For the first time, our city guide cross the Atlantic Ocean and lands in Brazil, São Paulo. We hang out with Cesare Vs Disorder to discover the city he recently moved to.
I have been living in São Paulo for the past 4 years. My connection to this intriguing city goes far back as my wife is Brazilian and a real Paulista. I first met her in 2004 when I was living in London and I’ve been going in and out of the city every year since then.
I’ve finally fallen in love with São Paulo and moved in after some years spent in Berlin.
São Paulo is a piece of art all together. First of all it is massive. it is said it accommodates almost 20 million people only in the urban central area (40 million in the entire São Paulo state). Contrary to legend, it’s not a grey cityscape only but it’s full of interesting and different areas, a variety of environments influenced by many cultures and social paradoxes.
It all makes the city not just a concrete jungle but a source of inspiration with an exotic vibe full of green areas and folkloristic and cultural activities happening everywhere.
I’m totally in love with São Paulo and feel home at this point. I recommend everyone to visit this raw but very special place in Brazil.
Hope you enjoy my tips!
Walking on Minhocão
Minhocão (“big earthworm”) is a 3.5 kilometre elevated highway from 1969 in the heart of São Paulo. During the night on weekdays and all day on Sunday the highway is closed to car traffic, so paulistas can enjoy it for walks, bike or skate rides and so on. A totally different kind of park surrounded by old school tall buildings that are just 5 meters away giving a very special vibe to the cityscape. To complete the appeal there are several gigantic graffiti on the buildings facades. Every angle here is a great photo moment.
Art with a view and a walk in the past: Farol Santander and downtown
Farol Santander is located on a 35 story building calledBanespa in the São Paulo old downtown and was built between 1939 and 1947. The building is an example of art deco, like a big part of downtown.
It was inspired by the Empire State Building in New York. On its 21st floor there is a skate park. On the 22 and 23 floor is where immersive arts exhibitions keeps happening during the whole year featuring national e international artists. On the 26th floor, 160 meters high, we have a viewing platform, considered one of the best in town and a ‘40s style cafe.
The whole downtown area is a bit rough and decadent but for sure a place to explore for what it is now and what it was before, São Paulo financial center during the golden era of ‘50s and ‘60s.
Ibirapuera park it is the biggest park in town and one of the biggest in South America. It covers 390 acres and includes a huge green area with lakes, sport activities areas, flower gardens and beautiful massive tropical trees apart several museums, the Biennale, a music Hall (Auditorium), a theatre, a Pavilion and a Planetarium that were designed by the genius ‘70s architect Oscar Niemeyer. The MAM (Modern Art Museum) is also located here where you can see one of Louise Bourgeois’ giant spider (remember the one at Tate museum in London?) as a permanent exhibition. I love to come here and escape from the rush of the city. It’s a oasis. I recommend coming during week days as it gets very crowded in weekends.
Beer at Kintaro and Ramen at Liberdade
Kintaro it is a very small japanese “boteco” bar in the nipponic area, Liberdade. The whole neighbourhood is a great trip to “Japan” but this little bar run by two brothers (known in the community cause official sumo fighters) is a gem. Their mother prepares the super tasty japanese snacks served at the counter. You can spend hours here before finalising your visit to Liberdade with a classic Ramen or a Sushi if you prefer (some of best Japanese food i’ve tasted outside Japan!) to then move towards funny karaoke bars or shopping anything that is Japanese or Chinese.
São Paulo counts the biggest Japanese community in the world outside of Japan, so you can imagine how great and authentic looks and vibe comes from this area.
Out and About at Vila Madalena
Another great neighbourhood in SP. Here you can get lost between bars, restaurants, art galleries, independent fashion and design shops, tattoo parlours and street art. These area is young and full of life.
I love the part near Beco do Batman, a small alley covered by graffiti. Usually we start a walk from there and we will see where we’ll end by. You can spend entire afternoons or evening at Villa Madalena and not get bored. Everytime I end my visit to the area i love to go straight to the studio full of fresh inspiration.