Looking at the crisis from inside the belly of the beast

One of the more notorious/famous places in São Paulo is the boutique department store (Villa) Daslu. According to wikipedia ‘the boutique is known as the ‘fashion designers mecca’ of Brazil as it houses more than 60 labels plus 30 store-in-stores and is the place where Brazilian socialites, ranging from multi-millionaire soccer players to conglomerate bigwigs shop for the latest accessories and clothing’. Leged has it that Daslu is the only department store in the world where you can also buy he…

Spectacular city...

Is the title of a photo exhibition at the Netherlands Institute of Architecture in Rotterdam (on show till the 7th of january 2007). the exhibition consists of about a 100 mostly large scale large-scale reproductions of – well – spectacular urban landscapes, exceptional buildings and all kinds of eerie views. Many of the pictures contain very little traces of human live (which has a strange calming effect on me). One notable exception is São Paulo, Sé by Andreas Gursky: On display this pict…

São Paulo Metrô

I have blogged about public transport in São Paulo before and i have made some observations while traveling on the subway (called metrô by the locals) but being back in town i have realized that i have not really given enough credits to the metrô system itself. The system is absolutely amazing. at the moment it has 4 lines among them two (the red and the blue line) which are mayor ones and two others that act as feeder lines. both main lines run at 2 minutes intervals off-peak and at 60 second i…

More on helipads in São Paulo

I blogged about the helipads in São Paulo back in october of last year. Seems like i am not the only person fascinated by the phenomenon of intra-city civilian helicopter traffic: The transmediale06 media arts festival in Berlin features a short video by french artist Richard Nicolas about the helipads of São Paulo: The sky of Sao Paulo is always swarming with helicopters: 350 daily departures and landings – or one flight every four minutes. The city ranks first in helicopter air traffic and its…

When i am dead....

… i want to be buried here: Walked past the catholic (this might constitute a ideological problem) graveyard on Consolação today and to my immense joy realized the paranoid citizens of this fine city have had the ingenious idea to put razor wire on top of the sky blue walls that surround it. Until now i have never really known where i would want to be buried but now i am sure (other places i have briefly considered can be seen here and here). I will feel much safer here than on any other graveya…

Vicious penguins

For some reason the hotel staff got the reservation a bit wrong and though that Monica, Vishwas and me are all called monica. at least they started addressing us like this when we checked in yesterday night. This already reminded me of the penguins in madagascar, but things got even more Madagascar-like a bit later. We had inquired about a japanese restaurant that would be open on a sunday night (which given how serious they take their sundays here is a bit of a difficult thing to find) which re…

Helipads (!!!)

I have mentioned it before, but the thing that impressed me the most so far is the facts that people actually travel by helicopter within the city. There are lots of heli-pads on buildings in the city and if you find yourself placed high enough to oversee a bit of the city you actually see helicopters taking of somewhere and landing elsewhere on a heli-pad. Of course this is kind of sick (someone told me that you can actually commute by helicopter from the north-zone to downtown for R$ 5000 per…

Living museum of youth cultures

I guess the bigger a city becomes the harder the kids are forced to develop some kind of group identity. São Paulo with it’s 18 million inhabitants seems to be a pretty good example. The kids seem to be much more devoted to individual youth cultures than in most European cities. This is pretty much obvious on the streets or on the subway but the prime spot to witness this is the rock-gallery in downtown. It is a multiple story shopping gallery from the 70ties (or so) that neatly sorts youth cult…

Calculating travel time

Both time & distance seem to have rather flexible meanings over here. Now after 5 days i think i have found the formular for calculating the total length of a trip T(total) = T(waiting) + (T(travel) x 3) + T(travel) + T(stay) where: T(waiting) => 20min AND = T(travel) = the actual travel time on the shortest route from A to B T(stay) = the time spend at the destination of course the most intresting thing is the ‘(T(travel) x 3) + T(travel)‘ part of the equation. this is based on corrobora…

On cities and villages

We went on top of the Edificio Italia building yesterday afternoon. It is one of the tallest buildings in the city and located smack in the middle of it. They have a ridiculously overpriced executive bar on the 41st floor with the worst piano player i ever had to listen to. The whole thing feels distinctly 80-ties, but if you want to have access to the outside gallery you have to order drinks in this bar. The view from the bar an the gallery is absolutely breathtaking. Tthe Sao Paulo metropolita…