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…

Shrinking cities

I am in Rio right now, which is anything else than a shrinking city. I have no figures ready but i guess there is a table which shows Rio’s growth in the last decades somewhere in Mike Davis’ excellent ‘Planet of Slums‘ which i finished reading just before coming here. Now the lonely planet for Rio mentions that in Rio gas stations are one of the favorite places for party-goers to hang out as they sell beer all-through the night. This particular bit of travelers advice reminded me of one of the…

The sudden stardom of the third world city

Rana Dasgupta has just published an essay of the same name on his site in which he explores the devellopments behind the recent rise to media stardom of cities like Johannisburg, Bombay, Caracas, Lagos and Nairobi. from the essay: Dismissive talk of Chinese “sweatshops” that would never meet EU regulations does nothing to dispel the sense of a stupendous fertility, for the contents of every western household are “Made in China”, and most Europeans and Americans are so entirely ignorant about how…

World Information City TV

If you happen to live in Shivaji Nagar, Bangalore and you get your cable tv from Devya Satellite Vision you can watch the first installment of world information city tv tonight from 1830h to 2100h IST. World Information City TV is a project of Bombay based artist Shaina Anand and is part of the World Information City event. Apparently they have made a movie out of my camera misfortune a couple of days ago. watching WIC-TV at A1 auto consultants on Shivaji Road…

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…

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…

São Paulo 2001

Yesterday i seriously thought i would not like São Paulo. It seemed empty for a city with 16 million-or-so inhabitants. And the people who where on the streets where either selling incense, crystals and other hippie-shit (on the Praça Republica next to my hotel) or the seemed to be a bit too fond of tattoos and body manipulations for my taste (all the kids i ran into on the subway on their way to some kind of tattoo convention). But mostly they were simply absent. The lack of people on the stree…