The Making of Brasília

(Niemeyer and a model of Brasília)

It’s popular belief that Brasília is a “recent” construction, that it was built in 1956 and finished in 1960 and all thanks goes to then-president Kubitschek and architect Oscar Niemeyer (let’s not forget Lúcio Costa). The reality, though, is that Brasília was thought up in 1749 by the Portuguese Marquês de Pombal, or possibly by his cartographer who visited Goiás at the time.

Lampião & Maria Bonita – Meet the Cangaceiros from the Brazilian Sertão

When I was eight  I saw this TV series based upon a true story called Lampião e Maria Bonita. It took place in the dry lands of Brazilian Sertão, a bit similar to –and not far from- the region of Crisópolis, where grandpa Octavio had settled alone in a house, in the middle of nowhere, after leaving the big city once and for all. I remember having cherry tomato wars with my siblings, picking cotton from the trees in his backyard and eating his polenta. I also remember looking at the moon from the porch and feeling overwhelmed by its power, its mystery, and by the fact that it surely knew everything about my future (but it wouldn’t tell me). In terms of landscapes, I am not sure where the memories of this TV series end and where those from my childhood at grandpa Octavio’s little ranch begin.

Diving Into the Rio Carioca

Rising at the base of Corcovado in the neighborhood of Cosme Velho and emptying into Guaranabara Bay from the Praia de Flamengo, the Rio Carioca has a history that parallels that of the city. As a freshwater river, the Rio Carioca quenched the thirst of the Indians, French, Flemish, Portuguese and Brazilians, all the while becoming a strategic point of interest as well as the setting of much discord.

Beach Culture in Rio de Janeiro: “Olha o Globo!” – A Story of Brothers, Biscuits, and Beaches

(Source, with Two Brothers in the background)

Ask any beach-going Brazilian that has been to Rio de Janeiro what images come to mind when they think of Rio and I’d bet Biscoito Globo is one of them. The famous doughnut-shaped powder biscuits are as common a sight as the sunbathers in Ipanema applauding the beautiful sunsets, silhouetted by Two Brothers hill. Speaking of brothers, three from São Paulo deserve some applause, too, as they are responsible for another pleasing sight, one that can be sweet, like catching some rays, or salty, like the sea itself.