Our intention today was to visit MAM (Museum of Modern Art) in the morning and then take my sister-in-law to Sugarloaf. We got sort of a late start, however, so when we got to MAM it was already close to lunchtime, and my husband’s stomach does not like to wait!
We stopped at the courtyard outside the museum to look at a photography exhibit. While there, I noticed a young boy who was quite entranced with an interactive installation in the shape of a square box frame full of colorful strings. I took this series of photos of the boy trying it out:
We asked at the museum if there was a café or restaurant nearby and were told that the museum has its own café in the back of the museum. Trying to find it, however, we ended up stopping for a minute to watch a group of young people with percussion instruments playing a batucada:
I would have stayed there listening to them longer, but Dale was anxious to have lunch. We were on the wrong side of the museum (it turned out) to find the café so we wandered, looking for some sort of eating establishment.
We crossed some streets and ended up at nearby Cinelândia! This area is named for the number of movie theatres one can find there, but it also has some beautiful historic buildings and monuments.
We ate at an outdoor restaurant, where I indulged in way too many fries! Having lunch rested us, so we walked back toward MAM and entered the museum.
(See separate post.)
After viewing some interesting and sometimes bizarre exhibits, we went back outside and followed a walkway past a pond to an entrance to the museum shop, where the (expensive) items for sale were artworks themselves. Next to the store was the café!
It being a nice day, there were a lot of people in the park behind the museum. We saw kids on stilts and tightropes, graduates of the college of veterinary science posing for pictures, lovers walking hand in hand, murals, and of course, the beautiful view of Sugarloaf from Flamengo.
My neighbor is a horticultural designer. Lucky me! She has designed the garden area in front of my house, where she put two trellises, one with purple clematis, one with this delicate Princess Diana clematis. Its technical name is clematis texensis.
Today is Thanksgiving in the U.S., and since Carlênia, my sister-in-law, has dual citizenship, I had promised her we’d take her to a nice restaurant of her choice for “Thanksgiving” dinner. She chose a famous Italian restaurant, La Fiorentina, conveniently located in Leme* just a couple of blocks from the apartment where we were staying.
Later that afternoon, we took some of our clothes to Carlênia’s apartment in Flamengo to wash, since she has a new washing machine and the apartment where we are staying doesn’t have one. To escape that confined, crowded space, Dale and I decided to take a walk to Flamengo Beach. Before we left, Carlênia told us the best (safest) way to get across the busy streets to the aterro (area that has been filled in with land) and the beach, but Dale insisted we cross the busy streets right away – I was afraid we’d get run over because the cars come around curves without even slowing down. Well, we made it across – barely! – and went through an underground passage below the busiest street, which was essentially an urban highway. Once safely across, I worried about getting back safely!
We went through a little park honoring Mexico and its relationship with Brazil before we got to the underground passage.
A park on the beach side contained a fairly large building with undulating arch roofs – it seemed to me that it had to be the modern art museum, although people were hanging around it and no one was going in; also there was no sign. I later found out from Carlênia that it was O Porcão, a churrascaria that had gone bankrupt and closed.
We took our shoes off and walked on Flamengo Beach.
When we left the beach and put our shoes back on, we were near “Posto 2” and a bridge over the highway. The bridge ended right next to a crosswalk, to my relief! We crossed and followed that street all the way back to Carlênia’s street, Oswaldo Cruz.
KODAK Digital Still Camera
KODAK Digital Still Camera
I never did see the bar Bel Monte that she had told us to use as a landmark, although a few days later, we passed it by car and she pointed it out.
The names of the streets in Brazilian cities are mostly of people significant to the history or culture of that city. Walking around Rio, I noticed something I’d never noticed before during all the times I have been in this city: the street signs have a short, one-sentence, bio of what that person was known for. If the street is named after something other than a well-known person, that is explained too, except maybe for obvious ones like XV de novembro (Nov. 15 – Proclamation of the Republic, which every Brazilian schoolchild has learned in elementary school).
*Leme (which means “rudder”) is a neighborhood located on the far eastern end of Copacabana Beach. From our apartment there, you can see the whole curve of Copacabana Beach to the west.
On our Panama Canal cruise in March, we stopped at the port of Puerto Ixtapa, Guatemala and from there we took a bus to Antigua. In Spanish, antigua means “ancient” – this historic city was founded in the early 16th century and spent 200 years as the colonial capital of Guatemala. Surrounded by volcanoes and earthquake prone, the city was largely destroyed in 1773 by an earthquake. However, many of its historic buildings were preserved as ruins.
We took a walking tour of downtown Antigua and were captivated by the charm of this small city, whose population is about 45,000 inhabitants. Here is a sampling of Antigua’s doors: