As 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.
Category Archives: Brazil
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.
For 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.
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”.
Although on our most recent visit we didn’t have a chance to go to Spot, I thought I should write about this restaurant and bar since it is a favorite. You will find more than a few handsome men at this gay friendly restaurant conveniently located just a block off of Paulista Avenue near MASP.
The first time I visited Spot was probably ten years ago. We arrived at 11PM on a Friday night and asked for a table for four. The handsome host smiled and said the wait was 2 hours, but encouraged us to order drinks from the bar and enjoy the outdoor patio while we waited. We didn’t take him seriously until he came to seat us for dinner at 1 AM (at which point there was only a 30 minute wait).
While the food is good it is the people watching that makes this a great place to either nab a cocktail or have dinner with friends. Main dishes at Spot run from $30 – $50 Reis (with the current US exchange rate of 2.5 that equates to $15-$20).
I always enjoy spending a few days in Sao Paulo, Brazil, but if you don’t know where to go it can seem like a massive concrete jungle that is tough to navigate. Fortunately that isn’t a problem for me since I’ve been several times and have good friends who are Paulistas.
Cocktails in Sao Paulo taste sweeter from atop the SKYE bar.
On our recent visit to Sao Paulo we met friends for cocktails at the SKYE Bar atop Sao Paulo’s Unique Hotel. Located near Ibirapuera Park, the roofdeck bar offers some pretty spectacular views of the city’s skyline (see above).
When you drive up to Unique Hotel you realize the name is accurate – regardless of what you make of the architecture – which I loved by the way. Our taxi driver referred to it as “melancia” (watermelon), which made me laugh. The bar is sleek and designed to impress from the minute you enter through the marble hallway and walk through the dining room. Red lights reflect off the lap pool that runs the length of the deck beside comfortable furniture that is available on a first come first serve basis. If for some reason, the weather is not cooperating but you would like to visit the hotel, they have an impressive second option in the hotel lobby on the ground level worth checking out. You can grab a seat at their large bar or sit down in their library which has plush red seats and can be seen in the image below to the right.
You’ll spread more than a little holiday happiness my way if you would share the posts you like on FB with your friends on my behalf while I’m away.
I do anticipate writing some posts when I am in Brazil since I will have a lot of quiet and down time but my regular activity will not resume until I return from my vacation with my in-laws after the New Year’s holiday. Enjoy this bit of Brazilian man candy who we met last year when we visited Paraty. For more photos from that trip link here.
Two weeks from tonight I will be boarding a plane to fly to Brazil where I will spend the Christmas and New Year’s holiday. This will be the first time in several years that I will be in Brazil for the Christmas holiday and while I’ll miss the holiday traditions Sergio and I have made for ourselves here in Boston, I’m looking forward to the warmer weather and time with my in-laws.