Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Rio de Janeiro... Tijuca


My original plan was to stay in Rio de Janeiro for a month, to get to know the city and to try to learn Portuguese. After staying a month in Rio, I realized that it would not be enough time. So I decided to stay an extra month to get a better feeling for the place. I settled into an apartment in the neighborhood of Tijuca. It was a neighborhood away from the tourists areas of Copacabana and Ipanema in the Zona Sul (South Zone). But I really grew to like Tijuca. It was a normal working class neighbor that was a little more real to me.  

There were of course some landmark churches like Sao Francisco Xavier.
Which had traces of Moorish influence. 
This was an Anglican church, Igreja do Redentor, one of the oldest churches in the neighborhood. It was actually relocated from a different part of the city.
Inside the church, there was a eclectic variety of architectural styles.
It catered to both the local and foreign influences
This old building and it's baroque architecture certainly stood out.
Walking on the near side of the street, one might walk right by. Walking on the far side of the street, one could not miss it. 
This building was a teachers university.
A colegio or high school
There was even a Chinese Community Center in the neighborhood.
There were also many conveniences like a Citibank.
A Mundial supermarket.
A drugstore
A papelaria or office supply store.
A corner newstand.
I walked by this confeitaria almost every day. It was a combination of a bakery and cafe.
These cakes tempted me everyday.
There was a suco (juice) bar on almost every corner.
People typically stop... stand at the counter... order a juice, coffee or acai and a salgado.

A salgado is a salty item... usually ham or cheese wrapped in bread and baked.
I had many sucos and salgados while I stayed in Rio.
There was also a park with a playground nearby.
At this park called Alfonso Pena there was an outdoor market on the weekends.
At this parked called Estacio there was a regular group of kite flyers.
They were not just flying their kites... they were battling their kites. The goal was to use one's own line to cut the line of a nearby kite and send it off into the distance. It was fun to watch.

However was not all fun and games. Some kite flyers would coat their lines with wax and crushed glass to give themselves an advantage. It was good for the battle, but terrible for another reason.
(borrowed photo from the internet)
Downed kites and their strings would often get spanned across a street. It would result in horrible consequences for motorcyclists. One of the real dangers in Tijuca... Rio... and Brazil.
Thus many motorcyclists place an antena-contra-cerol (anti-line antenna) on their motorcycle. 
Be safe out there riders.
Here's a 30 second video of an animated kite flyer battling with another kite flyer.
And finally... in my neighborhood there was this landmark... Estádio do Maracanã.
Maracana is a world famous football (soccer) stadium in which all the biggest matches are played.
Including World Cup matches. They are currently remodeling the stadium for the 2014 World Cup.

3 comments:

  1. Troy, why didn't you help that downed rider instead of photographing him?

    ReplyDelete
  2. Brian, I probably should have noted that I borrowed the photo of the hurt rider from the internet. - Troy

    ReplyDelete
  3. OK, you can go back to learning Portuguese.

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for visiting my website and for leaving a comment. - Troy