brazil

 

Good morning everyone!

We have a weekend of rain, seems like winter has finally arrived. Perhaps a good idea is to go to the movies, or visit a museum?

Again I start with my warning. My advice to stay safe: Don’t bring valuables out, if you do; don’t flash them. You’re going to Lapa? Share a cab. You’re going from Lapa? Cab again. Local buses are not safe at night. Avoid open parks. During night time; certain areas are perhaps a bit worse than others: Lapa, Centro (always), Santa Teresa, Tijuca, Glória, Botafogo and Catete have seen more incidents lately. Avoid walking deserted streets, the beach at night etc. Be smart, and you’ll be safe.

I have written a lot about how the Brazilian economy is spiraling downwards. This time I’m gonna talk a little about how Brazilian banks and financial institutes for almost a decade offer credit with super-high interest. You can get credit cards very easily, just like in so many other countries it is offered to you with no further ado, the difference is the interest charged. Brazilian credit institutes charge more than 200 % (!!!) per year. In these times when people loose their jobs, more and more people end up in this situation. Even if the debts are acquitted after 5 years, and the person’s name becomes “clean” again, the banks make a fortune. This article is a good example of what is happening to so many people in Brazil.

Football:

Two games in Maracanã the next few days. On Saturday the 20th Flamengo play Atlético-MG, kick-off 16:30h. On Wednesday the 24th Flumenense play Ponte Preta, kick-off 19:30h. Brazil is struggling in Copa América, last they lost to Colombia 0-1 in a game where Neymar got sent off. On Sunday they have to win against much easier opponent Venezuela, the game starts at 18:30h.

Public transport:

The next one or two years traffic in the center of Rio will be complicated during rush hours, big constructions in the port area are the main reasons. Works on Avenida Brazil will make transport to Ilha Grande and Parati complicated during rush hours.

Nightlife:

The best nightlife guide in English is The Rio Times Nightlife Guide, just click the link.

Fruits of the week:

Kiwi, strawberries, persimmon, tangerines and grapes are normally nice and affordable this time of the year.

Bom fim de semana!

Hakan

 

Good morning everyone!

The beautiful weather just continues, it seems like there is good hope for some nice time on the beach this weekend.

More robberies and violence, so I feel obligated to start out with warnings. If you do get robbed, do not resist, there have been several bad examples lately of what can happen if you do. My advice to stay safe: Don’t bring valuables out, if you do; don’t flash them. You’re going to Lapa? Share a cab. You’re going from Lapa? Cab again. Local buses are not safe at night. Avoid open parks. During night time; certain areas are perhaps a bit worse than others: Lapa, Centro (always), Santa Teresa, Tijuca, Glória, Botafogo and Catete have seen more incidents lately. Avoid walking deserted streets, the beach at night etc. Be smart, and you’ll be safe. Don’t take advice from other travelers too easy, they have only been here most likely at the most for a couple of months (many become Rio-struck and thus blind), make up your own mind instead if you decide to not heed the suggestions I wrote above. I really want you guys to stay safe out there, so be extra observant and careful!

The government have launched a large infra-structure plan, I’m convinced it is just an attempt to fool foreign investors, no Brazilian would ever believe that the included trans-Amazonian and trans-Andean railways ever will come into place. It almost seems like they just throw out smoke-screens and desperate measures while they find their real hope on their knees praying to God that commodity prices will go up again. A related read can be this Wikipedia page about another large scale Brazilian infra-structure project, more than forty years after the project started, large parts are not even paved. Or why not consider the famous line 3 in the Rio subway system, more than thirty years ago it was decided that it would be built, the only thing the Cariocas has seen so far has been on paper.

I agree with what is written in this article in Forbes almost 100 %. The public sector has to shrink by a multiplier larger than three. That money can then be put invested in education, infra-structure, and public health (and in that order). The combination of populist socialism (with no longer term goals than to win the next election) combined with neo-liberal market economy is a deadly combination for a country in need of profound structural changes. Brazil needs a long-term plan; a plan so bold it surely will have millions of people on the streets in protests again, this since the changes will have to hurt. Else the country will just go back to being a country with potential, over-ridden by crime created by weak politicians and the huge social problems they have avoided to solve for decades.

Football:

Only one first division game in Rio this week. On Saturday the 13th Vasco play Cruzeiro in São Januário stadium, kick-off 21h. The Copa América finals in Chile has started, Sunday the 14th Brazil will play Peru, kick-off 18h30. On Wednesday the 17th Brazil play Colombia, kick-off 21h. The latter a very big game since their latest match in the World Cup 2014 was extremely tense, with Neymar getting injured from an ugly challenge.

Public transport:

The next one or two years traffic in the center of Rio will be complicated during rush hours, big constructions in the port area are the main reasons. Works on Avenida Brazil will make transport to Ilha Grande and Parati complicated during rush hours.

Nightlife:

The best nightlife guide in English is The Rio Times Nightlife Guide, just click the link.

Fruits of the week:

Kiwi, strawberries, persimmon, tangerines and grapes are normally nice and affordable this time of the year.

Bom fim de semana!

Hakan

 

Bom dia!

Again, it looks like the weather have cleared up for another beautiful weekend; the nights are relatively cold but during the day it gets pretty hot.

Again I will start out with a reminder of the current precarious safety situation. Rio’s danger level for tourists have often been exaggerated, statistics for violence taking place in for off shanty towns have been presented in alarming reports. This is not the case this time. It seems like the lack of policing have made street crime come back, this time in a much nastier form: Over the last two months there has been over five bloody knife robberies per day, several of them fatal. These take place all over town. My advice to stay safe: Don’t bring valuables out, if you do; don’t flash them. You’re going to Lapa? Share a cab. You’re going from Lapa? Cab again. Local buses are not safe at night. Avoid open parks. At night time, certain areas are perhaps a bit worse than others: Lapa, Centro (always), Santa Teresa, Tijuca, Glória, Botafogo and Catete have seen more incidents lately. Avoid walking deserted streets, the beach at night etc. Be smart, and you’ll be safe. Don’t take advice from other travelers too easy, they have only been here most likely at the most for a couple of months (many become Rio-struck and thus blind), make up your own mind instead if you decide to not heed the suggestions I wrote above. I really want you guys to stay safe out there, so be extra observant and careful!

For anyone that wants to get a brief summary of what is going on in Brazil on the political and financial level I think I think this article in The Week is pretty good. It brings up some of the main points. Just yesterday it was announced that the national interest rate will be raised to 13.75 %, the raise is in efforts to stop the inflation from getting out of hand; Needless to say, as an effect domestic consumption has declined drastically, and debt are starting to ruin families and companies, unemployment is around 8 % and rising. Brazil’s hope is on the international market, if prices for some of their most abundant commodities would go back up, it would surely help to dampen the fall.

One of Lula’s flagships, the project “Minha Casa, Minha Vida”, which offered affordable loans to poor people to finance the building of their own house is starting to get some bad press. The idea to stimulate the economy by building houses is perhaps not bad, but credit was given too easily. Already after five years, over 20 % of the loans offered to people in the poorest category are not getting paid. If you consider that the installments are as low as 50 to 80 BRL per month you realize that the families does not feel a strong obligation to pay the loan. Why? Because it is very unlikely that the many spineless Brazilian
politicians would do anything about it (afraid of bad press and protests). In the end I’m convinced many of these buildings and condominiums will turn in to new favelas. Bitter for those honest hard working families who invested in the dream to leave crime-ridden neighborhoods for a better life, and also very bad for Brazilian tax payers who over the next decades will pay for houses given to people basically for free. Another populist PT project that will come back to haunt the country in the future.

Football:

There are two games in Maracanã this weekend. On Saturday the 6th Flamengo play Chapecoense, kick-off 18:30h. On Sunday Fluminense play Sport, kick-off 19:30h.

Public transport:

The next one or two years traffic in the center of Rio will be complicated during rush hours, big constructions in the port area are the main reasons. Works on Avenida Brazil will make transport to Ilha Grande and Parati complicated during rush hours.

Nightlife:

The best nightlife guide in English is The Rio Times Nightlife Guide, just click the link.

Fruits of the week:

Kiwi, strawberries, persimmon, tangerines and grapes are normally nice and affordable this time of the year.

Bom fim de semana!

Hakan

 

Bom dia!

We have beautiful weather in the late autumn, there is enough heat from the sun to make the beach fantastic. Let’s hope it keeps over the weekend.

The general safety warning is still on, actually as it is; it seems like it will stay like this or get worse in the nearest future. Nasty robberies involving uncalled for violence has shook people all over Rio de Janeiro, after years of relative peace in many areas the truth has been revealed; you cannot solve problems generated by social stratification with more police, only keep it in check. With less police on the streets, crime just bounces back to what it was in an instant. The problem needs a real solution.

The biggest news for Brazil these days was that the first big fiscal adjustment bill passed, you can read a little about the desired effects in this Forbes article written by Kenneth Rapoza. It brings up some good points I think. However I think that it is disturbing how it seems that Brazil is only bothered with some superficial make-up to keep the current credit rating (the government is at the same time working over-time to show the world how the country are striking great deals, especially contracts with China that actually in the long run might cost more than they give). Restricting pensions and worker benefits are very transparent measures that are easy to display, and perhaps needed as water is needed to put out a rampant fire; but that was never the reason why Brazil has ended up on what might be the verge of a financial collapse. The real problem for for the country is on a much deeper level, one that no politician so far has even dared to approach. A lot of it has to do with what happens with tax money in this country. I’m not mainly after the wide-spread corruption, rather the inefficient public sector and the complacent and nose-in-the-air attitude you more often than not get when dealing with people working in the public sector. If you have ever entered a local prefecture building (like I have many times) you are shocked to see the great majority of people occupied with doing nothing else than breathing. Only when Brazil reforms the public sector to something that is several times more efficient, smaller and more professional there is any hope at all. From Brasilia to public garbage collecting. That is what has to get done, the money saved should lead to lower taxes, and also be pumped in to public health, public schooling and public infra-structure; then Brazil could actually become the strong country so many dream of here. Not just short-term solutions, a longer plan is needed that does not just involve instant fixes to stimulate the economy.

Football:

Only one first division game in Rio this week, but not just any game. A derby between Flamengo and Fluminense will be played on Sunday in the Maracanã stadium, kick-off is set to 18:30h.

Public transport:

The next one or two years traffic in the center of Rio will be complicated during rush hours, big constructions in the port area are the main reasons. Works on Avenida Brazil will make transport to Ilha Grande and Parati complicated during rush hours.

Nightlife:

The best nightlife guide in English is The Rio Times Nightlife Guide, just click the link.

Fruits of the week:

Avocados, kiwis, papayas, persimmons, apples, tangerines and pears are normally good choices this time of the year.

Have a nice weekend!

Hakan

 

Hello Everyone!

When I’m writing this it is Thursday, today has been an absolutely beautiful day. Blue skies and clean, clear air. Let’s hope it continues over the weekend.

Unfortunately it seems like the violent robberies just continue. Everyone, be careful out there! One of the reasons for the rise in crime are the empty coffers of the Rio Prefeitura, promises of more police are therefor sadly nothing more than just promises. If there ever was any doubt that Brazil has entered a state of crisis, have a look at the graphs in this article: Financial Times Graphs of Brazilian Economy

It comes as no real surprise that the sailing competitions during the Olympics next year will be moved, I honestly have not met one Carioca that ever believed they would clean it up. The most disgusting bit is that the pure sewage that is pumped up is going to both Copacabana and Ipanema where so many people swim, I’m pretty sure that if you employed a neutral research firm they would deem both beaches as unsuitable for bathing most of the year.

Football:

On Saturday the 23rd Vasco receive Internacional in the São Januário stadium, kick-off at 18h30. On Sunday the 24th Fluminense play Corinthians in Maracanã, kick-off is 16h.

Public transport:

The next one or two years traffic in the center of Rio will be complicated during rush hours, big constructions in the port area are the main reasons. Works on Avenida Brazil will make transport to Ilha Grande and Parati complicated during rush hours.

Nightlife:

The best nightlife guide in English is The Rio Times Nightlife Guide, just click the link.

Fruits of the week:

Avocados, kiwis, papayas, persimmons, apples, tangerines and pears are normally good choices in May.

Have a nice week!

Hakan

 

Bom dia!

Another week has gone by. Last week I mentioned how robberies had doubled in certain areas in the city. In Centro and in Parque do Flamengo they have dispatched riding policemen.

Needless to say, the economic woes continue. Most reports are pessimistic, and if there ever is written something that is not you’d find it is either from the government or from journalists in lackey newspaper O Globo. On the good side, Ministério Público continues to check up on municipalities around Brazil, lately there was a large hospital fraud discovered in Rio.

The yearly World Surf League Rio leg is currently in full swing, in Arpoador and in Barra de Tijuca the world elite are competing until Friday the 22nd of May. As I write Brazilian Adriano de Souza is in the lead.

Football:

There is only one league game in Rio this week, Flamengo play Sport in Maracanã on Sunday the 17th, kick-off is 16h.

Public transport:

The next one or two years traffic in the center of Rio will be complicated during rush hours, big constructions in the port area are the main reasons. Works on Avenida Brazil will make transport to Ilha Grande and Parati complicated during rush hours.

Nightlife:

The best nightlife guide in English is The Rio Times Nightlife Guide, just click the link.

Fruits of the week:

Avocados, kiwis, papayas, persimmons, apples, tangerines and pears are good choices.

Have a nice week!

Hakan

 

Hello Again!

Recent cuts in public spending have led to a wave in robberies, be extra careful in Centro, Lapa, Botafogo, Flamengo, Catete and Gloria. Less police on the streets will lead to less security. The general tip to stay away from deserted and places with a “dodgy” feel still applies, however it is also necessary to try to not carry around i-phones and other valuables if possible; and be prepared to give it up if you do have them with you.

On the political scene the government just got their bill for fiscal adjustments through, even perhaps finance minister Levy is sincere, I find it hard to believe that the most controversial points will ever go through; this time it will not only be raising the price of the bus fare according to inflation, this time it would be cuts in to the world of civil servants, and that is very sensitive ground in this country.

Football:

Vasco da Gama won the State Cup finals against Botafogo. The Brazilian league starts this weekend. Fluminense will play Joinville in Maracanã on Saturday the 9th, 20h. On Sunday the 10th Vasco receive Goiás in their stadium São Januário, kick-off 18:30h.

Public transport:

The next one or two years traffic in the center of Rio will be complicated during rush hours, big constructions in the port area are the main reasons. Works on Avenida Brazil will make transport to Ilha Grande and Parati complicated during rush hours.

Nightlife:

The best nightlife guide in English is The Rio Times Nightlife Guide, just click the link.

Fruits of the week:

Avocados, kiwis, papayas, persimmons, apples, tangerines and pears are good choices.

Have a nice week!

Hakan

 

Boa sexta feira!

As I´m writing this it is raining, according to the forecast we can hopefully get some sun this weekend.

The political and economical situation remains unstable, reports of that the downward spiral has been halted are mixed with predictions that suggest that the problems have not even started yet. It seems more and more that the immediate future for the Brazilian economy is directly depending on how well China will perform. There are signs of weaker economy whenever you open the newspaper, public spending are getting a real overhaul; perhaps the worst part of this is how the number of police on the streets will go down, this will inevitable lead to that crime will grow in several parts of the city.

Football:

The second leg of the state cup finals will be played on Sunday the 3rd at 16h in Maracanã stadium, the teams are Vasco da Gama and Botafogo. The game is already sold out. The national league starts in May.

Public transport:

The next one or two years traffic in the center of Rio will be complicated during rush hours, big constructions in the port area are the main reasons. Works on Avenida Brazil will make transport to Ilha Grande and Parati complicated during rush hours.

Nightlife:

The best nightlife guide in English is The Rio Times Nightlife Guide, just click the link.

Fruits of the week:

Avocados, pineapples, plums, papayas, persimmons, apples and pears are good choices.

Bom fim de semana!

Hakan

 

Hello!

Looks like we have a few days of overcast weather with rain, if the sun comes out it will propably only be in short stints.

After the Brazilian Real had slipped down to almost 3.30 to the dollar, it has now gotten back to around 3.

There is big debate in Brazil about lowering the minimum age for criminal responsibility from 18 to 16. Thos for this act argues that the current high age only make minors getting used in crime. Those against argues that there is no resources to take of these youth and rehabilitate them; if they get sentenced to jail they for this reason would surely become criminals. In Sweden the minimum age for criminal responsibility is 15, in the UK 10.

In an interesting article in Thursday’s Folha de São Paulo I read something interesting about Petrobrás; Vinicius Torres Freire writes that the failure of the Brazilian oil giant owes more to incompetence and national pride than corruption. Something I can agree upon; even though billions of Reais have been stolen, the strict policy to almost not take in foreign companies has been worse.

Football:

The first leg of the state cup finals will be played on Sunday the 26th at 16h in Maracanã stadium, the teams are Vasco da Gama and Botafogo. The national league starts in May.

Public transport:

The next one or two years traffic in the center of Rio will be complicated during rush hours, big constructions in the port area are the main reasons. Works on Avenida Brazil will make transport to Ilha Grande and Parati complicated during rush hours.

Nightlife:

The best nightlife guide in English is The Rio Times Nightlife Guide, just click the link.

Fruits of the week:

Avocados, pineapples, plums, kiwis, papayas, persimmons, apples and pears are good choices.

Bom fim de semana!

Hakan

 

Hello Again!

There has been some beautiful weather the last week, let’s hope the fresh cool nights and sunny days with blue skies continue.

PT´s treasurer João Vaccari Neto was arrested earlier this week, the Petrobras scandal is now getting very close to the President herself. Nationwide worker’s protests have started against the approval for companies to outsource, a step away from the old system that for sure will make life easier for business-owners; and a lot less predictable and unsafe for employees.

Football:

The second legs in the Campeonato Carioca will be played this weekend. On Saturday 18:30h Fluminense play Botafogo in Engenhão. On Sunday Vasco da Gama play Flamengo 16h, this heated game will be in Maracanã stadium. The national league only starts in May.

Public transport:

The next one or two years traffic in the center of Rio will be complicated during rush hours, big constructions in the port area are the main reasons. Works on Avenida Brazil will make transport to Ilha Grande and Parati complicated during rush hours.

Nightlife:

The best nightlife guide in English is The Rio Times Nightlife Guide, just click the link.

Fruits of the week:

Avocados, pineapples, plums, kiwis, papayas, persimmons, apples and pears are good choices.

Bom fim de semana!

Hakan

 

Holá!

Time for another newsletter.

There are plenty of protests going on in the city, this time it is against police violence and corrupt politicians.

An interesting article if you are interested is this one from the site Merco Press: Brazilian economy to contract 2% this year, and inflation 9% predicts French bank. The article projects a very high inflation for this, so high it might be considered a real problem.

Football:

There are two big games this weekend in the state cups. On Saturday 18:30h Fluminense play Botafogo. And on Sunday the really big one; Vasco da Gama play Flamengo 16h. Both games are in Maracanã stadium. The national league only starts in May.

Public transport:

The next one or two years traffic in the center of Rio will be complicated during rush hours, big constructions in the port area are the main reasons. Works on Avenida Brazil will make transport to Ilha Grande and Parati complicated during rush hours.

Nightlife:

There are quite a few events over Easter, some of them are quite expensive. The best nightlife guide in English is The Rio Times Nightlife Guide, just click the link.

Fruits of the week:

Avocados, pineapples, plums, kiwis, papayas, persimmons, apples and pears are good choices.

Have a nice weekend!

Hakan

 

Holá!

It is Easter, this means there are quite few events going on around town.As usual at this time of the year.

The crime situation have detoriated badly in several neighbourhoods, an example is parts of the poster-child Complexo de Alemão which again is over-taken by criminals, shootouts are weekly. This has made several establishments and social projects close, and property prices drop. A statement by a colonel in the Policia Militar I think is accurate: “if UPP fails to get well established there again, all is lost.” UPP probably needs a clean up, and turn back the clock to return to being the peace police they actually started out as.

Dilma and Levy has shown a strong will to work together to resolve the financial problems of Brazil, togethere with the fact that the China Development Bank decided to give Petrobras a 3.5 billion loan it might be a kind of a turning point. What type of deal Petrobras actually has made to be granted the loan is in good tradition not revealed, we can just conclude that the tie between China’s and Brazil’s economy just got a bit stronger.

In a recent poll made by the Dutch company Tom Tom, Rio ended up on 3rd place in a comparison between 146 large cities in the world, the topic was worst traffic. In first place was Istanbul, second belonged to Mexico City. São Paulo only ended up in 36th place. My own comment to this is that this is more a reflection of the method used. They measured the difference in travel time between rush-hour and the least intense time. I’ve been to São Paulo lately, to say that Rio is worse I don’t quite agree; even if Rio has gained on it’s great neighbour.

Warning!:

Up until now, crime in Rio’s subway system has been very limited, of late there has been several so called arrastões in this means of transport as well. It has taken at night. So perhaps leave the I phone at home, take a taxi, or if you go; be very attentive to large bands of adolescents entering, get off as soon as you can (just like on the buses).

Football:

Just follow this link for the local cup games that are on: Globo Esportes. The national league only starts in May.

Public transport:

The next one or two years traffic in the center of Rio will be complicated during rush hours, big constructions in the port area are the main reasons. Works on Avenida Brazil will make transport to Ilha Grande and Parati complicated during rush hours.

Nightlife:

There are quite a few events over Easter, some of them are quite expensive. The best nightlife guide in English is The Rio Times Nightlife Guide, just click the link.

Fruits of the week:

Avocados, pineapples, plums, kiwis, papayas, persimmons, apples and pears are good choices.

Happy Easter!

Hakan

 

Hello Everyone!

Fall is definitely here, temperatures have dropped a bit. As usual at this time of the year, there are not many events or happenings

There is a general feeling of worry in Rio and Brazil, the financial crisis is a fact, it is just a matter of how deep Brazil will go now. The more positive voices say that Brazil is different than it was before, others say that the booming ten years were completely lost and that Brazil will become like Argentina; a non-functional economy that only lives from exports of abundant natural resources. The latest big topic is how the government are trying to force over-spending states and municipalities to repay their debts, something that the mayor of Rio Eduardo Paes openly criticized earlier this week. On the positive side, the Brazilian Real continues to drop; hard for new companies that are built on imports, but great for the much more important exports. Another plus thing is that people involved in corruption actually gets convicted this time around, perhaps it will help to make politicians less corrupt in the future?

Warning!:

Up until now, crime in Rio’s subway system has been very limited, of late there has been several so called arrastões in this means of transport as well. It has taken at night. So perhaps leave the I phone at home, take a taxi, or if you go; be very attentive to large bands of adolescents entering, get off as soon as you can (just like on the buses).

Football:

Just follow this link for the local cup games that are on: Globo Esportes. The national league only starts in May.

Public transport:

The next one or two years traffic in the center of Rio will be complicated during rush hours, big constructions in the port area are the main reasons. Works on Avenida Brazil will make transport to Ilha Grande and Parati complicated during rush hours.

Nightlife:

The best nightlife guide in English is The Rio Times Nightlife Guide, just click the link.

Fruits of the week:

Avocados, pineapples, plums, custard apples, guavas, mangoes, apples and pears are good choices.

Have a Great Week!

Hakan

Album cover of Claudinho e Bochecha from 1996. From a time when Bailefunk was different.

Album cover of Claudinho e Bochecha from 1996. From a time when Bailefunk was different from what it is today.

There are few topics that are hotter to debate in Brazil than the music style that is referred to as Bailefunk. In this short article I will try to explain a little about its history and why it is so debated.

Debated

“Take it up your ass, you whore! You’re not more woman than I, you aint got two pussies.” These lines are freely translated from the female artist Mc Marcelly and the song “Eu tou passando”. It’s not hard to see why people react strongly to lyrics like these, especially when you consider that young children both sing and dance to this around Brazil. If you ever have since girls dancing to it, it is not hard to see how it can create moral outrage. Texts are often about violence, sex and crime; the gender roles are archaic. Similar discussions have perhaps surrounded certain types of North American Hip-Hop music. One side see it as part of the forces of evil that are destroying society, while the other side just see it as an outlet for what is the reality for many Brazilian people. I will present a bit of the history of this form of music and also; some of my own views on the topic.

The Beginnings

Just like is the case with Hip-Hop, Bailefunk started out as something very different from what it later would become. During the 1980’s melodic tunes much inspired by the US American Miami Bass sound, started to emerge from the favela communities in Rio de Janeiro. The MB-sound is itself a sub-genre of Hip-Hop; electronic funk rhythms typically form the foundation for melodic rhymes; this is the origin of the term funk. In the beginning the songs were often quite comical or conveyed strong social messages. Over time the music gained more and more popularity, and so did the parties; the so called bailes (En: balls like in ballroom). Since these parties took place in drug-crime ridden favela-communities, the connection between the two occurrences developed; were there was Bailefunk there were drugs and bandits. Over time this connection helped to establish a strong aversion to the music, with its largest opponent-base in religious groups and members of the middle class and up. In the mid 1990’s the music went through a process where it eventually became a music style on its own, separated from its North American relative. More and more songs were made, the lyrics became more melodic and often incorporated elements of romance and love. Bailefunk grew in popularity and spread all over Brazil, popularized in shows on national television. By the end of the 1990’s the so called proibidão (En: super-forbidden) funk had been established, lyrics in this genre are often about crime and of very explicitly erotic nature; again it is hard not to see how inspiration has come from (or at least has similarities with) US Hip-Hop.

Commercialization and Proibidão

The 2000’s is when Bailefunk became commercialized on a bigger scale, most likely the music industry had by now realized the potential in the music form; young people just loved to dance to it. The rhythm had by now become harder, the lyrics often violent and not seldom very sexual; often dealing with the harsher parts of life in the communities like sex with prostitutes, drugs and shootouts. Although social life still was portrayed, few social messages were incorporated. Some documentaries were made about the phenomenon, and artists like DJ Marlboro got invites to perform in front of large audiences. Whilst the foreign hype of the music these days has cooled down, it has gotten more and more popular in Brazil. In 2015 the music is played as much in the clubs in chique Barra de Tijuca, like on the hills of Zona Norte. When funk parties are organized in the favela Rocinha, people come from all parts of Rio to have fun and dance. Both rich and poor often finish their barbecue with some type of Bailefunk. The connection to drugs and violence has perhaps lessened since the popularization, although the texts of the so called proibidão have had a tendency to get more and more explicit. This form can perhaps be seen as the Gangster-rap of the US. Ironically perhaps, at least from what I understand, the music is not particularly forbidden at all; even though they advocate many illegal activities and openly at times support crime-factions, few steps have been taken to criminalize the actual music-form. Some times sound equipment is apprehended, but it is a lot due to that they play so loud that they disturb people living closeby. The starchest official opponents are just like in the US often politicians with a religious voter-base, Evangelist churches have a strong base in Brazil. It is distributed through clandestine channels, but so is much other music in Brazil. You can hear it every day if you want to. I would even go out on a limb and say that the proibidão is the form of Bailefunk that is growing most in popularity, and definitely not only in the favelas. Perhaps it is just because it is the music that is most frowned upon by the adult-world, and that has a tendency to attract young people.

Still A Social Voice?

The notion that there is a connection with black culture with roots in Africa is most likely true, the favelas where it was created have this cultural foundation. In that way it the music can be seen as an expression of culturally stratified groups in the Brazilian society, however it s often described by academics and writers as a social voice with another content; this I want to challenge a bit. When the big majority of foreign journalists decide to write only about this music form, they tend to focus on how it is a forbidden music that the authorities are scarred of. I’d say that it is a perspective that is focusing more the part of the image that is most alluring to them, but not necessarily the most interesting. Just like in American Hip-Hop the political messages are hardly there anymore, it has often been replaced with sex and violence: in this manner it less of a political threat than it is a moral and social one. Life in the favela for most people is to avoid what is described, whilst perhaps the Bailefunk of old described a more general situation for everyone living in these communities. The part authorities are more worried about these days is probably more widespread drug abuse and teenage pregnancies. In reality (in my view at least) the popularity of the raw texts have a lot to do with that they challenge the norms of society. Frustrated youth all over Brazil join cause with young men with more or less serious gangster ambitions to form the same audiences there is for Gangster-rap in say Germany. The increase in coarseness has not got anything to do with that the artists are more frustrated with the situation in the favelas today than they were twenty years ago; yes there are heavier guns and crack today, but a lot less people are actually killed in drug-wars than they were in the late 1990’s. It has more to do with that they can make more money as artists, and that it attracts big crowds to lucrative parties. I suggest a big reason why the texts have gotten more dirty and more prohibited; it is because it sells and is more popular. The prohibited nature of the music is therefore often enhanced by the artists themselves. The many people that are worried about what this music is advocating (and many are), should perhaps worry more about just why young people want to listen to it in Brazilian society today? Is there not perhaps a general move in many parts of the world towards more hard violence and open sex?

Some Youtube Clips

Some Youtube links is perhaps in place. So as an example of the earlier style with a clear political message is Rap do Silva by Mc Bob Rum from 1995. Here is a song from 2000 with Funkeiro da Zona Sul called Escravos do Pó Cheiravam sem Parar, it is early proibidão. This song from 2008 is with McCruel called ADA do Chuck (ADA is a criminal faction of Rio) which is clearly proibidão. Here is Mc Marcelly and the song Eu tou passando which I mentioned earlier in the begiining of the text, it is from 2010.


Sources and for further reading:
Viana, H ” O Mundo Funk Carioca” (1988), book
Rosforth Johnsen, A “Mr Catra the faithful” (2005), documentary film



 

Hello Everyone!

So it’s Friday the 13th today so watch out! Looks like we’ll have an overcast weekend.

Articles:

In these times of bad international exposure it’s not hard to find more articles about it. This one in the Guardian touches on some things I think several other have missed: The noise from Brazil? An economy on the brink. It is not the scandals in Petrobras that is the foundation for the crisis, it is the fact that in true South American fashion Brazil’s economy is almost completely linked to exports of prime material (raw or refined) and agricultural produce, so when China’s economy cooled down, so did Brazil’s. The failure to do something with the money is the real problem for Brazil, they need much better education for the population; but it never seems to improve. One good that I see is that a lower valued Real will make Brazilian products cheaper, perhaps that can help to stop the fall?

Football:

Just follow this link for the local cup games that are on: Globo Esportes. Next week semi-finals will start, it makes these lukewarm cups (that’s how I feel anyways) a lot more interesting. If there are two of the bigger teams playing, stadiums can sometimes even sell out.

Public transport:

The next one or two years traffic in the center of Rio will be complicated during rush hours, big constructions in the port area are the main reasons. Works on Avenida Brazil will make transport to Ilha Grande and Parati complicated during rush hours.

Nightlife:

The best nightlife guide in English is The Rio Times Nightlife Guide, just click the link.

Fruits of the week:

Avocados, pineapples, plums, custard apples, guavas, mangoes, apples and pears are good choices.

Have a Great Week!

Hakan

 

Hello Everyone!

The warm and nice summer weather is just continuing, perfect for beach and a coconut in a quiosque. The city just turned 450 years, celebrations that were very dampened by a current rise in crime, corruption scandals and woes about Brazil’s financial future.

So, I went to Detran to get the annual revision of my car done, all went well for me. I observed something there I think may be a good example for people how things can work here. Cars and trucks in terrible condition passed through the check-up with no problem, from what I could see they were hardly looked at. Plenty of people running around… Yes, of course… A bribe scheme was well established in that place, if you pay the right guy you will get your vehicle through. If you don’t believe me, have a look out the window when you’re on the highway, tell me many of those vehicles are not in a horrible state and dangerous. I talked to a Brazilian friend who used to work at Detran, he said this is exactly how it is; some units even specialize in it. Detran is a public company run by the state, this is how much of he public sector works, this is why the country can’t develop. It is everywhere!

Articles:

I follow a bit of what is written about Brazil and its economy internationally, two new articles in The Economist were quite interesting: In a quagmire and Thatcherism Winning Adherence. The content is perhaps not so revolutionary, but I had a read through the comment field and I found some pretty sound opinions ventilated there. I normally never read those but in this case it was quite interesting, if it all goes to the bottom the opinions expressed here will perhaps get realized.

Football:

Just follow this link for the local cup games that are on: Globo Esportes.

Public transport:

The next one or two years traffic in the center of Rio will be complicated during rush hours, big constructions in the port area are the main reasons.

Nightlife:

The best nightlife guide in English is The Rio Times Nightlife Guide, just click the link.

Fruits of the week:

Avocados, pineapples, plums, custard apples, guavas, mangoes, apples and pears are good choices.

Have a Good Week!

Hakan

 

Hello Everyone!

Carnival is definitely over and things are returning to normal. Unfortunately the reports of people getting hit by stray bullets continue to come in, Tuesday night a girl was hit in the leg walking on the main street in Copacabana, it was 22h30 at night. The situation is bad, so far we have seen no real action to resolve the problems.

A number of international articles have recently highlighted Brazil’s rather bleak financial future. Investors are fleeing after the economic, much since the measures applied to turn the ship around has gotten a unanimous thumbs down from experts. To raise taxes that hit the middle class to finance benefits promised in the election is of course not helping. The huge Petrobrás scandal is there as well. Read the article here for some views on the situation: Forbes Article – For Emerging Market Investors, Brazil Has Become A Hot Mess. The response the government has come up with is astounding and has for sure worsened the situation. Dilma recently blamed former president Cardoso’s administration for the Petrobrás scandal, he ended his last term in 2003… Former president Lula is on the government’s side and recently said the Petrobrás devaluation on the international stock markets is an international conspiracy; they want to steal the oil from the Brazilian people (amazingly some actually supports this thought here in the country). The new minister of finance (Levy) recently informed the French Chamber of Commerce that Brazil’s problems were very small and easy to handle (half-galloping inflation, plummeting exports, almost negative growth, interest rates reaching very high levels, widespread corruption scandals, strikes, and growing crime problems). It is hard to say if they just want to save their own skins by lying and brushing problems under the carpet. In one one way it would be better than that they actually believed in what they were saying; since that would mean that Brazil is run by people with the same mental attitude as Hugo Chavez. This is no time for hubris, it is time to take care of business.

Football:

Just follow this link for the local cup games that are on: Globo Esportes.

Public transport:

The next one or two years traffic in the center of Rio will be complicated during rush hours, big constructions in the port area are the main reasons.

Nightlife:

The best nightlife guide in English is The Rio Times Nightlife Guide, just click the link.

Fruits of the week:

Avocados, plums, custard apples, guavas, apples and pears are good choices.

Events:

The inauguration of Museu do Amanhã (The Museum of Tomorrow) in the port area Pier Mauá might have had a better setting, the tomorrow doesn’t look so good right now for most Brazilians. The whole project in the port area is by many feared to become a monument to a lost opportunity; it seems it will not be this time Brazil will become a modern country. This doesn’t take away the fact that the museum is pretty interesting, and well worth a visit. It is introduced as a third generation science museum, the opening day is set to the 1st of March. Here is a link: Museu do Amanhã

Have a Good Week!

Hakan

 

Bom Dia!

So Carnival is practically over, only the Winner’s parade tomorrow Saturday is what is left; The winner Beija-Flor will then parade with the five other best placed schools. The school Viradouro from Niterói was relegated to the Grup de Acesso, promoted were Estácio de Sá.

Unfortunately there were some tragic incidents, nine people burned to death when a bus hit an electrical transformator. A German tourist was knifed to death in the Center of Rio.

Football:

Just follow this link for the local cup games that are on: Globo Esportes.

Public transport:

The next one or two years traffic in the center of Rio will be complicated during rush hours, big constructions in the port area are the main reasons.

Nightlife:

It is the week after Carnival so don’t expect much at all from the nightlife, it is the famous ressaca de Carnval (Carnival hangover) which normally lasts over a month. The month of March is therefor by many seen as a rainy month best for contemplation. The best nightlife guide in English is The Rio Times Nightlife Guide, just click the link.

Fruits of the week:

Avocados, plums, custard apples, guavas, apples and pears are good choices.

Events:

The Rio Open in tennis is on, with players like Nadal invited it can be quite spectacle. The matches are played in The Jockey Club in Jardim Botânico, the tourney ends on Sunday the 22th. Her eis the link if you want more info: The Rio Open

Have a Great One!

Hakan

 

Hello Everyone!

It is Friday again, but not just any Friday; for many this is when the real Carnival party starts. There are several famous street parties today, and it continues on a big scale until Tuesday. It is very hot out there so drink plenty of water. And… Not only tourist come to Rio de Janeiro for Carnival, pick-pocketing is normally very common (ie. leave the Iphone at home). Here are some links from my site withs ome useful Carnival info:

Carnival in Rio – A Guide
General Tips for Carnival – How to Make the Most of It
Sambódromo – The Carnival Parade Stadium in Rio
The History of Carnival
Carnival Street Parties – Blocos
Rio Carnival 2015 – The Dates

Football:

Just follow this link for the local cup games that are on, there are games on Wednesday the 18th: Globo Esportes.

Public transport:

The next one or two years traffic in the center of Rio will be complicated during rush hours, big constructions in the port area are the main reasons.

Nightlife:

It’s January now so the city is full of street parties and other fun things to do. At this time of the year Lapa is crowded, especially on weekends. As always in big crowds here, remember there are lots of pick pocket artists and robbers so don’t bring valuables. The best nightlife guide in English is The Rio Times Nightlife Guide, just click the link.

Fruits of the week:

Avocados, plums, custard apples, guavas, apples and pears are good choices.

Exhibitions:

There is an exhibition of street-art in Caixa Cultural in Centro. Banksy, Jef Aerosol and Nunca are artists on exhibit. Different styles and techniques are explained. It is open Tue to Sunday 10h until 21h, the end date is the 15th of February 2015. Caixa Cultural is located on Avenida Almirante Barroso 25 in Centro.

Enjoy Carnival!

Hakan

 

Happy Friday!

Hard rain has cooled Rio down a bit, it has also made the water scarcity problem less imminent. The forecast is for more wet days. A cyclone can potentially create severe problems, if you hear sirens; go to higher ground.

We are close to Carnival, this means there are street parties almost everyday (rain or not!)

Samba Schools:

This time of the year the samba schools of Rio have their rehearsal parties, most of them on Friday and Saturday nights. In sambódromo on Sunday, last years champions Unidos da Tijuca, will perform a light and sound check; starts around 20h.

Football:

The local cups start on Saturday. Just follow this link: Globo Esportes and you can get the schedule.

Public transport:

The next one or two years traffic in the center of Rio will be complicated during rush hours, big constructions in the port area are the main reasons.

Nightlife:

It’s January now so the city is full of street parties and other fun things to do. At this time of the year Lapa is crowded, especially on weekends. As always in big crowds here, remember there are lots of pick pocket artists and robbers so don’t bring valuables. The best nightlife guide in English is The Rio Times Nightlife Guide, just click the link.

Fruits of the week:

Avocados, plums, custard apples, guavas, apples and pears are good choices.

Exhibitions:

An interesting art exhibition in Casa Daros shows works by South American artists, the theme is illusions. It is open Wed to Saturday 11h until 19h, Sundays and holidays 11h until 18h, Mondays closed. The end date is the 8th of February 2015. Entrance is 14 R$, free on Wednesdays. Casa Daros is located on Rua General Severiano 159 in Botafogo, click here for site.

There is an exhibition of street-art in Caixa Cultural in Centro. Banksy, Jef Aerosol and Nunca are artists on exhibit. Different styles and techniques are explained. It is open Tue to Sunday 10h until 21h, the end date is the 15th of February 2015. Caixa Cultural is located on Avenida Almirante Barroso 25 in Centro.

Bom fim de semana!

Hakan

 

Happy Friday!

It is high summer and the whole of Rio is building up the buzz for Carnival. Plenty of street parties almost everyday!

This year has started with an alarming rate of casualties from stray bullets, so far it has mostly been in Zona Norte were few tourists go. A higher police presence can be expected in the near future.

Samba Schools:

This time of the year the samba schools of Rio have their rehearsal parties, most of them on Friday and Saturday nights. You can also go to rehearsal parades for free; almost every Saturday and Sunday night starting at 19h30 until Carnival starts. Read more about samba schools here. This Saturday the 31st first out (around 20h) is São Clemente, next (around 21:30h) is Imperatriz. Sunday the 1st of February first out (around 19:30h) is União da Ilha, next (around 20h) is Portela, and last is Salgueiro (around 21:30h).

Football:

The local cups start on Saturday. Just follow this link: Globo Esportes and you can get the schedule.

Public transport:

The next one or two years traffic in the center of Rio will be complicated during rush hours, big constructions in the port area are the main reasons.

Nightlife:

It’s January now so the city is full of street parties and other fun things to do. At this time of the year Lapa is crowded, especially on weekends. As always in big crowds here, remember there are lots of pick pocket artists and robbers so don’t bring valuables. The best nightlife guide in English is The Rio Times Nightlife Guide, just click the link.

Fruits of the week:

Pineapples, passion fruit, nectarines, water-melon and custard apples (fruta do conde) are good choices in the summer.

Exhibitions:

An interesting art exhibition in Casa Daros shows works by South American artists, the theme is illusions. It is open Wed to Saturday 11h until 19h, Sundays and holidays 11h until 18h, Mondays closed. The end date is the 8th of February 2015. Entrance is 14 R$, free on Wednesdays. Casa Daros is located on Rua General Severiano 159 in Botafogo, click here for site.

There is an exhibition of street-art in Caixa Cultural in Centro. Banksy, Jef Aerosol and Nunca are artists on exhibit. Different styles and techniques are explained. It is open Tue to Sunday 10h until 21h, the end date is the 15th of February 2015. Caixa Cultural is located on Avenida Almirante Barroso 25 in Centro.

Have a Great Week!

Hakan

 

Hello Everyone!

Finally it seems like a bit of colder weather will come to cool down the city. A bit of rain wouldn’t be so bad either condisering that big parts of the state suffer from draughts.

The so called arrastões have continued around Posto 8 in Ipanema, so best to stay away from there on weekends. What it is? A bunch of adolescents rushing down in a large pack robbing people. The worst is perhaps the panic when families with kids flee as if it was for their life (which for sure isn’t in danger). These kids are not in my eyes your typical robbers, rather they are up-to-no-good-youth from the favelas. Very scary when it happens!

Samba Schools:

This time of the year the samba schools of Rio have their rehearsal parties, most of them on Friday and Saturday nights. You can also go to rehearsal parades for free; almost every Saturday and Sunday night starting at 19h30 until Carnival starts. Read more about samba schools here. This Saturday the 24th first out (around 20h) is Porto da Pedra, next (around 21:30h) is Unidos de Padre Miguel. Sunday the 25th first out (around 20h) is Beija-Flor, next (around 21:30h) is Grande Rio.

Football:

No games until the state cups who start 31st of January.

Public transport:

The buses that normally would run on Rua Visconde de Pirajá are temporarily running on the beach avenue Vieira Souto, there is no clear available schedule, sometimes there are changes so you have to make sure at the time you want to catch the bus. The next one or two years traffic in the center of Rio will be complicated during rush hours, big constructions in the port area are the main reasons.

Nightlife:

It’s January now so the city is full of street parties and other fun things to do. At this time of the year Lapa is crowded, especially on weekends. As always in big crowds here, remember there are lots of pick pocket artists and robbers so don’t bring valuables. The best nightlife guide in English is The Rio Times Nightlife Guide, just click the link.

Fruits of the week:

Pineapples, passion fruit, nectarines, water-melon and custard apples (fruta do conde) are good choices in January

Article:

Seems like we can expect the prices here in Brazil will go up with quite a bit during this year, read about it in Lisa Alves article in The Rio Times: Brazil Increases Taxes on Fuels, Imports and Credit. The solution to elevate taxes just seems desperate, Brazil needs to stimulate the economy; this is the opposite.

Exhibitions:

An interesting art exhibition in Casa Daros shows works by South American artists, the theme is illusions. It is open Wed to Saturday 11h until 19h, Sundays and holidays 11h until 18h, Mondays closed. The end date is the 8th of February 2015. Entrance is 14 R$, free on Wednesdays. Casa Daros is located on Rua General Severiano 159 in Botafogo, click here for site.

There is an exhibition of street-art in Caixa Cultural in Centro. Banksy, Jef Aerosol and Nunca are artists on exhibit. Different styles and techniques are explained. It is open Tue to Sunday 10h until 21h, the end date is the 15th of February 2015. Caixa Cultural is located on Avenida Almirante Barroso 25 in Centro.

Have a Great One!

Hakan

 

Greetings!

The warm weather continues, and the beaches are packed on weekends. Beware of the sun, some days you can burn very fast. Use factor 30 sunscreen and rent a sunbrella (5-7 R$ fora full day) and you are a little bit more protected.

The so called arrastões have continued around Posto 8 in Ipanema, so best to stay away from there on weekends. What it is? A bunch of adolescents rushing down in a large pack robbing people. The worst is perhaps the panic when families with kids flee as if it was for their life (which for sure isn’t in danger). These kids are not in my eyes your typical robbers, rather they are up-to-no-good-youth from the favelas. Very scarry when it happens!

Samba Schools:

This time of the year the samba schools of Rio have their rehearsal parties, most of them on Friday and Saturday nights. You can also go to rehearsal parades for free; almost every Saturday and Sunday night starting at 19h30 until Carnival starts. Read more about samba schools here. This Sunday the first division school Estácio de Sá will parade at 21:30h.

Football:

No games until the state cups who start in the beginning of February.

Public transport:

The buses that normally would run on Rua Visconde de Pirajá are temporarily running on the beach avenue Vieira Souto, there is no clear available schedule, sometimes there are changes so you have to make sure at the time you want to catch the bus. The next one or two years traffic in the center of Rio will be complicated during rush hours, big constructions in the port area are the main reasons.

Nightlife:

It’s January now so the city is full of street parties and other fun things to do. At this time of the year Lapa is crowded, especially on weekends. As always in big crowds here, remember there are lots of pick pocket artists and robbers so don’t bring valuables. The best nightlife guide in English is The Rio Times Nightlife Guide, just click the link.

Fruits of the week:

Pineapples, passion fruit, nectarines, water-melon and custard apples (fruta do conde) are good choices in January

Article:

This was an enlightening article for those who are interested in where Brazil might be heading: Rough weather ahead Perhaps the most interesting point is that Brazil will see cut-backs in the sacred public bill, we can expect strikes and protests over the next few years.

Exhibitions:

An interesting art exhibition in Casa Daros shows works by South American artists, the theme is illusions. It is open Wed to Saturday 11h until 19h, Sundays and holidays 11h until 18h, Mondays closed. The end date is the 8th of February 2015. Entrance is 14 R$, free on Wednesdays. Casa Daros is located on Rua General Severiano 159 in Botafogo, click here for site.

There is an exhibition of street-art in Caixa Cultural in Centro. Banksy, Jef Aerosol and Nunca are artists on exhibit. Different styles and techniques are explained. It is open Tue to Sunday 10h until 21h, the end date is the 15th of February 2015. Caixa Cultural is located on Avenida Almirante Barroso 25 in Centro.

Have a Great One!

Hakan

 

Greetings!

The first week of the new year was very hot, Cariocas and gringoes swarmed the beaches. Some really big waves and tricky currents sadly caused several casualties. I recommend all of you to be very careful, the ocean is very dangerous in Rio. Never go night swimming since there are no life guards around to get you out if you get unlucky.

Samba Schools:

This time of the year the samba schools of Rio have their rehearsal parties, most of them on Friday and Saturday nights. You can also go to rehearsal parades for free; almost every Saturday and Sunday night starting at 19h30 until Carnival starts. Read more about samba schools here. This Sunday the first division school Estácio de Sá will parade at 21:30h.

Football:

No games until the state cups who start in the beginning of February.

Public transport:

The buses that normally would run on Rua Visconde de Pirajá are temporarily running on the beach avenue Vieira Souto, there is no clear available schedule, sometimes there are changes so you have to make sure at the time you want to catch the bus. The next one or two years traffic in the center of Rio will be complicated during rush hours, big constructions in the port area are the main reasons.

Nightlife:

It’s January now so the city is full of street parties and other fun things to do. At this time of the year Lapa is crowded, especially on weekends. As alawys in big crowds here, remember there are lots of pick pocket artists and robbers so don’t bring valuables. The best nightlife guide in English is The Rio Times Nightlife Guide, just click the link.

Fruits of the week:

Pineapples, passion fruit, nectarines, water-melon and custard apples (fruta do conde) are good choices in January

Exhibitions:

An interesting art exhibition in Casa Daros shows works by South American artists, the theme is illusions. It is open Wed to Saturday 11h until 19h, Sundays and holidays 11h until 18h, Mondays closed. The end date is the 8th of February 2015. Entrance is 14 R$, free on Wednesdays. Casa Daros is located on Rua General Severiano 159 in Botafogo, click here for site.

There is an exhibition of street-art in Caixa Cultural in Centro. Banksy, Jef Aerosol and Nunca are artists on exhibit. Different styles and techniques are explained. It is open Tue to Sunday 10h until 21h, the end date is the 15th of February 2015. Caixa Cultural is located on Avenida Almirante Barroso 25 in Centro.

Have a Great One!

Hakan

 

Feliz Ano Novo!

I wish you all a great start on the new year that just has started, celebrations on the beach in Copacabana went on without any bigger problems. A positive thing to note is that less and less garbage is generated, perhaps there was simply less people, perhaps the coin has dropped for many Brazilians.

Samba Schools:

This time of the year the samba schools of Rio have their rehearsal parties, most of them on Friday and Saturday nights. You can also go to rehearsal parades for free; almost every Saturday and Sunday night starting at 19h30 until Carnival starts. Read more about samba schools here. This Sunday the first division school Estácio de Sá will parade at 21:30h.

Football:

No games until the state cups who start in the beginning of February.

Public transport:

The buses that normally would run on Rua Visconde de Pirajá are temporarily running on the beach avenue Vieira Souto, there is no clear available schedule, sometimes there are changes so you have to make sure at the time you want to catch the bus. The next one or two years traffic in the center of Rio will be complicated during rush hours, big constructions in the port area are the main reasons.

Nightlife:

The best nightlife guide in English is The Rio Times Nightlife Guide, just click the link.

Fruits of the week:

Pineapples, passion fruit, nectarines, water-melon and custard apples (fruta do conde) are normally good choices in January

Exhibitions:

An interesting art exhibition in Casa Daros shows works by South American artists, the theme is illusions. It is open Wed to Saturday 11h until 19h, Sundays and holidays 11h until 18h, Mondays closed. The end date is the 8th of February 2015. Entrance is 14 R$, free on Wednesdays. Casa Daros is located on Rua General Severiano 159 in Botafogo, click here for site.

There is an exhibition of street-art in Caixa Cultural in Centro. Banksy, Jef Aerosol and Nunca are artists on exhibit. Different styles and techniques are explained. It is open Tue to Sunday 10h until 21h, the end date is the 15th of February 2015. Caixa Cultural is located on Avenida Almirante Barroso 25 in Centro.

Feliz Natal!

Hakan

 

Bom Dia!

Christmas if over, now everyone is just waiting for New Years. Let us all hope for some positive things to take place next year, perhaps the widespread hunt for corruption will lead to a clean-up that has good consequences.

The whole view on stealing tax money must change, you should weigh in the ultimate consequences of taking money from the public coffers, for instance that the money stolen actually directly lead to deaths (bad road maintenance, less police hours, hospital equipment etc.); you could charge them with a type of manslaughter perhaps? In the end of the day I think the general attitude has to change, to be proud of being Brazilian has to extend even to people working with tax money (be that politicians or public service workers). They have to understand that when you have jobs like that your responsibility is to Brazil and to its citizens, they have to forget the whole “se-dar-bem” attitude that far too many have.

New Years – Reveillon:

This is the biggest single event of the year, millions of people are expected to come out to celebrate the event around the city. On the beach in Copacabana you have the largest, on three stages you have various shows taking place, check out the schedule on this page: Reveillon, just click the link. The actual fireworks will be launched from several barges in the sea, 16 minutes is the estimated duration. To read a bit more about the event and to get some tips go to this page, there you have most of the info you need.

Samba Schools:

This time of the year the samba schools of Rio have their rehearsal parties, most of them on Friday and Saturday nights. You can also go to rehearsal parades for free; every Saturday and Sunday night starting at 19h30. Read more about samba schools here.

Football:

No games until the state cups who start in the beginning of February.

Public transport:

The buses that normally would run on Rua Visconde de Pirajá are temporarily running on the beach avenue Vieira Souto, there is no clear available schedule, sometimes there are changes so you have to make sure at the time you want to catch the bus. The next one or two years traffic in the center of Rio will be complicated during rush hours, big constructions in the port area are the main reasons.

Nightlife:

The best nightlife guide in English is The Rio Times Nightlife Guide, just click the link.

Fruits of the week:

Pineapples, mangoes, plums, kiwis, apples, passion fruit, tangerines, peaches and all types of melon are tasty and affordable this time of the year.

Exhibitions:

An interesting art exhibition in Casa Daros shows works by South American artists, the theme is illusions. It is open Wed to Saturday 11h until 19h, Sundays and holidays 11h until 18h, Mondays closed. The end date is the 8th of February 2015. Entrance is 14 R$, free on Wednesdays. Casa Daros is located on Rua General Severiano 159 in Botafogo, click here for site.

There is an exhibition of street-art in Caixa Cultural in Centro. Banksy, Jef Aerosol and Nunca are artists on exhibit. Different styles and techniques are explained. It is open Tue to Sunday 10h until 21h, the end date is the 15th of February 2015. Caixa Cultural is located on Avenida Almirante Barroso 25 in Centro.

Feliz Natal!

Hakan

 

Bom Dia!

After a few hot days it looks like the weather will be overcast over the weekend, the forecasts predict a rainy christmas.

Christmas is coming and the tree on the lake is as always beautiful, go down there to check it out. On weekends you have fireworks and some special events.

Corruption scandals are so many right now they can’t even fit into the news here, it will be very interesting to see what the government will try to do to better the image of the country from abroad. As it is now investors are leaving Brazil like rats from a sinking ship. On the positive side is that the Brazilian Real has lost a lot to currencies like the USD and the Euro, which of course should lead to better conditions for export.

Football:

No games until the state cups who start in the beginning of February.

Public transport:

The buses that normally would run on Rua Visconde de Pirajá are temporarily running on the beach avenue Vieira Souto, there is no clear available schedule, sometimes there are changes so you have to make sure at the time you want to catch the bus. The next one or two years traffic in the center of Rio will be complicated during rush hours, big constructions in the port area are the main reasons.

Nightlife:

The best nightlife guide in English is The Rio Times Nightlife Guide, just click the link.

Fruits of the week:

Pineapples, mangoes, plums, kiwis, apples, passion fruit, tangerines, peaches and all types of melon should be tasty and affordable this time of the year.

Exhibitions:

An interesting art exhibition in Casa Daros shows works by South American artists, the theme is illusions. It is open Wed to Saturday 11h until 19h, Sundays and holidays 11h until 18h, Mondays closed. The end date is the 8th of February 2015. Entrance is 14 R$, free on Wednesdays. Casa Daros is located on Rua General Severiano 159 in Botafogo, click here for site.

There is an exhibition of street-art in Caixa Cultural in Centro. Banksy, Jef Aerosol and Nunca are artists on exhibit. Different styles and techniques are explained. It is open Tue to Sunday 10h until 21h, the end date is the 15th of February 2015. Caixa Cultural is located on Avenida Almirante Barroso 25 in Centro.

Feliz Natal!

Hakan

 

Bom Dia!

Looks like we’re having a weekend with unstable weather in front of us, the temperatures suggest that summer already is here.

Football:

The league has ended with Cruzeiro as champions, while Botafogo went down Vasco are back in the top division again. Next up for Rio football fans are the state cups who starts in the beginning of February.

Public transport:

The buses that normally would run on Rua Visconde de Pirajá are temporarily running on the beach avenue Vieira Souto, there is no clear available schedule, sometimes there are changes so you have to make sure at the time you want to catch the bus. The next one or two years traffic in the center of Rio will be complicated during rush hours, big constructions in the port area are the main reasons.

Nightlife:

The best nightlife guide in English is The Rio Times Nightlife Guide, just click the link.

Music Festival – Novas Frequências:

This international music event offers a diverse agenda with shows in six different venues. It brings together the avantgarde with new trends in popular music. All the info you need you have on this link. It starts on Monday the 1st of December and ends on Sunday the 14th.

Fruits of the week:

Pineapples, mangoes, plums, kiwis, apples, passion fruit, tangerines, peaches and all types of melon should be tasty and affordable this time of the year.

Exhibitions:

A fun and interesting exhibition is “40 Anos Playmobil” (40 years of Playmobil) which tells the story of these famous toys, it is organized by a Brazilian organization and takes place in Museu Histórico Nacional (MHN) on Praça Marechal Âncora in Centro. It will go on until the 14th of December and is open Tue to Fri 10h until 17:30h, Sat, Sun and holidays 14h until 18h. Entrance 8 R$. >Click here for the MHN site.

An interesting art exhibition in Casa Daros shows works by South American artists, the theme is illusions. It is open Wed to Saturday 11h until 19h, Sundays and holidays 11h until 18h, Mondays closed. The end date is the 8th of February 2015. Entrance is 14 R$, free on Wednesdays. Casa Daros is located on Rua General Severiano 159 in Botafogo, click here for site.

There is an exhibition of street-art in Caixa Cultural in Centro. Banksy, Jef Aerosol and Nunca are artists on exhibit. Different styles and techniques are explained. It is open Tue to Sunday 10h until 21h, the end date is the 15th of February 2015. Caixa Cultural is located on Avenida Almirante Barroso 25 in Centro.

Bom fim de semana!

Hakan

 

Hello Everyone!

It’s hot, hot, hot. Feels like summer has come early to Rio. Expect packed beaches over the weekend, avoid the stretch of beach between Posto 8 and Arpoador since there has been quite a lot of Arrastões (bands of young hoodlums raiding the beach) lately.

An initial positive response to new appointments in the government on the stock market has gone back to the jojo it was before, interes continues to go up with inflation.

Football:

No games in Rio this week which was the last round in the league. Cruzeiro will win, all three Rio teams in the top flight had a pretty bad season, Fluminense best of them with a good chance to qualify for the Libertadores cup. Botafogo will go down. Vasco still have a good chance to go up from the second division.

Public transport:

The buses that normally would run on Rua Visconde de Pirajá are temporarily running on the beach avenue Vieira Souto, there is no clear available schedule, sometimes there are changes so you have to make sure at the time you want to catch the bus. The next one or two years traffic in the center of Rio will be complicated during rush hours, big constructions in the port area is the reason.

Nightlife:

The best nightlife guide in English is The Rio Times Nightlife Guide, just click the link.

Music Festival – Novas Frequências:

This international music event offers a diverse agenda with shows in six different venues. It brings together the avantgarde with new trends in popular music. All the info you need you have on this link. It starts on Monday the 1st of December and ends on Sunday the 14th.

Fruits of the week:

Pineapples, mangoes, plums, kiwis, apples, passion fruit, tangerines, peaches and all types of melon should be tasty and affordable this time of the year.

Exhibitions:

A fun and interesting exhibition is “40 Anos Playmobil” (40 years of Playmobil) which tells the story of these famous toys, it is organized by a Brazilian organization and takes place in Museu Histórico Nacional (MHN) on Praça Marechal Âncora in Centro. It will go on until the 14th of December and is open Tue to Fri 10h until 17:30h, Sat, Sun and holidays 14h until 18h. Entrance 8 R$. >Click here for the MHN site.

An interesting art exhibition in Casa Daros shows works by South American artists, the theme is illusions. It is open Wed to Saturday 11h until 19h, Sundays and holidays 11h until 18h, Mondays closed. The end date is the 8th of February 2015. Entrance is 14 R$, free on Wednesdays. Casa Daros is located on Rua General Severiano 159 in Botafogo, click here for site.

There is an exhibition of street-art in Caixa Cultural in Centro. Banksy, Jef Aerosol and Nunca are artists on exhibit. Different styles and techniques are explained. It is open Tue to Sunday 10h until 21h, the end date is the 15th of February 2015. Caixa Cultural is located on Avenida Almirante Barroso 25 in Centro.

Bom fim de semana!

Hakan

 

Hello Everyone!

Looks like we will be having a rainy weekend, best for the movies and perhaps a museum. I read an interesting article in The Rio Times, it is about how property owners in Ipanema and Leblon (the most affluent in Rio’s Zona Sul) have asked for such high increases in rent it has forced many establishments to close. You can read the article here. My sister is here visiting from Sweden and she reacted over the high prices in restaurants in this area, the answer is right there, since people won’t pay those prices restaurants and shops close.

Football:

Sunday the 30th Fluminense will receive Corinthians from São Paulo, kick-off is at 17h.

Public transport:

The buses that normally would run on Rua Visconde de Pirajá are temporarily running on the beach avenue Vieira Souto, there is no clear available schedule, sometimes there are changes so you have to make sure at the time you want to catch the bus. The next one or two years traffic in the center of Rio will be complicated during rush hours, big constructions in the port area is the reason.

Nightlife:

The best nightlife guide in English is The Rio Times Nightlife Guide, just click the link.

Music Festival – Novas Frequências:

This international music event offers a diverse agenda with shows in six different venues. It brings together the avantgarde with new trends in popular music. All the info you need you have on this link. It starts on Monday the 1st of December and ends on Sunday the 14th.

Fruits of the week:

Pineapples, mangoes, tangerines, strawberries, peaches and all types of melon should be tasty and affordable this time of the year.

Exhibitions:

A fun and interesting exhibition is “40 Anos Playmobil” (40 years of Playmobil) which tells the story of these famous toys, it is organized by a Brazilian organization and takes place in Museu Histórico Nacional (MHN) on Praça Marechal Âncora in Centro. It will go on until the 14th of December and is open Tue to Fri 10h until 17:30h, Sat, Sun and holidays 14h until 18h. Entrance 8 R$. Click here for the MHN site

An interesting art exhibition in Casa Daros shows works by South American artists, the theme is illusions. It is open Wed to Saturday 11h until 19h, Sundays and holidays 11h until 18h, Mondays closed. The end date is the 8th of February 2015. Entrance is 14 R$, free on Wednesdays. Casa Daros is located on Rua General Severiano 159 in Botafogo, click here for site.

There is an exhibition of street-art in Caixa Cultural in Centro. Banksy, Jef Aerosol and Nunca are artists on exhibit. Different styles and techniques are explained. It is open Tue to Sunday 10h until 21h, the end date is the 15th of February 2015. Caixa Cultural is located on Avenida Almirante Barroso 25 in Centro.

Bom fim de semana!

Hakan

 


 

Bom Dia Everyone!

Since there was a holiday yesterday Thursday we can expect Rio to be quite full of tourists while many Cariocas have left to spend their weekend somewhere else.

The topic I want to bring up today is one I have been thinking about a lot and want to get off my chest, a sensitive one but those still have to be discussed. There has been a lot of talk lately of the horrors of how the murders and violence against black people in Rio has gone up dramatically, this part I find very disturbing indeed; however it is the angle that these statistics is used that I find very strange since the focus is on the wrong problem. It has been discussed how this prejudice against people with African origin has to stop like that was the reason for the rise. Isn’t it really like this? The crime rates in Rio have gone up a lot the last two years, black people are because of social stratification much more involved in crime and therefor also subject to more of this violence; there is also the obvious fact that many of the areas that see this violence have a large black population (hence stray bullets etc.) When the horrible occurs, innocent people of African origin gets involved it is more a problem of collateral damage from social differences, very hard to get around this with words. What I want? I want people to realize that UPP never could be more than a remedy for illness, the real challenge has completely failed namely offering proper schooling and structure for this part of the population. If anyone of you have been to a public school here you quickly realize that it is not an environment that many get an education they can build upon. Blue cops patrolling to keep the peace is nice, a deeper social reformation is the solution. Yes, it is horrible with prejudiced crime and it should be debated, you also must demand a proper school. Drug traffic is also something that has to be dealt with to solve this since it is a really bad influence, again you better forget about the BOPE running in to kill some very replaceable lower criminals, instead make sure to stop the cocaine at the borders and try to figure out how it gets into the country in the first place.

Football:

No games this week.

Public transport:

The buses that normally would run on Rua Visconde de Pirajá are temporarily running on the beach avenue Vieira Souto, there is no clear available schedule, sometimes there are changes so you have to make sure at the time you want to catch the bus. The next one or two years traffic in the center of Rio will be complicated during rush hours, big constructions in the port area is the reason.

Nightlife:

The best nightlife guide in English is The Rio Times Nightlife Guide, just click the link.

Fruits of the week:

Pineapples, mangoes, tangerines, strawberries, peaches and all types of melon should be tasty and affordable this time of the year.

Exhibitions:

A fun and interesting exhibition is “40 Anos Playmobil” (40 years of Playmobil) which tells the story of these famous toys, it is organized by a Brazilian organization and takes place in Museu Histórico Nacional (MHN) on Praça Marechal Âncora in Centro. It will go on until the 23rd of November and is open Tue to Fri 10h until 17:30h, Sat, Sun and holidays 14h until 18h. Entrance 8 R$. Click here for the MHN site

An interesting art exhibition in Casa Daros shows works by South American artists, the theme is illusions. It is open Wed to Saturday 11h until 19h, Sundays and holidays 11h until 18h, Mondays closed. The end date is the 8th of February 2015. Entrance is 14 R$, free on Wednesdays. Casa Daros is located on Rua General Severiano 159 in Botafogo, click here for site.

There is an exhibition of street-art in Caixa Cultural in Centro. Banksy, Jef Aerosol and Nunca are artists on exhibit. Different styles and techniques are explained. It is open Tue to Sunday 10h until 21h, the end date is the 15th of February 2015. Caixa Cultural is located on Avenida Almirante Barroso 25 in Centro.

Bom fim de semana!

Hakan

 


 

Bom Dia Everyone!

Looks like we’ll have a few days in front of us with rain and lower temperatures, leave your swimwear in the drawer and perhaps go to the cinema?

Recent reports say much what I have concluded before, it is reported that price for real estate is increasing a lot slower than inflation, actually considering the fact that many agents offer price 10-20% below asking price (never happened two years ago), the prices have gone down quite a bit. Bad economy and some returning security issues are the main reasons.

Talking about security, Greg posted something very interesting on my message board, just click here to read the topic where his comment is. He describes his experience of the current security situation in Rio. Very interesting.

Football:

League games in Maracanã: Plenty of games this week! Tomorrow Saturday the 15th there is a local derby, Fluminense play Botafogo, kick-off is 19:30h. The day after on Sunday the 16th Flamengo take on Coritiba, kick-off 17h. On Thursday the 20th Fluminense receive Chapecoense, kick-off 19:30h.

Other games: Botafogo play Figueirense in São Januário stadium on Wednesday the 19th, kick-off is 19:30h.

Public transport:

The buses that normally would run on Rua Visconde de Pirajá are temporarily running on the beach avenue Vieira Souto, there is no clear available schedule, sometimes there are changes so you have to make sure at the time you want to catch the bus. The next one or two years traffic in the center of Rio will be complicated during rush hours, big constructions in the port area is the reason.

Nightlife:

The best nightlife guide in English is The Rio Times Nightlife Guide, just click the link.

Fruits of the week:

Pineapples, mangoes, tangerines, strawberries, peaches and all types of melon should be tasty and affordable this time of the year. Of mangoes, try both Haden and Palmer varieties, in my view they are the best.

Do you want to take part in the Rio Olympics and Paralympics?:

Here’s your chance. Rio 2016 are inviting applications from people willing to volunteer during the Olympic and Paralympic Games in August/September 2016. 70,000 will be selected to assist in a wide variety of roles. You will need to commit to ten days of volunteering during either the Olympics or the Paralympics, as well as some mandatory training in advance. Having good English and Portuguese is a definite advantage but not essential. Deadline for applications is the 15th of November this year. For further information visit: Rio Olympics Volunteers

Exhibitions:

A fun and interesting exhibition is “40 Anos Playmobil” (40 years of Playmobil) which tells the story of these famous toys, it is organized by a Brazilian organization and takes place in Museu Histórico Nacional (MHN) on Praça Marechal Âncora in Centro. It will go on until the 23rd of November and is open Tue to Fri 10h until 17:30h, Sat, Sun and holidays 14h until 18h. Entrance 8 R$. Click here for the MHN site

An interesting art exhibition in Casa Daros shows works by South American artists, the theme is illusions. It is open Wed to Saturday 11h until 19h, Sundays and holidays 11h until 18h, Mondays closed. The end date is the 8th of February 2015. Entrance is 14 R$, free on Wednesdays. Casa Daros is located on Rua General Severiano 159 in Botafogo, click here for site.

There is an exhibition of street-art in Caixa Cultural in Centro. Banksy, Jef Aerosol and Nunca are artists on exhibit. Different styles and techniques are explained. It is open Tue to Sunday 10h until 21h, the end date is the 15th of February 2015. Caixa Cultural is located on Avenida Almirante Barroso 25 in Centro.

Bom fim de semana!

Hakan

 


 

Good Day Everyone!

You can almost feel summer is close; hot, humid and packed beaches.

Football:

League games in Maracanã: There are no games in this stadium the next seven days.

Public transport:

The buses that normally would run on Rua Visconde de Pirajá are temporarily running on the beach avenue Vieira Souto, there is no clear available schedule, sometimes there are changes so you have to make sure at the time you want to catch the bus. The next one or two years traffic in the center of Rio will be complicated during rush hours, big constructions in the port area is the reason.

Nightlife:

The best nightlife guide in English is The Rio Times Nightlife Guide, just click the link.

Fruits of the week:

Pineapples, mangoes, tangerines, strawberries, peaches and all types of melon should be tasty and affordable this time of the year. I just bought myself a delicious box of cheap and juicy plums.

Do you want to take part in the Rio Olympics and Paralympics?:

Here’s your chance. Rio 2016 are inviting applications from people willing to volunteer during the Olympic and Paralympic Games in August/September 2016. 70,000 will be selected to assist in a wide variety of roles. You will need to commit to ten days of volunteering during either the Olympics or the Paralympics, as well as some mandatory training in advance. Having good English and Portuguese is a definite advantage but not essential. Deadline for applications is the 15th of November this year. For further information visit: Rio Olympics Volunteers

Exhibitions:

A fun and interesting exhibition is “40 Anos Playmobil” (40 years of Playmobil) which tells the story of these famous toys, it is organized by a Brazilian organization and takes place in Museu Histórico Nacional (MHN) on Praça Marechal Âncora in Centro. It will go on until the 23rd of November and is open Tue to Fri 10h until 17:30h, Sat, Sun and holidays 14h until 18h. Entrance 8 R$. Click here for the MHN site

An interesting art exhibition in Casa Daros shows works by South American artists, the theme is illusions. It is open Wed to Saturday 11h until 19h, Sundays and holidays 11h until 18h, Mondays closed. The end date is the 8th of February 2015. Entrance is 14 R$, free on Wednesdays. Casa Daros is located on Rua General Severiano 159 in Botafogo, click here for site.

There is an exhibition of street-art in Caixa Cultural in Centro. Banksy, Jef Aerosol and Nunca are artists on exhibit. Different styles and techniques are explained. It is open Tue to Sunday 10h until 21h, the end date is the 15th of February 2015. Caixa Cultural is located on Avenida Almirante Barroso 25 in Centro.

Bom fim de semana!

Hakan

 


 

Bom Dia!

Nice and warm spring weather in Rio, hot in the day and fresh in the evenings.

Elections are over, Dilma and PT stayed in power. Following the Bovespa stock market index the next few months will be interesting, most predicted that with PT continuing it would continue weak; the governments next measures, these will affect investors’ confidence immensely. The situation between UPP in the communities is very tense and crime is on the rise in the state, that must be the first challenge for the new governor Pezão.

Football:

League games in Maracanã: On Sunday the 2nd Chapecoense will visit to play Flamengo, kick-off is at 19:30h.

Other: In a Brazilian Cup semi final 2nd leg Flamengo go to Minas Gerais to play Atlético-MG, this is on Wednesday the 5th, kick-off is at 22h (Flamengo won the first game 2-0).

Public transport:

The buses that normally would run on Rua Visconde de Pirajá are temporarily running on the beach avenue Vieira Souto, there is no clear available schedule, sometimes there are changes so you have to make sure at the time you want to catch the bus. The next one or two years traffic in the center of Rio will be complicated during rush hours, big constructions in the port area is the reason.

Nightlife:

The best nightlife guide in English is The Rio Times Nightlife Guide, just click the link.

Fruits of the week:

Pineapples, mangoes, tangerines, strawberries, peaches and all types of melon should be tasty and affordable this time of the year.

Do you want to take part in the Rio Olympics and Paralympics?:

Here’s your chance. Rio 2016 are inviting applications from people willing to volunteer during the Olympic and Paralympic Games in August/September 2016. 70,000 will be selected to assist in a wide variety of roles. You will need to commit to ten days of volunteering during either the Olympics or the Paralympics, as well as some mandatory training in advance. Having good English and Portuguese is a definite advantage but not essential. Deadline for applications is the 15th of November this year. For further information visit: Rio Olympics Volunteers

Exhibitions:

A fun and interesting exhibition is “40 Anos Playmobil” (40 years of Playmobil) which tells the story of these famous toys, it is organized by a Brazilian organization and takes place in Museu Histórico Nacional (MHN) on Praça Marechal Âncora in Centro. It will go on until the 23rd of November and is open Tue to Fri 10h until 17:30h, Sat, Sun and holidays 14h until 18h. Entrance 8 R$. Click here for the MHN site

An interesting art exhibition in Casa Daros shows works by South American artists, the theme is illusions. It is open Wed to Saturday 11h until 19h, Sundays and holidays 11h until 18h, Mondays closed. The end date is the 8th of February 2015. Entrance is 14 R$, free on Wednesdays. Casa Daros is located on Rua General Severiano 159 in Botafogo, click here for site.

There is an exhibition of street-art in Caixa Cultural in Centro. Banksy, Jef Aerosol and Nunca are artists on exhibit. Different styles and techniques are explained. It is open Tue to Sunday 10h until 21h, the end date is the 15th of February 2015. Caixa Cultural is located on Avenida Almirante Barroso 25 in Centro.

Bom fim de semana!

Hakan

 


romario

Romário playing for Brazil in 1988

In 2014 the former footballer Romário was elected senator of Rio de Janeiro, in this article I will present you with the story of this charismatic Carioca. With more official goals (772) scored than Pelé (767) he is not only one of Brazil’s all time greats, he is also one of the most loved footballers that ever played the game.

Grew up in Vila da Penha

Romário de Souza Faria was born in January 1966 in a Zona Norte favela called Jacarezinho, after a few years his family moved to Vila da Penha; the neighbourhood he is most associated with. His father Edevair was the person who made sure to get Romário’s career started, as an ex-player in Rio’s “5th team” America he had experience, the fact that he was the founder of his son’s first club Estrelinha perhaps also helped. As most players from Rio’s suburbs he played football on the street and on small concrete pitches, this laid the foundation for his great technique and cool in small areas. When he was thirteen he started to play for Olaria’s youth team, he also played for Vasco da Gama’s before making his debut in Senior professional football when he was 19; this was in 1985 for Vasco.

Vasco da Gama and to Europe

From the first season he started producing goals, a habit he would keep up all through his career. At this time the most success he had in the prestigious local Rio cups, 1987 and 1988 the club were Carioca champions. In 1987 he gets called to the Brazilian national team, in 1988 he produced 6 goals in the Olympic tournament in Seoul making him the top goal scorer. His performance in the tournament made the Dutch side PSV Eindhoven purchase him the same year for at the time a very large sum. In 1989 he becomes South American champion with Brazil. He remained in PSV until 1993 during which time the team won the Dutch league thrice, he was leading league goalscorer in his first three seasons. His next club would be Barcelona, the first season with his new club he won the league as the top goal scorer. In 1994 he had a successful World Cup where Brazil won their first gold in 24 years, the same year he was elected By FIFA the best footballer in the world. His popularity back home was huge and in 1995 he forced his way back to Brazil and the Rio-club Flamengo.

Back in Brazil and End of Career

Romário played 5 years in Flamengo, although he had several controversies with coaches and that he for two spells was loaned to Valencia in Spain he managed to score 204 goals in 240 games. His biggest title with the club was Copa Mercosul. After a nightclub scandal he was fired from the club in 1999, much to the discontent of the Flamengo fans. His next club would be the rival club Vasco da Gama again, he remained there until 2002 and scored a whopping 136 goals in 140 games. The year 2000 was his most successful this spell, the team won Copa Mercosul and the Brazilian Championship. He was the league top goalscorer in 2001 and 2002. He left Vasco for another Rio team after controversies with the fans, he entered Fluminense and scored two goals in a victorious first game that secured the league title for his new club. In 2003 he was lent for a short spell to a team in Qatar but gets sent back to Rio labeled as unprofessional. In 2005 his contract with the club was not renovated, he goes back to Vasco again where he remained until 2006. During 2006 he played for teams in Australia and the US, in 2007 he returned to Vasco where he partly coached until 2009 when he ended his career playing one game for America; the club that his recently deceased father had closest to his heart.

Controversial and Unprofessional

Romários career as a footballer was very much affected by conflicts with clubs, coaches, fans and other players. Some might argue Romários big mouth kept him out of the Brazilian national team for most of his career, after 1994 he never participated in a World Cup tournament again; his scoring record being a very decent 55 in 70 games many feel he had more to give. He has slighted powerful football greats like Zico and Pelé, something that for sure made his professional life more difficult. His womanizing and flamboyant lifestyle coupled with a tendency to be avoid team practices, are other factors that affected his performances.

Legacy

By many regarded as the best box goal scorer of all time, you got the ball to Romário close to the goal and you could count on a cool and exact execution, Johan Cruyff once called him a “penalty box genius”. Although he was involved in so many conflicts in his career, he is still deeply loved, the fact that he played for both Flamengo and Vasco (fierce rivals in Rio) and is highly regarded by both team’s fans, stand as testament to that. His personal life may have upset coaches but many people saw beyond that. For journalists Romário was a goldmine, every time he gave an interview; he would say something funny and challenging. That he is a popular politician today, is partly because he is says what is on his mind, that he was the star in the team that won the gold in 1994 is of course also important.

Nicknames

As every good Brazilian footballer Romário has a few nicknames. The most famous are “Baixinho” which translates to the short one, and “O Rei do Gol” which means the King of the Goal.


Sources and for further reading:
Prolific Goal Scorers
Appearances for Brazil National Team
– Wikipedia



 

Hello Again! It is time for another weekly newsletter.

It is impossible not to talk about the presidential elections who will take place this weekend, in the last poll Dilma had regained the lead. The two sides are playing out their best cards. Dilma is fishing votes by promising benefits while Aécio promises work and economical reforms.

Aggression between police and bandits are continuing, most of it as always takes place far from the areas tourists normally frequent. Operations in favelas in Tijuca and Lins have resulted in shootouts and deaths. Several UPP units have been under attack.

Football:

League games in Maracanã: On Saturday the 25th Atlético-PR will visit to play Fluminense, kick-off is at 16:20h.

Other: Botafogo will play a league derby game against Flamengo in Brasilia on Saturday the 25th, kick off is at 21h. In a Brazilian Cup semi final Flamengo take on Atlético-MG in Maracanã, this is on Wednesday the 29th, kick-off is at 22h.

Public transport:

The buses that normally would run on Rua Visconde de Pirajá are temporarily running on the beach avenue Vieira Souto, there is no clear available schedule, sometimes there are changes so you have to make sure at the time you want to catch the bus. The next one or two years traffic in the center of Rio will be complicated during rush hours, big constructions in the port area is the reason.

Nightlife:

The best nightlife guide in English is The Rio Times Nightlife Guide, just click the link.

Fruits of the week:

Pineapples, mangoes and tangerines are usually good purchases in October.

Do you want to take part in the Rio Olympics and Paralympics?:

Here’s your chance. Rio 2016 are inviting applications from people willing to volunteer during the Olympic and Paralympic Games in August/September 2016. 70,000 will be selected to assist in a wide variety of roles. You will need to commit to ten days of volunteering during either the Olympics or the Paralympics, as well as some mandatory training in advance. Having good English and Portuguese is a definite advantage but not essential. Deadline for applications is the 15th of November this year. For further information visit: Rio Olympics Volunteers

Exhibitions:

An interesting art exhibition in Casa Daros shows works by South American artists, the theme is illusions. It is open Wed to Saturday 11h until 19h, Sundays and holidays 11h until 18h, Mondays closed. The end date is the 8th of February 2015. Entrance is 14 R$, free on Wednesdays. Casa Daros is located on Rua General Severiano 159 in Botafogo, click here for site.

There is an exhibition of street-art in Caixa Cultural in Centro. Banksy, Jef Aerosol and Nunca are artists on exhibit. Different styles and techniques are explained. It is open Tue to Sunday 10h until 21h, the end date is the 15th of February 2015. Caixa Cultural is located on Avenida Almirante Barroso 25 in Centro.

Bom fim de semana!

Hakan

 


 

Boa Sexta Feira!

Hello everyone, I hope everyone are enjoying themselves in summer warm Rio.

With less than two weeks to go until the second round of elections it is a close race between Neves and Dilma. Despite Finance Minister Mantega’s confident statement that the Brazilian economy is in excellent shape, it is not quite what most experts say; this years growth is expected to be around 0.3 %. What would happen if Dilma looses her presidency? In this article from foreignpolicy.com this article from foreignpolicy.com you can read a little about what challenges lie ahead to get the economy in good shape again, bearing that in mind it is not hard to see mass protests in the streets pretty soon again.

Football:

In Maracanã: On Saturday the 18th Criciúma will visit to play Fluminense, kick-off is at 18:30h. On Wednesday the 22nd Flamengo take on Internacional, kick-off at 19:30h.

Public transport:

The buses that normally would run on Rua Visconde de Pirajá are temporarily running on the beach avenue Vieira Souto, there is no clear available schedule, sometimes there are changes so you have to make sure at the time you want to catch the bus. The next one or two years traffic in the center of Rio will be complicated during rush hours, big constructions in the port area is the reason.

Nightlife:

The best nightlife guide in English is The Rio Times Nightlife Guide, just click the link.

Fruits of the week:

Pineapples, mangoes and tangerines are usually good purchases in October.

Do you want to take part in the Rio Olympics and Paralympics?:

Here’s your chance. Rio 2016 are inviting applications from people willing to volunteer during the Olympic and Paralympic Games in August/September 2016. 70,000 will be selected to assist in a wide variety of roles. You will need to commit to ten days of volunteering during either the Olympics or the Paralympics, as well as some mandatory training in advance. Having good English and Portuguese is a definite advantage but not essential.
For further information visit: Rio Olympics Volunteers

Exhibitions:

An interesting art exhibition in Casa Daros shows works by South American artists, the theme is illusions. It is open Wed to Saturday 11h until 19h, Sundays and holidays 11h until 18h, Mondays closed. The end date is the 8th of February 2015. Entrance is 14 R$, free on Wednesdays. Casa Daros is located on Rua General Severiano 159 in Botafogo, click here for site.

There is an exhibition of street-art in Caixa Cultural in Centro. Banksy, Jef Aerosol and Nunca are artists on exhibit. Different styles and techniques are explained. It is open Tue to Sunday 10h until 21h, the end date is the 15th of February 2015. Caixa Cultural is located on Avenida Almirante Barroso 25 in Centro.

Bom fim de semana!

Hakan

 


 

A Good Friday to all of you!

The elections are in full swing, going into the second round Aecio Neves from PSDB surprisingly made it, even though Dilma still had a lead the prospect of a more economy savvy government has had a positive effect on the stock market. If Neves would get the presidency it would probably give Brazil some time to sort very imminent economical problems out before investors withdraw, if Dilma wins it looks like we can expect that the economy continues to spiral downwards since confidence for her in the business sector is very weak. In the governor elections Pezão has a big lead going into the second round. Football legend Romario was elected senator of the republic.

As for real estate, in most areas prize increases have slowed down to almost a halt. In some areas like Tijuca prices have actually gone down a little bit. Perhaps what we see is a slow deflation of a real estate bubble?

Football:

In the league: On Sunday the 12th Cruzeiro will visit Maracanã to play Flamengo, kick-off is at 16h.

Brazilian Cup Quarter Finals: On Wednesday the 15th Flamengo will face América-RN in Maracanã, kick-off is at 22h.

Public transport:

The buses that normally would run on Rua Visconde de Pirajá are temporarily running on the beach avenue Vieira Souto, there is no clear available schedule, sometimes there are changes so you have to make sure at the time you want to catch the bus. The next one or two years traffic in the center of Rio will be complicated during rush hours, big constructions in the port area is the reason.

Nightlife:

The best nightlife guide in English is The Rio Times Nightlife Guide, just click the link.

Fruits of the week:

Pineapples and mangoes are usually good purchases this time of the year.

Exhibitions:

An interesting art exhibition in Casa Daros shows works by South American artists, the theme is illusions. It is open Wed to Saturday 11h until 19h, Sundays and holidays 11h until 18h, Mondays closed. The end date is the 8th of February 2015. Entrance is 14 R$, free on Wednesdays. Casa Daros is located on Rua General Severiano 159 in Botafogo, click here for site.

If you are interested in the history of Rio the exhibition Do Valongo à Favela: imaginário e periferia no MAR might be interesting. It shows in images and text important culture forming events that has happened around the port area (where the museum is located). It is open Tue to Sunday 10h until 17h, the end date is the 12th of October. The MAR museum is located on Praça Mauá 5 in Centro, click here for site.

There is an exhibition of street-art in Caixa Cultural in Centro. Banksy, Jef Aerosol and Nunca are artists on exhibit. Different styles and techniques are explained. It is open Tue to Sunday 10h until 21h, the end date is the 15th of February 2015. Caixa Cultural is located on Avenida Almirante Barroso 25 in Centro.

Bom fim de semana!

Hakan

 


 

Boa Sexta Feira!

Without a doubt spring is here, it is hot and humid; perfect for a coconut water or a beer on the beach. Elections are up and the different candidates are bringing their best arguments out. It seems like all of them have failed to understand the critizism that both Brazilian and international economists have made. They all mostly about controlling inflation, something that perhaps will satisfy the general public but seriously, Brazil needs to do a lot more than that to turn the ship around. It still looks like Dilma will continue at this point. In several favelas around Rio shootouts have become regular again, crime will be the first thing for the new governor of Rio to deal with. A newly announced bank strike is in effect, several offices are closed.

Football:

On Saturday the 4th Santos will visit Maracanã to face Flamengo, kick-off is at 16:20h. Struggling Botafogo will receive Palmeiras on Wednesday the 8th in the same stadium, kick-off 19:30h. The day after on Thursday the 9th Fluminense take on Atlético-MG also in Maracanã, kick-off is also 19:30h.

Public transport:

The buses that normally would run on Rua Visconde de Pirajá are temporarily running on the beach avenue Vieira Souto. The next one or two years traffic in the center of Rio will be complicated during rush hours, big constructions in the port area is the reason.

Nightlife:

The best nightlife guide in English is The Rio Times Nightlife Guide, just click the link.

Fruits of the week:

Pineapples and mangoes are usually good purchases this time of the year.

Exhibitions:

If you are interested in the history of Rio the exhibition Do Valongo à Favela: imaginário e periferia no MAR might be interesting. It shows in images and text important culture forming events that has happened around the port area (where the museum is located). It is open Tue to Sunday 10h until 17h, the end date is the 12th of October. The MAR museum is located on Praça Mauá 5 in Centro, click here for site.

There is an exhibition of street-art in Caixa Cultural in Centro. Banksy, Jef Aerosol and Nunca are artists on exhibit. Different styles and techniques are explained. It is open Tue to Sunday 10h until 21h, the end date is the 15th of February 2015. Caixa Cultural is located on Avenida Almirante Barroso 25 in Centro.

Bom fim de semana!

Hakan

 


 

Hello Everyone! Warm temperatures have clearly marked that we have left the Carioca winter behind us. In the presidential elections race it seems like Dilma has taken a lead, many fear that foreign investors will shun Brazil since it is the sitting government that has been in charge while the country has been thrown into recession and financial stagnation. The newspapers are also full of the criminal activities of former Brazilian finance superstar Eike Batista.

Football:

On Sunday the 28th Grémio will visit Maracanã to face Botafogo, kick-off is at 16h. Saturday the 4th of October Flamengo will receive Santos in the same stadium, kick-off is at 16:20h.

In the Brazilian Cup Botafogo play Santos in Maracanã on the 1st of October, kick-off 19:30h. It is quarter finals.

Public transport: The buses that normally would run on Rua Visconde de Pirajá are temporarily running on the beach avenue Vieira Souto. Big road constructions in Centro still make traffic very complicated during certain hours, especially around the bus station.

Nightlife: The best nightlife guide in English is The Rio Times Nightlife Guide, just click the link.

Fruits of the week: Pineapples, apples and tangerines are often tasty this time of the year.

There is an exhibition of street-art in Caixa Cultural in Centro. Banksy, Jef Aerosol and Nunca are artists on exhibit. Different styles and techniques are explained. It is open Tue to Sunday 10h until 21h, the end date is the 12th of October. Caixa Cultural is located on Avenida Almirante Barroso 25 in Centro.

Bom fim de semana!

Hakan

 


 

Bom Dia! It seems like spring is in the air. We are very close to the elections, without question two factors will be massive. The first is a bad national financial situation which will make PT’s future in power less likely. In Rio the drug war and robberies has returned, the election for governor will probably be won by the candidate who offers the best strategy to stop it. Perhaps the assault on Rio’s Archbishop earlier this week will help to put focus on crime problems. For foreign interests the imaginary veil of profound progress has been lifted, the next twelve months will be very important indeed.

Football: This Sunday the 21st Flamengo receive Fluminense in Maracanã, a big derby with kick-off at 16h. On Wednesday the 24th Fluminense receive Grêmio in the same stadium, kick-off is at 22h. Botafogo receive Goiás on Thursday the 25th, kick-off at 19:30h in Maracanã stadium.

Public transport: The buses that normally would run on Rua Visconde de Pirajá are temporarily running on the beach avenue Vieira Souto. Big road constructions in Centro still make traffic very complicated during certain hours, especially around the bus station.

Nightlife: The best nightlife guide in English is The Rio Times Nightlife Guide, just click the link.

Fruits of the week: There are plenty of tasty melons and papayas with good prices this week.

Exhibitions: CCBB (Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil) are celebrating their 25th anniversary with a large Salvador Dali exhibition. Exhibition finishes on the Monday the 22nd of September. The address is Rua Primeiro de Março 66 Centro, open Wednesday until Monday 9h/21h (closed on Tuesdays). Free entrance. Site: CCBB – Salvador Dali

There is an exhibition of street-art in Caixa Cultural in Centro. Banksy, Jef Aerosol and Nunca are artists on exhibit. Different styles and techniques are explained. It is open Tue to Sunday 10h until 21h, the end date is the 12th of October. Caixa Cultural is located on Avenida Almirante Barroso 25 in Centro. Site: Caixa Cultural (When I tried the link it didn’t work, it might have been temporary so I left it here)

Bom fim de semana!

Hakan

 


 

Good Day Everyone! Looks like we will have a nice sunny weekend in Rio, next week it seems like wetter weather is due. Naturally most media is focusing on the coming presidential election, bad economic reports and scandals surrounding Petrobrás has made PT loose ground. The election race for governor in Rio is dominated by old names, it seems like few people have any faith that these candidates to be able to do anything to turn the tide in the city. In Morro de Alemão a famous UPP captain was killed in a shoot-out, it is obvious how the authorities gradually are loosing control over the city. Brazil is officially now in recession, two quarters of falling growth has earned them this status.

Football: This Saturday the 13th Fluminense play Palmeiras in Maracanã, kick-off 18:30h. The day after Flamengo receive Corinthians in the same stadium, kick-off is at 16h.

Public transport: The buses that normally would run on Rua Visconde de Pirajá are temporarily running on the beach avenue Vieira Souto. Big road constructions in Centro make traffic very complicated during certain hours, especially around the bus station.

Nightlife: The best nightlife guide in English is The Rio Times Nightlife Guide, just click the link.

Fruits of the week: There are plenty of tasty melons and papayas with good prices this week.

Exhibitions: CCBB (Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil) are celebrating their 25th anniversary with a large Salvador Dali exhibition. Exhibition finishes on the 22nd of September. The address is Rua Primeiro de Março 66 Centro, open Wednesday until Monday 9h/21h (closed on Tuesdays). Free entrance. Site: CCBB – Salvador Dali

There is an exhibition of street-art in Caixa Cultural in Centro. Banksy, Jef Aerosol and Nunca are artists on exhibit. Different styles and techniques are explained. It is open Tue to Sunday 10h until 21h, the end date is the 12th of October. Caixa Cultural is located on Avenida Almirante Barroso 25 in Centro. Site: Caixa Cultural (When I tried the link it didn’t work, it might have been temporary so I left it here)

Bom fim de semana!

Hakan

 


 

Bom Dia Amigos! Nice weather this week again. The newspapers are swamped with bad news about the Brazilian economy, something that most likely will make PT’s future bet on remaining in power a bit tougher to make happen.

Football: This Saturday the 6th Flamengo play Grêmio in Maracanã, kick-off 18:30h. The day after Fluminense receive Cruzeiros in the same stadium, kick-off is at 16h.

Public transport: The buses that normally would run on Rua Visconde de Pirajá are temporarily running on the beach avenue Vieira Souto. Big road constructions in Centro make traffic very complicated during certain hours, especially around the bus station.

Nightlife: The best nightlife guide in English is The Rio Times Nightlife Guide, just click the link.

Fruits of the week: In the Rio winter fruits like mangos, pears, plums apples and strawberries are cheap and tasty.

Exhibitions: CCBB (Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil) are celebrating their 25th anniversary with a large Salvador Dali exhibition. Exhibition finishes on the 22nd of September. The address is Rua Primeiro de Março 66 Centro, open Wednesday until Monday 9h/21h (closed on Tuesdays). Free entrance. Site: CCBB – Salvador Dali

There is an exhibition of street-art in Caixa Cultural in Centro. Banksy, Jef Aerosol and Nunca are artists on exhibit. Different styles and techniques are explained. It is open Tue to Sunday 10h until 21h, the end date is the 12th of October. Caixa Cultural is located on Avenida Almirante Barroso 25 in Centro. Site: Caixa Cultural (When I tried the link it didn’t work, it might have been temporary so I left it here)

Bom fim de semana!

Hakan

 


 

Good Day Everyone! The good weather is gone, it looks like we will have rain and thunder for the next week or so.

Football: All three Rio teams in the first division won lst round. On Sunday the 31st Botafogo play Santos in Maracanã, kick-off 16h. In the 2nd division Vasco receive Avaí tomorrow Saturday the 30th in São Januário stadium, kick-off 16:10h.

Public transport: The buses that normally would run on Rua Visconde de Pirajá are temporarily running on the beach avenue Vieira Souto. The introduction of the exclusive BRS lanes in Botafogo have initially created some problems. The tearing down of the perimetral highway will continue to make traffic complicated in the centre of Rio.

Nightlife: The best nightlife guide in English is The Rio Times Nightlife Guide, just click the link.

Fruits of the week: In the Rio winter fruits like mangos, pears, plums apples and strawberries are often cheap and tasty.

Exhibitions: CCBB (Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil) are celebrating their 25th anniversary with a large Salvador Dali exhibition. Starting today on the 30th of May and ending 4 months later on the 22nd of September. The address is Rua Primeiro de Março 66 Centro, open Wednesday until Monday 9h/21h (closed on Tuesdays). Free entrance. Site: CCBB – Salvador Dali

There is an exhibition of street-art in Caixa Cultural in Centro. Banksy, Jef Aerosol and Nunca are artists on exhibit. Different styles and techniques are explained. It is open Tue to Sunday 10h until 21h, the end date is the 12th of October. Caixa Cultural is located on Avenida Almirante Barroso 25 in Centro. Site: Caixa Cultural (When I tried the link it didn’t work, it might have been temporary so I left it here)

Bom fim de semana!

Hakan

 


 

Bom Dia! Fantastic weather in the city over at least this weekend. Put your shorts and bikinis on, grab your beach chairs and go to the beach.

Football: In the Brazilian league Flamengo has managed to get out of the immediate danger zone with a couple of wins, the last loss by Fluminense provoked Tricolor-supporters to attack the players cars on their return to Rio de Janeiro. On Saturday the 23rd Botafogo will receive Chapecoense in Maracanã stadium, kick-off is at 18h30. On Sunday the 24th Fluminense can show their fans their worth against Sport, kick-off is at 16h in Maracanã.

In the Brazilian Cup Vasco play ABC in São Januário on Tuesday the 26th, kick-off 19h30, the day after in the same cup Botafogo meet Ceará on Wednesday the 27th, kick-off 22h in Maracanã.

Public transport: The buses that normally would run on Rua Visconde de Pirajá are temporarily running on the beach avenue Vieira Souto. The introduction of the exclusive BRS lanes in Botafogo have initially created some problems.

Nightlife: The best nightlife guide in English is The Rio Times Nightlife Guide, just click the link.

Fruits of the week: In the Rio winter fruits like mangos, pears, plums apples and strawberries are often cheap and tasty.

Exhibitions: CCBB (Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil) are celebrating their 25th anniversary with a large Salvador Dali exhibition. Starting today on the 30th of May and ending 4 months later on the 22nd of September. The address is Rua Primeiro de Março 66 Centro, open Wednesday until Monday 9h/21h (closed on Tuesdays). Free entrance. Site: CCBB – Salvador Dali

There is an exhibition of street-art in Caixa Cultural in Centro. Banksy, Jef Aerosol and Nunca are artists on exhibit. Different styles and techniques are explained. It is open Tue to Sunday 10h until 21h, the end date is the 12th of October. Caixa Cultural is located on Avenida Almirante Barroso 25 in Centro. Site: Caixa Cultural (When I tried the link it didn’t work, it might have been temporary so I left it here)

Article: Last week I found this interesting article in The Rio Times written by Kate Rintoul. It affirms in a good way the fact that Brazil really is in a precarious situation financially, while many of the bigger world economies are looking better Brazil is going backwards.

Bom fim de semana!

Hakan

 


 

Bom Dia! This is the 21st weekly newsletter from Gringo-Rio. It is true winter weather that is perhaps is perfect for going to the movies. The October election is naturally the dominant topic for most people, when PSB’s (a party with a social agenda) presidential candidate died in a plain crash this Wednesday it came as a big shock, he was seen as the “third” runner after Rousseff and Neves. The reason for the crash that happened closed to an airport in Santos is unknown. In the accident at least 7 people died, the plane fell down in a populated area. More than being a tragedy it will also have a great effect of the coming elections.

Football: On Sunday the 17th the a derby between Botafogo and Fluminense will be played in the Mané Garrincha stadium, kick-off is at 18:30h. On Wednesday the 20th Flamengo will receive Atlético-MG in Maracanã stadium, kick-off is 22h. Currently Fluminense is 4th placed while both Botafogo and Flamengo are at the bottom of the table.

Public transport: The buses that normally would run on Rua Visconde de Pirajá are temporarily running on the beach avenue Vieira Souto. The introduction of the exclusive BRS lanes in Botafogo have initially created some problems.

Nightlife: The best nightlife guide in English is The Rio Times Nightlife Guide, just click the link.

Fruits of the week: In the Rio winter fruits like mangos, pears, plums apples and strawberries are often cheap and tasty.

Exhibitions: CCBB (Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil) are celebrating their 25th anniversary with a large Salvador Dali exhibition. Starting today on the 30th of May and ending 4 months later on the 22nd of September. The address is Rua Primeiro de Março 66 Centro, open Wednesday until Monday 9h/21h (closed on Tuesdays). Free entrance. Site: CCBB – Salvador Dali

There is an exhibition of street-art in Caixa Cultural in Centro. Banksy, Jef Aerosol and Nunca are artists on exhibit. Different styles and techniques are explained. It is open Tue to Sunday 10h until 21h, the end date is the 12th of October. Caixa Cultural is located on Avenida Almirante Barroso 25 in Centro. Site: Caixa Cultural (When I tried the link it didn’t work, it might have been temporary so I left it here)

Um ótimo fim de semana!

Hakan

 


 

Hello everyone! Here is the 20th weekly newsletter from Gringo-Rio. Nice winter weather has made it possible for the Cariocas to leave their winter clothes at home. This time of the year is normally a bit slow when it comes to parties and nightlife. The October election is the dominant topic for many people.

Football: On Saturday the 9th 2nd placed Fluminense will take on Coritiba in Maracanã, kick off is at 21h. The day after on Sunday the 10th Flamengo will meet Sport Club do Recife in the same stadium, kick off is set at 16h in this must win game for the red and black Rio team who are in last place in the league.

Public transport: The buses that normally would run on Rua Visconde de Pirajá are temporarily running on the beach avenue Vieira Souto. The introduction of the exclusive BRS lanes in Botafogo have initially created some problems.

Nightlife: The best nightlife guide in English is The Rio Times Nightlife Guide, just click the link.

Fruits of the week: Mango’s are still cheap and sweet, try the Palmer and Haden varieties. Strawberries, pears, apples and peaches are also possible to find at good prices.

Article: An interesting article Encouraging Brazil’s emerging middle class to buy sustainably I found in The Guardian. For a long time it has been obvious to me how little of the Cariocas’ mindset that is thinking about sustainable living. You still get plastic bags and glossy colour flyers almost thrown at you as soon as you leave your door step. Although there are supposedly garbage separation in all building, it is not something that seems to be taken really seriously. And water consumtion… The 4-shower-a-day attitude is hard to rock. It seems like most steps that are taken are driven by legislation, not by personal initiative. In the article this is dealt with from the aspect of how to encourage Brazilians to buying sustainable products.

Exhibitions: CCBB (Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil) are celebrating their 25th anniversary with a large Salvador Dali exhibition. Starting today on the 30th of May and ending 4 months later on the 22nd of September. The address is Rua Primeiro de Março 66 Centro, open Wednesday until Monday 9h/21h (closed on Tuesdays). Free entrance. Site: CCBB – Salvador Dali

Um ótimo fim de semana!

Hakan

 


Zico

Zico Panini sticker from the World Cup 1982 in Spain.

There are some football players that have managed to rise above local rivalries and become loved by fans from all clubs, Zico is one of them. This a short text about one of the most loved football players from Rio de Janeiro, sometimes referred to as The White Pelé.

Humble Beginning

Arthur Antunes Coimbra was born 1953 in the suburb Quintino Bocaiuva in Rio’s Zona Norte, a very humble neighbourhood. Like so many other Brazilians he started out in a futsal team, when he was 14 his talent was noted and he started to play junior football for CR Flamengo, the biggest team in Rio de Janeiro; when he was 18 he made his debut for the senior team. The beginning of his career was not noteworthy, most likely due to his thin stature. After a few years of hard training and taking steroids (back then they were legal) he gained muscle, and soon he was a regular feature on the Flamengo midfield. In 1974 he gained the prestigious number 10 on his jersey and he was also elected the best player in Brazil by the prestigious Placar football magazine.

The Golden Years of Zico

Most experts agree that 1978 marked the beginning of Zico’s peak as a player, this is also when he picked the habit of regularly scoring from free kicks. He was in the side that went to the World Cup held in Argentina, Brazil ended up in third place. With him at the helm Flamengo managed most notably to win three national championships, one Copa Libertadores and one Intercontinental Cup during just 5 years. During the World Cup in Spain in 1982 Zico made part of arguable the most exciting national team of all time (yours truly can sign on that), together with players like Falcão and Sócrates they showed the world a football they had never seen before; it was the jogo bonito (the beautiful game) Brazilians covet so much. When Brazil lost against a young and counter attacking Italy and therefor was knocked out, it was a great upset since the team had looked invincible until then.

To Italy and Back

When he was sold to Italian Udinese in 1983 the Flamengo fans were devastated. The transfer fee was 4 million USD, at the time an enormous sum and it received a lot of international attention, the contract would make Zico a dollar millionaire. Falcão was already in Italy playing for Roma, from this moment Brazilians had to get used to see how their league was bled on their best players to wealthy clubs in Europe. His career in Italy was short, after two years he went back to Flamengo. He had scored 57 goals in just just 79 games; When considering he had been fighting leg injuries and his position as a midfielder, very impressive indeed. The reasons for leaving were several, he had been forced to play injured and had other disagreement with the owners of the club; alongside some quite severe tax problems. The fans of Udinese remember him with love until today.

Retirement and After

Although he won more Brazilian championship with Flamengo after his return, the next 4 years he spent in the club were dominated by dealing bad knee and ankle injuries; he had sustained them in a nasty challenge already in 1985. His participation in the 1986 World Cup would be tainted by a missed penalty against that could have taken Brazil to the quarter finals, many people would argue that his lack of match training prejudicated his performance in this tournament. In 1988 he stopped playing for Flamengo never to play a competitive game for a Brazilian professional team again, the injuries were too bad for the then 35-year old Zico to continue on this level. In 1991 he went to play for a couple of years in Japan for Kashima Antlers, he remained as a player until 1994 when he finally retired. He returned to The Antlers as a coach in 1999. In 2002 he was appointed National Coach of Japan, Zico would take the team to the World Cup in Germany 2006 where they failed to qualify from the group. He left the assignment shortly after, since then he has coached clubs in Turkey, Russia, Uzbekistan, Greece and Quatar. For a brief spell he was the head coach of Iraq.

Legacy

With his 539 goals he is Flamengo’s top scoring player of all time, he is still a legend in the club from Rio de Janeiro who still celebrate the 1981 Intercontinental Cup win against Liverpool with great pride. He will always be remembered for his great play making skills and his sportsmanship. The fact he never won them a gold has never stopped Brazilians from loving him.

Nicknames

He has received various nicknames in his career. “Zico” was given as a loving diminutive of Arthur. “Galinho de Quintino” (means something like the Chicken from Quintino) was given him by a famous sports commentator called Waldir Amaral who though the young player was long haired and was running a lot (perhaps his two skinny legs also was a reason?). The name “O Pelé Branco”, The White Pelé, needs no explanation. As a coach he has been nick named “God of Football” in Japan and “King Arthur” in Turkey.


Sources and for further reading:
A torcida diz adeus ao craque maior – Article in Veja 1983
Biografia do Galinho – Article from the site Campos de futebol
Zico 60: o surgimento do Galinho de Quintino e a trajetória até o estrelato – Article in O Globo
– Ulbrich, P “Simplesmente Zico“ (2014)
– Wikipedia



 

Here comes the 19th weekly newsletter from Gringo-Rio. It is winter and temperatures are so cold the Cariocas wear hats, this means 18 degrees Celsius… The elections in October are due, all over the city you have reminders. Sorry for quite a meager newsletter but not much is going on right now.

It is like everyone are holding their breath for what is about to happen, everyone knows that measures have to be taken to put the country on track again. After years of trying to give CPR to the economy it has perhaps now come to the moment where more profound changes must happen, my guess is that the public sector will have to get looked at, hugely ineffective it is for the biggest part just dead weight that all the healthy parts of the economy must carry.

Football: Felipão has gone to Grémio, and (much to the dread of the Tricolor fans?) Ronaldinho Gaúcho on his way to Fluminense perhaps. Tomorrow Saturday the 2nd you have Botafogo facing Cruzeiro in Maracanã, kick off is at 18h30. Sunday the 3rd, same time, Fluminense will take on Goiás in the same stadium.

Public transport: The buses that normally would run on Rua Visconde de Pirajá are temporarily running on the beach avenue Vieira Souto.

Nightlife: The best nightlife guide in English is The Rio Times Nightlife Guide, just click the link.

Fruits of the week: Mango’s are cheap and in season, especially the Palmer and Haden varieties are tasty. You can find strawberries, pears and apples are affordable as well.

Exhibitions: CCBB (Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil) are celebrating their 25th anniversary with a large Salvador Dali exhibition. Starting today on the 30th of May and ending 4 months later on the 22nd of September. The address is Rua Primeiro de Março 66 Centro, open Wednesday until Monday 9h/21h (closed on Tuesdays). Free entrance. Site: CCBB – Salvador Dali

Um ótimo fim de semana!

Hakan

 


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