Life is so different here than in Nova Friburgo. Besides the differences in temperature, the pace is faster, louder. In Friburgo, the day has a rhythm that is gentle and after several weeks of it, I begin to feel sluggish and sleepy. Here is Rio from about 6 am until midnight the city moves, it breaths. Everything I do entails walking, dodging, engaging all the senses. Today I walked to the gym, did an hours workout, stopped on my way back to get cash at the bank and had a battery put in my wrist watch, found a store that sells sewing things and bought a white ribbon, walked home changed into comfortable shoes and jeans, and went back out looking for a dress for the first communion we will attend in Bogotá next week, stopped to leave two pair of pants to be shortened (been meaning to do this for 6 months) and took two pair to the dry cleaners. I did all of this within a one mile square around where the apartments sits.
Today I saw school children playing jump rope in the park, a new restaurant in an old house that is painted bright yellow, men sweeping up the debris from the Monday street market and a large backhoe moving sand. All of this life happens everyday, every week, all year. As surely as the tides come and go, this city need constant attention and care; its life force fed and nurtured.
Connecting the Lagoa to the ocean are two canals. One is at the end of Leblon and the other divides Ipanema and Leblon. This one, between the two barrios, because of the natural movement of sand by the waves, fills with sand blocking the Lagoa from draining. There is constant work being done, digging out the sand and spreading it across the surface of the beach – recreating the dunes that used to complete the landscape here.
I love to sit and watch the big machinery – the battle of nature versus man at its best.