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Bloco das Carmelitas in Santa Teresa

Hi all, This Friday afternoon I’ll be meeting several friends and friend of friends to watch one of Rio’s most popular blocos (Carnival street parades), As Carmelitas. Although somewhere around 400 blocos now perform during Rio’s Carnaval, As Carmelitas has been a favorite since its inception back in 1990. I think there are several reasons […]

Carnivals around Brazil

Hi all, Is there a person alive who hasn’t seen photos and video of Rio’s Carnival? Honestly, sometimes I think that Carnival is the only thing foreigners know about Brazil at all. But Rio is not the only city in Brazil which celebrates Carnival. Indeed, there are Carnivals around the world. Mardi Gras, Quebec’s Winter Festival, […]

The Botanical Garden in Rio

Hi all, Chances are that when you think of Rio, you envision either a beach or Carnival in the street. Certainly you can find those here, but Rio offers a wide variety of activities. Despite being a large city, it has still managed to preserve significant portions of nature. The Botanical Garden is one attraction […]

Let’s Brasilizar

Hi all, John Travolta is the new spokesperson for Ypióca brand cachaça. (Cachaça, for the uninitiated, is a powerful liquor distilled form sugar cane, similar to a strong light rum. It’s the active ingredient in Brazil’s national drink the caipirinha.) I’m not sure exactly what this means. Simply that Brazilians like Travolta? Or will there […]

Independence Day 2013

Hello all, I hope that you had a good weekend. Saturday was September 7th – Independence Day here in Brazil. You can read about Brazil’s road to independence in some of my previous blog posts:  Independence Day in Brazil   and Happy Independence Day. This year, Independence Day perhaps had extra meaning here in Brazil. […]

Leme

Hi all, I’m back! I have some nice posts lined up for you. I met on Saturday with another gringo, Joel Garcia, who just moved down to Rio about 10 days ago. He actually did so without having ever visited here before, so I chide him that he’s a “Brazil virgin”. Anyway, I’ve promised to […]

The Hippie Fair

Hi all, Yesterday was a gorgeous day, even though it is supposedly mid-winter here. It was also Sunday, which meant of course that the Hippie Fair was in full swing. The Hippie Fair happens almost every Sunday here in Rio at Praça General Osório in Ipanema. This is one of the principle squares in Ipanema […]

Woman raped in van in Rio

Hi all, It pains me to write this post, but I feel an obligation to present the full reality of Rio. Late Saturday night a woman and her male companion were held for 6 hours during which they were beaten and the woman repeatedly raped. The couple had boarded one of the many vans which […]

Faith and Begora: St. Pat’s in Rio

Hello all, Happy St. Patrick’s Day, celebrated even here. I wouldn’t say that Brazil has a large Irish ex-pat population. The Irish, after all, tended to migrate to places with crappy weather, like Boston and Chicago, rather than sunny climes. But when March 17th rolls around, the Irish and faux Irish can be found everywhere, […]

Flooding in Rio

Hi all, Climactically, Brazil is fortunate in many ways. It does not suffer hurricanes or tornadoes. In most parts of the country, sun sine is abundant. Also, the earthquakes which afflict Brazil’s neighbors to the west are unknown here. However, parts of Brazil receive seasonally heavy rains, generally during the summer months. And heavy rains, […]