Saturday, July 9, 2011

Pictures of Anthony Taking Pictures

My friend Anthony flew up from Porto Alegre last weekend for a quick visit. It was great to have him here--I accomplish more and have more pep in my step, these days, when I have someone to show around the city.

We started off with a late lunch on Saturday at the Praça Benedito Calixto street fair, where there are great food vendors selling classic Brazilian fare, from pastel to acarajé. The custom is to grab a small plate of your choice and stand around in the middle of the park, nibbling nosh and sipping cerveja, while listening to the live chorinho band. It's a very good way to while away a couple Saturday afternoon hours in São Paulo.

Satiated, we jumped a bus to Avenida Paulista.

It was at this point that I decided to show my readers a different side of São Paulo: my one-woman exhibit, "Pictures of Anthony Taking Pictures." (Some of the photos posted herein, regrettably, stray from the theme due to poor photo[grapher] quality. A pity, really, because I found much humor in my idea of a post entirely of Pictures of Anthony Taking Pictures. Sigh.)

The "Puppy" restaurant. Lord, I hope not.

We took a stroll through Parque Trianon--which feels 100 miles from perhaps the most famous and bustling business street in all of South America, though it's separated by just 10 meters of sidewalk.

Super zen.

We stopped at Starbucks. Admittedly, since moving to São Paulo, you can find me at one of the various franchises in a 2-mile radius of my pad, a few times a week. (I sold out and I don't care. Venti Sugar Free Hazelnut Americano, I adore thee.) Anthony, however, hasn't been to one in years, as the chain has yet to infiltrate Porto Alegre. We went twice in his 48-hour visit.

This is the one I used to always lose track of. Now I've memorized it: Almeida Campinas and Almeida Santos.

We took the metrô. Anthony appreciated it as much as I do.

Especially the very cool Estação , where two subway lines intersect and there's a neat cut-out feature that allows you to watch the buzz of commuters on the different levels.

You'll spot Anthony Taking a Picture, upper left.

...and there's a piano, with a sign inviting anyone to sit and play. (There almost always is someone playing, I've noticed. On this particular visit, there was a guy reminiscent of one of the Nuttin' But Strings brothers.) I think this is a very clever initiative.

We went to Terraço Itália and caught a glimpse of its famous look-out over the São Paulo skyline, though not the full 360 degrees, as someone with a hella-lot of money was having their wedding reception there that evening.

I finally managed to have a Brahma at the institution Bar Brahma at Ipiranga and São João in República. Charming boteco but terrible chopp.

We bolted back to my Vila Mada for kafta espetinhos and caipirinha.

Later still, we went where I know the chopp is second to none: Filial. Brahma Black. Delicious.
This is the right way to end a night!

The next morning Anthony went on a city tour while I took more pictures of strange products in Liberdade (next post). He met me there in the afternoon and we went for shiatsu massages. Incidentally, his=good, mine=awful. Ouch.

Redemption, however, came in the form of potstickers and vegetable tempura at the Sunday street fair.

Later that evening the temperature dropped and it grew windy. After our marathon, we indulged in the warm shelter of a mall for a movie, a leisurely dinner and a bottle of wine.

We parted company on Monday after an American style breakfast of homestyle potatoes and omelets, feito em casa, for 4th of July.

That was fun. Thanks, Anthony!