10 Reasons to Love or Hate São Paulo

By 12:49

I've been reading a lot of different Brazilians blogs and columns recently, and one of my favorites is Xico Sá's blog over at Folha de São Paulo's blogs, where he wittingly talks about relationships & sex, culture, society and politics. He'll use a lot of literary references I don't know about, so it's a great reason to look this sort of stuff up! haha

He recently posted on the top ten reasons to love or hate SP in honor of the city's upcoming birthday, and I can't help but agree! Here's his list in Portuguese. And my simple translation below, because I'm not nearly as clever as he is. :-)

For those who are planning on moving to Brazil and considering São Paulo, here's the fabulous and harsh reality of it all.

10 reasons to love SP

- The women and their incomparable elegance. :-) I must say that, since living in SP City, I have upped the notch on my style. And I don't mean I've been following every fashion trend out there, but there's something about looking effortlessly classy in SP's women you don't see much elsewhere in Brazil, that is contagious once you move here. 

- São Paulo nights. Av. Augusta with it's clubs hosting the world's best DJs, classy bars, brothels, and dive bars until... well, 24h a day... is just the beginning. 

- Great waiters. Unfortunately, the 10% included on all tabs aren't always passed on to waiters. When the service is great, I'll usually ask to not pay the 10% and tip my waiter separately. 

- Mondays when Corinthians wins on Sunday. The coffee is warmer and the beer cooler. 

- The street Art. The biggest outdoor art gallery in the world. Despite the city's efforts to paint over some prime work, there's always something beautiful and new around the corner. 

- Xico Sá references 2 Paulistano music artists. The number of local artists and the local music scene has grown so much and is so good, it makes me smile that I have the opportunity to see so many great artists live so often. 

-  Sugar cane juice and pastel (deep fried wonderfulness filled with whatever you desire) at the farmer's market. The most organized institutions in the city. Nevermind the market's vendors giving you a self esteem boost and free fruit tastings. Yum!

-  The metro. 

-  Italian cantinas downtown. 

-  The "baiano immigrants" from every state in the Northeast.  

10 reasons to hate SP

- Kassab. Our  mayor. Who Sá mentions "does so little and prohibits so much." 

- Traffic, obvi. 

- How much you pay for a cab to the international airport, Guarulhos

- The assault in restaurants on the west side. On a number of levels - by thieves themselves or the restaurant owners in their prices (TRUE STORY). 

- The closeted gay men who beat up openly gay men on Paulista. 

- The metro. At around 6 PM. 

- The tapioca which is being meddled with and practically turning into a specimen of pizza. 

- People on Oscar Freire (street with upscale shops - or as my British friends would say - the posh part of town) who think this is New York, when really, it's more like Mexico City. 

- Lines.

- The police.


And to add a little of my own loves and hates - 

the parks, the art scene, sunday afternoons at bars in vila madalena, vai-vai samba school rehearsals, japanese food on every corner. 

any public institution which makes me wait endlessly for the simplest things, really really wealthy paulistanos, cars, lack of cheap greasy pizza, prices on any and everything. 

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