... in São Paulo

São Paulo 2001

25 Oct 2005 | 356 words | São Paulo urbanism religion future

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 streets was apparently also due to the fact that it was sunday AND referendum-day and brazilians seem to take both their sundays and there referendums rather serious. As far as the latter are concerned it even seems that the police is not allowed to arrest anyone 3 days prior to any election/referendum as this would mean that the arrested cannot vote. apparently this law is a relic from a past when politicians would get supporters of their opponents arrested so they could not vote. As far as i understand this it is not that crimes in this period go unpunished but rather the arrests will be delayed.

Anyway i have changed my mind about the city. This place is absolutely mind boggling. It is pretty much what i would have imagined a 21st century megalopolis when i was a kid. The city center is an anarchic chaos of high rise buildings which seen as a whole has a heterogeneous beauty that surpasses the clinic beauty of places like Amsterdam by orders of magnitude. Combine this with science fiction attributes like heli-pads on top of lots of buildings (that people actually seem to use for helicopter travel within the city), lots of satellite dishes and other aerials, private properties surrounded by electric fences and churches that have their own parking garages underneath them (pay by credit card!) and i am sold to São Paulo.

Tonight on Avenida Paulista there was a open air screening of Kubrick’s ‘2001: A Space Odyssey‘. This is probably the most appropriate places to screen this movie i have seen so far.

meanwhile... is the personal weblog of Paul Keller. I am currently policy director at Open Future and President of the COMMUNIA Association for the Public Domain. This weblog is largely inactive but contains an archive of posts (mixing both work and personal) going back to 2005.

I also maintain a collection of cards from African mediums (which is the reason for the domain name), a collection of photos on flickr and a website collecting my professional writings and appearances.

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