In Rio de Janeiro, Juice Bars That Are More Than Juice-Frugal Traveler @ The New York Times

September 20, 2011, 1:27 pm

In Rio de Janeiro, Juice Bars That Are More Than Juice

If you caught the recent front page article in the Times entitled “Foreigners Follow Money to Booming Brazil, Land of $35 Martini,” you know how expensive Brazil has become. By some measures, Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo are now more costly than London or New York or Oslo — amazing considering that some of their municipal services are more like those in La Paz or Dakar.

Needless to say Brazil’s booming economy and strong currency have made it a difficult place to travel on the cheap. I’ll never stop recommending Rio de Janeiro as a destination, but these days surviving a budget trip to the city requires a few tricks.

Fruit on display at Beach Sucos, at No. 198 on Rua Visconde de Pirajá, the main drag of Ipanema.

Foreigners Follow Money to Booming Brazil, Land of $35 Martini-The New York Times

Foreigners Follow Money to Booming Brazil, Land of $35 Martini

The New York TImes

Published August 12, 2011

RIO DE JANEIRO — Pondering the financial storms lashing Europe and the United States, Seth Zalkin, a casually dressed American banker, sipped a demitasse and seemed content with his decision to move here in March with his wife and son.  “If the rest of the world is cratering, this is a good place to be,” said Mr. Zalkin, 39.

For those with even the dimmest memories of Brazil’s own debt crisis in the 1980s, the global order has been turned on its head. The American economy may be crawling along, but Brazil’s grew at its fastest clip in more than two decades last year and unemployment is at historic lows, part of the nation’s transformation from inflationary basket case into one of Washington’s top creditors.

Ipanema Beach in Rio de Janeiro. Prices for prime office space in Rio became the highest for any city in the Americas this year.

With compensation rivaling that on Wall Street, so many foreign bankers, hedge fund managers, oil executives, lawyers and engineers have moved here that prices for prime office space surpassed those in New York this year, making Rio the costliest city in the Americas to lease it, according to the real estate company Cushman & Wakefield.


Hidden Pousadas Brazil reviews Casa Cool Beans

Tuesday, 20 September 2011
Review: Casa Cool Beans, Rio de Janeiro (Santa Teresa)

Casa Cool Beans opened in December 2010 and in less than 6 months rocketed up to the top of Trip Advisor so I was anxious to see what was so good about the place! It wasn’t difficult. Starting from the warm reception at the front gate you get the feeling that this is a place you want to be, where you are amongst like minded people in the heart of a city, but still have the peace and quiet and friendliness which comes with being in a small community.

There are seven suites at Cool Beans at present (with 2 more planned for the New Year) and each one has been beautifully refurbished with decoration by local artists and artisans under the watchful eye of American owners Lance and David and the ever accompanying dog, Mousse. Walk up the steps and you are surprised by a large terrace with communal breakfast area and bar and great plunge pool for those hot sultry days.

However the real difference of this place comes in the detail. Even before you arrive at Cool Beans you get an email telling you what will be on in Rio during your trip and when you get to the pousada you will find a whole host of other suggestions as well. Nothing appears to be too much trouble to arrange, although you might just find that the best option is sometimes what we did- forget it all and chill by the pool with a book and a super cool glass of local champagne.

Alison is an expert in Brazil travel and the inspiration behind Hidden Pousadas Brazil– a handpicked selection of some of the most wonderful pousada accommodation in Brazil – boutique hotels, guesthouses, inns and B&Bs. She has lived and worked in Brazil for over 30 years and is here to give you insider tips and advice on travelling in Brazil – where to visit, what to do, and where to stay. So what exactly IS a pousada? Click here to see the video!

TRAGEDY in Santa Teresa…Bonde crashes!

For those who have not heard, this past Saturday (August 27th, 2011) one of the famous little yellow Bonde trams crashed (runs from Centro to Santa Teresa and back) ….killing 5 people and injuring upwards of 60 persons!  More below in an article from The Rio Times…..such a tragedy for those people on the tram, their families, those of us that rely and enjoy the Bonde, etc.

Investigating the Bonde Accident in Rio

By Sarah de Sainte Croix, Senior Contributing Reporter (August 3oth, 2011)

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Officers are investigating the cause of Saturday’s bonde (streetcar) derailment in Rio’s Santa Teresa neighborhood, which left five people dead and 54 wounded after the brakes failed on a downhill stretch of track. Preliminary findings suggest that parts of the brakes were being held together with wires instead of screws, and that there was evidence of recent soldering and substandard repair work to the brakes.

Santa Teresa's bonde (streetcar) accident left five people dead in Rio, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Santa Teresa’s bonde (streetcar) accident left five people dead in Rio, image recreation.

Both the ICCE (The Carlos Éboli Forensics Institute) and CREA (The Regional Counsel for Engineering and Architecture), who were called in to investigate the accident, have speculated that a combination of poor maintenance and overloading of the vehicle (the bonde was carrying 62 passengers when its maximum safe limit is 44), were to blame for the accident.


Read more “TRAGEDY in Santa Teresa…Bonde crashes!”