I know, I know, I’ve been bad and barely contributed ANYTHING to Beautyskew in a while. But I have a good excuse. I flew down to Sao Paulo, Brazil for a whirlwind trip of speeches, meetings and tons of fun 🙂 I literally had so little time to do anything given how busy, tired, and stuck in traffic I was. But I loved every second of it (well, except the major rain and traffic on the way to the airport).
Given how soon the World Cup and the Olympics are going to happen in Brazil, the conversations with my Brazilian friends often included the lack of infrastructure and all the major and city-marring building that is currently happening to compensate for it. We discussed the differences among different parts of Brazil, especially Rio vs Sao Paulo. Sao Paulo is like the NYC of Brazil: it’s the business capital; extremely populated; and full of the most educated and affluent people in the country. But, unlike Rio, it’s not beautiful. I can see their point. Sao Paulo a large city with a series of different neighborhoods. Most of the buildings are stucco high rises surrounded by concrete. But baked into these neighborhoods are nice streets, grand homes and architectural beauties, e.g., Praça da Sé, Museu de Arte de Sao Paulo and Instituto de Arte Contemporânea.
Despite all the obvious go-to-sites of Sao Paulo, there’s something beautiful to me about the everyday landscape. Perhaps because I’ve spent so much time in Tel Aviv, a place that shares some of the same “look,” I feel a strong connection to Sao Paulo. But more than that, I believe the beauty of the city is a form of “inner beauty.” I really feel a kinship to so many of the Brazilians I have met. As a culture, Brazilians are warm, inviting and passionate. For example, you kiss someone when you first meet them. No shaking hands. This sense of warmth and friendship pervades the streets, buildings and parks of Sao Paulo. This vibe adds a layer of brightness, and a feeling of excitement and joy to the city. If this doesn’t add up to beauty, I don’t know what does.
Go visit Sao Paulo, I highly recommend it!