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Open only on Saturdays, this large market has stalls selling lots of fresh fruits and fish for good prices. Everyone who lives in Rio is addicted to açai, the Amazonian berry that’s loaded with antioxidants. The berry doesn’t come from this region of Brazil, but you can get it fresh in the market in a big bowl mixed with strawberries or ice cream. Rua Frei Leandro As told to Heidi Mitchell. Photo by Gabriel Rinaldi. This appeared in the March/April 2012 issue. See all of Batman Zavarese’s favorite places in Jardim Botânico.
The Santa Teresa district is a tangle of cobblestone streets and crumbling landmarks perched above the city. It’s undergoing a renaissance thanks to anchors such as the restored Hotel Santa Teresa and the working-class eatery Bar do Mineiro. The latter lures diners with its feijoada (bean and mixed meat stew). This appeared in the September, 2012 issue. Photo by Jan Sochor.
There may be no better place in Rio to watch the sunset than Arpoador Rock. Wedged in between Ipanema and Copacabana, is it a gathering point for Cariocas and tourists alike to toast the day with a fresh caipirinha. Watch the sun fade behind Ipanema’s famed double peaks and Pedro Bonita, the rock structure where hang gliders launch into the clouds throughout the day. Time stands still at Arpoador rock, and everyone participating shares in the same goals in those moments: to enjoy life. As the sun cascades behind the rocks, people bask in its beauty, couples kiss and everyone erupts in clapping and cheering, saluting the earth for the magnificence it possesses and appreciating life for the fullness it offers. Surfers take a moment to sit on their boards and let the waves roll underneath them as they also salute the painted sky. It is a perfect ending to a perfect Rio-kind-of-day.
Rio has never been busier. The city is building up and out for the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Summer Olympics. Part of a massive port facelift, the Museum of Art of Rio opens later this year. But in colonial bairros, such as Santa Teresa, fresh paint hasn’t changed the carioca spirit. This appeared in the September, 2012 issue. Photo by Julian Love.
Beaches such as Copacabana and Ipanema are justifiably famous, but city insiders head southwest to Prainha for some of the area’s best surf and views. Join locals at Restaurante Bira for fish stewed in coconut milk or for an after-surf caipirinha while watching the waves. 55/(0) 21-2410-8304. This appeared in the September, 2012 issue. Photo by Ivan Matee/Stockphoto.com.
While in Rio you must go to Sugarloaf Mountain. It has beautiful views of the entire city. I went on a day that was misty and cloudy and was a little disappointed that I couldn't see the Christ the Redeemer statue from the mountain, but soon the wind started to blow and the clouds started to move and the statue stood among the clouds. It was beautiful and I ended up being happy it wasn't a crystal clear day.
The coffeeshop inside this bookstore is run by the Brazilian restaurant Ateliê Culinário, so the food is fantastic. But I come for the terrific collection of books. The store is small and cozy and feels like a reading room. Sometimes I’ll lose myself for hours in an obscure art book and a glass of red wine—then I feel compelled to buy the book. I always run into people from the art and music worlds here. Rua Jardim Botânico 585, 55/(21) 2259-8686, pontedetabuas.com.br As told to Heidi Mitchell. Photo by Gabriel Rinaldi. This appeared in the March/April 2012 issue. See all of Batman Zavarese’s favorite places in Jardim Botânico.
This is a huge tropical park, with lakes and English gardens and the trailhead that leads up Corcovado mountain. I love having breakfast in the park at the Café du Lage, while everyone else is doing their morning exercise routine. Rua Jardim Botânico 414. As told to Heidi Mitchell. Photo by Gabriel Rinaldi. This appeared in the March/April 2012 issue. See all of Batman Zavarese’s favorite places in Jardim Botânico.
My grandfather used to come here. The restaurant specializes in Portuguese cuisine and serves consistently good traditional dishes, including the bestpicanha (steak) in Rio. The food is simple, but you know it will be amazing. It reminds me of eating out in Europe. Rua Maria Angélica 57, 55/(21) 2286-1689 As told to Heidi Mitchell. Photo by Gabriel Rinaldi. This appeared in the March/April 2012 issue. See all of Batman Zavarese’s favorite places in Jardim Botânico.
Absolutely every type of person in Rio comes here, where city meets ocean. On Sundays, a section of road is closed to traffic and you see people walking, jogging, and rollerblading along the promenade, and playing volleyball on the beach. Most travelers frequent the Copacabana side, where you will find the beautiful black-and-gray mosaic promenade designed by Roberto Burle Marx. I like to run along the other side of the peninsula, between the Leblon and Arpoador neighborhoods. —Zahira Asmal Photo by Greg Balfour Evans/Alamy. This appeared in the March/April 2013 issue. Read more about Designing South Africa and Designing Brazil founder Zahira Asmal.
The pizza here is considered some of the best in Brazil. It’s fairly doughy, and my favorite type is called the bráz, which comes topped with zucchini. It goes great with a light beer like Brahma Chopp. Rua Maria Angélica 129, 55/(21) 2535-0687, casabraz.com.br As told to Heidi Mitchell. Photo by Gabriel Rinaldi. This appeared in the March/April 2012 issue. See all of Batman Zavarese’s favorite places in Jardim Botânico.
A new addition to the hopping Leblon neighborhood, Brigite’s is perfect for a low-key bite. Parquet floors and an open kitchen complement dishes that range from namorado whitefish with flaxseed farofa (a mix of flour and yuca) to steak tartare with plantain fritters. 55/(0) 21-2274-5590. This appeared in the September, 2012 issue. Photo courtesy of Brigite's.
Jojö is a great place to try contemporary Brazilian-Asian fusion cooking. I love the risotto with shrimp and pepper mixed with curry. The place is tiny, maybe five tables. The owner, Joana, always makes sure I get a great dinner—and a treat, like a dessert or a glass of champagne. Rua Pacheco Leão 812, 55/(21) 3565-9007, jojocafe.com.br As told to Heidi Mitchell. Photo by Gabriel Rinaldi. This appeared in the March/April 2012 issue. See all of Batman Zavarese’s favorite places in Jardim Botânico.
This is a hard to find location, and not obviously mentioned in all the travel books like Sugar Loaf or the beach. However, once you arrived, it's a breath-taking moment! The scale and the color, and the detail of each of the tiles on the stairs are just unbelievable! It's a must see if you visit Rio.
Ipanema’s iconic Fasano hotel, conceived by renowned designer Philippe Starck, features wooden armchairs by local architect Sergio Rodrigues and rooftop views of the city’s mountains. Expect three Fasano outposts to open elsewhere in Brazil before the World Cup. From $770. 55/(0) 21-3202-4000. This appeared in the September, 2012 issue.
Name: Batman Zavareze Age: 39 Neighborhood: Jardim Botânico, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil Occupation: Marcelo Felipe Zavareze Marques, known as Batman for his childhood penchant for wearing superhero T-shirts, is the curator-director of Multiplicidade Imagem Som Inusitados. The monthly multimedia art festival takes place at the Oi Futuro Flamengo cultural center and other venues in Rio de Janeiro from June through December. Lots of creative people—designers, actors, filmmakers, musicians—live and work in Jardim Botânico, perhaps because there is so much beauty and a tradition of art here. As the name suggests, this is a very green place. Rio itself is a mix of mountains, waterfalls, beaches, and city, and my neighborhood claims two of Brazil’s biggest urban parks, Parque Lage and Jardim Botânico. They give the neighborhood a very calm vibe. I usually walk or bike from my house to my office, passing residents jogging and cycling along the path around the lagoon, Lagoa Rodrigo de Freitas. I go through Parque Lage, which houses the 18th-century Escola de Artes Visuais building. The school is a great place to take a class on painting or philosophy and to get inspiration—though I don’t need to go far for inspiration. In 15 minutes, I can bike from my house or office to the beach or the mountains or the inner city. The idea behind Multiplicidade—which means multiplicity—was to introduce people to new and innovative performances that unite visual art and experimental music on the same stage. (See video from Batman’s Multiplicidade festival.) Now the festival attracts painters, photographers, designers, and other visual artists as well as musicians, filmmakers, DJs, and emerging technology artists from all over the world. Each creates works for the shows. For our most recent festival, renowned Spanish filmmaker Carlos Casas presented the documentary trilogy “End,” filmed in Uzbekistan, Patagonia, and the Aral Sea in Siberia; we projected the film onto three walls inside of a warehouse. We have a rule at Multiplicidade that nothing can be shown on a white screen, so for another project, a musician played while we projected a film into a pool that we had built and then filled with packaging peanuts. It was gorgeous. And every idea begins in our little studio—our “laboratory”—in the Jardim Botânico neighborhood. For Multiplicidade we have worked with more than 160 internationally recognized performers and artists—Carlinhos Brown, Vik Muniz—who have encouraged others to get into multimedia performance. Now fans follow the scene here. They’ve helped to make Jardim Botânico an artistic hub. You’re always running into creative people. Walk down Rua Maria Angélica and you will meet someone interesting. Grab a coffee and you’ll make a new friend. In Jardim Botânico, chance can still happen. As told to Heidi Mitchell. Photo by Gabriel Rinaldi. This appeared in the March/April 2012 issue. See all of Batman Zavarese’s favorite places in Jardim Botanico:Jojo Cafe BistroFarmers’ Market at Rua Frei LeandroBrazEscola de Artes VisuaisParque LageLivraria Ponte de Tabuas Adega do PortoFernando Jaeger FurniturePolo de Pensamento Contemporaneo (POP)
Corcovado. Check. Sugarloaf. Been there. Ipanema. Yeah, I saw that girl on the beach too. Botanical Garden. Now that’s a new one. Located at the base of Corcovado Mountain, and under the right arm of Christ the Redeemer, you will discover the 140-hectare gem that is the Botanical Garden of Rio de Janeiro. I stumbled upon this not-so-hidden treasure while tooling around the city on a bike that seemed like it was from 1822, the same year the garden was opened to the public. Once inside the perimeter, you will step into a world that is populated with over 6500 species of foreign and domestic plants, and an assortment of tropical birds, fish and mammals that will kindly greet you (or scurry away) along your journey. If I saw a dinosaur here I would surely think that I had discovered the Lost World. The photo above is of Barbosa Rodrigues’ Alley, one of the most well-known avenues within the park. It runs for about 700 meters, and has about 137 royal palms, all of which are descended from a single tree that was destroyed by lightning in 1972. The sheer magnitude of the garden, along with all the thriving life that resides within it, surely gave me pause to ponder for a bit: If God rested on the seventh day, perhaps it was because the other six were spent creating something as wonderful as this. www.jbrj.gov.br
The Bohemian hilltop neighborhood of Santa Teresa is the perfect remedy for the Rio de Janeiro visitor that needs a break from the sun and fun of the sunny and crowded beaches. One of the many colonial gems of Santa Teresa is the Castelinho, or Little Castle, which was built in 1866. Today the castle serves as a hotel, but it really just adds to the old world magic of Santa Teresa. The little neighborhood is home to many fine restaurants and shops specializing in authentic Carioca foods and arts. Take the famed Yellow Trolley from Rio's city center across the Arcos de Lapa and up the hill to complete the experience.
Instituto Moreira Salles, founded by the late Walther Moreira Salles, a banker and diplomat, houses thousands of historic photographs, books, paintings, and recordings. The auditorium hosts film screenings—a nod to his son, Walter Salles, who directed The Motorcycle Diaries. 55/(0) 21-3284-7400. This appeared in the September, 2012 issue.
In Rio, a rocky promontory divides the beaches of Copacabana and Ipanema. At the end is a large flat rock that was once a place where fishermen harpooned the whales that came to reproduce in the warm waters. Hence the Portuguese name Arpoador, meaning "fisherman who uses harpoon." Today it's a place to sit, watch the surf and surfers, witness the sunset over Ipanema - and enjoy being alive. Free of charge!
The visual arts school is located inside Parque Lage. The most important Brazilian artists from the 1980s onward studied here, including the abstract painter Daniel Senise. The mansion, stables, library, and great hall are all being renovated, but it still looks beautiful. You can come here just to relax or to take a class in sculpting or painting. Rua Jardim Botânico 414, 55/(21) 3257-1800, www.eavparquelage.rj.gov.br. As told to Heidi Mitchell. Photo by Gabriel Rinaldi. This appeared in the March/April 2012 issue. See all of Batman Zavarese’s favorite places in Jardim Botânico.
Everybody’s favorite Brazilian Street Fighter decided to follow me along on my trip, ya know, just to make sure I had back up. Blanka was posing for his life all over the place. I have never hung out with such a camera hogging vinyl toy. Blanka, for those who do not know, is a video game character created by Capcom for the classic Street Fighter game in 1987. Blanka makes a cameo appearance in Disney’s Wreck it Ralph. I know he looks grumpy in this picture, but Blanka loved Ipanema beach. Photo by Ruddy Harootian
Climbing up the steps to the iconic statue of Cristo Redentor (Christ the Redeemer) on Corcovado mountain, you can view all of Rio de Janeiro and you get a sense of how marvelous this city really is.
Leblon beach in Rio de Janeiro is a must. After going to a friends wedding in Belo Horizonte I could not leave Brazil before visiting the "cidade maravilhosa." Rio is so vibrant and what a better place to experience the city's culture than the beach. Make sure to have one of the cold coconuts and a caipirinha that are sold all throughout the boardwalk . This photo was taken from the roof top pool of our hotel. Even though the rooms were not superb the view was priceless.
While jogging off a huge dinner before hitting the beach in Ipanema one morning, my headphones became overwhelmed by drumming and whistles. When I lifted my sweat soaked head to check out the commotion ahead, I was amazed to see brightly colored dancers and a group of drummers parading down the boulevard and attracting a growing crowd of onlookers and partiers. I soon became one of the revelers and followed them all the way to Copacabana. The spontaneous outbreak of Samba was one of the highlights of Rio de Janeiro, especially since it wasn't even close to Carnival.
Brazilian music has many influences. A blend of African, European and indigenous Brazilian music has created unique styles like samba, bossa nova, and choro to name a few. This popular restaurant in the Gamboa neighborhood of Rio de Janeiro hosts bands of all genres. And in true Brazilian fashion, on this evening, party-goers danced to the Afro-Brazilian sounds until the early morning.
Rio is one massive outdoor market: coconuts are sold everywhere along the beach, hand-macheted, cold and refreshing for just $5 RS, and tanned bums and muscly pecs are always on display. But there is another market that comes to Ipanema beach every Sunday, close to Arpoador Rock: Rio’s festive Hippie fair on the square General Osorio, held every Sunday since the 1960's! Come to find all kinds of local artisan goods: paintings, clothing, vibrant jewelry and fresh regional food, all being peddled with a local flare and a smile. The market starts early and goes until mid-afternoon and is a festival of color.
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