Even though I did end up spending extra time in Brazil — I was there for a total of 10 days, 5 in Ituanas and 5 in Sao Paulo, I didn’t always bring my camera with me while walking around. That’s why I only got about three blog posts out of the journey.
Particularly in Brazil, where it’s so easy to meet people, I’d rather be in the moment than walking around with my face hidden behind a big black box. Without my camera folks on the street would make eye contact and strike up a conversation.
Some of the most interesting characters were the old men and women that worked at these antique shops. I talked with a few of them about where they buy their furniture and how much work they have to put into restoring it. Let’s just say that these kind of modern style re-upholstered antiques are all the rage right now in Sao Paulo and the ones I talked to seemed to be making a killing!
The above three photos are from near my hostel right in Villa Magdalena. The funny thing about Sao Paulo is that a lot of the streets are characterized for one specific item and so you’ll pass by store after store after store all selling the exact same things. For instance, to walk from the metro to my hostel, you had to go through the music district where there were about 4 blocks (maybe more?) lined with places selling tubas and guitars and pianos.
On one of the rare days that I did venture outside Villa Magdalena, I decided to pay Little Italy a visit. Little Japan was so cool that I figured this would be too.
Maybe it was the grey drizzly day. Or maybe it was the walk through a sort of ghetto neighborhood from the metro to get there. But I really wasn’t feeling the vibe.
Some of the colorful houses sort of reminded me of Valparaiso.
But the marker of actually making it into Little Italy are the Italian flag colors painted on the light posts.
Other than that and a few awnings in the same design, nothing really marked it as special or Italian.
Maybe on a good day there are true Italians walking around screaming “Mamma Mia!” at one another and shaking their long curly Italian hair. But on this rainy afternoon, not many Italians showed their faces.
I did eat some lunch in an Italian restaurant, but it wasn’t anything special. Tasted like most Italian food I’ve ever eaten while in Latin America — that is to say, bad.
Overall though, it was still a fun day. I always enjoy exploring new places, even if they’re not necessarily what I’m expecting.