São Paulo Diaries

Is Michel Teló a good thing for Brazilian music?

Back in my little Brazilian ghetto in London, whenever we played Brazilian music at parties, everyone loved it. It didn’t really matter if it was funk, country, rock or samba. Everyone would sing along and even dance – because doing so gave us a sense of belonging, it brought us back home for a few moments.

Things to see & do in São Paulo – December/January

Normally, life in São Paulo – just like in many other huge cities – is one hell of a rat race. The traffic jams, the heat, the rain, the overcrowding. Add to that the present festive season mayhem. You want

Being a veggie in Sampa

The vast majority of Brazilians are carnivores. Fact. Most of us love a barbecue and not a day would go by without us having some sort of meat on our plates. As a child, I remember being extremely disappointed when

My first São Silvestre race

For most paulistanos, the São Silvestre race is synonymous with the New Year festivities. I attended as a spectator for many years, shouting support at the runners or watching the elite athletes on TV. The São Silvestre is the most

Leave our national holidays alone

Last week I was talking to someone in London about holidays and so on, and the subject of Brazilian national holidays came into the conversation. In 2011, we had 16 holidays in total, including four days that are applicable only

They are guilty

Graffitti near my place: “The government is to blame for crimes in the city…” “Corrupt police…”

My everyday padaria treat

One of the things I missed the most while living abroad was my daily trips to the local padaria (bakery). The smell of freshly baked goods and coffee, the banter with the staff, the sense of community. You don’t need

Christmas decorations in São Paulo

Thousands of tourists come to see the Christmas decorations in Avenida Paulista – our Oxford Street equivalent at this time of the year. The most impressive decorations are funded by banks, notably Bradesco, Itaú and Santander. The mayor’s office also

Some like it hot

When I opened my bedroom window this morning, the first day of summer here in Brazil, I remembered that the heat is one of the things I missed the most with I was in Blighty. As much as I loved

Brazilian festivals, Lollapalooza and an angry rocker

When I was living in London, attending one or more music festivals was one of the main things to look forward to in the summer. I went to quite a few over the last decade: Glastonbury, T in the Park,