This post is bias! very bias about Sao Paulo, my beloved hometown that I miss so much! :)
To get you in the mood for this post I chose THIS video, the video has two songs, the first is very funny because the singer has a rather strong CARIOCA accent, but she sings about Sao Paulo, so it's all good ;)
The second song is a classy song by Tom Jobim, also an world known CARIOCA, it is awesome, and it defines the way I feel about Sao Paulo.
I should have written this post on JANUARY 25th, Sao Paulo's birthday, the city was founded in 1554, HERE is a great and complete wikipidea with lots of facts and pictures of Sao Paulo.
So, it completed 457 years, but inspiration just came to me now, 2 o'clock in the morning on a Saturday night, after my 3rd glass of Pinot, what can I say? It happens when it happens ... :)
I miss Sao Paulo so bad, we want to move back, I miss my city, my friends, my family, my Paulistano culture, so I decided to write a little about it and share a few cool links.
Antony Bordain once said he thought Sao Paulo looked like if Los Angeles had thrown up on New York! Interesting observation...!! I might just have to agree with his funny observation...
HERE you can find part 1 of a link to Anthony's Bordain visit to Sao Paulo, there are 5 parts to the utube video that contains his show, you can find the other 4 parts inside the link with part 1, it is a lot of fun if you have some time and want to learn a little bit more about Sao Paulo thru the view of a New York Chef.
HERE is a fun blog of a Chicago native that decided to move to Sao Paulo just recently and gave a fun interview that will give you an interesting perspective from an American living and working in the city.
THIS is my all time favorite video of Sao Paulo, it shows how well developed the city was back in 1943, this video was made and sponsored by the US office of Inter-American affairs, the reason I love video so much and it is so important to me is because it shows a Textile Mill in the 1940's, my dear grandmother, who is 87 years old worked in one of those machines for 38 years, so the textile mills shown on this video are a big part of my family's history.
If you enjoy "antique" pictures like I do, you will enjoy THIS link as well.
Gil found this great post built by Paulista Photographer/Blogger Carlos Augusto Magalhaes, also known as GUTO, who takes the absolute BEST pictures of Sao Paulo I have seen on the Internet.
He also put together some information about our city under some of the pictures, you can find many interesting facts underneath the AWESOME pictures, I placed his link further down at the end of this post.
I tell you, Sao Paulo is a very peculiar city, you can't just throw us in the bunch with all the other Brazilian cities, many people say Sao Paulo is ugly, I persistently disagree and I have my reasons... :)
Sao Paulo is almost 457 years old, 300 of those years the city was a small isolated village on the edge of the Brazilian Mata Atlantica, also known as Atlantic Forest.
Sao Paulo is very special to me, and if you know Sao Paulo, you understand what I am talking about when I say Sao Paulo is AWESOME!!!
We are different from Rio and we are different from Belo Horizonte and Curitiba and not different as in better, but different because Sao Paulo was very isolated for many centuries, the city was formed in a completely different way, it was isolated because of it's peculiar geographical position at the edge of the Brazilian Highlands, with very difficult to no access to the Ocean for many centuries before the construction of modern highways and tunnels.
Paulistas always say, "so close but yet so far from the Atlantic", very true, at least it was until the contruction of the Highways connecting us to the shore.
Just to give you an idea, Rio de Janeiro was the closest port to Sao Paulo, and Rio is about 500 kilometers away, Santos, on the Sao Paulo coast is only about 60 kilometers away, but because the "Serra do Mar" was an impassable forest with steep drops filled with wet and slippery rocks and waterfalls that forced cargo and passengers to go all the way to Rio to access the Ocean.
You can still see the many beautiful waterfalls when you drive down "Imigrantes Highway" or "Anchieta" towards Santos, which are two of the largest and most modern Highways that connects the city to the Ocean in the present day.
Sao Paulo was for many centuries an isolated small town, a village where everyone knew everyone, a place where it's people got together to have parties with music, dance, gossip and a lot of great food.
We don't have the Ocean, so parties and social interaction was a must, it was a way of life, in a way, it still is a great part of our way of life.
Sao Paulo wasn't sophisticated like Buenos Aires or Rio de Janeiro, foreigner visitors were very rare, that is why you, the foreigner, is most of the time perceived as exotic from the point of view of a local. If you live in Sao Paulo today you may just understand what I am trying to explain here.
The city did see a big influx of European immigrants until about WWII, but after that the Brazilian government has made very difficult and almost impossible for new immigrants to come into the city.
Even today, in the globalized world of Facebook and Google, Sao Paulo doesn't have the racial and cultural diversity you find in Los Angeles, New York, London or Toronto, not by a long shot.
You ask Paulistas about foreigners in Sao Paulo and the first thing that will come to their mind are the Bolivians working in the Korean sweat shops of Bras, that is basically it.
Sao Paulo has been changing very little on that matter, and very slowly.
I love my city just the way it is, with it's limited racial and cultural diversity.
Sao Paulo has welcomed people from other countries and from other states of Brazil for many decades.
The slow pace of this diversification has given us an assurance of peace and stability during the melting pot process that has brought conflict and shock to other countries and cities where this social phenomena took place faster and more violently, not in Sao Paulo.
Without further ado, I present to you Guto's ( Carlos Augusto Magalhaes )
Guto is a professional photographer who lives and works in Sao Paulo.
GREAT WORK, an AWESOME GROUP OF PHOTOS of Sao Paulo, enjoy!