Monday, August 22, 2011

Sao Paulo: Brazilian Beauty

Aug 20th Wall Street Journal Article

[S?o Paulo]Rafael Pinho for The Wall Street Journal
Figueira Rubaiyat

Beaches, bikinis and feathered headdresses are not reasons to visit the biggest city in Brazil—that's Rio you're dreaming of. What São Paulo lacks in sea and sand, it more than makes up for with sophisticated style, can't-look-away architecture and a rich culture influenced by immigrants from around the globe.

This megatropolis of 11 million is the pounding heart of South America's biggest economic success story. A city on the make, it's dynamic and teeming, yet noticeably…happy. Despite the frequently rainy weather, locals have a rep for offering easy smiles.

Insider's Guide to São Paulo

Rafael Pinho for The Wall Street Journal
Chef Helena Rizzo at Mani
And why not? Paulistas are blessed with stunning buildings, including several by celebrated Brazilian modernist Oscar Niemeyer. The city's diversity is on display in Liberdade, also known as Little Tokyo. In Vila Madalena, a bohemian outpost set in rolling hills, the nighttime vibe is one of all-out revelry. Street art graces miles of concrete walls around town; avant-folk fashion turns heads on the streets.
September will bring some bikini sightings with the Miss Universe pageant, as well as rain-free fall weather. If it does drizzle, at least there are plenty of sunny dispositions to enjoy.
—Sameer Reddy
The Hotelier
Rogerio Fasano
Head of the Fasano Group, which owns the Hotel Fasano São Paulo
Mega Food Market: Mercado Municipal. For me this amazing indoor food market represents the plurality and the multiculturalism of São Paulo. It also reminds me of my grandfather, who used to go there all the time. 306 Rua da Cantareira,
Landmark Museum: Museu de Arte de São Paulo. MASP is my favorite museum in town. Its modern architecture is a landmark and represents the feeling and spirit of São Paulo. 1578 Ave. Paulista,
Petite Park:Trianon Park. I like this small park because I used to spend a lot of time there when I was a kid. My school, Dante Alighieri, was just across the street. Its location is a breath of fresh air on the city's most business oriented avenue—the contrast is nice. 850 Alameda Jaú
Escape Route:Congonhas Airport. I love the feeling of going there, because it usually means that I will be boarding a flight to Rio de Janeiro, my second home in Brazil.
Memorable Building:Edifício Matarazzo. It was designed by the Italian architect Marcello Piacentini in the 1940s, and in my opinion it is the most beautiful building in the city. It was one of the inspirations for the Hotel Fasano in São Paulo. 15 Viaduto do Chá
The Chef
Alex Atala
Chef and owner of award-winning restaurant D.O.M.
Authentic Eats:Mocotó Restaurant & Cachaçaria. Far from the city center, but it's a must. This picturesque restaurant has unforgettable food based on traditional Brazilian dishes, and very reasonable prices. It's been open since 1973; these days chef Rodrigo Oliveira carries on his father's work. 1100 Ave. Nossa Senhora do Loreto,
Street Art: Beco do Batman. "Batman's Alley" is more than just a street—it's an open-air graffiti gallery in the heart of the bohemian Vila Madalena neighborhood. Worth the trip. Rua Gonçalo Afonso
Asian Bazaar: Liberdade Street Market. Hosts the best of Japanese culture and cuisine—São Paulo, after all, has the biggest Japanese community outside Japan. Saturdays and Sundays on Praça da Liberdade
Modern Fare: Maní. Chef Helena Rizzo does wonderful work alongside her husband, Spaniard Daniel Redondo, creating nouvelle Brazilian cuisine. It's one restaurant I truly recommend. 210 Rua Joaquim Antunes,
Cultural Complex: Latin American Memorial. I believe Oscar Niemeyer is a revolutionary and a genius. Make sure to see his soaring, curving design that showcases Latin American art, theater, music, dance and more. 664 Ave. Áuro Soares de Moura Andrade,
The Style Editor
Erika Palomino
Editor of Plastic Dreams magazine, columnist for Brazilian web portal iG and TV commentator
Sleek Museum: Museu Lasar Segall. The movie theater and gardens form a modernist space in which you can walk around, and watch art films sitting on antique chairs. You can also see the atelier of gravures and enjoy a late afternoon coffee in the calm. 111 Rua Berta,
Sports Arena:Estádio do Pacaembu. I like to go there to watch the Corinthians' soccer matches—my team! Also great for a visit to the Soccer Museum or to hang out at the low-key Art Deco pub. Praça Charles Miller,
Art Showcase: Pinacoteca. A beautiful building that hosts great exhibitions, completely restored by Brazilian starchitect Paulo Mendes da Rocha. Afterwards, have a wonderful lunch at Acrópoles, a nearby Greek restaurant. 2 Praça da Luz,; 364 Rua da Graça,
Boutique and Bite: Surface to Air and Lorena 1989. Check the new arrivals in the city's best multi-brand store, then have a delicious meal at the attached terrace restaurant, which has a charming view. 1989 Alameda Lorena,,
Top Design: Micasa. A spectacular design store, they have pieces from Vitra, the Bouroullec brothers and special collections from young Brazilian furniture designers. 2109 Rua Estados Unidos,
The Fashion Designer
Oskar Metsavaht
Designer and owner of Brazilian luxury brand Osklen
Modernist Masterpiece: Pavilhão Lucas Nogueira Garcez (Oca).The dome-shaped building, designed by Oscar Niemeyer in 1951, once housed the Museu da Aeronáutica and the Museu do Folclore, and was renovated in part by Paulo Mendes da Rocha. It's now used for temporary exhibitions and events. Ibirapuera Park,
Go-To Gallery: Galeria Fortes Vilaça. One of the most important galleries in São Paulo. It represents artists I really appreciate, like Vik Muniz, Janaina Tschäpe and Ernesto Neto. 1500 Rua Fradique Coutinho,
Local Snack Spot: Frevo. One of the most traditional snack bars in the city. Its Beirute sandwich, made with pita, roast beef, cheese and tomato, is famous—and delicious! 603 Rua Oscar Freire and other locations,
Edgy Art: Instituto Tomie Ohtake. Designed by Ruy Ohtake, the center is named after his father, a well-known Japanese artist, and the center reflects a contemporary view of the city, where culture, art and entertainment are all integrated. 201 Ave. Faria Lima,
Power Tower: Edifício Itália. São Paulo's second-tallest building, located in the city center, offers an amazing view of the skyline. Don't miss the rooftop restaurant for a 360-degree perspective. 344 Ave. Ipiranga,

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