Sunday, August 14, 2005

Rio de Janeiro

The weekend that Janet and I spent in Rio is now two weeks ago, but I just posted the pictures. It's possible that they will be revised once Janet returns from Asia, but perhaps not (she will have new pictures!).

My first flight into Rio was on July 14, at dawn, and I watched a layer of clouds stretching out to sea pierced by mountain tops, and then a valley looking like the caldera of an extinct volcano, but filled with city. After changing planes there three times in two weeks, parts of the Rio airport became as familiar to me as La Guardia once was. But finally, we actually visited for a few days (Aug. 1).

Rio de Janeiro is a real city with spectacular views, (sort of like putting Manhattan in Yosemite!). The Ipanema neighborhood where we stayed is full of coffee shops, news stands, high-rises, buses and cabs. On Sunday morning I ran along the beach between 8 and 9. A haze was lifting, and many steep hills coming into view. The ocean side of the road that runs along the beach was closed to traffic but already crowded with people. The mix was remarkably familiar from New York: old ladies getting some exercise or just chatting, couples strolling, runners, including a few true athletes laying down 6 minute miles for their morning run. Parking on the far side of the road was lined with VW buses unloading beach chairs, coconuts, beer, and other things to be sold from tents on the beach. Ice was sold in large bags to these entrepreneurs from a truck that ran down the open side of the street honking its horn, a man hanging out the open side door yelling "gelo," or from bicycles equipped with side baskets carrying impossible loads of ice.

Later in the day, we took a ride in a taxi up to Corcovado, which is famous for the statue of Jesus that looks down on the city. Later, we rode up to Pão de Açúcar (Sugar Loaf Mountain) and then briefly visited the Museo de Terra (perhaps the most striking thing is the exhibit of Brazilian granite in the lobby). We ate with Jonas and Leonora from the top of the Hotel Everest (spectacular views) and then had snacks and chopp with Andreas Valentin. On Monday, we took the ferry to Niteroi, where we saw an exhibit of Andreas' work and the “Museo do Arte Contemporanes” designed by Oscar Niemeyer. Later that afternoon, I came home.


Post a Comment

<< Home