the winner is…………RIO DE JANEIRO.

2011 Sexiest Spot Nominees

BUENOS AIRES, ARGENTINA
“As Europe becomes more expensive, BA’s residents become incrementally sexier! They’re fit, well-dressed, smart, and still have money and good credit ratings!” notes Adam Graham who contributes to New York Magazine and The New York Times. While writer Duane Wells, puts it simply: “BA is Europe meets Latin America… The city just drips sex.”
MADRID, SPAIN
“More than Barcelonans, the men and women that keep Spain’s capital moving and shaking seem to combine party-ready sexiness with super smarts, business savvy, and worldly-but-not-world-weary charm.” – Darren Frei, ShermansTravel.com
PORTLAND, OREGON
This boho-sexy hipster/foodie mecca doesn’t just feed your tummy. It hits below the belt, too! “I love me some flannelled lumberjacks. And all that wood! Seriously though, it may not seem terribly “sexy” on the surface, but this northwest nirvana does something for me.” – Darren Frei, ShermansTravel.com
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL
“Beaches, cocktails, parties, South American sass, and arguably the hottest people on Earth. Add to that just enough flirty, volatile unpredictability to keep you on your toes… and BAM! What’s not sexy about that?” – John Polly, TripOutTravel.com
ST. TROPEZ, FRANCE
“St. Tropez is old-school Riviera sexy, but so gorgeous. And so is everyone there.” –Heidi Mitchell, Town & Country Contributing Editor
STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN
“They’re all fit, stylish and look hot in pretty much anything they wear, so for people who enjoy a Nordic/Viking type in Acne jeans and a Whyred jacket (even in summer it’s a little nippy at night), this Scandinavian Venice is hard to beat.” – Charles Runnette

Our TOP Reasons to visit Casa Cool Beans and Santa Teresa….

Our TOP Reasons to visit Casa Cool Beans and Santa Teresa….

1) BEST LIBATION- Looking to savor the BEST caipirinha in RIO? We feel it can be found in one of the BEST BARS in all of Rio de Janeiro; Armazem Sao Thiago..but know to the locals in Santa Teresa simply as Bar do Gomez. Located just one block from Casa Cool Beans, this institution has been around for more than 90 years, serving up the coldest choppe (draft beer), best mixed caipirinha and lots of local characters; NOT to be missed! http://www.armazemsaothiago.com.br/english.html

2) ART- Start your collection NOW….visit Santa Teresa; the artist haven in the hills overlooking the beaches and Rio. Find the Atelier Chamego Bonzolandia, a trolley-shaped workshop (Rua Aurea at the Montreal Supermercado) where Getulio Damado fashions trash into art. Starting at R$10 you can’t go wrong!

3) THRILL- Ride the BONDE…stepping back in time, or so it seems when boarding the little yellow tram which winds it’s way from Centro (downtown Rio) over the Lapa arches and up the hills of Santa Teresa and back again. Just R$.60 per ride.

4) DEAL- Casa Cool Beans is #1 on TripAdvisor for all B&B’s in Rio de Janeiro! Yet our prices our some of the lowest! We will make sure your trip to Rio is not just comfortable, informative, and enjoyable…we guarantee it to be “cool beans”!!!! http://www.casacoolbeans.com

5) BEST MEAL- Want to have the BEST food, view and atmosphere all in one? SImply snag a reservation at Aprazivel; the super hot restaurant in Santa Teresa! NOT TO BE MISSED!!!! http://www.aprazivel.com.br/aprazivel.htm

6) PEOPLE- The streets of Santa Teresa are overflowing on weekends with people from all walks of life; ideal for people watching and bumping elbows with some of the local artists. But you will be sure to note the warm welcome one receives from the locals!

7) MOUSSE- Our dog, Mousse, has become an international celebrity. Guests from all over the world bring him goodies and send him salutations. We promise he will be wagging his tail upon your arrival and be there for your departure; (but make sure to bring plenty of energy to provide his requested pats!).

8) ARCHITECTURE- WOW….wonder the cobblestone streets of Santa Teresa to see some of the most beautiful turn of the century homes and buildings.

9) MOST FAMOUS STAIRS- The mosaic stairs that have been featured in music videos (Snoop Dog); finishing line for Amazing Race, fashion shoots and so much more start here in Santa Teresa and 200+ stairs later lead you to Lapa. The Chilean Artist, Selaron, can be found there most days working away on his masterpiece, which he says will only be completed when he dies. Simply FABULOUS!!! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Escadaria_Selar%C3%B3n

10) Who needs another reason? Just come visit us! Rio is Casa Cool Beans!!!