22nd ARTE DE PORTAS ABERTAS (The Art of Open Doors) this weekend; Friday-Sunday July 6-8; 11h-18h


You won’t want to miss this once a year opportunity to spend some time in Santa Teresa this weekend roaming the cobblestone streets and having the privilege of entering studios and homes of the local artists.  The Art of Open Doors event is important artistic and cultural scene in Rio, and what happens once a year in the neighborhood of Santa Teresa in Rio de Janeiro.  The event celebrates the artists who open the doors of their studios to showcase their work to the public in a scenic beauty and cultural richness.  Maps can be found around Santa Teresa to advise you on locations.  A good starting point is Largo do Guimarães; the main square and “bus stop” in Santa; making it the heart.  There in the main square, next to the cinema (newly renovated and reopened just a week ago) you can find the “i” sign (stands for information) hanging above the door of a tourist information shop….for sure you can snag a map of the participating artists there.  For more immediate information, you can go to the following website:


There are wonderful restaurants all up and down the road that passes through Largo do Guimaraes; so build up an appetite!  Hours of Open Doors are 11h-18h daily.  ENJOY!!!!!

MORE from the TimeOut Rio de Janeiro…..

The bohemian neighbourhood throws open its doors for the 22nd edition of the open art event

Renan Cepedo

Santa Teresa is as famous for its artistic endeavours as it is the iconic bonde (tram) that once rattled its way along the tracks that are etched into the cobbled streets. A world away from the Rio of Ipanema and Leblon, the locals’ pride in their community is as strong as the sense of bohemia that you cannot fail to notice while strolling the tree-lined streets.

All of which makes the one weekend a year when they welcome ‘outsiders’ en masse the perfect opportunity to check out some of the workshops as well as having a good nose at the beautiful houses. Art, gastronomy and music all come together, with the likes of Pedro Grapiuna and Espirito Santa welcoming the visitors, but we have picked five of the best artists worth looking out for on the official route.

1. Barbara Sotério
Rua Paulo Matos 46, Santa Teresa

(drawing and painting)


2. Maria Verônica Martins
Rua Monte Alegre 356/104, Santa Teresa


3. Renan Cepedo
Rua do Oriente 414, Santa Teresa


4. Delfina Renck Reis
Travessa do Oriente 16b, Santa Teresa

(painting, toys and papier machê)


5. Wanderley Figueiredo
Rua do Oriente 5/202


RIO DE JANEIRO CITY MARATHON; this Sunday July 8th, 2012 (start 8am at Praia da Macumba)




It may be Brazilian runners’ marathon of choice but in the past spectators have been rather notable by their absence in support of the thousands of athletes putting themselves through the grueling (but beautiful!) 42 kilometers course that comprises the Rio Marathon. Seen by some as merely an obstacle between themselves and the beach, the Carioca race is afforded less kudos here than in cities like London, New York or Tokyo.  And if you have not registered yet if you are reading this it is officially SOLD OUT, so you will have to save yourself for next year!!!!

Tens of thousands of participants will be setting off from the Recreio starting point at 8am, keeping a coastal route all the way to Flamengo Park that makes the route mercifully flat bar a small incline up to Vidigal, and with the lower tier of the double-stack Via Elevada das Bandeiras closed to traffic it has its share of awe-inspiring moments. Popping out at the southern end of Copacabana and seeing the full sweep of beach before you with Sugarloaf Mountain at its conclusion is exactly the kind of goose-bump moment that marathon runners rely on to summon up that final push.

For spectators, the beachfront kiosks will provide the perfect vantage point from which to watch the action. Kicking back with an ice-cold coconut while hundreds of people struggle by does pose a few moral dilemmas however, and so the vast majority of interested people flock to the finale at Flamengo Park to welcome their broken but proud souls cross the finish line.

It may be easy on the eye, but with barely any shade to count on and temperatures usually in the the high twenties the weather, as well as the sunseekers, can play a big part in the race. The 400,000 cups of water and R$20,000 prize money up for grabs should be enough to keep the athletes moving.

-TimeOut Rio

As posted on THE ULTIMATE HOT CHOCOLATE BLOG….re: Casa Cool Beans (July 3rd, 2012)

Ultimate Hot Chocolate (www.ultimatehotchocolate.com)

Traveling around the world in search of the ultimate hot chocolate

Hot Chocolate at Casa Cool Beans, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

I recently stayed five or so nights at Casa Cool Beans in Santa Teresa, Rio, and fell in love with the city. I want to move to Rio, and while looking for a place of my own I will stay in room 9 and maybe also room 7 at Casa Cool Beans indefinitely. I will have the chance to wake up every morning to views across Santa Teresa, and enjoy the light breeze coming through the window. I’d walk downstairs to the breakfast area, past the gorgeous pool, and fill my plate with pieces of delicious ripe tropical fruits and the best bananas you have ever tasted in your life. I would then order my daily omelette with a little bit of everything (why not) and pour myself a large glass of whatever flavour juice they have out that day.

I’d wait for David and Lance, the two owners to come by and do their rounds, saying hi to all the guests, asking them how things are going and giving endless advice about what to do (and not to do). Mousse their super dog will lie there quietly in the sun, walking over every once in a while for a head rub.  I’d then make my way out to enjoy my day in Rio (or look for my new apartment), passing by all the beautiful graffiti and art works covering almost every wall in this perfect casa in Santa Teresa. David and Lance have been sourcing art work from artists across Brazil and are in the process are having every room be dedicated to one artist and full of the art work from that artist. They have also invited many graffiti artists to decorate the many walls across the 4 floors of Casa Cool Beans.

After my day in Rio I would come back in the evening to settle back into my room. Opening the front doors is like entering a little secret world. Since the name of the place isn’t really written on the front door it kind of feels like you are entering your own house, if one could be that lucky. David and Lance were, as they opened casa cool bean just a few years ago after moving here from the US with super dog Mousse. Upon returning I would walk up stairs and probably lounge out on hammock for a bit and then move upstairs to sit on the chairs around the pool and look at the stars. Yeah, I’d be quite happy with that.

Topping it all off, I liked their hot chocolate. The powder was just sitting in a little glass container next to a container that says ‘hot milk’.  It was simple and creamy and a nice start to my days at Cool Beans.

Verdict: I’m torn. If I tell everyone how much I love Casa Cool Beans it might get so busy that I won’t be able to move into room 9 when I plan my move to Rio…whenever that may be in the future. By then maybe David will have convinced Lance to get a puppy to keep Mousse company! Casa Cool Beans, Rua Laurinda Santos Lobo 136, www.casacoolbeans.com

As posted on THE HUBBY EXPERIMENT BLOG….re: Casa Cool Beans (July 1st, 2012)

Our exchange student – Part 1 (July 1st 2012)

Back in February P and I had the chance to experience the biggest party on earth at the 2012 Rio Carnival. As you can imagine it was the experience of a life time. We partied our butts off; meet a ton of cool and fun people from all over the world and had just an incredible time. I will never forget this experience with my husband (I posted the pictures on another blog if you want to check them out) and I wish and pray that we get to spend more times like this many more times in the future.
One of the highlights of our trip was Casa Cool Beans (www.casacoolbeans.com), the most amazing bed and breakfast that anyone can ever experience!!! Located in the artsy neighborhood of Santa Teresa this incredibly cozy place, owned by Lance, David and their dog Mousse, was by far the best hotel experience we’ve ever had. We woke up every day to a fresh breakfast buffet and were greeted by the extremely friendly hosts who gave us suggestions about their favorite places in the area. Our bedroom was beautiful and romantic and the entire place was just a piece of art. They even gave me a necklace before I left (every lady guest got one), a necklace! When was the last time a hotel gave you a necklace as a token of appreciation for staying with them. Pretty sure NEVER!
 Casa Cool Beans Entrance
We were so enchanted with the place that we decided that one day we would love to have something like it, where we could be the hosts, meet people from all over the world and make them as happy and welcomed as Casa Cool Beans made us feel. This is when P decided that “we” needed to make some research and perhaps start small in our own apartment in San Diego by hosting an international student to gain experience and to see if we had it in us. And by “we” he obviously meant, you (me). So I did, I looked into some local English language schools and emailed them asking about hosting a student for a few weeks, as practice for our future hostel/bed and breakfast venture. A couple emailed me back with some information but other than that no one really got back to me. I figured that perhaps we weren’t creepy enough to be host parents (I will tell you about my own creepy host parent experience at the age of 15 some other time) so after a couple of weeks I completely forgot about it. Then, about a month ago (three months after I enquired) I got a call from one of the schools telling me that they desperately needed to place a student who had signed up at the last minute and who was coming to the U.S. in two weeks. Apparently they had run out of creepy couples so they had no choice but to ask for our help!!! YAAAAAAY!  Not only that, they wanted to pay us $1500 for our troubles….are you kidding me, heck yeah send us the kid, we will be ready, two weeks is plenty of time!
Of two weeks wasn’t enough and of course we weren’t ready because, “the kid” was going to have to sleep on the only extra room that we have: the man cave, which I have talked about in past blogs and described as not being very tidy by any regular human being standards. So of course as good last minute Latin Americans we hustle the day before our guest’s arrival and ….how should I put it…hid?  P’s s…..tuff anywhere we could since of course nothing must be thrown away, these are valuable things even if we didn’t remember having them. Our friend Melvyn was gracious enough to help us and as the good guy friend he is, he took the time to congratulate P on his awesome untouched, unread collection of National Geographics that has been boxed and moved 13 million times during the 9 years that we have been together J “Seeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee,” P said. “And you wanted to get rid of them!!!!” Thanks Melvyn!
After an arduous day of cleaning the room was finally ready and it looked niiiiiiiiiiiiceeeeeee. We were ready for the arrival of our 23 year old Swedish student who we knew nothing about. How exciting!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (to be continued…..)

Posted by at 10:01 PM