Graffiti: Ipanema

Every day I spot something new, there really is beautiful graffiti in every area of Rio.  Some of the beautiful images are repeated throughout the city. For example this chic below….you can actually find her in Ipanema, Jardim Botanico and in Copacabana (at least that’s where I have seen her).

This also goes for these little bears (below).  You can see them all over the city, each one is painted in different colors, but you can tell they are all part of the same ‘bear family’ done by the same artist.

Check out how realistic the faces look below- almost like someone blew up a picture and mounted it on the wall!


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Gero Restaurant

While walking down the street in Ipanema you will come across what looks like a  big brick block…. It is Gero one of Brazil’s best restaurants and it happens to be owned by the Fasano Group (very chic).  Definitely a place to be seen, this is clearly where Rio’s elite prefer to dine (felt a little bit like NYC to me!). We were extremely lucky to be seated with out a reservation, come 10pm every seat is taken and the bar area is full!

Once seated you begin your dining experience with AMAZING zuccini chips (I think i devoured 3 helpings, they are very addicting so watch out!)

A wonderful selection of Italian dishes including fresh-made pasta, risotto, meats and fish.  The risotto with pumpkin and shrimp was to die for, honestly each bite was better than the one before it- highly recommend it.  The tune was grilled to perfection and was accompanied by some roasted vegetables and a delicious potato creative (no idea what it was but it tasted great!).  Note if you want to share a dish they will split everything up for you- a nice touch.

For dessert we opted for the Milefegeo (1000 layer cake dessert)… not my favorite since there was a hint of lemon (not my thing), but everyone else seemed to really enjoy it.  Don’t worry there were plenty of chocolate options too.  Brazilians LOVE their air conditioning so bring a sweater or wear pants (I was freezing in my dress!).  Gero is a wonderful upscale dining experience, great place for any occasion.


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Take me to the candy shop

Not only am I an ice cream person, I am a sour candy junky.  Working on a computer most of the day I need my sour watermelon and gummy worm companions. Yes, I am aware how that sounds, but it’s true… if I didn’t have them to nosh on through out the day I would probably not be able to wear anything from my extensive bikini collection.  Surprisingly it is shockingly hard to find any candy that isn’t chocolate here in Brazil- they LOVE their chocolates!  I have been searching high and low for weeks now…. and FINALLY in Ipanema I found a candy store! I was so excited the man probably thought I was a nut when I whipped out my camera.  I didn’t care, I found what I had been searching for-sour gummy worms!

To be fair, it is a pretty great candy store with a huge collection of all types of candy- some from the states (Twix is a favorite here), some Brazilian goodies and a few euro snacks.  If you are like me and need to get your gummy/sour/candy sweet on, head over to Ipanema, Rua Vinícius de Moraes 102 lj B


Ipanema Hippie Fair

Everywhere you go in the world you will find some form of a street fair, each unique with different items, vendors, local merchants, specialties etc…..If you are a New Yorker reading this, the first that comes to mind would be the street fairs that take over 3rd ave (and other various avenues) during the year (but you would only consider going in the spring or fall).  The Ipanema Hippie Fair has a tropical flavor to it that makes it fun to explore:

The ‘Hippie Fair’ takes place every Sunday, from 7am to 7pm (since 1968) in large square/park: Praça General Ozório Ipanema.  The outer edges of the square are lined (about 2 rows) with different vendors on each side.  Within each of these rows you will find vendors selling all sorts of things from religious or traditional Brazilian hand-made items (see below- there were a bunch of these), to

clothes/bathing suits/flip flops (think a tropical version of Florence’s San Lorenzo Square -which is actually what the entire ‘fair’ reminded me of. If you have been to Florence and know what I am talking about then you too have a ‘Ciao Bella’ t-shirt!).  As you can see below, instead of ‘Ciao Bella’ they went with Caipirinha (the drink of choice here).  For those of you questioning my fashion sense— there is a nicer, higher quality selection of clothing and bikinis (not just these t-shirts). You will also find some very nice jewelry; not just beading, there were a lot of silver/other jewelry vendors. Also— if you are looking for any leather items you will find excellent quality, stunning leather goods, belts etc (usually for around R$20 as opposed to R$200 in the stores!)

The inside of the square is full of different artists exhibiting their work. Think ‘outdoor art museum’.  Some of the pieces are absolutely magnificent.

From paintings, to sculptures there is something that everyone will appreciate.  Many of the paintings depict scenes of Brazil, Carnival, the beaches and mountains while others are more basic or simple home decor.  The miniature life like wall hangings below were probably the most creative items inside the ‘art section’ of the fair.  Hard to tell from the picture (I was sneaking the pic), but they are extremely detailed and true to the real buildings they represent.

If you are looking to find your quintessential souvenir, hunting for something small (specifically for a gift/you/your home) or just want to spend the afternoon perusing a fair full of different things, this is an excellent place to go.


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