Ipanema Beach, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Ahhh, I so wished it was warmer, no actually really hotter! See Brazil right now is in winter even though it’s around 65-70 degrees, it just does not do the justice of hot hot sun slowly baking you to the sexy glowing golden goddess in bright fun bikinis! But we were lucky on Sunday to have descent temperature and lovely sun caressing the city, it was the best day to hit the actual Ipanema beach and markets for a day!
The word “Ipanema” comes from “Tupi Language” which means “Bad water” and what it really means in this case is bad water for fishing since the surf dies too close to the sand that it pushes the fish away. The surf can reach up to high as 9ft in winter time, Ipanema beach is filled with surfers as well as many volley ball & soccer players and also was packed with many Cariocas strolling, running and roller blading along the beautiful and famous mosaic tiled board walk enjoying beautiful Sunday afternoon. Ipanema belongs to the safest area called ” Zona Sul” in Rio and I totally felt it was quite safe and neighborhood like with smaller streets and colorful homes with couple markets like Fiera Hippie on Sundays and everyday vegetables and fish market called Fiera Ipanema where there are many small boutiques and typical Carioca style easy restaurants are. Cynthia and I had walked everywhere to hunt down good images, colors and some good artisanal props and anything that could be great inspiration for our work for Summer 12!
Through out the city, You sill see much of these Mosaic tile work for pedestrian side walks to walls to these major beach like Ipanema and Copacabana. Copacabana’s tile work carries more of big wave like pattern which actually I personally prefer. Quite cool, Ha?
We did NOT see Gisele Bundchen. Or some sort of Rio beauties At ALL this time!! Is it because the weather is not hot as their summer which is more from December to March, the temperature reaches around to 86-87 degrees. Actually I am convinced that those hot Brazilian babes are not form Rio. Maybe from Sao Paolo vacationing in Rio? Or are they all hiding…?
Typical drink and snack shacks along the board walk.
Now walking into the farmer’s market, Fiera Ipanema on Rua Maria Quiteria. It’s a friendly and vibrant awesome market!
I fell in love with Simple and bold bright striped tents!
Samplers are everywhere!!! Sweet as honey, gorgeous strawberries, juicy water melons, Amazonian fruits and so much more. By the time you are done with one isle, you will be already full from shower or free samples offered by the friendly vendors!
An awesome Veggie station. You know I’ll eat every leaf hanging off the stand!
OK we are starving and stopping for some typical Carioca food at one of these restaurants by the board walk. I did order this fizzy drink ( non alcoholic drink made by Brazilian Coca Cola company and heard there are many versions including ones you make at home to bars…). I did hear about ‘ Guarana’, this sort of thing that gives you energy. Guarana is a small bright red fruit that contains lots of Caffeine. (about double of coffee beans). The taste? This particular drink right here, Kuat! just tasted like sweet syrupy water with very light fizz in it. I did not care for it much. It didn’t feel like it made me all energetic either. but it sure gave me stomach upset!!! It got me all nauseous!
My order. Rice with mixed sea food in tomato coconut milk sauce. Delicious! But I have to tell you, one called ” Moqueca soup” at long time NY restaurant on Union square, ” The Coffee shop” makes the best one so far I have to say. Is that why we live in NYC? Cynthia, you still don’t believe me about this, but they serve the best kind! I have to say I loved the addition of this hard boiled egg in this dish. You know it’s just so comforting with nice sauce over it with rice… YUM!
Cynthia’s dish. Broiled Cod with fresh fried chips with garlic oil and crumbled hard boiled egg! Com on, You have to love this! Sooo good! Don;t you love her red nail against bright neon strip eon back drop anyway?
One of residential building in Ipanema and the typical yellow cab of Rio.
Now we are at the Hippie market in Ipanema, Only a couple blocks into the town from the Gay beach area of Ipanema beach. Every Sunday. We totally learnt that Rio is an expensive city. This hand made artisanal pieces are quite expensive and also everything else. Taxi, drink, food, clothing… Everything id quite expensive especially if you are brining the US $$. ( the exchange rate is terrible now)
There were couple food stands that run by these lovely Bahian ladies. Bahia is located on north east side of Brazil which is definitely above the Rio. All those good Samba and Bossa Nova was also born in Bahia. Ahh we didn’t really taste any food here as we just ate! But it must be really good and authentic as the stands were really crowded. Next time!
Hand drums for samba!
Now listen to this! The very man, Vinicius de Moraes who wrote the song on his cigarette and a glass of cachaca, “Garota de Ipanema”
Can’t imagine what would be like being in Ipanema surrounded by millions of people under the hot sun and sugar mountain enjoying the beach, the sun and the magical energy of Rio!