Page 27

DAN'S PAPERS, February 8, 2008 Page 27

Twentysomething…By David Lion Rattiner Live From Brazil I am in Rio de Janeiro right now, writing to you from my gorgeous apartment on Ipanema Beach. I just finished lifting weights while looking out at the ocean and going for a long run, passing by bikini after bikini, peddlers of aqua de coco and a seemingly endless parade of people walking the streets wearing hats, drinking chopp, dancing to Samba music and smiling. I and three friends, one of them being Pentagon John from grade school, are all pretty stunned. Last night was spent dancing at one of the most famous nightclubs in the world, Nuth (pronounced nooch), until 6 a.m. As the sun rose over Copacabana Beach, we were all still full of energy from the sugar rush of Brazil’s most popular drink, Caparinha, a mix of lime, sugar and rum made from sugar cane. Out of all of the places I have been to in the world, Brazil is the most beautiful in terms of natural beauty and the people that are here. It is not a fluke that the most predominant nationality of Victoria’s Secret models is Brazilian. It is also not a fluke why Mick Jagger came down here and married a Brazilian. The mix of genetics here is tremendous — Italians, Germans, Portuguese and Africans — and when you combine that with all the other gorgeous people in the world who come to settle here, you get gorgeous bodied and tanned human beings with a thirst for life and fresh fruit from the Amazon rainforests. I think my friend Luke said it best. “Every minute here in Brazil is like their fruit, just jam packed with life and goodness.”

The surf culture is alive and well in Rio. Much like the Hamptons, waves come and go, and on our first day there was double overhead that cannot be described as anything but perfect. Barrels flew down the beach as surfers were spit out of them, all crying out in screams of victory as children surfers, envious of the twenty-yearolds with strong enough bodies to match the waves, watched with glee and jumped up and down and pointed. Although I’ve never been much a fan of Latin or Samba music, in Brazil, I’m starting to learn. Everything is about music and physical fitness here. Along the beaches are countless makeshift gyms, some just include a dip or pull up bar, while others include weights made out of concrete that you can lift. These are generally up on ledges, where the views of the beach are simply inspiring. On the streets, music is playing no matter where you go, a beer costs $1.50 in US dollars and the roads are clean thanks to a scheme by the government that pays the poor by the pound to collect cans and plastics for recycling. You can buy gasoline at gas stations here, as well as 100% bio-diesel fuel, which costs a lot less and is what most drivers use. On a street corner, a couple might be kissing as

others head towards an outdoor café or the beach. Older couples snuggle together, while younger couples can be caught dancing in public for absolutely no reason other than because they enjoy dancing together. During this week of Carnival in Rio, my friends and I, since day one, can’t figure out if we have just been lucky or if this is just the way it is here. Perfect sunsets over the horizon are met with a block party or parade, where thousands of Brazilians and tourists simply walk, dance and sing together. Everybody here just seems to get it. There are no police sharpshooters on the rooftops or traffic barricades stopping us from going anywhere like there are in the U.S. during major city parades. There doesn’t seem to be much planning to it either. It all just happens and it really is pretty cool. I can’t describe the weight that is lifted off your shoulders here. Everything is okay, looks of judgment are non-existent and all that really matters is that you are happy. It has hit me here in Brazil that really, that is all that matters. On this trip, one of the biggest things that I’ve personally realized is just that. Got to go, Luke just punched me in the stomach, we are headed to a Samba bar.

Dan's Papers Feb. 8, 2008  
Dan's Papers Feb. 8, 2008  

Dan's Papers, the 51-year-old bible of the Hamptons, is owned by Manhattan Media, a multi-media publishing company based in New York City,...