Thursday, April 9, 2009

Hanging out in POA

I have lots of pictures I have been meaning to post.

Here’s one of me sampling the goods at Água Doce Cachaçaria. The cachaça base is mixed with your choice of fresh fruit juice combinations and, if you like, condensed milk, to balance the kick. A gimmick of the joint is serving all the drinks with a chorinho. Literally that translates into little cry, but you won’t be cryin’ in your “backup” glass. Trust me, you only need to order one.

Another night, another happy hour. This time with a wildly diverse group of foreigners at Boulevard da Vasco, a new regular in our arsenal of haunts, with a great big patio to enjoy the perfect evenings.

The city did a beautiful job restoring the historic Teatro São Pedro, and I am ashamed to admit that I still haven’t been to see a play. Out of view just to the left is a brand new outdoor theater complex that opened last week. It looks very lovely.

One of my favorite hideaways here, Casa de Cultura Mario Quintana, has undergone some renovations recently too. Best addition: the new café just inside this garden on the 5th Floor rooftop. The bathtubs from the old Hotel Majestic that used to occupy the building were recycled into planters for water lilies.

My one year anniversary in Porto Alegre happened to be on the city’s birthday, March 26th. There is always a really good selection for the art-and-cultural inclined, but last week the event listings were enormous. In the middle of the night I went to the giant park, Redenção, with some friends for a celebration. It was really a spectacle! Light show, giant movie screens, live music, food, dancing, and the unveiling of the refurbished fountain that serves as the centerpiece of the park. Flat Lizzie and I also made it to a photography exhibit showcasing some of the city’s most endearing charms; the architecture, the sunsets; and the people buzzing about.

Friends (and fellow LOST-junkies) Marianna and Roberto took Lizzie and me to Priscilla’s. Apparently a sister site to a famous bakery in New York City, it’s the only place in the world I’ve ever found sticky buns just like my mom used to make. Unholy, I tell you.

Flat “Sticky Fingers” Lizzie approved.

You can still find payphones everywhere in Brazil. Here, they are appropriately nicknamed orelhão, or Big Ear.

You might recognize the packaging for the ubiquitous (outside the US) Kinder brand chocolate eggs.

I recently learned that the orange trash bins around Porto Alegre have a fun nickname too: Ovão, or Big Egg.

And speaking of chocolate eggs, it’s that time of year. These giant chocolate Easter eggs are everywhere! Stores set up giant grids overhead to display them…thousands of them!

I hope everyone enjoys a nice long weekend in good company. I know I will. I’m heading off to stretch my legs in São Paulo for a while.