I have been to Rio de Janeiro several times and spent extended periods there. Yet it wasn’t until my most recent visit last November, that I noticed something interesting about the street signs.
In Brazil, many (if not most) streets are named after specific people. Usually it’s someone I have never heard of. But in Rio, I just recently noticed, they are very helpful about letting you know about these (sometimes obscure) people worth naming streets after.
Most of Rio’s street signs contain a little description about the name of the street. Once I noticed this, I kept stopping at intersections to read the descriptions on the street signs, somewhat irritating my husband!
This plaza in the neighborhood of Leme was named after Heloneida Studart, who lived from 1932 to 2007. She was a writer, Brazilian politician, journalist and defender of women’s rights.
Heloneida Studart was quite an important person indeed! Yet I never had heard of her before.
A couple of weeks before I was in Rio, I visited the Oscar Niemeyer Museum in Curitiba with friends. There were a variety of different art exhibits, but one of them was called Memória das Ruas: Retratos dos personagens de Curitiba, which was a gallery of portraits of the people for whom streets in Curitiba are named. Under each portrait was a small map showing where the street is located, as well as information about the person.