There are places in the world where Sunday is just another business day because not everyone believes a Christian God told them it’s time to work on their worshipping skills.
There are also plenty of places where Sundays make people anxious—stores are closed, cities are empty, the whole atmosphere feels off, and there’s nothing to do to try to beat Sunday Blues before getting back to work the following day… unless you’re already working because you need money, because you’re a freelancer with a weird schedule, or because capitalism said so.
And there’s São Paulo where, on Sunday, you just go out and have fun in various spots all over the city.
Take Avenida Paulista, for instance. The 2.8-kilometre-long avenue is closed to traffic, sweet revenge when you spend the rest of the week waiting for the green light to cross it. Time to take back the streets! Some people come to play music, dance, take pictures, or just wander around and watch others do the same. It’s lively, noisy, crowded and a fun place to be on a sunny summer Sunday.
I was actually excited about spending a Sunday in São Paulo. In fact, I specifically decided to leave on a Monday just to enjoy the atmosphere.
I started on Paulista, where I stopped every few metres to listen to rock bands, samba, rap music, and more. Then around 3 p.m., I headed to Liberdade, São Paulo’s Little Tokyo. Streets were mostly empty during the 30-minute walk between the two districts, but Praça da Liberdade was completely packed when I arrived. This is where you can sample great Brazilian-Japanese sometimes accidental fusion food—sugar cane juice with fried noodles, or gyudon topped with cheese.
And this is where I hung out until a thunderstorm broke, São Paulo style, turning the city into a doomsday preview—never mind, I had to do the laundry, anyway…