Thursday, March 31, 2016
From Lonely Planet:
This enormous fair (32,000 sq meters with over 600 stalls) is not to be missed.
It showcases the culture from the northeast, with barracas (food stalls) selling Bahian dishes as well as beer and cachaça (cane liquor), which flows in great abundance here.
The best time to go is on the weekend, when you can catch live bands playing forró, plus samba groups and comedy troupes, MPB (Música Popular Brasileria) and rodas de capoeira (capoeira circles).
The vibrant scene runs nonstop from Friday morning through to Sunday evening.
In addition to food and drink, you can browse music CDs (forró , of course), hammocks and a wide assortment of handicrafts
Monday, March 28, 2016
BEAUTIFUL, PICTURESQUE AND POLLUTED
Ilha da Boa Viagem -- Island of Good Travel/Safe Voyage -- is much smaller than, but pound-for-pound almost as beautiful as the famed Sugar Loaf.
Home of both a battery that used to protect Guanabara Bay and the Capela de Nossa Senhora da Boa Viagem, it is the stuff of dreams perched atop the blue waters.
A bridge links it to Niteroi on the mainland.
Though our Portuguese is pretty lousy, we understood a sign we saw in late January to say the buildings are being restored for visitors.
It is about a five minute walk downhill from the Museum of Contemporary Art -- the space ship designed by the late Brazilian modernist master Oscar Nieymeyer.
Saturday, March 26, 2016
(SAINT JOHN THE BAPTIST'S CEMETERY)
This huge city of the dead in Botafogo is the final resting place of at least nine presidents of Brazil and a host of celebrities.
Carmen Miranda, the colorful singer and dancer rests here along with pioneering aviator Alberto Santos-Dumont and important mineral geologist Orville Adelbert Derby.
Antonio Carlos "Tom" Jobim, composer of the legendary "Girl from Ipanema" and his collaborator, Vinicius de Moraes, also a significant Brazilian poet and diplomat in addition to being a composer, also rest in peace here.
Thursday, March 24, 2016
WITH FAVELA TOURS
Vila Canoas is a small to medium favela above posh Sao Conrado in Zona Zul, Rio de Janeiro.
It is part of a two favela tour hosted by Favela Tours.
For 100 BRL (about $25 USD), Favela Tours picks you up in an air conditioned van at any Zona Zul hotel (mine was in the Lido section of Copacabana near Leme).
Less than a half hour later, you are in famed Rocinha http://urbantravelandaccessibility.blogspot.com/2016/03/favela-rocinha.html
Marcelo Armstrong, the founder of Favela Tours. He demystified them by taking dozens of visitors daily into the winding roads past makeshift hillside homes. My host that day was a Brazilian woman of German heritage who spoke flawless English. She shocked me when she said she perfected her English as an exchange student in Peninsula, Ohio -- about a half hour's drive from Akron suburb I grew up in. Ah the joys of travel?
Favela tours show daily life without objectifying the people of the favelas. The tours prove that you're more likely to run into a teacher, laborer, hotel worker or sous chef than a dangerous gang member in a favela. In Rocinha, you get a chance to buy art -- I rarely do this, but picked up a cool original on cloth for 50 BRL (less than $13 USD). In Vila Canoas, the first stop is a boteco, where you can get snacks and order a caipirinha (dirt cheap) to down at the end of the short tour, before boarding the van back to conclude the 3-hour tour.
We highly recommend first visting a favela through Favela Tours, then returning -- city buses go there -- for some additional safe, daytime exploring.
Wednesday, March 23, 2016
SIMPLE APPROACHES — AND THINKING HOLISTICALLY —
CAN MAKE FOR A MORE ACCESSIBLE BUILT ENVIRONMENT.
By Steve Wright and Heidi Johnson-Wright
Planning Magazine published our 8-page, center piece feature on Universal Design. The highly-illustrated piece begins:
Whether it’s a corridor plan for two blocks in small-town USA or a blockbuster master plan worthy of a national award, planners have to design for all users of the public realm. Yet planning for people with disabilities seems to flummox even the best of urban designers.
Add in the challenges of planning in harmony with historic buildings, difficult topography, waterfront access, or the severe geometry of modernist architecture, and some planners think the answer is to seek a waiver to release them from what they view as the constraints of serving wheelchair users and folks with other disabilities.
The Americans with Disabilities Act, which celebrated its 25th anniversary last year, is federal civil rights legislation. As such, there is no “grandfathering” of inaccessible public buildings, plazas, or streetscapes. The ADA is not a building or zoning code, so it cannot be waived.
Despite good intentions, planners and architects tend to design for the mythical five-foot-10, 175-pound, nondisabled male. Accessibility features — seen as a necessary evil — are tacked on at the end to meet ADA requirements.
Rather than obsessing on door widths and ramp slopes in a vacuum, designing projects for everyone from the start simply makes more sense. Universal design is not about designing separate but equal spaces but about design equality. Projects that comply with the letter rather than the spirit of the law mean missed opportunities to design for everyone.
Experts in the field — planners, architects, disability consultants, and educators around the nation — agree that the best approach to serving people with mobility, visual, hearing, and other disabilities is to apply universal design principles to redevelopment districts, complete streets, plazas, parks, buildings, and more.
The full story is at:
Thanks to our editors, mentors, colleagues and wonderful sources for this successful collaboration.
We hope to share the message of Universal Design with cities, non profits, universities, planning organizations and others who shape our built environment.
Tuesday, March 22, 2016
ABADIA DE NOSSA SENHORA DO MONSERRATE
Completed in the 17th century, the Monastery of Saint Benedict features a stunning gold leaf interior inspired by the Baroque and Rococo periods.
The outside of the Abbey of our Lady of Monserrate features a less spectatular facade in the Mannerist style.
Sunday, March 20, 2016
THE TEMPLE OF BOSSA NOVA
About the only drawback to Bar Vinicius is that it is upstairs, so wheelchair users cannot enjoy its intimate confines, fine acoustics and outstanding shows.
The best place to hear bossa nova in Rio, this place has been an icon in the neighborhood since 1989.
It is named for Vinicius de Moraes, the Brazilian poet, lyricist, essayist and playwright who wrote the lyrics for many now-classic Brazilian songs and became a seminal figure in modern Música Brasileira.
The cover charge is a modest 38 BRL (less than $10 USD).
If you are lucky, the show will start at 9:30 p.m. on a weeknight -- rather early by Rio standards.
The singer and combo will perform for at least an hour and you will sip caipirinhas.
Skip the food, it is mediocre at best.
Despite a full menu, the downstairs restaurant is best only for its rustic feel and huge windows for people watching in fashionable Ipanema.
It is across the street from the bigger, more outlandish, tourist-filled Garota de Ipanema, the original Bar Veloso where Moraes and Antonio Carlos Jobim held court.
Friday, March 18, 2016
A BEAUTIFUL AND PROTECTIVE POOCH WRAPS HIS LEGS AROUND HIS SLEEPING MASTER IN A LOVING HUG
We thought long and hard about taking this image.
It was pouring rain that day in Rio de Janeiro.
We were under an overhang of a bank building, trying to decide what to do to keep from getting soaked.
We looked down and there was this great animal, protecting his owner.
The man obviously lives and sleeps on the streets.
His belongings are next to him in a makeshift cart.
With a bed of thin cardboard, he sleeps off the troubles of the world.
All of this was taking place on one of the most elegant shopping streets of the upscale Ipanema district.
We didn't want to invade the man's privacy, but we felt there was a story too true to not tell.
On the tragic side, no matter how much Brazil increased its middle class and scrubbed its image to host the World Cup and soon, the Olympics, poverty is all around -- and not just in the favelas.
Wednesday, March 16, 2016
Monday, March 14, 2016
COURTESY OF MIAMI.COM
By Tere Figueras Negrete | firstname.lastname@example.org 3/12/2016
From the strains of salsa music that spill from storefronts to the iconic ventanitas that dispense potent doses of Cuban coffee – and even more potent political discourse – you’d be hard-pressed to find a Miami neighborhood more, well, Miami than Little Havana.
Changing demographics and the ever-shifting geopolitics of our hemisphere has meant that the neighborhood is also now proudly home to not only Cubans, but Nicaraguans, Hondurans, and other immigrants from the Caribbean and Latin America. But it will forever remain the spiritual center of Miami’s Cuban exile community, both burdened and blessed by history and circumstance.
Where else can you find street art that celebrates both dissident Cuban blogger Yoani Sanchez and Pitbull?
Here’s just a few reasons why we will always have big love for Little Havana:
#3. Ball & ChainLike most everything in Miami, the swinging bar and live-music venue on Calle Ocho has a dubious past. First opened in the 1930’s, its history includes a clientele that represented the finest of Miami’s criminal underbelly and a shady repertoire of former owners -- one of whom was sued for said shadiness by the legendary Count Basie. New owners Bill Fuller and brothers Zack and Ben Bush have kept the place legit, resurrecting the bar’s architectural charms (and great mojitos) and keeping the now-trademark neon sign aglow since 2014. Can’t make it out to Little Havana? This year the club began broadcasting a live jazz radio program on WDNA, which features live performances from the Ball & Chain stage
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