a cultural day
Photo credits: Jair Magri
Morning Joining culture and history is a good reason to start the day in Centro (Downtown). Thus the first step is to have your breakfast at the oldest bakery in town, Santa Tereza (Pça. João Mendes, 150, Centro; 3101-5667), established in 1872. When in doubt, order a média, a typical local combination of buttered bread toasted on the griddle and a pingado, coffee served in a glass with some drops of milk. Not far, on Praça do Patriarca, one can see an excellent example of how the new and the old coexist in the metropolis. Buildings from the beginning of last century, like Matarazzo Building (Viaduto do Chá, 15, Centro), which houses the town hall, fit harmoniously with a huge portico of 40 m supporting a metal roof – a creation of award-winning architect Paulo Mendes da Rocha. Inaugurated in 2002, it sits atop the entrance to Galeria Prestes Maia. Walk across Viaduto do Chá, over Vale do Anhangabaú, and admire the splendor of the Municipal Theater (Pça Ramos de Azevedo, s/n, Centro, 3397-0300; teatromunicipal. sp.gov.br). Thoroughly restored and reopened in 2011, in its 100th anniversary, the theater has guided tours, but you can simply enter the marble lobby and visit the cafe on the ground floor, which was redesigned by the Campana brothers. Head to the box office and check if there are tickets available for are any performances scheduled for the evening. Nearby is the Biblioteca Mário de Andrade (R. da Consolação, 94, Centro; 3775-0002). Its collection, that has occupied the building for 70 years, is only surpassed, in Brazil, by that of Biblioteca Nacional (RJ). It shelters important works for research, such as a letter by Manuel da Nóbrega and manuscripts by Ruy Barbosa. cityofsaopaulo.com
The ground floor houses the circulating library, with 43,000 books for loan to readers. A cultural morning may be spent at the concrete side of Ibirapuera Park, checking its museums, pavilions and outdoor exhibits. The Museu de Arte Moderna – MAM (Ibirapuera Park, Gate 3, 5085-1300; mam.org.br) usually holds temporary exhibitions; contemporary artists such as Cildo Meirelles enhance the collection of more than 5,000 works. Around the building, some pieces are displayed outdoors in the Sculpture Garden. The Museu Afro Brasil (Ibirapuera Park, Gate 10, 33208900; museuafrobrasil.com.br), also in one of the pavilions in the park, is dedicated to works of art, photographs, documents and other ethnological items, some dating from the XV
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