People of São Paulo

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São Paulo has a soul—a heart too, I feel it beating.

This megapolis that stretches as far as the eye can see and probably beyond isn’t an overwhelming sea of buildings. Paulistas, those who call São Paulo home, make it lively, fun, interesting.

The guy who was standing at the counter of a lanchonete on Avenida Paulista, drinking café, absentmindedly moving his feet to the sound of the music playing on the radio.

The two girls kissing in front of the Museum of Art.

The couples I saw walking around the city during the holiday break, all clearly in love, relaxed, enjoying the moment.

The customers in line at the supermarket who all started to chat together for absolutely no reason other than the fact no one had anything else better to do.

The many people who gave me tips, advice, a smile and were genuinely nice—an attitude you tend to see in small towns but less often in big cities.

São Paulo is the kind of place where you can spend an entire day walking around observing the many lives being lived in the city. You won’t be bored, trust me. Paulistas seemed to have mastered the art of proudly showing their individuality while coexisting peacefully with 12 million of people who may not think like them.

Shockingly, after a homophobic leader is elected, the millions of gays don’t suddenly turn straight as if they had seen the light and somehow “agreed” to stop being attracted by the same sex. I loved that many same-sex couples can live their life in São Paulo without dirty looks from boringly straight folks.

This is  what I saw in São Paulo—people busy being creative, productive, not racing but going somewhere.

Monumento às Bandeiras, , São Paulo

Parque Ibirapuera, São Paulo

Parque Ibirapuera, São Paulo

Parque Ibirapuera, São Paulo

Obelisco e Monumento Mausoléu ao Soldado Constitucionalista de 32

Casa das Rosas, Avenida Paulista, São Paulo

Avenida Paulista, São Paulo

Avenida Paulista, São Paulo

Avenida Paulista, São Paulo

Sesc Avenida Paulista, São Paulo

Avenida Paulista, São Paulo

Libertade, São Paulo

Libertade, São Paulo

Libertade, São Paulo

Libertade, São Paulo

Libertade, São Paulo

Libertade, São Paulo

Libertade, São Paulo

The very posh Iguatemi Shopping, São Paulo

In the bus, São Paulo

Avenida Paulista, São Paulo

Avenida Paulista, São Paulo

Avenida Paulista, São Paulo

Avenida Paulista, São Paulo

Avenida Paulista, São Paulo

Avenida Paulista, “there’s no cure for being gay”, São Paulo

Avenida Paulista, São Paulo

Avenida Paulista, São Paulo

Climbing on a firetruck on Avenida Paulista because hey, why not! São Paulo

Avenida Paulista, São Paulo

Av. Brigadeiro Luís Antônio, São Paulo

Rua Augusta, São Paulo

São Paulo from the hotel on Alameda Min. Rocha Azevedo

São Paulo from the hotel on Alameda Min. Rocha Azevedo

São Paulo from the hotel on Alameda Min. Rocha Azevedo

São Paulo from the hotel on Alameda Min. Rocha Azevedo

São Paulo from the hotel on Alameda Min. Rocha Azevedo

São Paulo from the hotel on Alameda Min. Rocha Azevedo

São Paulo from the hotel on Alameda Min. Rocha Azevedo

São Paulo from the hotel on Alameda Min. Rocha Azevedo

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About Author

French woman in English Canada. World citizen, new mom, traveler, translator, writer and photographer. Looking for comrades to start a new revolution.

6 Comments

    • It’s hard to say. Obviously, I’m not happy that yet another moron managed to get elected and I can’t imagine many of the people I “met” in Sao Paulo are okay with him (unless they are masochist…). The newspaper/magazine in the picture is the “Bolsonaro Almanac” to “understand what the president has in mind”. I’m not too familiar with Brazilian news so I can’t tell whether it’s serious or not but it felt satirical.

      Brazil is a big country and it always feels like what happens at the national level doesn’t “matter” as much as what happens at the local level, i.e. state politics. Brazilians are obsessed with security. I don”‘t feel particularly unsafe there, crime does exist but I think it’s over-reported and also linked to underlying issues (same old same old, poverty, drugs, etc.). I’m not that surprised he was elected…

      • Martin Penwald on

        There is a strong divide between East and West too, and I guess big cities lean more on the left. And let’s say it’s not difficult to be on the left of his ideas. He and members of his government are overtly fascists.
        It’s sure there will be less corruption, because it will be less reported.

          • J’ai beaucoup de mal à réconcilier dans ma tête le Brésil que je vois et celui qui a voté. J’ai aussi beaucoup de mal à réconcilier les nouvelles sur le Brésil et ce que je vis, à ma toute petite échelle.

            J’ai toujours trouvé les Brésiliens très respectueux des règles, ce qui surprend la première fois quand on vient des pays latinos (Argentine, etc.) qui se font un plaisir d’ignorer les règles ou de faire preuve de subversion. En ce sens, le Brésil me rappelle la Chine où les gens sont habitués à vivre en société et à se plier aux règles édictées par l’autorité. Donc oui, là je peux comprendre qu’un gars qui dit vouloir remettre de l’ordre plaise.

            D’un autre côté… quand je vois toutes les communautés homos, plein de Brésiliens qui pensent différemment et que rien ne choque, je ne comprends pas qu’il ait pu passer.

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