Clowns Protest Santa Teresa Bonde Plan; Want it returned NOW!

By Ben Tavener, Senior Contributing Reporter; The Rio Times

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Dozens of comic artists yesterday donned red noses and baggy pants to stage a good-natured protest at the Arcos da Lapa, demanding the return of the traditional bonde (tram) in Santa Teresa after the system was suspended indefinitely following a fatal derailment earlier this year.

Clowns protests at Rio's Arcos da Lapa, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil NewsClowns protesting at Rio’s Arcos da Lapa demanded the Santa Teresa bonde be returned to its former glory, photo by Vladimir Platonow/ABr.

“Santa Teresa without the tram is not Santa Teresa. The tram is about simplicity in the face of a more technological world and this is a symbol of poetry, as are clowns,” explained 60-year-old professional clown Leo Bassi.

For the balance of the story, please click on the link below:

Rio de Janeiro Lit In Red For World AIDS Day (December 1st, 2011)

Photo: AP

The city of Rio de Janeiro has marked World AIDS day by lighting 10 of its famous monuments and attractions in red including The Christ Redeemer Statue. The red lights will be on for 3 nights in Rio. Rio’s government has also invested $1.1 million in a program, the largest city-wide campaign in Brazil to combat ignorance, prejudices and misinformation about AIDS.

Posted by Shon Starr on December 1, 2011 on

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

“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.”
“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,
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,
“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,
“St. Tropez is old-school Riviera sexy, but so gorgeous. And so is everyone there.” –Heidi Mitchell, Town & Country Contributing Editor
“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!

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”!!!!

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!!!!

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!!!

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

Rio de Janeiro adds public bike rentals…(as reported in the Huffington Post) Oct 28, 2011

Rio de Janeiro to have public bike rental program

October 28, 2011 04:57 PM EST | AP

RIO DE JANEIRO — The Brazilian city of Rio De Janeiro is implementing a public bike rental program, following in the footsteps of Paris, Washington, Mexico City and San Francisco.

Rio de Janeiro public bike rental program starts October 28th, 2011

The system was inaugurated Friday (October 28th, 2011) with 11 bike rental stations in the beach-side neighborhood of Copacabana. The mayor’s office says 60 secure docking stations will be installed across the city by Dec. 13, making 600 bicycles available to the public. The bikes can be returned at any station, giving riders freedom to hop on and off where needed. Users have to register online and buy a daily pass for $3 or monthly pass for $6. Rio’s system is modeled after the bike-sharing program implemented in Paris in 2007 and reproduced by many cities around the world. -as reported in the Huffington Post by AP


We are ecstatic that such a program has been implemented as many of our guests who are used to such bike rental programs want to use one here in Rio de Janeiro!

For the official website (in Portuguese) please find the link below:

Is that Sade?…..REALLY???

Sade World Tour 2011

We decided since we have ALWAYS wanted to see Sade in concert that there was no better time than the present. Large posters of Sade’s upcoming concert had been pasted about everywhere paper and glue could go; if that wasn’t a sign, what was? So, we went to the website to purchase the tickets and the CHEAPEST tickets were just under R$300!!! And this was in a section with no assigned seats at the back of HSBC Arena. Hummm…..well we purchased them anyway and off we went 4 hours early to pick up Katia and a couple of her friends in Ipanema. There was no ciaos at the front door; just orderly Sade-fans excited to see their idol. We got some of the best seats available in our free-for-all seating area. Thank God for the large monitors which actually allowed me to see the show! Below is a photo of Sade from our seats. It was SPECTACULAR!!!!!!!

Sade at HSBC AREANA-Rio de Janeiro (October 22nd, 2011)

16th Annual Gay Pride Parade in Rio de Janeiro (Oct 9th, 2011)

Rio Hosts 16th Annual Gay Pride Parade

October 10, 2011 | Filed underDaily Update | Posted by

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Nearly 700,000 people celebrated Rio’s sixteenth annual Gay Pride Parade at Copacabana Beach on Sunday, according to authorities.  Members of the LGBT community donned intricate Carnival-style costumes and waved rainbow flags as music blasted from more than fifteen massive sound trucks during the festivities.

Copacabana Hosts 16th Annual Gay Pride Parade, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil News
Copacabana Hosts 16th Annual Gay Pride Parade, photo by Gay Pride Brazil.

Promoting the parade’s theme of equality and that “All Forms of Violence Must be Crime,” revelers cheered loudly to repeated calls for Brazil to authorize previously proposed laws against homophobia.

President of Grupo Arco-Íris (the Rainbow Group) Júlio Moreira addressed the crowds demands, criticizing the federal government for deciding not to distribute “anti-homophobia” kits to public high schools.

The kits would have provided teachers with instructions and guidance on addressing common issues related to homosexuality occurring within their classrooms, with the goal of reducing discrimination against LGBT students.

Sexual-health was also promoted, with numerous tents set up to distribute condoms and pamphlets on preventing sexually transmitted diseases, and the Public Defenders of Rio group, officially attending the parade for the first time, provided free legal advice to participants.

Organizers of the parade had hoped for nearly 1.5 million participants, well above the official figure given by Rio’s police.  Last year’s event, which similarly called for more laws against violence motivated by sexual orientation, attracted more than 800,000 supporters.