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Friday, April 10, 2009

Friday Shoot-out – My town’s four corners

  Nova Friburgo, RJ, Brazil

DSC08443Even after living here for 6 years and with no end in sight, I still don’t think of Friburgo as MY TOWN.  It is just the place, the closest commercial center to where our home is.  If viewed from atop the highest point, from the cable car it is beautiful, white and glistening.    It is a medium sized town set in a beautiful location; the surrounding countryside is made up of granite outcrops, deep river valleys and lush forests, but from the ground, Friburgo is not a picturesque place.  The central area – the town in general has a feel of neglect and poverty.

The city stretches along the river, running right along side and through a valley.   The majority of Friburgo is about 4 blocks wide – having only two major streets.  There are areas that bulge off and up the mountainside but I would not say the streets are major ones.  The little side streets curve and twist up the hills giving access to the uncontrolled growth of houses and stores way above the central area.  

DSC_2803Like Rio, Friburgo is made up of Barrios – some with very distinct flavors, some better cared for than others, some seeming very close to favelas though no one here would call them that.  For example, Conego is a nice middle class area with fenced in yards and freshly painted homes.  It has several nice (but not fancy) restaurants and a general upscale look.  But other areas like the  one right about the city center leaves me with a feeling of frustration, claustrophobia.  DSC_2746

On Sunday, a bright sunny day, I spent about an hour walking around the Praça Marcilho Dias and its converging main streets.  The highway RJ-116 (Av. Gov. Geremias de Mattos Tontes), Av. Cmte. Bittencourt and Av. DSC_2764Conselheiro Julius Arp  join at a ‘round about’.  Last year the city added a garden in the center (without crosswalks to get to it safely) that on Sunday had several families out playing with their children and dogs.  There is a beautifully painted sign facing the road that says " please save the plants, do not walk you dog….  

Finally my 4 corners… actually a circle with 4  converging streets.  I took photos Sunday a sunny, quiet day and pulled from my files photos from a rainy day and a mid-week day.  Trying to show the volume of cars and people circle this park on a daily basis.

There are trucks, busses and cars, school children, beggars, card players and old men on park benches, Churches, bus stops, grocery stores, bars, apartments and, of course, cars.


DSC_2797DSC_28950031 DSC_1853      

DSC_2771 DSC_2745 DSC_2767 DSC_2780

DSC_2770DSC_28930029  DSC_28700006

DSC_28890025DSC_2785 DSC_2766 DSC_2802

Did I say ‘and more CARS’Today Camillo and I were on Av Alberto Braune – THE main drag through central.  It was a mad house.  If I were to say ONE problem here in Friburgo I would say TRAFFIC.  Brazil has proudly announced that the economy here is very strong…. there was a 30% increase in sales of CARS.  Where are we supposed to put 30% more.  If you want – go to photo album for more highlights of this town. 


  1. You really do have a way of capturing the essence of a place in words and pictures combined. The men playing dominoes. And is that an old MG-TD, beautifully preserved in the lower right? Whoo hoo.

  2. Beautiful Brasil! Thanks for sharing your town with the world. Traffic... seems thats a problem wherever you go!

  3. Wow, very beautiful indeed! What is this, is there's a law that states everyone should paint their houses and buildings white or something? LOL that is an amazing view!

    I like how the houses look like when taken from a not so high place. It would be dangerous if they have mud slides, though. Those houses could fall off anytime. Pray it won't happen.

    I absolutely love the last photo! It offers you a view of the houses on the highlands and a classic car in the street and some more.. cars LOL.

    Very nice job!

  4. GingerV.........you've truly outdone yourself girl!!!!
    What great snaphots of your beautiful town. See, I told you you picked a GREAT subject. Wow, I love the barrios......when I traveled with my auditor job, Puerto Rico was part of my territory. They have barrios as well.
    Those houses nestled into the sides of the mountains are spendid. That's great that Brasil's economy is so strong right now. Our's is getting a little better but on little tiny bit at a time. Verrryy sloowwllyy :)
    Love your shoot-out and hugs and kisses to you and Camillo......

    Steady On
    Reggie Girl

  5. B&B - coming from you this is a true compliment. That is Camillo in his MP (reproduction but still well preserved) waiting for me patiently while I take too many photos.

    Hensly - I think this is your first visit, thank you. I'll be over to you shortly - have to feed my man his holiday breakfast first.

    HalfCrazy - White paint here is cheap. colors expensive. only the past two years has there been an increase in colored houses - and yes they come down - a few years ago during rainy season there were slides all over town (in the poorest sections of course, and 19 people died - hundreds of homes lost. They build them back in the same place.... no government guides - Oh there are laws against it - but only those with money pay attention.

    Reggie Girl - your up early today. I slept in till nearly 9, fed the dog, made my coffee and hit the Internet - Thank you for your very nice comments... I owe you a long email.

    hugs and kisses from Brasil

  6. Excellent job GingerV. I love when geography plays a role in the layout of towns. They end up with so much more character because of it.

    West Hill, where I live is laid out on a perfectly flat plane that leaves visitors wondering, where is the hill your town's named after?

  7. Barry - thanks for the comments, this city is one of lost potential - not gone they could find it if motivated.... I am too american in my thinking.

  8. Thanks for bringing us to Brazil, you have nice photos of people around your town. Also, the view of the houses along and top of the mountain is nice, pretty scary though to live there :-) But a good exercise to walk up the hill :-)

  9. Reggie Girl is right, you picked a great subject to show off our towns! :)

    That's an interesting fact about white paint, maybe it's also the same in here that's why people choose to paint their houses white or something light close to white LOL. Looks like we have the same system. Rich gets all the privileges, the poor doesn't get much attention.

  10. Missy - good morning - oops not morning anymore - is almost lunch time. I made a gazpocho for lunch. Fortunately we live out in the countryside - when time allows go to the archives and look around. I go into Friburgo 3 or 4 times a week for the gym and to have lunch out sometimes.
    Like everywhere one might live there are some hazards and some advantages - the worst part here is that there is no family.
    have a sweet weekend....(get it chocolate Easter bunnies - sweet)

  11. Oh wow...Ginger, I am so amazed. You live in such a beautiful area.

    These photos look like what you would see on a travel website or brochure - they definitely make me want to come visit!

    Great assignment!

  12. :) I agree - we like similar subjects. I am so inspired by your photos, they make me want to improve mine.


    This week I was in Mt. Clemens. Conga Coffee is the coffeeshop I was referring to. They have awesome coffee!

  13. I found you, WOW! I can't wait to come back and really look!
    Please forgive me, before the child sews her fingers together :( I must go...

  14. GV wow what a town! It looks lovely! I like the park pictures.
    Thanks for coming by my town.

  15. What a beautiful place to live ! So much going on :)
    Lovely photos ...

  16. Ginger, You win! What thought and work you put into your shootouts! This one was the best yet. You are a classy lady. The terraced housing reminds me of Athens, Greece. The houses there are much more unassuming than those in your town.
    Just a terrific job! Gordon

  17. Gordon, thanks for the sweet comment - I have been in Sicily and I don't think the reality is the same. I often wonder what is the difference - you see a ruin in Italy or france and is beautiful, here is is , well a junk... maybe is my attitude but I think this place where I live is not beautiful.

  18. Oh my goodness! I love it all. You certainly know how to make a presentation.

    I so want to hop a plane and go everywhere and visit all the beautiful places.

    I loved everything especially the churches, but the houses on the hillside - breathtaking!

    You should have given me another peek at your trainer, though.

    Super job, GingerV.

  19. GV I love the first to pictures, looking down on the city and looking up on the homes. Those are beautiful. All your pictures are so colorful and full of life. I would love to visit.

    I think I stepped in way over my head with this group of professionals. I'm just a beginner with my camera. Yall be nice and I'll try and improve.

    Have a blessed Easter.

  20. Patty H, you have to come here to meet the trainers --- no more sneak-a-peek. I think there are a couple in the archives though!

    Gigi, thank you for stopping by - I got your recipe page - this is something I need here. In the states I never cooked with recipes - but here I seem to need reminders. recipes that start with 'german chocolate cake mix' though will do me no good.

    by the way 'professional' implies can make money with the photos as far as I know only Patty H and B & B are real professionals. There may be more and I don't know it. I am finding it harder and harder to keep up with each and every participant.

  21. Thank you for sharing your corner of Brasil with us! I love dominoes, and love visiting places where you can watch them slam the bones!

  22. It looks like a busy exciting place. See you for Shoot Out this Friday!