Lucy’s Here!

March 5, 2010

Lucy arrived today and Claire comes tomorrow.  It’s unbelievably fun to have visitors here again.  This morning we went to an outdoor market on Sergipe, near the Consolacao cemetery.  From there were took a stroll around Vila Madelena, searching for the furniture store that carries pieces like the ones we saw in Minas.  Unfortunately the store doesn’t ship things to the US either.  Bummer.  We had a very nice lunch at Santa Gula, where the food was good and the space was decorated with kitchy art (avocado green old-school rotary dial phones, mismatched chairs and classes, candles, all in an indoor/outdoor space).  We stopped by the Nike store to see if there was anything we should get so we’re appropriately attired when we cheer on Brazil in the World Cup this summer.  After letting Lucy rest a little bit after flying all night, we’re headed for an evening on the town and a trip to Juquehy tomorrow.

The Sisyphean Craft Market

February 15, 2010

The main Fortaleza craft market is right across the street from our hotel, on the water side of Avenida Beira-Mar.  It has all the usual crap–cheap soccer jerseys, stalls with cashews and dende oil, things made out of coconuts, hammocks, jewelry made out of Amazonian berries and shells, and fairly nice white embroidered and crocheted things typical of Bahia.  It’s big, and we wandered through it the first day we were here.  We realized yesterday that it gets taken down and set up again every single day.  Every day a collection of metal poles are fitted together to create the structure and tables are set up, the goods are rolled in in big crates, and everything is taken out and displayed.  Each night, all of the components are packed up again into the boxes, the structures are dismantled, and by the next morning it’s bare space again, with faint markings on the ground mapping which merchant goes where. It’s sad, really.  Sisyphean.  Why can’t they build a real structure?  Or is it more poignant that people don’t have anything better to do than to build and take apart the same thing every day.

Tuesday Fruit Market

December 15, 2009

Just before settling in to do urban agriculture research in our little outdoor mall where there’s a movie theater, a book store, an upscale food court and free wifi (and today sunshine), I wandered through the fruit market set up in the shadow of our building.  On the small side street running along the Staybridge Suites, tents popped up and women and maids with rolling carts packed the narrow aisles tasting pieces of mango and smelling lettuces.  Fruit markets are sort of ubiquitous in Brazil, but this seems like such a funny one, given how corporate the area is.  We live in an extended stay hotel and the area is much much more crowded during the lunch hour rush than it is on a Saturday afternoon.  In Rio, the fruit markets seemed like such a natural fit for a city with the jungle creeping in.  The shady residential streets were perfect for perusing juicy fruits.  Here though, in Sao Paulo, there’s so much concrete that such stacks of fresh herbs and electric orange carrots are sort of remarkable and refreshing, if out of place.

The market and the day

June 30, 2009

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This market was on my way home from looking at an apartment today.  It was way more incredible than it looks in these paltry iphone pictures, but I was getting harassed to buy custard apples and mangos and papayas and so I didn’t want to pause too much.  It was awesome though, and if I had had money on me I would have bought said fruits. There were also some pictures of fish stands that didn’t come out at all… all blue and white striped awnings with glistening fillets and googly-eyed whole creatures with gills, just out of the sea not a hundred feet down the leafy, tree-lined street.

Also, looking for an apartment in Rio has been interesting.  I think at this point, every real estate broker who caters to tourists knows that we, my boyfriend and I, are looking for a one or two bedroom flat in Ipanema or Leblon, for the next year, with an outdoor space, high speed internet in a secure building.  We’ve been pushy in a way that only Americans can, and I swear that it’s only because we would like to unpack and get settled.