Monday, July 11, 2011

Cool Things Happen.

After a late night on Friday, I woke up Saturday around noon!  I haven't done that in years. 9:30 is a late start for me, so noon was like... a lot.  Anyhow, after doing a little of this and a little of that, the roomie and I headed to Santa Teresa for a once a year festival they have called Arte de Portas Abertas, where a lot of people in the Santa Teresa neighborhood literally open their doors to guests and visitors and display their art.  It's from about 10am to 6 or 7 pm, and we headed out at around 3pm.

We decided to take the bonde because it's one of those things you have to do at least once when going to Santa Teresa.  Although truth be told, the French tourist who took it last week will only ever have one opportunity because he died on it.  Well, technically not on it.  He leaned over, lost his balance, and plummeted to his death - right by the Arcos da Lapa where we were the night before.  Anyway, we weren't the only ones on this festive Saturday that thought experiencing the bonde was a good idea.  No, no... we weren't.  We did meet some friends on the line, although they were about 8 and 14 years of age.  But they were a blast to talk to, and kept the line moving!  The 14 year old girl said she thought Lil Wayne was cute.  I'm glad someone does.  Anyhow, the bonde runs about every 15 minutes, and takes about 40 people each ride, and the line took us about an hour and a half! So leaving at 3pm, getting to the bonde station at 3:30, waiting an hour and a half for the bonde, and then taking a 20 minute ride on the bonde up the mountain left us arriving in Santa Teresa around 5:30, starving.  So rather than look at art, we went straight to food.

A year ago, I had the bombest meal at a place called Espirito Santa, so we went there. Because the food was so good the last time, we ordered the tasting menu so that we could try a few different things. WORSE. MISTAKE. EVER. I now HATE that place.  And I don't hate anything.  They gave us street food for the tasting menu.  Literally food we could buy on the street (but on the street it tastes much better).  For R$39, we each got one nasty bolinho of something, one nasty pão of something else, and one disgusting croquete of another nasty thing.  Plus some nasty slop on the side.  It was horrible, and I'll never tell anyone to go there ever again.  BOOOOOO Espirito Santa! You are the worst! Look at these pictures - they put green sh*t on top to attempt to make it look nice.  Mind you, this serving is for two people.

Anyhow, we left there and went to my other favorite place, Cafecito, which remained so.  It's such a cute place.  I had a dessert and some lukewarm coffee, but after Espirito Santo, it was just fine.  I mean... look at this brownie a la mode. (Yes, I already started eating it.)

Anyway, I wanted to get some alcohol into my body, and there was a fabulous lady on the street making R$5 caipi's... so duh... we left Cafecito, and I got a strong a** caipirinha.  I love street drinks.  So much stronger, so much cheaper.  Anyhow, we heard live music coming from down the street, so of course we followed it.  A grand band was playing (whose name I don't know).  Some odd looking men came up to us to dance, and so we obliged.  Mine was actually a good leader, but with those forro dances you can feel crotch heat on your thigh and I'm just not into that.  So I had to cut my dances short.  Anyhow, we sit down at a table with this lady who is a little drunk and talking on her cell to her friend and she starts describing my hair and my earrings to the girl and calls me a gatinha! Hahahaha. Anyhoo...

Eventually we leave that place and go up the hill to the market.  Wait... I have this backwards.  We went to the market thing first and looked at stuff, listened to music, and then went to this other place.  After this, we went home!  We hiked down the mountain by foot and caught the train.  Thing is, we missed the whole art festival!  On the way home we stopped at Beach Suco's for a juice, and met some undergrads from Yale, and their friends.  They invited us to sit with them outside while we finished out drinks, and we all started talking.  The friends were all Brasilian gay boys - which are of course the best kind to kick it with! They're fun, and they're not trying to f*ck you.  It's awesome.  By this time it was about 1:30am, so we left them and went home.

So I woke up this morning at about 11am! All this late hanging doesn't really work for my sleep pattern. We decided to retry Santa Teresa, sans bonde.  This time, we walked up the mountain, and up the stairs and almost died.  It was like hiking up Kilimanjaro.  Okay... maybe not.  But it was intense nonetheless.  This photo doesn't even begin to show how steep the hike up to Santa Teresa via these steps was.  Plus, we're out of shape!

Anyway, we got up there at about 3:30, only to discover that the festival today was CRUNK. Maaaaan listen, we thought yesterday was live.  But today? Wow.  We decided to walk a little further down the main street today because we couldn't imagine that the festival would only be contained within those few blocks.  And am I glad we did... We first went into some little area where a 3 piece band of 9 year old boys were performing.  They were awesome!  We left there and continued down the road, following the sounds of a big, brassy band.  And standing in front of a house, with hundreds of people in the middle of the street in dancing and carrying on, we found them.  A five piece brass band. They too, were awesome.  What was not so awesome was the car that ran over the ladies foot who was standing behind me, or the buses knocking into people!  The people weren't moving, and the vehicles weren't stopping.  Oh Brasil... We watched them for a bit, saw a cool vitrola for sale, and continued down to another street.  This street was on and poppin' too!

This particular street had some people selling some really special cachaça drink which I might be addicted to.  It was an orange-ginger frozen drink, and I've found myself thinking about it nonstop for the past several hours.  We were only there for a few minutes before we saw our gays from the night before! Woohoo!  Diego, Lucas, and Yuri had just arrived and were walking towards us.  They were starving, and we were getting hungry, so after our "Oh wow! Hey guys! How are you's?," we decided to join them for a late lunch/early dinner.  We went to some restaurant that I think was called Marco, but I can't find anything called Marco online haha! Anyhow, the boys ordered feijoada (remember that from an earlier blog?), and the roomie and I ordered moqueca.  It all made up for that wack a** food at Espirito Santa!  Look at it!  There was soooo much left over.  (I have to start remembering to take pictures before we eat half of it!)

Anyway, the boys left quickly because two of them teach ballroom dancing, and they had a private lesson.  We hung around and tried to make room to eat more before we left.  Eventually, we left our good food there, and decided to walk back to the street where we found our gays.  There were still lots of people out, and we found even more streets with even more bars, and even more people.  I'm thinking that because it was the last day of this once a year festival, everything and everyone was out!  Anyhow, we decided to return to the live music spot from the night before, and an awesome band was playing samba!  We stayed until they finished!  (It was only about 40 min).  

We planned to go back to the market to look at some things, and listen to the music they had there.  By this time, the streets were just packed!  We saw a small handwritten sign that said "live jazz", so we decided to follow it.  It's funny how a street looks empty, and then you go past a curve or a wall and there are hundreds of people crowded in front of a door.  We thought we couldn't go in but, low and behold, people were just standing in the streets because they wanted to.  I prefer indoors, so I went in.  BEST. FIND. EVER.  There was the awesomest jazz band playing.  The place was packed.  The energy was awesome.  And all was good.  Here's a lil clip of the trumpet solo... sorry the sound sucks, but dude was awesome!   In fact, he was also the trumpet player in the street brass band from a few hours before.  You probably won't be able to tell he's awesome from this sound thought... but whatevs. Check it out:

K wait... something is wrong with the upload.  I'll try it again later...

The drummer was a looker.  And boy, do I enjoy looking.  I need special glasses just to do it. We stayed there for over an hour enjoying that jazz.  It was awesome.  

Between today and yesterday, so many dudes introduced themselves just to get those introductory kisses :-)! And even more women have commented on my hair then ever in life.  It's like an art exhibit.  But it's also the simplest way for me to do it.  A high bun on top of my head.  I don't know why this is so amazing.  I guess because it's a nappy high bun.  Anyway, I got stopped about 9 times today, and 7 times yesterday over this damned bun.  "Que linda", and blah, blah, blah.  It's nice though.  You know... to receive compliments.  Sometimes we need them! This is me, Lucas, and my bun.

We had considered going to Casa Rosa today also, but with all the free live music, dancing, art, and everything else, Casa Rosa took a back seat.  This day was awesome.  I hope they keep getting better.

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