Avenida Paulista on a sunny Sunday, Part 1

November 20, 2016

The day dawned bright and sunny – for the first time since we got here!

Having obtained a map at the art museum on Friday, I studied it to figure out how to get to Av. Paulista and where to get off the metro. To get to Avenida Paulista, one can take the metro green line either to MASP-Trianon (next to MASP – São Paulo Museum of Art) or, even better, to Consolação/Paulista right at the north end of the avenue. The entire avenue stretches about 2 miles and MASP is close to the middle of it.


We got off at MASP-Trianon but then decided, instead of going into MASP right away, we’d set off toward the southern end of the avenue.

The street was full of people, and the ones you had to watch out for were those on wheels – bikers, skateboarders and roller bladders.  Most were bikes.  In fact, we’d seen a whole group of them in front of our apartment building earlier that morning, so when we saw large groups of cyclists on Av. Paulista we assumed it was some sort of race – perhaps a marathon.  However, we were told there was no race – every Sunday there are lots of people on bicycles, utilizing the bike trails, which are actually quite numerous.  What we saw earlier was probably a cyclist club.

And here it was no different – an orange-colored divided lane in the middle of the street that was just for bicyclists.  In fact, we saw some people wearing vests with neon strips on them directing bike traffic – holding back cyclists to let pedestrians cross and vice versa.  Even so, we narrowly missed colliding with people on bicycles occasionally!

The atmosphere on Av. Paulista was relaxed and festive.  There was lots of music being played so I made that one of my “themes” for the day – videorecording snippets of the various musicians and musical groups.  I also began taking pictures of tall buildings, especially unusual ones.




A carnaval-type band passed by dressed in blue and white costumes with a variety of percussion instruments.  I took a still picture and a short video.



We came to a man who was selling a happy face stick figure whose movements he controlled via remote control – the little guy jumped up and down, crumpled to the ground, got up again, always with a wide grin and tears.  I took a video of that too, since the man was playing recorded music to accompany his puppet’s movements. (Note the white strip in the middle of the sidewalk in the picture below – the raised sections help blind people with walking sticks feel their way down the street.)


I had read online to watch for the series of bronze bass relief plaques illustrating various medically-related themes of life, on the side of Santa Catarina Hospital.  I’m glad I read this, or otherwise might have missed them completely.  I was looking for them! A informational plaque at one end told about the exposition, starting with:  “The work explores the phenomenon of art and medical science with human intervention in the natural cycle of life and death.” Dale started at one end and I at the other, taking pictures of each one until we met in the middle.  Below is a sampling of them. They represent medical history, humanism, and contemporary questions.

Lots of interesting wall art, too – including a wall of blue and white tiles with identical side views of a breast!


Christmas tree ornaments painted on the side of a building
View of a mural from the gardens of the House of the Roses

We came to a collection of food trucks.  Behind them on an adjoining street was a beautiful façade of convex glass windows surrounding a large, beautiful clock with Roman numerals and small circles showing the month, day of the week, and the phase of the moon.


At almost the far end of the avenue was the Casa das Rosas (House of the Roses), a historical Victorian-style house so named because of its extensive rose gardens.  It was free to go in and look around and to wander the gardens.

Below: Two views of the Casa das Rosas.



Beautiful undulating stairway in the House of the Roses



More beautiful features of the house:



Balcony and floor tiles:

View of the gardens from the balcony of the house:


Interesting modern ‘art deco’ building behind the House of the Roses:


Other historical buildings stood side by side with modern, glass skyscrapers reflecting the sun,  with modern art sculptures in front.






We stopped for lunch somewhere along the way, at a cluster of food trucks.  It was extremely crowded and there was no place to sit except on ledges surrounding trees. We managed to find seats at the end of a long table when Dale came back with the food.  Next to us was a couple speaking English. They were British and it was actually a father and daughter.  The father had come with his daughter to Brazil, but he was going back home and she was staying for several months.

Crowded, narrow lunch spot and our food!

Next: MASP and Siqueira Campos-Trianon Park

5 thoughts on “Avenida Paulista on a sunny Sunday, Part 1

  1. Thanks for visiting me! So, do I have this right -you are an American living in Brazil?
    What a fun post here. Beautiful stair cases and doors! I love that in some countries they have such innovative shapes for the high rise buildings! I would have liked to hear this music band:)

    1. I am an American but I don’t live in Brazil, although I used to. I try to visit as often as possible since I have friends and family there.
      I haven’t been able to download the videos of this and other bands. Once I figure out how to do it, I will post them.
      Thank you for your comments!

  2. That’s my turf!!! I love Paulista! When I first moved to Sao Paulo, I lived in a hostel a couple of blocks from it. When I finally moved to an apartment it was still walking distance. Tell me you went there at night? That first big building in the pictures lights up and becomes this enormous light show! It’s spectacular. I miss living there so much!

    1. Camila, thanks for your comments! No, we were only there during the day. It would have been cool to see the light show, though! By evening, we were back in Vila Mariana. We were worried about pick pockets, especially at night.

      The one thing I really disliked in Vila Mariana, especially when walking at night, were the uneven sidewalks. The driveways are often higher than the sidewalks, so you always have to watch where you’re going. It was nice not having to look down all the time when we were on Av. Paulista!

      1. Oh yeah! I get what you’re saying about the sidewalks. But Paulista is one of the places in Sao Paulo that I never worried about it. I’m loving these posts on your trip to Brazil, it makes me feel closer to home.

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