Brasília: Little Black Book

Below, you'll find our tips for Brasília. This is the first time that Maria ventures outside Rio with her Little Black Book in hand...The city has numerous shopping centers with all the famous stores represented; our favorite is Brasília Shopping (they claim to be the most beautiful in town...). We, of course, went hunting for crafts stores with a local connoisseur (and found a spectacular one) and anything typical of the region (the dried flowers and seedpods are amazing!). Walk around the main "axis" to see all the major government buildings and the cathedral; for anything else you'll need a car. It's definitely not a city for pedestrians. Within each neighborhood, called super-quadras, there'll be a central shopping area surrounded by apartment buildings; there you may be able to walk to a shop or restaurant. Otherwise, forget it!

Cerrado Flowers...Gorgeous Dead or Alive

florescerrado.jpg (131643 bytes)The huge sprawling grasslands of central Brazil are home to hundreds of trees and shrubs unique to the region. Their flowers are dried and used to make some of the most wonderful arrangements (or you can buy them from street vendors and make your own). We are madly in love with the tiny, tiny flowers dyed in a rainbow of bright colors...that now grace our living-room...shhhh....). For photographs of the cerrado, visit The Nature Conservancy.

Clube do Choro...A Rio Import Thrives

When government employees were moved from Rio, along went their bandolins, cavaquinhos, and violões. A few years later, Informal rodas de choro gave way to the country's largest "choro club" led by master Reco do Bandolim and the "Raphael Rabello Choro School," the first in the country. You'll find them online at Clube do Choro de Brasília; if you ever find yourself in town, check them out right beside the Convention Center. 

"Home Cooking" and Comfort Food

Eating out in Brasília turned out to be enormous fun; these gastronomy expeditions every I feel like Bahian cuisine? Anyway, if you do, head off to Bargaço at Pontão, Lago Sul, (61)364-6090 or (61)364-6091. We loved Carpe Diem at Pier 21, a restaurant/bar/entertainment complex. They have a fantastic buffet of what I describe as "home cooking" or comfort foods, like rice and beans and vegetable soufflés and amazing fish dishes and fresh salads...and the yummiest desserts (bolo de rolo, mousse de maracujá, torta de brigadeiro), if you have any room left...(61)223-0544.

They Cornered the Crafts Market...and went away! Sniff, sniff...

etno.jpg (69116 bytes)From "capim dourado" handbags from Tocantins to ceramics from Minas Gerais to gravuras by J. Borges from Pernambuco...Etno Brasil had it all. Some of the most original pieces were the dolls called "boneca mãe" from the interior of Pernambuco. Made of cloth, they look like a real grownup woman: they have breasts and are modestly dressed in a skirt and shirt or a simple dress. The idea is that you sit them down somewhere to watch the kids while they play, when you're busy working in the fields, etc. Now, isn't that an amazing, lovely notion?

Favorite Places

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