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Thursday, September 24, 2009

My Town, Friday Shoot-out / My favorite place to Take Photos

A couple days ago I talked about walking to the Botanical Gardens here in Rio.  I  skimmed over it pretty quickly because I wanted to talk about the gardens today.   About 2 times a year, I walk alone from the apartment, around the edge of the Lagoa, entering the Jardim Botanico (Botanical Gardens) by the main gates to stroll up and down the open tree lined walkways, taking photos without watching over my shoulder, relaxing,  going my own pace without any concerns that others (Camillo) may want to sit or to leave before I am ready. 
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Some days I sit on a bench and watch the children play, but always making the walk up through the imperial palms, and no matter which direction I go, or whether I sit for a bit, I eventually make it back into a far corner where the orchid and bromeliad houses are.    Every walk brings me new delights - spaces of mystery, a glimpse of elegance from the past, spaces that invite and the color of spring.

On a  bad day, all I find is an hour of peace in this loud and brassy city, and on a good day – on a good day there are moments where I find flowers new, flowers exotic, flowers happy, and beauty hidden waiting to be found. and if I pay close attention I can find leaves dancing, leaves wrapped up tight and leaves that show us how to best use the sun.
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  Please take a minute and look to see what else I saw this past week, a bounty you will enjoy.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Weekend in Rio – Paquetá Island

Can You Believe it – this is my 301 post.  Some would say get a life -
In my heart I know I need to do a ‘thoughts from the veranda’ blog post but I fear I would voice feelings that are best kept quiet until sorted and orderly, so I will go a more positive direction and give you a blow by blow – no just the high points of our weekend in Rio. 
DSC087714We took the 1001 into Rio on Thursday evening and had dinner at our favorite family restaurant in Ipanema – well it is the second favorite but the other is a bit on the expensive side and utilized only for special occasions.  On Friday morning, Camillo had  meetings (and lunch) downtown and I had a free morning.  I walked to the Botanical gardens one of my favorite alone things to do in Rio.  I carry my good camera in a small backpack and once inside the gardens take pictures to my hearts content.  The walk from the apartment to the gardens is better than 45 minutes each direction, on my way back I stopped at Mamute gym to say hello to all my weight lifting buddies and ended up doing a work out.  All in all I was out and about for nearly 4 hours – a great morning for me.
Saturday we took care of business – when in Rio I always have a list of chores, including getting my hair cut – I am totally disgusted with this last cut… This man has been cutting my hair for what 5 years and the last two cuts have been horrible…. My hair is now growing so slow that it will be 3 months before I can get a re-do…. just cause your aging does not mean you don’t care what your hair looks like…. EEeeekkkk!  Now I will have to go through the trauma of finding a new hairdresser – I HATE that. 
DSC059233Saturday evening we had Vivi, Hermis and the twins for dinner.  (Camillo’s daughter and her family)  This is quite special / unusual – the apartment is so small it is hard to cook and serve dinner – but we all had a great time, lots of laughs with the twins. 
On Sunday Camillo finally took me to Paquetá Island.  this is something we have talked about for nearly 20 years.  Camillo was not very enthusiastic – he remembers this island from when it was  the chic – in place to go and feared he would be disappointed.  He was.  Another example of potential wasted in this land of paradise.  This island is out in the middle of the Guanabara Bay.  You pick up a ferry at the  port over near the small airport and the ride is a little over an hour each way.  The ferries run about every 2.5 hours (the round trip).  Going over the ferry was about a quarter full (holds 2000 people) and coming back at the end of the day was full.  The tickets were only R$4.00 each, each direction.  DSC_7551DSC_7554DSC_7558DSC_7563DSC_7581DSC_7584
Camillo could have gone free (being nearly ancient) but paid. The prices make it possible for lower income families to make the day trip and they seemed to really enjoy the outing.

I was able to take photos of the bay, the ship yards, the Niteroi bridge, the island, houses, churches, take hundreds of photos and was content. See the submarine? The oil rig under repair? Will he fit under the Bridge?


On the island, you can rent a bike or a peddle cart, take a horse and buggy, enjoy a paddle boat, walk, run in the wind, take an eco-taxi, sit quiet by the bay   but you can’t drive a car.

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I was not real enthralled by the smell of horses and fried foods, but I love that we could walk without fear of being run over by a car…. on a scale of 1 – 10, 10 being the best place to spend a Sunday afternoon in Rio – this little island is a 7.5.








Thursday, September 17, 2009

My Town Friday Shoot-Out / Domesticated Animals

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Man’s best friend, the dog was the first domesticated animal. 
DSC_7367 DSC_7365  Around the Friburgo area there is limited pasture land.  There are small patches of cattle grazing and the horse is still used in ranching.  Unlike the western USA where the ranchers now use trucks and jeeps – here horses work along side the cowboy to keep track of the small herds.
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  Goat’s cheese anyone?   Fresh Goat’s cheese is one of the best things in Brasil, but the goats are raised inside – I’ve never seen goats grazing out in a pasture.   I imagine that they do too much damage to the grasses in this area of Brasil with the shallow root systems.

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Thursday, September 10, 2009

My Town Friday Shoot-out / Aged or (and) Weathered

If you want an example of the splendor of the aged (besides Camillo) visit my prior blog post from October 2007 - The Jequitiba-rose tree it will be hard to beat that post with this weeks assignment.

DSC00342Aged is not always old – fine wines for example – I like to think of aged as being seasoned, tried and strengthened, matured. 






DSC_7039And weathered, all of the cities in Brasil are weathered, out in the elements - unprotected, buffered by the wind or overtaken by nature - faded by the sun and darkened by the rains.  A freshly painted house can look years old with dark molds or invaded by lichen within 3 months – weathered.





A pine tree, non native to these forests, covered in bright pink fungus,
and another covered with a bed of ruffle lichens,

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   DSC_7272A gate barely 20 years old, its post covered in golden lichen, its new paint pealing, weathered.

DSC_7027  DSC_7022The asbestos roof of a house built in the 30s, painted and repainted and with need of yet again, weathered 

    DSC_7037  The house is gone the foundation and garden left to weather.

Growth on the side of an exposed rock, weathered


A man on the street, aged.