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A Brief History of Rio

Hi all, Yesterday marked the 450th anniversary of the establishment of Rio de Janeiro – by the Portuguese. Few people are aware that the first settlement in the area was actually French! Rio was born at the base of Sugarloaf Mountain. The first settlement, founded in 1555, actually was French and was named “France Antarctique”. […]

Herbie Hancock performs at the MIMO Festival in Paraty

Hello all! I’m back after a few days of R&R in Paraty, my old stomping ground. I went down from Rio with my Aussie friend Rod and stayed in Paraty with my Brazilian friend Eryck. The reason for the trip down was that this past weekend the MIMO festival opened in Paraty. The MIMO Festival […]

Clash of the Titans?

Hi all, The Brazil vs Spain final in the Confederation Cup games was hailed by one sports writer as “is the clash of the 21st century.” Sorry, Akarsh. Certainly the game was pleasing for all of my Brazilian friends, but it was very lopsided, at say the least. Still, it had it’s moments. The first goal, scored […]

Read about “My Second Life in Brazil” in International Living

Hi all, Those of you who already subscribe to International Living magazine may already have seen my article first month: “Simple and Slower-Paced – My Second Life in Small-Town Brazil”. In the article I discuss how I came to live in little Paraty, and give a taste of what it’s like here, including the cost […]

It’s official: Rio is the world’s happiest city

Hi all, OK, most these “Top 10” lists floating around out there are kind of hokey. But according to The Bay Area Traveler and as reported in the The Huffington Post, Rio de Janeiro is the world’s happiest city. There is no real explanation of what that means or how the list was established. Still, I […]

Bloco de Lama (Parade of Mud*)

Hi all, While Paraty’s Carnival can’t compare to Rio’s, it’s not without its own charms. Notably, Paraty has the Bloco de Lama, which I will translate here loosely as the “Parade of Mud.” [*Editor’s note for you purists: Bloco would translate literally as “block,” or perhaps more precisely as “bloc,” but the idea is very […]

Carnival 2013 in Paraty

Hi all, Well, Carnival is in full swing right now. This year I’m enjoying the festivities here in my little town of Paraty, forgoing the mega-parades of Rio. Been there, done that. Three times. That’s enough. While Carnival here in Paraty is undoubtedly tame compared to Carnival in Rio or Salvador, the other big destination […]

Origins of Carnival

Hi all, It is now the weekend leading up to Tuesday, the final day of Carnival. So things are liable to get a little crazy these next few days. The biggest celebrations of Carnival in Brazil are in Rio and Salvador. Olinda, a smaller historic town adjacent to the city of Recife, also has a […]

Another day at the office

Hi all, I hope that your weekend was as good as mine. We finally got a break from the summer rains (recall that down here in the southern hemisphere we are entering summer) and had a gorgeous day – at least until about 5:00 PM, when showers finally pushed through. But at 10:00 AM the […]

Election time

Hi all, This Sunday is Election Day here in Brazil. I thought I might share a bit the process here. First, voting here is obligatory for those 18 and over. If for some reason you do not vote, you must provide a valid excuse. I’m not sure whether I agree with obligatory voting or not. […]