After moving into our new apartment, Scott and I spent the weekend celebrating the marriage of Michael and Jenna–two of my favorite people in the world.  It was a warm, beautiful rehearsal dinner and wedding.  We danced.  We sang and laughed and mostly we danced.  And Jenna had the most incredibly beautiful, ethereal wedding dress I have ever seen.  More selfishly, it was extremely fun for me to be back with some of my closest friends in the world and Michael’s family, who I grew up with.

Today for Mother’s Day, the Behars and my parents came to Brooklyn.  We hung out at the apartment and then went to a store that Scott and I have been meaning to visit to buy a large dining room table for our new space. I would write the name here, but I want it to be my secret (another selfish indulgence).  There were graceful, heavy wooden planks with so much character, each with its own ancient story.  We didn’t find the perfect thing yet, but we got a good idea of what’s possible in the fluid world of hardwoods and tropical trees.

The last thing that’s been amusing over the last couple of days was that Scott was putting our books on the Ikea bookshelf that we tiredly put together on Wednesday night.  He thought he saw some sawdust and that we didn’t do a very good job.  Turns out our books from Brazil had some sand lingering between the pages.  The detail made me smile. A little bit of Jericoacoara in Brooklyn.

Bichinho

March 2, 2010

We just got back to Tiradentes from Bichinho–a small artist community about seven kilometers down a bumpy, stone-paved road.  We had lunch at Tempero da Angela, a small restaurant that was mentioned in the New York Times article (and is subsequently full of gringoes).  We parked behind a few other rental cars and walked into the cement patio where there were tables with bright table cloths.  Inside the kitchen there was a big wood-burning stove with a platter of pork, chicken stew with okra, rice, beans, a corn pudding type thing, potatoes, couvee, a Brazilian kale-like vegetable, and aipim.  We walked in and grabbed plates off the hutch to the right and silverware from the drawers.  There was a big bowl of crispy pork-rinds (something I NEVER thought I would eat or like, but they were kind of amazing), and a cart with desserts–white Minas cheese and homemade dulce de leche and goiaba paste.  It was all delicious and about $7 per person.  Here’s Scott’s plate.  It turns out that Minas is a place for eating.

Afterwards, we poked in and out of the artist studios and looked at the incredible wooden furniture that’s all over this area.  They’re mostly big, rustic pieces in gorgeous woods, and we’ve been trying to figure out if it’s worth the expense of shipping something home.  It would help if we knew where we were living next and what kind of space we would have.

Inhotim

February 28, 2010

An hour away from Belo-Horizonte there’s an amazing garden and gallery hybrid space called Inhotim.  Set in the red Minas Gerais country side, it used to be a farm, and has been converted to an amazing complex, with gardens designed by Roberto Burle Marx and different galleries featuring different contemporary artists over the 45-hectare space.  It was amazing–meticulously maintained and cared for, with interesting, thought provoking art.

It was hard to capture how extraordinary the complex was in photos, but here’s a few just to present an idea.

Also, I was totally smitten by these natural wooden benches they had everywhere.

It’s also interesting to be in Belo-Horizonte after seeing more of the country and traveling through the northeast.  It’s a beautiful city.   I was  a little burned after the Fortaleza experience, but Belo-Horizonte is elegant, set into the rolling hills of Minas Gerais.  Marjory and Eduardo’s house is stunning. huge and glassy, with beautiful views.  We went to dinner last night on Rua Curitiba, a street that looked like Jardims in Sao Paulo, with leggy twenty-something girls in mini-skirts and high heels, and chic restaurants.

Contemporary Rio

August 23, 2009

Andrew and Amy arrived yesterday morning, and we’ve been navigating the best parts of Rio in a group of six.  It’s been amazingly fun to show off our city, despite a lack of cooperation with the weather yesterday afternoon.  It presented its worst, most cloudy, drizzly side.    We took the ferry across the bay to visit the Museu de Arte Contemporanea de Niteroi (Niteroi is Rio’s Hoboken), which was designed by architect Oscar Niemeyer.  The collection was small and sort of awkwardly spaced in the building–which is clearly the main attraction in itself–but I very much liked the work by Alfonso Tostes.  It was organic and beautiful, fusing wood (drift, rafters, and others) with polish, and human looking joints notched in.

virgilio_02

From Niteroi we went to Copa to check out one of the street fairs, and spent the night at Diagonal, our favorite neighborhood Brazilian restaurant and Lapa.

Lapa, while always fun, was especially great with so many friends around.  It made for much more lively discussion drinking in the center island between the Arcos, and more fun spinning and foot shuffling at Carioca da Gema.

On our way home, our cab driver got pulled over by the police.  Everything was fine, but it was totally unclear what had happened.  He may have run a red light (something that happens all the time, every night here), and he claimed that the cops had confused him with someone else, which was sort of amusing.

Today was filled with açaí, Koni, surprisingly sunny weather, a very exciting Botafogo v. Corinthians game (3-3 tie, street fair day in Cincinnati! seriously), and lots of basking in having everyone here.

Oh, and we also discovered that there’s an American couple living on the 8th floor of our building, about our age, teaching at the American School.  Potential friends?

stoolI walked home past the MoMA Design Store at 81 Spring last night.  I didn’t have time to go in, but their new Featured Destination looks pretty amazing.

MoMA Feature: Destination Brazil