Wednesday, September 10, 2014

2014 Brazil São Paulo Centro (9/10/2014)

Wednesday, September 10, 2014
The Novotel Morumbi Hotel offered a complimentary breakfast buffet. It appears that Brazilian breakfasts consist of choices of at least a dozen different kinds of breads and rolls! Of course there were cheese breads, and I liked the tiny anise rolls. There were also eggs prepared in a few ways, fruits, cold cuts, cereals, and sausage or bacon.
View from the Novotel Morumbi Hotel
Novotel Morumbi Hotel
Ponte/Bridge Estaiada Octavio Frias de Oliveira (2005-2008)
a unique cable-stayed bridge designed by João Valente
Kent began the two and a half-day workshop for BASF in the hotel, and I went exploring. We were now in São Paulo, which is not only the largest city in Brazil, it is the largest city in the Americas! And it is the fifth largest metropolitan area in the world. The residents call their city "Sampa."
I headed toward the Pinheiros River, going down a very steep street.
Novotel Morumbi Hotel street
I expected to see some type of monument topped by the Brazilian flag, but it was just a car dealership tent!
Car dealership tent
I found the way to access and cross the Avenida Morumbi bridge. The Pinheiros River is, indeed, very smelly.
After finding the Morumbi Station, I was unable to get a Bilheto Unico, which is a card to which you can add money for paying transit fares. I resorted to buying individual tickets. I took the Companhia Paulista de Trens Metropolitanos (CPTM) Line 09 Esmeralda/Emerald (each line is identified by a number and a color) to Pinheiros. However, the trains do not match the line color.
CPTM Line 09 Esmerelda train
Line 09 runs along the Pinheiros River, and every time the doors opened, you had a good whiff. To reach the stations, you had to cross a road overpass. At the Pinheiros Station, I transferred to the Metropolitano de São Paulo/São Paulo Metrô. Although it is a separate company from CPTM, there are free transfers between them. It took six escalators to reach the deep, deep Metrô line 04 Amarela/Yellow. Disembarked at the República Station and found myself in Praça da República/Republic Square, whose surrounding buildings "bear witness to many different architectural styles."
Prédio do Caetano de Campos (1894) designed by Ramos de Azevedo,
built as a school, now the Ministério da Educação/Ministry of Education
Edifício Esther (1935) designed by Alvaro Vital Brazil and Adhemar Marino
for the Sugar Mill Esther offices
To the right is the Edifício Itália (1965) sponsored
by Circolo Italiano,
an association of Italian immigrants
Because of the aggressive traffic, crossing streets has been a challenge. Near the Praça da República/Republic Square was the only place where i saw crossing guards.
"Respect the Pedestrian"
Heading southwest on Avenida Ipiranga.
 Edifício Copan (1966) designed by Oscar Niemeyer
Edifício Copan is the largest residential building in Latin America and was a symbol of the emerging modern city of São Paulo. It was designed with apartments for the wealthy and studios for the poor, and everyone had a brises soleil (permanent sunshade). The sunshades are actually the narrow bands of concrete, but with the whole building now covered with mesh, it looks like they have additional protection form the sun. Now the building is mostly middle class. Chrissie Hynde (of The Pretenders) bought a condo in 2004 when she collaborated with Caetano Veloso's son Moreno.
The former Hilton Hotel (1971) designed by Mário Bardelli,
now a State Court
Igreja Nossa Senhora da Consolação/
Our Lady of Consolation Church (1799)
designed by Maximiliano Hell in neo-Gothic style
Our Lady of Consolation Church interior with
oak, marble and bronze altar from Paris
Next was Praça Roosevelt/Roosevelt Square, a cement square atop sunken highway.
Looking at the "Minhocão/Big Worm"
Apparently the highway, Elevado Presidente Costa e Silva, called "Minhocão/Big Worm," is closed at night and all day Sunday to allow bicycling.
I backtracked to the other side of Praça da República/Republic Square, passing occupied and unoccupied homeless sites.
Homeless "home"
A couple blocks north to the Largo do AroucheArouche Square with a flower market
Closed flower market stalls and Luiz Gama,
a Bahian slave who became a lawyer and abolitionist
Back to Praça da República/Republic Square.
Praça da República/Republic Square
The small Columbina talpacoti/Ruddy Ground Dove
Now northeast on Avenida Ipiranga to the corner of Avenida São João.
The Bar Brahma and its patio
The patio of the Bar Brahma is famous locally for being the place where musician Caetano Veloso wrote the song "Sampa" that became the unofficial São Paulo anthem.
Right on Avenida São João to Largo do Paiçandú with card-playing homeless.
Nossa Senhora do Rosário dos Homens Pretos/
Our Lady of the Rosary of the Black People (1906)
built by a volunteer force of black laborers
Although many buildings had graffiti on them, that didn't mean they were abandoned, as this church had a decorated interior.
Monumento à Mãe Preta/Monument to the Black Mother (1953)
by Júlio Guerra depicting an African slave breastfeeding white infant
I had lunch at the site of the original Ponto Chic Restaurant, where I had the bauru/sandwich with roast beef, tomato, pickles, and a mix of melted cheeses that was invented here.
Ponto Chic Restaurant
 Bauru sandwich
North on Rua Antônio de Godói.
Basílica de Nossa Senhora da Conceição e de Santa Ifigênia/
of Our Lady of Conception and St Iphigenia
Right on Rua Santa Ifigênia to cross the Viaduto Santa Efigênia/St Iphigenia Viaduct, a cast iron bridge fabricated in Belgium and assembled here in 1913.
Viaduto Santa Efigênia/St Iphigenia Viaduct
View from the St Iphigenia Viaduct of
Vale do Anhangabaú/Valley of Anhangabaú
On the other side of the viaduct was the Largo São Bento/São Bento Square with the Mosteiro São Bento/Benedictine Monastery (1598) and Basilica (1910-1922).
Basilica São Bento
The Basilica was designed by German architect Richard Berndl in Norman-Byzantine style, and the interior was painted in Beuronese-style (style from a monastery in Bueron, Germany in late 19C-20C). Just to the right inside the doors was the Russian image of the Kasperovo Virgin that has 6,000 pearls from Black Sea. The monastery is also known for its bakery, and I purchased a small cake that was chocolate, coffee-flavored, with raisins and cinnamon, for my first water break.
"Cupcake" from the monks' bakery
I had to zig zag to the Mercado Municipal/City Market.
Motorbike parking
Halloween shop on a steep street
Street vendor painting plates
Delivery guy
Rua Vinte e Cinco de Março/25th of March Street
Sneakers with big tread
Mercado Municipal/City Market (1928 belle époque)
Mercado Municipal/City Market interior
Mercado Municipal/City Market fruit display
Noni fruit
Inside a noni fruit
Mercado Municipal/City Market stained glass
Back out into the shopping streets.
Christmas shop
A church among the storefronts
I headed back uphill to the business district and Praça Antonio Prado.
Edifício Martinelli (1922-1934) Beaux Arts,
São Paulo's first skyscraper
Edifício Martinelli was built by an Italian immigrant turned Count, Giuseppe Martinelli. It was the first building to break the 100 m/328' height, and was the tallest in the continent at the time.
Edifício Altino Arantes or "Banespa" (1939-1947),
modeled on the Empire State Building, is 161 m/528' tall
Banespa's 13 m/42.6' lobby chandelier
in deco-eclectic style with 10,000 crystals
"Bovespa" (1891),
Latin America's largest stock exchange
Land per person?, Union organization, Don't evict?
There were several spots where groups of people were demonstrating with drummers and bicycle horn blowers.
Up Rua Boa Vista to the Páteo do Colégio/Courtyard of the College.
Commemorative pillar of
Glória Imortal aos Fundadores de São Paulo/
Glory to the Founders of São Paulo
(1925) by sculptor Amadeu Zani
Páteo do Colégio/Courtyard of the College with the
Museu Padre Anchieta/Museum of Father Anchieta
and Igreja do Beato Anchieta/Church of Blessed Anchieta (1954 restoration)
Padre José de Anchieta and Manoel da Nobregra are credited with the founding of São Paulo, by establishing a mission on this site on the Feast of St Paul, January 25, 1554. The foundation and wall of the third church (1585) is preserved behind glass next to the café, supposedly made from manure, cows' blood, earth, sand, and vegetation.
1585 foundation behind glass
I first had a drinks break, a soda for energy and a water for hydration. I paid BR$6/$3 to enter the museum, and saw a model of the mission, from which you could not imagine how the city grew. Went into the crypt, next to which was the library with a modernist portrait of Anchieta by the Italian Menghini. Upstairs to a room that was supposed to have Guarani artifacts, but as the Guarani were the indigenous people, all I saw were religious artifacts. There was a baptismal font from 1554. Someone was playing the organ in the church, and a room off to one side had a leg bone and vestments of Padre Anchieta.
Around the corner.
Restored colonial mansion (1689) on site of Casa No. 1
Solar da Marquesa (18C), home of Emperor Dom Pedro I's
powerful concubine, the Marchioness of Santos 
Onwards to Praça da Sé.
Edífiçio da Sé (1939) in Art Deco style
A detour.
Igreja Ordem Terceira do Carmo/Carmelite Church (18C?)
Carmelite Church with original gilded Baroque altar
Igreja da Nossa Senhora de Boa Morte/
Church of Our Lady of the Good Death (1810)
where slaves sentenced to death went to pray
Rua Tanbatinguera had many shops selling glass or plastic containers of all shapes and sizes.
Glass container shop
 Igreja de Nossa Senhora da Cabeça/
Church of Our Lady of Cabeça 
Back to Praça da Sé.
Palácio da Justiça de São Paulo/Palace of Justice (1933)
Catedral da Sé/Sé Cathedral (1913-1967)
designed by by Maximiliano Hell in
neo-Byzantine Gothic style,
with statue of St Paul (2009) by Murilo Sá Toledo
Praça da Sé marco zero/ground 0 point
Praça da Sé marco zero/ground 0 point
Next to Largo São Francisco.
Historic Law School of the University of São Paulo (founded 1827)
on site of former friary
 Igreja de São Francisco de Assis/
Church of St Francis of Assisi (1647)
Igreja da Ordem Terceira da Penitência/
Church of the Penitents (1788)
One guidebook said this church was condemned, so I was surprised to see it had been fully restored in grand Baroque-Rococo style.
The controversial statue is still out front.
Idilio ou o Beijo Eterno/Idyll or Eternal Kiss (1920)
by Swiss artist William Zadig shows a Frenchman
with an indigenous girl
Rua São Bento to Praça do Patriarca.
 Igreja de Santo Antônio/Church of St Anthony
(1592), oldest church in city
Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil
n 1901 Beaux Arts building
Palácio do Anhangabaú or Edifício Matarazzo (1930s)
designed by Italian Marcello Piacentini in Fascist style
for the industrialist Francisco Matarazzo, now city hall
Crossing the Viaduto do Chá/Tea Viaduct.
View from the Tea Viaduct of
Vale do Anhangabaú/Valley of Anhangabaú
and the 
Mirante do Vale (1959-1960), the tallest
building in São Paulo at 170 m/558'
Parque Anhangabaú
Theatro Municipal/City Theater (1903-1911)
designed by Ramos de Azevedo after the
Palais Garnier/Opera in Paris
Ladeira da Memória/Memorial Square
with obelisk (1814) and fountain
The fountain was reconstructed in 1919 with
Portuguese blue tiles
Heading to Avenida São Luís.
Biblioteca/Library Mário de Andrade (1926)
Avenida São Luís with what was once the city's
most prestigious apartment buildings
Back at Edifício Itália, I was a few minutes late for the 15:00-16:00 opening of the viewing terrace. I told the elevator operators I was going to the bar, and was willing to buy a drink for the view. When I reached the top, a uniformed girl pointed me out to the terrace, where several leftover visitors were lingering. I didn't have to buy a drink!
View southeast from Edifício Itália
Edifício Itália is the second tallest building in São Paulo, at 168 m/551'.
View southwest over Edifício Copan
View south from Edifício Itália
About 16:20, I needed to head back to the hotel. I bought a Metrô ticket and reversed my morning trip, going from República to Pinheiros, and changing to the CPTM. The platform was very crowded and the trains were more crowded. I missed one train, so made sure I pushed into the next one. I was pushed well into the car, and at the stop before mine, I tried to start pushing my way towards the door. People would not move, and I found when I took a step, my foot would step on other people's feet. So I stood on one leg for a distance before I found a toe hold. Then it was my stop, and I had to fight my way out, yelling out "Excuse me!" in English, and "Permesso" in Italian. I did get off that train, only with a few minor scratches and bruises! Now I had that long walk back uphill to the hotel!
A better view of the Ponte/Bridge Estaiada Octavio Frias de Oliveira
Had a couple waters from the mini-bar!
Next: São Paulo Avenida Paulista.

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