Espen and I are in São Paulo. I am here for a meeting with a delegation of school principals. He is here to visit São Paulo. Some of his friends told him that Brasília was not the “real Brazil”. My belief is that no place is the real Brazil any more than any particular place is the real America. There are lots of different realities. However, more Brazilians live in São Paulo than in any other place and lots of other big Brazilian cities have similar characteristics, so this is as real as it gets. There are almost twenty million people in the metro area and São Paulo state produces about a third of the Brazilian GDP.
Our hotel is in Jardim Paulista, one of the nicest areas of the city. I always stay in Marriott when possible. They are usually in nice places and have consistent quality. We are near Avenida Paulista, the main commercial street. We walked around the downtown a bit and you can see some pictures. We even absorbed a little culture at the Museu de Arte de São Paulo (MASP). Espen and I discussed why it is sometimes better to go in person than to look at the art in books or on increasingly high definition computer screens. Besides seeing the real thing, there is the important social aspect of actually showing up at an art exhibit with other people.
I like to visit São Paulo, but I would be unenthusiastic about living here. When I visit, I can live in Jardim and walk around in relative comfort and safety. I would not be able to live in Jardim if I was living here and I would get stuck in that traffic every day. In Brasília I can ride my bike to work and driving takes only about seven minutes from home to work. So I have the perfect balance. I can live in Brasília and frequently visit other parts of the country.
Above – that car must have hit the truck just right to flip it over like that. I really cannot imagine how it happened and with relatively little damage to the car.