I did a very quick trip to Rio this weekend and wanted to share some of my new graffiti findings… unfortunately there was large section that has been ‘whited out’ (below) which made me quite sad to see some of my favorite pieces have vanished:( Hopefully they will be glistening with vibrant colors soon!!!
If you are passionate about graffiti the way I am (or are looking for an incredible cultural experience) you must visit Miami‘s ‘open air art park’ ie The Wynwood Walls located in the Design District, conceived by Tony Goldman. This is the largest area in the world dedicated to graffiti artists and muralists. Artists have come from all over the world to claim the walls, alleys, garages, parking lots, doors and sidewalks of this now up and coming area. I only had one afternoon there (sad face) but in reality you probably need about 3 full days to see everything since you will have to zig-zag your way through the entire neighborhood; it completely took my breath away. Since I don’t want to completely overwhelm and bombard you, here is a small sampling of some of my favorites. Let me know if you want to see more (I took over 500 pics) and am happy to share! FYI some great Brazilian artists in the mix, can you spot them?!
Whenever I go to New York people ask me what I miss the most, what places I try to go to etc. To make things easier for folks traveling from Brazil to NY, here are my favorite places / recommendations, keep in mind I try to cram all this into an 8 day trip!
CVS or Duane Reade: I have an whole new appreciation for drugstores (which most American’s seriously take for granted!). I am aware that there are tons of them throughout the city but when I got to NY I pop into every one I walk past. I know it sounds a bit ridiculous but just knowing that I am surrounded by anything/everything I could want in one place (not having to go to 8 different stores or brave Extra in Brazil) is such a wonderful and peaceful feeling I can’t help myself.
Russian baths: Though I am from Rhode Island I have never been equip to handle the cold and there is no better place to get warm then the baths
Meatball Shoppe: A place that serves all different kinds of meatballs..awesome!! Make sure you get the ice cream cookie sandwich for dessert, it is amazing
16 handles: My go to snack when living in NY was fro-yo; while there are lots of fro-yo places in Brazil they are all tart (pinkberry style) which I personally don’t like, so finding a good sweet treat in Brazil that isn’t 100000 calories can be a challenge. When I got to New York I have a cup from 16 at least once a day. The place is amazing, great flavors and do it your self toppings, nothing beats it
Liquiteria: A friend got me hooked right before I moved to Brazil so now whenever I am in NY it has become one of the first places I stop at so I can start my trip off right (and not gain 1000lbs when I come to the city). FYI they just started selling mini ‘shots’ of lemon,cayenne and ginger to give you that extra energy boost.
Baked by Melissa: Perfectly tiny cupcakes that will satisfy your sweet craving
Whole Foods and Trader Joes: they speak for themselves!
Sushi Samba or Morimoto: The sushi in Sao Paulo is incredible but sometimes you just want the ‘americanized’ version, plus I can finally order edamame without having to pay a crazy amount at these two trendy sushi spots
Have a great trip!
People thinking of moving to Brazil or in the process of figuring out their , move reach out to me regularly asking: What do I need to bring with me from the US to Brazil? Since I am in New York right now (and attempting to pack), I figured I would share some of my ‘must have items’ with you. Moving to a different country you cannot expect to find all your ‘usual’ or ‘brand items’ when you go to the store. In fact, your favorite brands are bound to be super expensive in Brazil, and until you figure out which Brazilian brands you like, you’ll have spent tons of $$ on the stuff you’re not used to if you don’t bring it, so bring as much of your ‘regular’ items as you can! I bring 2 empty suitcases with me to the US so I can bring them back to Brazil completely stuffed:)
There is obviously a lot more you could bring then this list but it should serve as a good outline to help you figure out what you will need to bring with you when you make the move:Food Peanut butter – In the US it cost $3.25 for a jar of Skippy… in Brazil it costs R$28 (which is $12.5), bring a big one! Cooking items – Salad dressing, sauces (duck sauce, honey mustard, steak sauce,), cooking mixes (we bring buffalo wing mix, chili, Thai, Indian, Chinese, Soups etc), cooking bags Tea/ Crystal Snacks/Protein – granola bars, if there is a particular snack you eat regularly bring a bunch Spices – cayenne pepper, chili powder, mustard seed, Indian/Thai/Chinese spice Mixes – Hamburger Helper, Mac & cheese, pancake, muffin, etc Candy – I can’t find my favorite candy, sour watermelons in Brazil so I bring them back in bulk House Detergent in packets – the emgregada’s in Brazil tend to use a crazy amount of detergent, this will save you money in the long run Zip lock bags/ tin foil – My mother in law says the quality of these items is so awful so she brings them with her every time she visits! Air conditioning unit – many apartments only have AC in the bedroom Rugs, placemats, bedding, towels, feather bed, bathroom rugs Batteries Tool box, Super glue Iron, Vacuum Personal Clothing for all seasons!! Yes you do need warm clothes; I am sorry to disappoint you but it isn’t hot and sunny here every day! It gets cold and you should be prepared. Stockpile of good cosmetics, hair care products, make up remover, nail polish remover wipes, sun screen (it is surprisingly very expensive), creams/lotions and and specific name brand items you use Contact lenses and solution Anything for children – games, clothes, toys, backpacks, books, baby stuff or maternity items! Perfume Razors Books Any prescription medication or good multivitamins you take daily General medicine- Tylonal, Tylonal PM, Dayquil/Nyquil, Benedril, Rain boots Umbrellas – they are crappy wherever you are in the world if you buy one on the street. In Sao Paulo there are surprise rainstorms all the time and it is important to be prepared. If you are a girl, it’s a good idea to stock up on the small kind that fit in your purse
Specialty items you can only get back home Recreational gear – wetsuits, surfboards, hiking, tennis/squash (racquets, balls, grips, bag), camping, biking, running etc, Hobby related items – crafts, beads, etc Stuff on Sale!! – Hit up the Forever 21, Express, H&M, Gap, Marshalls, & Outlet sales to stock up on good cheap clothes. This counts for shoes & jewelry too. Electronics Gaming consoles like Wii, xbox etc Apple TV, make sure you sign up for netflix and hulu plus, you will thank me! Plug adapters- make sure to check the voltage and plug types of your electronics before bringing them! Just remember that any house can be adapted to meet your electrical needs. Laptop and case GPS for car Car accessories Camera Space Heater – Yes you are reading that correctly! In the winter it can get very cold at night, especially since none of the apt buildings have heat and are not well insulated Toaster oven ipad/ kindle/ ipod Unblocked cell phone Speakers/ travel speakers Blow dryer Blender/ juicer George Forman grill Printer/ scanner combo + printer ink! Wireless routers Electrical accessories such as: extension chords, power strips (surge protector kind), head phones, chargers etc
**Some of the stuff above including blenders and the like can be found at an ok price but it’s really tough to find anything of quality, so I recommend bringing what you can.
For those of you planning to ship a full container (roughly $4-5,000USD) You only have one shot at getting all of your stuff for free into Brazil, so make it count and bring EVERYTHING you would need for a new unfurnished home. FYI UNFURNISHED is NOT the same as in the US! Unfurnished means you are working with a completely bare space, i.e. no appliances, toilets or even plug sockets!
*****Note: if you are purchasing anything brand new, take it out of the packaging, mix a little water and dirt together and make it look a little used (just so you don’t raise any eyebrows and give anyone reason to tax you).
Brought to you by the culinary and alcoholic visionaries of Barteco is Sao Paulo’s hottest new wine bar Tempranillo. Located in the swanky Vila Nova Conceicao it is under the command of Jaci Soares (Taberna 474) and Carlos Martignago (Serafina) so you know this will become your new ‘go to’ spot. Designed by architect Silvana Brandão , the decor is rustic-modern, with low lighting, and colorful urban art on the walls. Facing the street are large glass windows that are open on warm days (great for people watching) and there is a fully stocked wine room in the back. It’s not open to the public yet, but there will be an outdoor rooftop patio that will definitely be 2014′s hottest place to be (keep checking back for more info!). Read more »
If you are in Campos do Jordao and in the mood for a superb steak dinner head over to the Serodio family owned restaurant Libertango and you will not be disappointed! They take the meaning of ‘family run restaurant’ to a whole different level where you almost feel like you are part of the family by the time you leave. The house itself is very cute and cozy, the staff is unbelievably friendly and knowledgable, you can tell that they really care about providing you with the best possible dining experience. If you can, sit at the chef table right in front of the grill (which is open to the restaurant, see below), the chef is awesome! He and his son made our dinner very interactive and a lot of fun, he would even give us little samples as he was cooking so we could try different things.. the chorizo soaked in vinegar was delicious.
They are famous for their perfectly cooked Argentine steaks and I completely agree with all of the reviews I had read before dining here, the steak was superb; cooked and seasoned perfectly. We had apple mashed potatoes and garlic broccoli as our side dishes and they were equally amazing.
I honestly only have rave reviews and great things to say about Libertango. If you are traveling to Campos do Jordao, you must dine here!
Restaurante Libertango, Av. Brasil 160, Campos do Jordão – SP, 12460-000
Like Hansel & Gretel following breadcrumbs you must follow the tiny colorful signs to find Tarundu, a massive adventure activity park in Campos do Jordao. If you like games, outdoors, sports and activities then you will LOVE this place (yes it is great for kids, but it is fun no matter how old or young you are!). Activities include: Paintball, horse back riding, donkey rides, 2 different ropes courses, 4 different zip lines, car racing, orbit ball (you go inside a giant ball and roll down the hill like a hamster), water ball (walk on water), ice skating, trampoline room, archery, mini golf, kids space, rock climbing, and high fly trampoline. Yes Tarundu is awesome!!
Thanks to spending 9 summers at Tripp Lake Camp, I was more than prepared for the ropes course! Check it out:
Now, let’s talk costs… every activity that is offered has a different cost and it can add up pretty quickly. I recommend getting one of the ’Passport’ options like the Super passport where you pay R$199 up front and get to use R$539 for all activities (which is a 63% discount) or Passport 1: you pay R$99 and get to use R$189 (45% discount) or Passport 2: you pay R$79 and get to use R$169 (53% discount). Remember to stretch before you go and have a blast acting like a kid again!
Tarundu, Av. José A Manso, 1515, Campos do Jordão – SP, 12460-000
As you can see it is a LOT of food, so go hungry!! Hope you enjoy this as much as we did:)
So Queijo, Av Macedo Soares, 642, Vila Capivari – Campos do Jordão – SP | CEP :12460-000
Something I always find amazing is how much Brazilians love the cold! To prove my point further almost every restaurant in Campos do Jordao (the beautiful Swiss town tucked in the mountains an hour away from Sao Paulo) has outdoor seating, and there were more people sitting outside than inside.. it was 17 degrees Celsius!