There exists a beautiful quietude in Rio as a light rain falls and the beachgoers take shelter in the shopping malls and many of Ipanema’s corner cafes. Rather than indulge in an afternoon of caiparinhas, or yet another one, I decided to experience art in it’s simplest form, at the International Museum of Naive Art, the largest collection of folk art in the world. ‘A naive artist paints dipping the brush in his heart’. Much is said through these anarchist poets of the brush. Following this visual stimulation was a grand feast with friends. Have I mentioned the meat yet? Tomorrow I am hoping for a little sunshine, but there are worse places for daydreaming in the rain…
I have often wondered about Rio de Janeiro, this city that makes everyone’s eyes light up. And now my curiosity can be satisfied. We arrived here on the 29th, and in very little time I felt the incredible energy and vibrancy here. Samba fills the sea air in this city which feels much like a tropical jungle with urban detail. Last night we had a delectible meal at a churrascaria in Ipamena Beach near our apartment, how much steak can a mortal eat?? Alot!! The feast was followed by the experience of a Samba school, these brazilians can dance! Tonight is new years eve. Clad in white we shall make our way to Ipanema beach, where a Johnny from NYC is hosting a grand soiree overlooking the crowds and revelry down below. Happy New Year Rio style!
On December 23rd we took the buquebus from Buenos Aires to Montevideo, and in a ’58 Chevy Impala (interesting random detail to add to the experience of it all) we made our way to a little town called Jose Ignacio, about 30 miles from Punta Del Este in Uruguay. Our home became a thatched roof cabin of sorts, just minutes from the beach. I fell in love with this place and the simple beautiful life there. Christmas eve dinner was spent at La Huella, as was Christmas lunch, dinner and all meals to follow. How tasty was the food and drink, all of it felt much like a dream. Our hosts Guido and Antonio were most gracious and time was indeed well spent in this hidden paradise.
On december 10th I landed in Buenos Aires, one of my 5 favorite cities. Though I have about 30 more to become acquainted with in the many months ahead, I am certain BA will remain high on the list. It’s a perfect place to call home for 3 weeks, so full of life and culture, latin style. I feel like a movie star with the affordability of it all. BA is so rich with sights, sounds, tastes and fabulous shopping! Recoleta Cemetery is most magestic, replete with old souls and cats. We spent an evening at the elegant Feina Hotel, designed by Phillip Starck, as well as Sucre, one of our many fine dining experiences. Life was grand! Our apartment in Palermo Viejo was complete with a rooftop jacuzzi and gorgeous views of the city. After taking a few spanish classes to brush up on my language skills, as well as a tango class, I felt like a Portena, well, almost. I will definitely return for more!