São Paulo

images of São Paulo , Brasil

“São Paulo marcha com passo mais rápido que o normal, e de tal modo se vai distanciando das suas congêneres deste e dos outros continentes.”

 “São Paulo marches ahead faster than most, and so distances itself from its peers in its own and other continents.”

Francisco Prestes Maia  São Paulo Avenida Paulista 

” Ash-colored São Paulo, with its vexing traffic that thwarts our plans, São Paulo where we are always in a hurry because we are always lagging behind, São Paulo whose longing to be so “Yankee” down Paulista Avenue is crimped by ithe european-style of Jardins neighbourhood . São Paulo, whose mighty iron heart pumps its lifeblood through the economy of giant Brazil. São Paulo, you seem limitless, and flying above your sky only seems to prove it. Congratulations on another year of life ! “

I wrote these words on January 25, 2015, when I landed in São Paulo, the day the city was celebrating its anniversary. São Paulo Avenida Paulista 

The  magical ritual that begins for me when the plane’s wheels touch down in São Paulo endures. Despite an exhausting 12 hours of flight, all that is necessary once I land in Guarulhos is to get out into the city in a taxi, to catch the contagious rush of adrenaline that emanates from Paulista avenue and I get the dose of energy I need to go through the packed day-one itinerary that has become a São Paulo tradition for me over the years: at noon I will eat at Zeli Deli with Dona Rosa and her charming staff, in the afternoon I will stroll for hours along Rua Oscar Freire, where João Antonio will be sitting on a bench with his dog, his dog that never barks, because it’s only a stuffed toy. The evening will begin with a glass of Chandon in Piola, served by Fabio or Silas, and the magnificent, busy day will be crowned with a fabulous dinner at Brown Sugar, where Tide will always manage to find a great table for me.  São Paulo Avenida Paulista 

In 2014 a broken bone forced me to prolong my stay in São Paulo beyond my originally planned week, and kept me in my hotel room for most of that time. Forced to stay inside, from my window I watched the light outside over São Paulo change as the day progressed, and saw how the seemingly uniform and monolithic outline of São Paulo changed with the hours and displayed its subtle aesthetics. After this forced period of patient study, I came to know the harmony and subtlety of São Paulo, as more of “an imposition of circumstances” than an invention (as a famous Brazilian architect once remarked), and as a result approached the city with my camera and this new aesthetic in mind.

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