Friday, February 26, 2016

My post-cruise week in Sao Paulo, Brazail

I arrived very early Sunday morning in at GRU airport in Sao Paulo.  Mariana was there to pick me up and we drove to her apartment in Vila Madalena, in the western part of Sao Paulo.  This was my second visit to her home here in the city - the last time I visited her here was in 2007.  I had returned to Brazil in 2011 for Mariana's wedding, but that was at her family home in Presidente Prudente, a 5-hour drive from Sao Paulo.

Last June, Mariana had a beautiful baby girl, named Pietra.  Here she is, below, with me, and then with Mariana.

I took a nap for a few hours, and then, being Sunday, we got up and went to Mass at 12:30.  The church Mariana goes to is very old and oh so pretty inside.

The next afternoon, after consulting Trip Advisor, and with Mariana as our tour guide, we visited Batman Alley, a 5 minute drive away from her home.  It is a few alley-like streets where spray-can artists use their talents to paint beautiful murals on the walls, garage doors, etc.  These pieces of art are ever-changing - if we were to return in another month, many of the pieces would be gone, replaced by new and captivating displays.  Here are some of my favorites.

Ana (Mariana's mom) and I goofing around

Some even carry out to the sidewalk.

The Rolling Stones were in town for a couple of concerts, and Ron Wood visited the alley just a little while before we did - he "modified" the artwork below with their iconic red tongue.

Below are some pictures of the highlights of my week here.  Mariana helped me to select some great places to visit during my stay.  I really loved seeing everything!

We visited a cool coffee bar.  Set up like a wine-tasting type place, but it's all coffee, all the time.

This is a monument to early settlers

Our visit to a large "Central Park" type park in Sao Paulo - called Ibirapuera Parq

What a pretty day!

Sad to see ugly graffiti on the upper sides of buildings.  Not sure how they do that.

I like the lightposts along the streets.

This is the Sao Paulo Cathedral

I've never seen a skinnier building.

The Sao Bento monastery.

From across the street.

Stopping for coffee/juice/sweets at famous Cafe Girondino, after our visit to Sao Bento monastery.

I think this used to be a theatre, but it is now used as an educational building of sorts for kids.  It's a very pretty place.

The Mercado Municipal de Sao Paulo is the fruit, cheese, nut and meat market.  Mostly fruit, though.  It's a neat building with lots of arched stained glass windows.

Pietra has now discovered fruit!  She likes eating it!

Really pretty stuff.  And delicious too.

Mariana and the fruit she bought!

I took a bit of a fancy to this guy.

Outside the fruit market.

City view from market area.

I know this picture is blurry, but I had to snap this man (we were racing along in the car).  There were a number of these men carrying fruit and vegetable carts.  Such hard workers.

 Really odd and random buildings and structures abound in this large city

We had dinner one night at a great Japanese restaurant.

Ana and Sherita in deep conversation.

Here is the family!  Mariana to my left, Ana and Arnaldo to my right.  Mariana's 2 brothers and their respective partners.

Well,  What can I say?  We had fun at Arnaldo's expense.

Juliana and Joao Pedro, who slept through most of the evening.

View from Mariana's balcony.

Oh, this is Merlot.  She's a cutie.  She was my sleeping partner for the week.  And she doesn't snore.

Mariana dancing to the seasons....

There is actually a lot of greenery within the city - people plant orchids onto trees and they grow!

This is the radio/TV building.

One of my favorite buildings - love the curvature.

It was a beautiful day to be out walking the Avenue.

The architecture of the buildings is really quite interesting.  And I loved the reflection of the buildings in this picture.

Here is "China" mall.  You can find all things made in China.

The city just goes on and on and on.....being here a week now, I've started to learn about all of the different neighborhoods and sections of this HUGE city.

I am told that Bob's is Brazil's McDonalds.

We stopped in a a nice church while out walking Paulista today.

Popular view from one end of Paulista Avenue, a main shopping drag in Sao Paulo.

They actually have cell phone covers in vending machines!

Riding the metro!

Pietra is learning to eat - and she's enjoying fruit smoothies.


At every main intersection in Sao Paulo, you will find a time/temperature clock and a VW van... this is where all the old VW bugs and vans go to retire....

If you look closely at the back center of the photo, you will see a little house with a red tiled roof.  This is one of a few last holdouts on a boulevard filled with skyscrapers.  In fact, if you look at the top center of this particular skyscraper, you'll see a mirrored ceiling with the house's reflection.

Loving watching people out and about in a downpour...

Love this couch.  Too bad it won't fit in my carry-on....

Taking a rest on "my" couch.

Some fantastic views of part of the city from atop the "pink" building.

Very cool art exhibit - resin - by a Swedish artist.

Great building - love the design.

This is a cool bench seat.

This sign says if you commit a crime on an animal you commit a crime on a life.

Arnaldo and Pietra.  Don't you love his hat?

Time to say goodbye!  

Saw a rainbow on our way to the airport --- must mean good flight ahead!