Category Archives: Brasil

Visiting Sao Paulo, Brazil

New Year's Eve

The Week Sao Paulo

Earlier this month Sergio and I spent our last few nights in Brazil’s largest city, Sao Paulo.  This sprawling city is one of the largest in the world. If you don’t know your way around you could easily find yourself lost or worse, leaving without ever getting a chance to see what the city has to offer.

For more than 15 years I’ve been visiting Sao Paulo and I’ve never had a bad stay. That is due in part to having friends in the city and a partner who many years ago briefly lived there. It would be impossible to talk about all that the city offers in a single post so I’ve opted to share a few tips and links to related posts below.

Brazil, Brasil, gay brazilIf you visit Sao Paulo, I’d strongly recommend that you stay in the Jardims (Gardens District).  Most of the gay population either lives or plays there and there is no shortage of great restaurants and shopping available. I can offer some recommendations and share where Sergio and I like to stay when we visit.

Just a few blocks away  from where we usually stay is Bella Paulista (shown above). Bella Paulista is open 24/7 and always seems to be bustling.  When we grabbed a late night ice cream we were mildly entertained by two men who couldn’t keep their hands off each other while they waited in line. PDA with gay couples is rare, and I was heartened by the site and the fact that nobody seemed to bat an eye; this wouldn’t be the case in most other neighborhoods.

If you will be traveling to Sao Paulo and have any questions, feel free to give me a shout and I’d be happy to point you in the right direction.  Here are a few posts I’ve written in recent years about Sao Paulo:

The Week – Sao Paulo: Probably my favorite gay night club in the world.
Hotel Unique and The Sky Bar: My favorite place to grab a pre-dinner cocktail.
Spot: Every gay man at some point will come here for drinks or dinner.
Shopping in Sao Paulo: Go for it – the dollar is ridiculously strong right now.

Buh-bye 2015 and hello 2016

Cabo Frio, BrazilThank you to all of you who read my blog, comment and share the posts. This hobby has turned into a bit of an obsession over the past few years and I greatly appreciate the support you provide by leaving comments and sharing my posts via your social media sites.

This photo was taken about 10 years ago in Cabo Frio, Brazil.  We will be celebrating the New Year once again with our friend “Junior” shown above with us, but this year we will be celebrating together in São Paulo. I hope you enjoy your New Year’s Eve no matter where you are or how you decide to celebrate.

Feliz Ano Novo

Até logo Belo Horizonte

View of Belo Horizonte, Brazil looking Northwest

View of Belo Horizonte, Brazil looking Northwest

By the time this post goes live Sergio and I should be settled in São Paulo, Brazil after spending the previous 10 days visiting with Sergio’s family in his hometown of Belo Horizonte.  The metro area population of Belo Horizonte is 5M+ making it comparable in population to Dallas but much more densely populated.

I’ve been coming to Belo Horizonte to visit family for years now but the incredible hills and indistinguishable skyline comprised of mid-rises make it impossible for me to get my bearings except for when I can take in vistas like the one shown above from the posh Mangabeiras neighborhood.

Bar Imperial - Savassi Neighborhood

Bar Imperial – Savassi Neighborhood

Belo has more than its share of little bars where people congregate to drink and talk outside since the weather is pleasant most of the year.  When we go out, we tend to eat and drink in Savassi.  Thanks to a very friendly exchange rate, eating and drinking in Brazil right now is very affordable for Americans and Europeans, which also means that we had more than our fair share of Midnight snacks.

Brazil

Midnight snacks in Belo Horizonte’s trendy Savassi neighborhood

One of my favorite places to meet is Cafe com Letras. The food is surprisingly good and it is a popular destination for gay and lesbians to congregate – located just blocks from other gay friendly destinations like Bar Imperial, 2015 (soon to be changing its name to 2016 in March) and Josephine’s.

Belo Horizonte, Brazil

St. Francisco de Assis chapel in Pampulha

In addition to a nightlife that lasts until the sunrise, there are plenty of places of interest including Pampulha –  a residential neighborhood defined by its man-made lake and the modern architecture designed by Brazil’s most celebrated architect Oscar Niemeyer.  For those of you who feel less inspired by architecture there are plenty of other sights to take in as you leisurely stroll along the man- made lake walking / jogging / bike path on a Saturday or Sunday morning.

Brazilian Men

The Men of Pampulha

Merry Christmas from Brazil

Praia Mole Florianopolis

Praia Mole – Florianopolis, December 2012

Sergio and I are in Brazil for Christmas this year where the temperatures are warm and the daylight plentiful.  The photograph shown above is actually from 2012 when we were visiting Florianopolis “Floripa” in southern Brazil.

Despite the fact that we are nowhere near a beach (we are in Belo Horizonte for the holidays), we are enjoying every minute of Brazil’s summer.

Merry Christmas

Off to Brazil

BrazilAs this post is publishing Sergio and I will be at the airport boarding our flight to Miami where we will then connect to fly to Brazil to spend the Christmas holiday with his family before going on to Sao Paulo where we will spend New Years Eve to ring in 2016. We would like to wish everyone a very happy holiday season and a healthy and prosperous New Year.

Di Latte at Mix Garden in B.H. Saturday 22-Aug

Gay, Brazil, B.H. Although I focus on LGBT life in Boston, Ogunquit and Provincetown, thanks to Sergio I have a large number of readers from and in Brazil (and in particular in Belo Horizonte), so when party organizers for Di Latte asked me to help spread the word about their latest party, I was only too happy to publish this post.

If you happen to be in B.H. this coming weekend be sure to stop by and check out this party at Mix Garden.  You can get more information by visiting the Facebook event page, here.

Check out the 2014 promo video from last year’s party.

Shopping tips when visiting Sao Paulo

Shopping Brazil, Brazilian retailers, Sao Paulo shoppingFor the past few years the American dollar has been laughably weak as compared to other currencies, making shopping less enjoyable when we travel abroad.  However, the US economy has been on a tear lately and the dollar is significantly stronger than it was a year ago when we were in Brazil.

As a result, Sergio and I opted for some retail therapy when we visited Sao Paulo. I’d strongly encourage anyone visiting Sao Paulo to bypass foreign ateliers where prices are 100% – 300% more expensive due to the country’s idiotic tariffs and fixate on Brazilian retailers where you can purchase items friends back in the US will not have access to.

Sergio splurged on these red shoes from Aramis

Sergio splurged on these red shoes from Aramis

While Sao Paulo has many shopping malls (‘the gays’ are partial to Shopping Frei Center and Shopping Higienopolis), but I’d recommend you bypass them and head directly for Rua Oscar Freire.  The street is full of retailers you will be unaccustomed to seeing, selling everything from bathing suits to tuxedos.  If you get hungry each block has one or two places you can duck into for a quick bite.

A few tips if you go shopping in Brazil:

1) Customer service is taken very seriously.  Be prepared to have someone approach you and to bring you multiple items they think you may want to see or try on.

2) Sizes are different and more in line with European designers so don’t enter a store with the mindset that you are a medium or a particular waist size.  Clothes in Brazil are much smaller than in the US.

3) If you are serious about making purchases and are buying more than 2-3 items ask them if there is a possible discount they can provide.  You are more likely to get a “yes” if you have a Brazilian ask the question.  We were able to get 10% off our purchases at one retailer.

4) Avoid purchasing anything from the US or Europe,  You will pay significantly more than in the US.  Focus your shopping on local designers and chains.

5) The most important phrase of all to learn when shopping, “Quanto Gosto?”, which is acceptable for asking “how much”, although I don’t believe that is the literal translation.  It is also good form to know how to say thank you (although this is a phrase you will hopefully use elsewhere as well) “Obrigado”.