São Paulo: the land of brown gold
A city fusing, merging, and amalgamating. A city in constant turmoil. A well-run city that creates. A city that prefers nostalgia to the portents of the future, a feeling expressed at every street corner by a statue, painting, or graffiti. In one night, everything can change. That is the Paulista version of humanity.
From the air, with its skyscrapers and endless avenues resembling motorway junctions, São Paolo might conjure the image of a science-fiction city. But, after all, is that not the geography of all great contemporary megalopolises? In São Paulo, neighbourhoods are not blocks and do not have numbers, they are called ‘Jardim' or ‘Vila'. They were conceived by farmers coffee and sugar growers. Some prefer crossing the city by helicopter rather than sedan. It is more difficult to rent an office here than anywhere else, and some of its apartments are among the most expensive in the world. When you are the economic brain of Brazil, everything has a price.
Its story is that of a small Portuguese Catholic Mission with a few souls that gradually turned into a city of 11 million people. They have eyes of all colours: São Paulo is the city where the most Italians, Japanese, Spaniards, and Lebanese live outside their countries of origin. It has more Japanese restaurants than Tokyo, more pizzerias than churrascos. And they are all excellent... It is paradoxical, but true. One goes to São Paulo to taste the best sushi and the best gnocchi there are.
Art also replaces nature. Except during gay pride festivities, there are no parties, no dancing to samba tunes. Instead they create, they invent, they think about the world. Every evening a showcase, an opening is improvised. One runs from gallery to gallery, and from fashion show to fashion show, because you are also in the Latin fashion capital. Its creators will dress the world of tomorrow; such is the enviable destiny of the Paulista's ‘moda'.
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