Português of the Week

comemoração - celebration

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Réveillon Heaven

Me, in the arms of a stranger. Copacabana Beach, 1/1/09

New Year's Eve doesn't get any wilder than in Rio de Janeiro.

2,000,000 people, 11 boat-launched firework displays, 2.5 miles of hot summer sand, and all the Skol you can drink.

Thinking about taking a dip? I don't recommend it. With the entire shore lined with the posteriors of men, the Atlantic is more of a giant urinal than a sea. Pretty gross, really.

This year, New Year's Eve in Rio is particularly special. The city will be announcing the official 2016 Olympic Games logo.

I think it will look something like this:

But Bob, do you really think they will choose such an obvious city landmark as their logo? Yes. Yes I do. Don't believe me?

You tell me:

Yes those are actual logos from businesses in Rio. Notice any lack of originality? Marketing 101 at the Universidade Federal must be the easiest class imaginable. I'll bet that if the official 2016 Olympics logo doesn't contain a silhouette of the Sugar Loaf, I will cancel my flight and stay in LA.

*makes hand-shaking gesture*

The city of Rio de Janeiro has already named the next ten years "A Década de Ouro", or The Golden Decade. And golden it will be. The city will host the Olympics and the World Cup Finals in that time. Rio will be the most watched city in the world in the next decade...and I don't plan on watching it anywhere else but there.

And it all starts this Friday.

Feliz Réveillon

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Natal Natal Natal

It amazes me how certain Christmas traditions are assimilated into Brazil. The bundled-up bearded man. The reindeer. The sleigh bells. The snowmen. December is the start of summer in Brazil. I remember laying on a beach in 100 degree heat drinking a coconut in December. In Southern California, people say that there isn't that Christmas feel. Well go to Rio next Christmas. That shit'll make LA feel like the North Pole. Plus, with the exception of a state or two in the south, it doesn't even SNOW in Brazil! If you ask me, it's time for them to come up with their own Christmas imagery.

But one thing you can be sure of--Rio goes big for Christmas.

Rio is home to the world's biggest Jesus.

The world's largest Christmas tree. (That shit floats!)

This is my friend Thiago. He is a children's event and party planner. I don't know who Blue Santa is, but if he ever comes to Los Angeles he should make a list of "nice" neighborhoods...and check it twice. We don't want him strolling onto Red Santa's turf.

Feliz Natal

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The Apartment Search Begins

Rio de Janeiro isn’t unlike Los Angeles.

Each city's got its dualism.

LA has the Eastside and the Westside while Rio’s got Zona Norte and Zona Sul. The south zone boasts the tourist-filled beach communities of Copacabana and Ipanema, reminiscent of the Santa Monica/Marina del Rey scene. On the other side of town, the middle class, endless and invisible at the same time, dwells in the north zone—the humble, working-class side of life. Before I pick a place to rest my head, I gotta choose a Zona.

Walk up the Escada de Azulejos da Lapa (Tiled Stairs of Lapa) and you’ll find yourself passing the art galleries and coffee shops of Santa Teresa. With a view of both Zonas, Santa Teresa somehow manages to resemble neither. It proudly claims Rio’s bohemian quarter. The countless dreadlocks along Rua Almirante Alexandrino make me feel like I’m in Venice Beach. But once that sun sets you’d better have a good game plan. Things can get a bit sketchy.

Then there’s Niterói—the municipality across the bay. I’ve met some cool peeps from here. Though inconveniently located, Niterói seems to be a smidge more comfortable and spacious than the city proper. I’ve never actually been, but it seems a bit South Bayish. You know the whitewashed, culture-void masses of Redondo and Manhattan Beach? Sure I partake in the occasional surf session at Porto and happy hour beer at Sharkeez, but if I’m going somewhere to live, I need to be in the mix.

The first phase of my apartment search consists of scouring Rio’s version of craigslist—www.easyquarto.com.br

If my Poor-tuguese doesn’t make things hard enough, the record high Rio-estate will.


I guess it’s just gonna come down to some good old fashion luck—for which I’m due after the last Vegas trip.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Two Months Notice

As the first decade of the millennium comes to a close, I’ve made the decision to gather up all of what’s left of my youth and head once more into the ever intoxicating city of Rio de Janeiro. Consider this my two-month notice. February 8th marks my departure from LA’s frazzled freeways into the dead mouse ridden streets of Rio. Alone I will attempt to make a living among the cachaça-guzzling, samba-swaying Cariocas. Am I running away from reality? You can say that. You can say a lot of things, Mr. Question-Asker. My reality is that I have some unfinished business with that town. She and I split up two years ago under some complicated circumstances and I’m willing to give it another shot. I just hope she welcomes me with as open arms as O Cristo Redentor.

Friends have asked me why it’s so easy for me to just pick up and leave. My response: It isn’t. It’s never EASY to leave something after you’ve invested so much of yourself into it. In truth, the older I get, the more difficult it is to leave. LA has grown on me. It has grown on my like a cancerous tumor. I don’t think I’ve ever owned so many nice things in my life. I mean look at my bed. Just look at it! You think it’s easy to leave that thing? How many pillows do I have? Five? Five pillows. I have five pillows! I’m not sure if I even had a pillow last time I was in Rio. Half the time I woke up in the middle of the night on the ground because the horizontal boards weren’t actually attached to the bed frame and they separated beneath me. This is surely not easy. I do however, take comfort in the fact that it only gets harder with age. Two years from now, who knows? Maybe I won’t want to sacrifice my five pillows. Maybe I’ll want to get serious with that cool chick I’ll have been hanging out with. Maybe I’ll commit to a career. All I know is that, as of right now, I can give this a real shot. I can live in Rio for a year by myself. I mean, after all…it’s only life.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Dweezy & Trazzler "City Flavor" & NoH8 : Tastes Like Rio All Over Again

Oi, Keepin' It Rio faithful. Hope you are guys are all in for another Trazzler treat.

The cidade maravilhosa has yet again inspired a writing contest entry for the twitter-esque travel website, Trazzler. Their February contest,"City Flavor" has five categories, meaning you could enter five separate trips.

I scribbled up a trip about Santa Monica Art Museum for their "Neighborhood Spots" category & recalled a recent SF excursion to Grubstake grubbary for the "Only in SF" category.

For the "LGBT Icons" my mind turned back to Fall 2008, in Rio. Without any further rambling, I give you my latest Rio entry:

If you can find a moment, I would love it if you Wishlisted (Trazzler's form of voting) my "trip". All you need to do is slap that little green button that says "save" & follow the instructions (which include either creating a free Trazzler account or signing in through Facebook).

Merely slap the green button that says "SAVE" beneath the photo to wishlist/vote for my entry.
(Overly explained instructions appear below):

Step 1. Hit the green button "Save" beneath the photo.
- estimated time: .5-2 seconds

Step 2. Either press Sign In (for Facebook or Trazzler users) or Sign Up to create a Trazzler account.
- estimated time: .5-2 seconds

Step 3. Enter your Facebook or Trazzler login (or if you are already logged into Facebook, just proceed)
Estimated time: 5-45 seconds

And yer done!

Don't worry, you aren't going to be spammed (errr) or charged anything.

I have the chance to win 700 bucks, and a trip to SF if I end March atop the "LGBT Icons People's Choice" standings.

If I finish atop the podium I will be donating half of that dough ($350) to the NoH8 campaign:

In other words, it's an art-based effort to end the hate in the state where I reside. Which would make California, and any other place a much more pleasant one.

Thanks a billion, happy Trazzling and much love.

Vasco Para Vida.

San Fransisco Food—> http://ow.ly/1dwZZ Rio Parade —> http://ow.ly/1dx0X Santa Monica Art —> http://ow.ly/1dx1p