About this blog
Thrill of Brazil is a travel blog all about Brazil written by Moon Brazil author Michael Sommers. Michael blogs about Brazil travel, culture, and more. He welcomes questions, comments, and story ideas.
- Care for a Drink with your Film? (or a Film with your Drink?)
- Brazil’s Homegrown Tourism Boom
- Brazil's Best and Write-est
- Making House Calls in Rio (Part II)
- Making House Calls in Rio (Part I)
- The Dawning of Brazil's B&B Age
- Rio's Alternative Points of View
- Taxi Trouble in Santa Teresa
- Obamas Take to the Campaign Trail in Brazil
- Plans and Punctuality
- Reliving Tropicalismo - On and Off Screen
- Food and Lodging that Make the Grade
- The Making of Moon Living Abroad in Brazil
- U.S. is Number One Source of Immigrants to Brazil
- Best English-Language Blogs about Brazil
Da Boca do Brasileiro (II)
Da Boca do Brasileiro means “Out of the Mouth of a Brazilian” and is the title I’ve chosen for a regular monthly feature of this blog. The idea is to let Brazilians do the talking by recommending their favorite things to see, eat, and do while also providing some insider dicas (tips) they think might be useful for gringos.
One of the most original and provocative figures in Brazil’s contemporary dance scene, Luiz de Abreu creates choreographies that explore the notion of the black body, particularly in relation to Brazilian identity. Luiz was born and raised in Minas Gerais, but has lived for much of the last 15 years in São Paulo, where he launched his career as a solo artist (most notably with the work, “Samba do Crioulo Doido”). Although these days, he spends a lot of time in Salvador, whenever he gets fed up with beaches, and homesick for a “real city,” Luiz – who is one of the biggest and truest bohemians I know – escapes to Latin America’s mega-city for a much needed hit of urbanity on a grand scale.
Name: Luiz de Abreu
Birth Place: Araguari, Minas Gerais
Current Address: Splits his time between Salvador and São Paulo.
Profession: Contemporary dancer, choreographer, and director.
What to Do: I love to just walk throughout the streets of São Paulo’s Centro without any specific destination. São Paulo is so diverse and one of the best diversions the city offers is just to watch the parade of different types passing by.
What to Eat: Virado à Paulista, It’s an immense plate of rice, tutu (thick bean puree), collard greens, linguiça (a Portuguese sausage), pork cutlet, torresmos (fried pork rinds), and a fried egg. Ave Maria! You’ll find this at any boteco (neighborhood bar), but I like to eat it at traditional bars in the Centro such as Salada Record (on the corner of Avenida São João (no. 719) and Avenida Ipiranga) or Esquina Grill (Rua Martim Francisco, 244, near Metrô Santa Cecília).
Place You Can’t Miss: The Museu da Língua Portuguesa, which is a museum devoted to the language of Brazil. The building itself is historic (lodged within the turn-of-the-century Luz train station), but inside it’s super contemporary with three stories of high-tech, interactive displays dealing with the notion of the Portuguese language: where it comes from and where it’s going. On the first floor, temporary exhibits focus on great Portuguese-language writers such as Clarice Lispector, and Euclides da Cunha, and – currently – Fernando Pessoa. It’s a very beautiful place.
Insider Hint: Don’t be afraid to approach or talk to people. Sometimes, foreigners in Brazil are timid, but our culture is one of approximation… even in São Paulo. Hanging out in bars, in particular, is a great way to strike up conversations with people.
Insider Warning: Careful never to leave bags open (i.e. unbuckled or unzipped).
Recommended Sound Track: Gilberto Gil is the first name that comes to my mind – the album Expresso 2222 is a great one. If you’re talking about São Paulo artists I’d recommend Itamar Assumpção; I’m think specifically of an amazing cover that he did of Ataulfo Alves’ sambas (recorded on the album Pra Sempre Agora).