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The Urbanist’s Rio…Speedo-less beaches, soap-star bashes, and very-late-night snacks

Catching up on reading my favorite magazine, New York Magazine, I came across this wonderful issue; APRIL 25th, 2011; “AROUND THE WORLD IN 156 PAGES; THE URBANIST’S GUIDE TO Paris, Moscow, London, Los Angeles, Bankok, RIO & Cairo”.  On page 32- RIO-Speedo-less beaches, soap-star bashes, and very-late-night snacks.

Got body?

Broken down into ten sub-topics, all interesting and worth a glance….read on!

Rio de Janeiro has always been Brazil’s greatest attraction: a city of gorgeous, gregarious, athletically blessed people that is almost impossibly draped over dramatic green hills along a coastline indented with beautiful beaches. It’s also a city of crime, chronic poverty, and deep-seated corruption. Like Brazil itself (whose stock market shot up more than 350 percent from 2000 to 2010), Rio is percolating right now; commercial rents, according to one assessment, are now higher here than in New York. Inflation’s on the rise too—but with the World Cup arriving in 2014 and the Olympics in 2016, the long-neglected port area being overhauled, three new museums going up, and even the crime-ridden favelas slowly coming under state control, the city’s feeling pretty good. It’s still no paradise, though it comes as close as any complicated metropolis of 12 million inhabitants ever could.

http://nymag.com/travel/2011/spring/rio-2011-4/

Escândalo!
The Top Three Beach Scenes
Top Five Boutiques
Is Rio Safe?
The Downtown Circuit
Where to Party Like a Soap Star
Botecos—for Drinks and Snacks
Rio’s Changing Architecture
Where Locals Would Stay If They Weren’t Locals
Top Chefs

Surf Bus…totally awsome, man!

Lets go surfin now
Everybodys learning how
Come on and safari with me
(come on and safari with…)
Early in the morning well be startin out…..

You know the words to Surfin’ Safari by the Beach Boys……OR better yet, the Chuck Berry written song performed by the Beach Boys….Surfin’ USA…

If everybody had an ocean; Across the U.S.A…then everybody’d be surfin’ like Califon-I-A!

Sunset surfer

But this is Brazil and there is a fresh surf culture here not to be missed.  For catching some great waves, one only needs to catch the SURF BUS.  Here’s how…..

DEPARTS FROM: Largo do Machado (Rio de Janeiro-Botafogo) at 7h, 10h, 13h, 16h

COMES BACK from PRAINHA at 8:30h, 11:30h, 14:30h, 17:30h

You simply choose which beach you wish to jump off at….Leme, Copacabana, Arporador, Ipanema, Leblon (all in the south zone), Sao COnrado, Barra, Recreio, Macumba or Prainha.  The complete trip takes about 1h30min.  Please note that on Saturdays and Sundays the last stop is Macumba Beach.

FROM THE www.SurfBus.com.br website:

“Surf Bus works everyday of the week from 7a to 7p.  It is a completely transformed bus with the capacity to carry up to 12 long boards, 20 smaller boards, and 10 body boards; equipped with a 32″ LCD TV exhibiting surf films and video clips, DVD, Hi-Fi stereo video, surround-sound system, mini-fridge and cabinet with surf rope, scraper and parzffin in case the surfer needs it.”  For more information on their website or in person:

(21) 2527 0891-office or (21) 8515 2289-bus phone OR contato@surfbus.com.br OR

http://www.surfbus.com.br/

Taste of Rio 2011….yummy!

A Tasting of Drinks and Dishes from various Restaurants

Friday, May 20, 2011
Clube Federal in Alto Leblon

Taste of Rio is THE fundraising event of the year organized by
INTERNATIONAL CLUB RIO DE JANEIRO

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David, Katia and myself decide this was the PERFECT cause…..we could eat and drink all evening while speaking English and win fabulous prizes while at the same time benefit a good cause!

For much more information, photos on the event, please check out the INTERNATIONAL CLUB RIO’s blog:

http://www.tasteofrio.blogspot.com/

ALSO….as reported in THE RIO TIMES | MAY 24, 2011

Taste of Rio 2011 in Alto Leblon
http://pulsene.ws/1IWdb

David, Katia and Lance at Taste of Rio 2011

Can you spend a weekend in Rio de Janeiro for just US$100?

Well, we didn’t think so, but please read on to find out….a great article from the New York Times’ “Frugal Traveler”, Seth Kugel…..

TRAVEL   | May 10, 2011
Frugal Traveler: $100 Weekend in Rio de Janeiro
By SETH KUGEL
Filling your time during a cheap weekend in Rio de Janeiro would seem like a no-brainer, writes Seth Kugel, but if you want to eat actual meals, drink the local grog, listen to music and get around town, too, you’re asking for trouble.

http://frugaltraveler.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/05/10/100-weekend-in-rio-de-janeiro/?emc=eta1

A salesman with Matte Leão iced tea in one tank and lemonade in the other, on Ipanema Beach.

David and Lance beat AMAZING RACE contestants to Selaron Stairs!!!

David at Selaron Stairs-Santa Teresa/Lapa
Lance at Selaron Stairs-Santa Teresa/Lapa

So we had a bit of a head start…..we have been coming to Brazil for many years!  The TV show, “Amazing Race” closed it’s season show last week in RIO. This show as per  TV  market research  has 25 million viewers each Sunday. The contestants flew into Rio and took the Bondie to Santa Teresa to  find the SELARON STAIRS!  Santa Teresa ROCKS!!!

Ok, for those of you who don’t know what the SELARON STAIRS are or who Jorge Selaron is…..read on!

Selaron’s own site:

http://selaron.net/Matos/english/selaron.htm

Taken from the MOSAICSOURCE.com web site quoting Mr. Selaron!

Who is Jorge Selaron?

“I was born in Chilli in 1947 and, after travelling, working and living in more than 50 countries, I arrived in Brazil in 1983. In 1990, I started work on my major masterpiece which, little by little, turned into the most original stairway in the world. It has 250 stairs and is 125 metres long.

In the beginning, everyone laughed at me I covered the steps in green, blue and yellow tiles – the colours of the Brazilian flag. As I worked, my profession changed from painter to sculptor, my hands covered in blood, calluses, irritating and in pain. Even though the work was difficult, I was passionate about it.

The rent was late, the phone was cut but every time I succeeded in finding some money, I bought materials and continued, obsessed and possessed. I worked without rest and I stopped when I had no more material left. When that happened, I painted paintings to earn some money so that I would be able to continue my work. Since 1977, I have painted and drawn over 25,000 pregnant women, my choice of subject due to a past personal issue. I have already painted more than 300 tiles and I have put much of my life into my masterpiece. I have invented a fantastic unique technique which consists of constantly changing the tiles. This gives a unique energy, and makes it a living, mutating work of art with over 2000 different tiles, collected in over 60 different countries.”

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How to get to the SELARNO STAIRS from Casa Cool Beans…..

http://maps.google.com.br/maps?f=d&source=s_d&saddr=Rua+Laurinda+Santos+Lobo,+136+-+Rio+de+Janeiro+-+RJ,+20240-270&daddr=-22.91557,-43.18025+to:-22.91557,-43.18025+to:-22.91516,-43.17905+to:Rua+Joaquim+Silva,+87+-+Centro,+Rio+de+Janeiro+-+RJ,+20241-110+(Hotel+Love%27s+House)&geocode=FXQ6ov4dCv1s_SnpjTPZnX-ZADEpuN0GGjtx0w%3BFQ5Wov4dJh9t_SltgWpEe3-ZADH7jvNC4dpyag%3BFQ5Wov4dJh9t_SltgWpEe3-ZADH7jvNC4dpyag%3BFahXov4d1iNt_SmrCHiqfH-ZADH9SaPyWNYP7g%3BFVVXov4d7iNt_SG88_OMQ6tJAylbULa0fH-ZADEjXQiWJ_kqPg&gl=br&hl=pt-BR&mra=ltm&via=1,2,3&dirflg=w&sll=-22.918061,-43.181226&sspn=0.010732,0.019205&ie=UTF8&z=16

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If you would like to make a donation to Selaron’s staircase, send your tiles to:

Selaron (Pinto Chileno)

Escadaria Selaron, No. 24

CEP 20241-120 Santa Tereza

Rio de Janeiro Brazil

Learning Portuguese at Casa do Caminho Language Centre

David and I had a GREAT experience this week; we took an intensive 1-week course in Portuguese at the CASA DO CAMINHO LANGUAGE CENTRE.    Marco, our instructor was SUPER!  Broken up into private classes, semi-private (2-3 students) and small group (<9 students) as well as levels A-C plus advanced conversation; the language centre really seems to have a good thing going.  Besides offering classes in Portuguese, English and Spanish, the centre is involved in all kinds of other activities.  The prime function of the school is to fund an orphanage!

From the Casa do Caminho website:

“The Language Centre is part of the umbrella organization Associação dos Amigos da Casa do Caminho, which is an NGO and social project in Xerém, RJ (45km from Rio de Janeiro). Your tuition fees are donations that go directly to fund these social projects.”

The have several fund raising things for sale at the Language Centre, one of which is home-made jams.  We have decided to feature these exclusively at our breakfasts at Casa Cool Beans….a good cause and good food!

If you wish to make a donation or sign up for one of their courses…you can not go wrong either way!

CASA DO CAMINHO LANGUAGE CENTRE

RUA FARME DE AMOEDO, 75 (IPANEMA)

(21) 2267 6552

http://www.casadocaminho-languagecentre.org/