Rio De Janeiro, Oh but you are so beautiful!

The view looking out from Santa Teresa towards the water

The view looking out from Santa Theresa towards the water

Rio DeJaneiro is a shockingly gorgeous city.  It sprawls across huge rainforest covered mountains, punctuated by towering rock edifices on the edge of crystal blue beaches.  The people are as beautiful as all the songs and stories say.  And the vibe is festive, relaxed, friendly, fun-loving, musical.

I had the great fortune of spending my first few days in Rio in one of the city’s most picturesque neighborhoods, Santa Theresa.  This neighborhood winds up a forested mountain on twisted cobblestone streets lined with vine entangled colonial houses.  For many years yellow street cars have been the favored form of transport.  On sunny afternoons, beautiful people line the sidewalks drinking

Sunday afternoon streetcorner in Santa Theresa

Sunday afternoon streetcorner in Santa Theresa

bear, chatting, and listening to music.  The view from my friend Andrew’s apartment looked out at a tree-covered valley and a hill on the otherside with the ocean off in the distance.  Every night, before I went to sleep, I would look out at the twinkling lights spread across the hillside, and feel like I was part of something bigger.

My favorite moment in Santa Teresa occurred when I was wandering through the neighborhood on a Sunday afternoon and stumbled across a live samba band playing to a small neighborhood street party.  One of my favorite things about Brazil is the intergenerational

Recycled art on the hillside

Recycled art on the hillside

partying – everyone from babies to grannies loves to get down here – and this street party embodied it.  Here’s a video, that, while a bit sloppy (I was dancing while I shot it), gives you a feel.





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