Sete de Setembro

September 7, 2009

Today was Brazil’s independence day.  Everything was closed and the beach was more packed than I had ever seen it.  It was hot out, and the road that runs along Leblon, Ipanema and Copacabana was closed.  In addition to the usual beach riff raff, there were a few striking visuals.  There was a man about my father’s age, looking very respectable walking out of Citibank.  He had just withdrawn money and was checking the bills in his wallet.  Totally normal, except that he was only wearing a black speedo and a bulging fanny pack.  No shoes, no shirt, no pants, just him, his gut, his speedo and his cash.  Also, at the Parque Garota de Ipanema by Posto 7 there was a brass band.  I was at the turnaround of my run, having dodged a million people and dripping with sweat I stopped to stretch for a minute and see what the crowd was gathered for.  At that moment the band started playing Material Girl.  How does a brass band play Material Girl?  I’m not sure, but it happened–it took me a second to realize what song it was as lots of people hummed along.  For some reason it felt like a very Brazil moment.

And just for good measure, check out my piece on Matador.

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2 Responses to “Sete de Setembro”

  1. Loraine said

    Enjoy this wonderful city! With all its problems, it is still my favorite place in the world. I can’t wait to get back to my place.

    A tip for you: have you already eaten bolinhos de bacalhau? If not you should!

  2. yup! That is Brazil – more than Brazil, very, very Rio, thanks for the memory….

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