The Things NY Mag Forgot To Mention….

I finally got myself a copy of the April issue of New York Magazine which did a 4 pages spread on Rio. I can say for a fact that visiting Rio for a few weeks doesn’t make you an expert and I am sure that if the person writing this had stayed in town a bit longer and really explored; the article would have read a bit differently… offered more useful (and accurate) suggestions etc.  If you are thinking of visiting and want the basic facts and tips the NYMag article covers only a fraction of the information you really need, so consider this a more useful guide/ appendage/ correction to their article.

First off, clearly someone from was watching the ‘Rope Walking’ the same day as I was!

Praia do Pepe is in Barra yes its a beautiful beach, and you need a car to get there but be prepared to sit in traffic! The travel time to and from Barra varies depending on time of day, early morning it can take 20 minutes, mid day… you could be sitting in traffic for 2-3 hours! Note: when driving there, keep in mind that you are driving next to a Favella (see below, it is not the safest spot to be stuck in traffic… I have heard horror stories….

Balada Mix has multiple locations, there is one in Leblon and in almost every mall.  It is a good spot for a light meal and has the basics you are looking for (salad, sandwiches, juices etc) but I wouldn’t deem it the ‘it’ restaurant to go to.  Head over to Quattro Amici Pizzeria if you are looking for a scene.

I agree 100% with the Copacabana overview, it is not safe!  Just walking through the other day, I stopped to look at a restaurants menu and a man came up to me and tried to buy me, yea its gross! At night expect to see your fair share of prostitutes (FYI a lot of them are transvestites so watch out boys!!); if you are a girl reading this, I wouldn’t recommend walking around alone at night in Copa, if you are going to find trouble in Rio it will be over there.  During the day it is very ‘seedy’ area and mostly tourists, you won’t see any Carioca’s there.

I must say I was surprised that the article dedicated a whole page to Downtown and Saara, if you are only visiting Rio for a short period of time, skip this area, personally I hope I don’t have to go back! Is Rio safe? Well that all depends on where you go and how you carry yourself.  This article failed to mention taking caution while visiting.  Tips: Leave your jewelry and designer bags at home!  If you don’t draw attention to yourself in that way you will be better off.  I must admit I have mixed feelings on this, as I am living there and have becoming quite comfortable but have also heard some recent scary experiences that have happened to friends of mine including being held at gun point, robbed etc.  My advice, don’t draw unneeded attention to yourself and stay on the busier streets.

Botecos (bars) for drinks and snacks, there was a typo in the NY Mag article, the snacks are called Petiscos (with a P).  Pronunciation is important in Rio, if you even ask for something and pronounce it slightly off, they will just stare at you confused and then move to the next person.

Top Chefs–Best restaurants in Leblon include CT Boucherie (will cover that soon), owned by the same person who owns Bistro 66 .  Additionally, I would have included Guiseppe Grill.


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4 Comments to "The Things NY Mag Forgot To Mention…."

  1. Giovanni's Gravatar Giovanni
    August 5, 2011 - 10:28 am | Permalink

    Ps I would rather mention that Claude Troisgros is also the chef & owner of Olympe, one of the only good restaurants Rio has to offer. It’s an amazing city, but it misses a great cuisine :)

    I think Rio actually became very safe in the last 5 years, thanks to (in Zona Sul at least) and almost zero tolerance and huge cleaning operations in the Favela’s. If you compare there are way less killings in Rio than New York for example… An average tourist will even not get out of the Zona Sul areas (which is also a pity of course). Feel free to walk in Copacabana during the night these days, not advised as a women alone (but where is?). Did it often, without any issues. Much changed in the last years, but not many people opening their view and willing to forget the past.

    Anyhow, nice blog 😉

  2. August 6, 2011 - 8:54 pm | Permalink

    I have to ask, how long have you lived in Rio?

    First off, I don’t know where you went in Copacabana but no on has ever tried to buy me. Be open with me because I’m starting to feel ugly 😉

    Secondly, I LOVE Saara, but not that first main section. Let’s make a date and I’ll show you the great spots.

    Rio is all about knowing your way around. Anyone can fall in love with Leblon and Ipanema but it takes a pro to get you to that cool bar in Catete.

  3. August 8, 2011 - 12:15 pm | Permalink


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