Monday, January 23, 2006

Non-clever title: a list of things I have done recently

Since my days in Brazil are dwindling, I decided to try to chronicle some of the stuff I have done lately, just because. List/bullet format!@!! I love lists.

  • Café Journal -- Moema -- man, I love Moema. This bar had a swanky atmosphere and fabulous wine list. We had Argentine malbec, I forget which one. It was goooood.
  • Armazén Paulista -- another great Moema bar with palm trees and a lovely patio. Perfect place to go on a warm night for a drink.
  • El Patio -- speaking of patios... nice Spanish/Mediterranean restaurant. We ordered tapas, and wine (Chilean cabernet), claro.
  • Santa Helena -- new bar/espetinho place next to the complete Scene that is Vila Isabel. Dougal and I went after work and weren't gente-bonita-ish enough to command a table at Isabel, so we trudged next door to Santa Helena. The concept is great -- waiters walk around with various espetos (skewers) of meat, seafood, chicken, veggies, garlic bread, cheese, etc., and then you just grab what you want off the trays, and they mark it on your card. They also circulate with trays of chopp (draft beer), of course, so it all works out very well.
  • Edificio Italia -- seriously never gets velho. I have been 4 times now and the view from the bar on the 42nd floor never fails to impress me. It is so nuts how the city seems to go on forever, in every direction -- you don't really understand the BIGNESS of SP until you get up there and see the sprawl. From that vantage, São Paulo looks ugly, crammed together, industrial, crumbling, and terribly exciting. Only downside -- paying $10US for bottled water at the bar.
  • Mercado Municipal -- I went back with Dougal the other weekend -- giant piles of mangoes, whole pigs strung up by their noses, vendors selling plastic bags of multi-colored, unidentifiable spices, and crates of the sort of bizarre, tentacled fruit you can only find south of the Equator... Afterwards, we got a little turned around trying to find the nearest metro station and ended up in this area of downtown where they sell Carnaval costumes. It was quite the scene -- axé music blasting in the street, people scrambling everywhere with big plastic shopping bags, screeching vendors selling almonds, fruit, and ice cream, and me and Dougal, two gringoes lost in the milieu. Fun!
  • KiaOra -- definitely one of my favorite bars in the city, cheezy as it may be. Never have had a bad time there, AND they play the Killers.
  • Veridiana -- new pizza place in Jardins. http://www.veridiana.com.br/ Went on Friday with Toby, Nicola, Dougal, Maia and Keith. We had pizza, some very nice antipasti and a lovely bottle of Chilean malbec, but the service was shit on a stick. Our waiter was this ornery old man who walked away from the table after taking 2 orders (there were 6 of us), and then acted quite put off when the rest of us politely requested to order when he came back. Then he poured wine for the men, ignoring the ladies (even though Nicola and I had ordered the bottle and two of the guys didn't even want any) and he tried to clear our plates while they were still half full. Other than that, though, great service.
  • Pool lounging -- after a night of KiaOra madness (followed by a half dose of The Notebook), we met up on Sunday at Dougal's pool to soak up the sun. Nicola had brought a bathing suit for me to borrow, but she is impossibly small and the suit did not fit, so I had to wear this giant white tee-shirt and a skirt to the pool. I felt like a piece of tender Brazilian beef roasting in the churrasco pit. It was like 37 degrees C (98 degrees F, I checked the conversion) and I think we were all starting to hallucinate a bit, so we went for sushi after a few hours of pooling.
  • Sacolão de Sushi -- this place in Vila Madalena is incredibly popular -- it's a sushi rodizio (all you can eat) plus veggie stand plus juice bar plus fish market. The tables are all covered in plastic sheeting and half the guests have to sit on little plastic patio stools, and it was sort of a chaotic atmosphere, but the sushi was great.

Guess that is about all for now. I am trying to make the most of my remaining 2 months (exactly 2 months today, actually) in SP. There are so many things I want to do here -- many of them involving food and drink -- so I am stepping up my socialization/outing schedule. It's sort of a throwback to the days when Matthew and Vicky were here and we used to go out during the week/have adventures on the weekend as a matter of course.

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