Stepping out of Brasilia: A quick return to Recife, Pernambuco


One of the advantages of being placed right in the middle of the country is the ability to [easily] travel around. another family trip, now, to a previous foreign service posting [2010-2012], the city of Recife, capital of the Northeastern state of Pernambuco.

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If “moving is the third most stressful life event”, let me turn it into a fun inspiration for Halloween!

Did you have any last-minute, crazy idea for your adult costume? I’d love to know! A year’s gone by since I prepared the original blogpost about packing and moving, focusing on the FS events… Over four months have gone by since we packed out from our last post assignment, Recife, Brazil.

This year, I even celebrated my birthday surrounded by bubble wrap & moving boxes – June was our pack out season – but husband and kids found a way to celebrate my special day, despite the craziness we’re all familiar with, when it comes to have your house taken down by movers, packers, filling endless forms and making sure you don’t lose track of your life during the process! ūüėģ

So, now it’s the end of October, and sinc

The ¬†“packed out” ¬†couple.
Memories from last June…

A year’s gone by since I prepared the original blogpost about packing and moving, focusing on the FS events… More than four months have past since we packed out from our last post assignment, Recife, Brazil.

This year, I even celebrated my birthday¬†surrounded by bubble wrap & moving boxesJune was our pack out season – but husband and kids found a way to bring joy to my special day, despite the craziness we’re all familiar with, when it comes to have your house taken down by movers, packers, filling endless forms and making sure you don’t lose track of your life during the process! ūüėģ

[UAB to HHE] “why are you taking so long to come home?”¬† [HHE]Sorry, dear… you know how it is at the port… you meet a couple of cool young boxes… begin chatting, talking about the midlife shipping crisis… and you lose track of time!”







So, now it’s the end of October, and since we STILL¬†DO NOT HAVE¬†(not yet! I’m always hopeful!) our household effects, I thought about turning the frustration into something, at least, fun, for this year’s Halloween¬†at our local Marine Detachment House. Husband and I went as ‘pack out couple’... Well, a bit of crafting skills, an open mind and a good sense of humorwere the perfect recipe for this year’s costume!

Did you have any last-minute, crazy idea for your adult costume? I’d love to know!

Date night, sashimi & yacht.

Definitely, not betraying our favorite Sushi & Sashimi Tuesday evening place, not at all! I’ve mentioned it before here, and one of their specialties, but, this time, wanted to share a few images from a different experience: authentic sashimi (while marlin), prepared at a friend’s boat (one of the¬†local yacht clubs) – our deepest appreciation to Mr Jeremere! ūüėģ


The Emperor’s Bridge, Old Town Recife, Brazil

Images captured during one of our visits to downtown Recife – historical “Recife Antigo”… Ponte do Imperador (“Emperor’s Bridge”), an example of the several¬†cultural footprints from the old Portuguese days in Brazil…

View from the Emperor’s Bridge and Old Town Recife

Mother’s Day Sunday is for…… Soccer?!

the local teams. the local “passions”…


So, Mother’s Day is for family. It’s a family day, for decades making¬†Hallmark’s top sales, because, people need to say how much they love and cherish their moms – in writing, if all possible! Give it up to the greeting cards’ industries – they’ve got it down. And they’re right: Mother’s Day is for fathers, and sons, and daughters, and… for soccer!¬†Again, this year, Mother’s Day Sunday will be celebrated with… soccer??!

That’s right. Our city, Recife, is completely immersed into the whole “soccer team passion”, and the two most important clubs are playing today, for the championship…

Last year, Mother’s Day was the first-legged game. This year, it’s the final match, so, here are my “motherly impressions” of this not-so-common way to express their love for their Mothers Soccer Teams!

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Impressions from last year’s Mother’s Day Weekend: the two teams facing each other… We stayed at home… safely watching the matches!

After a full week of ‘motherly celebrations‘, the weekend arrived. A dry weekend – the rains, which recently have scared and confused the population, seemed to have ceased. Good news. The city needed to get back into its routine. And with the arrival of weekend, came the excitement of enjoying quality time with the kids, watching them perform the little songs learnt in school, find the opportunity to have that long-lost face time with husband to chat and catch up…¬†That’s right, here in Recife, Brazil, Mother’s Day Sunday just happened to be the first game of the “two-legged” championship final. Here is an idea on how exciting things may get when we’re talking about soccer in the Northeast of Brazil.¬†The two competing teams arrest Sport Club Recife, the favorite, and the bearer of five previous championship victories. Its opponent: the Santa Cruz (“Holy Cross”) Soccer Club, the underdog, who today tried to pull out a miracle: win at the opponent’s ground.

Santa Cruz Futebol Clube, or simply Santa Cruz is a Brazilian football club in Recife, Pernambuco. On February 3, 1914, eleven young men aging from 14 to 16 years founded a football society. Because the boys used to play football on the streets by the yard of the Santa Cruz Church, the club was named after that church, which is situated on Santa Cruz Street in Recife. The first official meeting of the members was at 2 Mangueira St. In this meeting they decided the position of each member, the name of the club “Santa Cruz Football Club”, and society’s colors.¬†Sport Club do Recife was founded on May 13th 1905, when Guilherme de Aquino Fonseca, from Pernambuco, returned after a season estudying in England. He got deeply interested in the British football, so, with some associates in Recife, he had the idea to create the club that would eventually become the greatest club in Brazilian’s North and Northeast Region. Sport Club Recife‚Äôs clubhouse is located in Pra√ßa da Bandeira, in the Ilha do Retiro, district in Recife. The club’s big structure has a number of areas, such as tennis courts, volleyball and hockey quarters. There is also a big aquatic complex, a training center and the house of all “rubro-negros” (red-and-blacks): the Adelmar da Costa Carvalho Stadium, commonly known as Ilha do Retiro.

Today’s match, the first one of the 2-legged final, happened at Sport Club’s home. It was a home game for Sport – who lost! This small victory tonight made the Santa Cruz’s gain new hope: hope that everything is possible, and miracles may happen – at least in Brazil. At least in Soccer.

And, if my Mother’s Day celebration had to include a couple of guest friends home for the game, so be it. If the price (if any!) for having a peaceful in-doors Mother’s Day Sunday was to rejoice my two boys during the match, I’ll take it. At the end, Mother’s Day is about family, and being together with the ones you love. Even if surrounded by loud screamers and over-excited kids.

Next week is the “final-final”. The second final game. And it’ll be on Santa Cruz’s grounds. I hope I have the same pleasant Sunday I had today: surrounded by my “amateur soccer fans”. Won’t care for the full house. Won’t care for the screaming at every wrong or crazy pass… Won’t really care for who wins or looses – just wanna hold on to this “Mother’s Day” feeling for another Sunday. Happy week to us all and good luck to both Santa Cruz and Sport Club!

The ‘post-supermoon’, May 7th 2012, Brazil.

I have to confess: I was a bit disappointed with the whole ‘lack of a glorious super moon‘ this past May 5th… Where was it??

At least, ¬†from my very own point of view. Last year we got amazing views and unique snapshots from La Luna, but this year… not so much. Last night, after having all three kids in bed, their morning school backpacks ready, I was doing my regular ‘night round’, going around the house, checking windows, locking doors… when, while checking the sliding glass doors [which lead into our apartment’s veranda], there it was – Miss Luna, again, prettier than this past Saturday… I hope I was able to get a few good shots [had to use an old camera, since husband is out of town with our “good camera”]. Pictures taken, off to bed:¬†“Good night, Moon…”

through the safe net…

The Supermoon and Cinco de Mayo

In case you missed it, yesterday was Super Moon night. And it was also Cinco de Mayo
At the end of the afternoon, a very shy, though gigantic moon, kept hiding behind the dark clouds, refusing to come out and share with us its full glory… and we kept waiting, but no success… we then realized, there would be no super moon over the northeastern coast of Brazil,like what we were able to witness last year, from our beachfront setting… Disappointment? Maybe, but then plan B kicked in: its Cinco de Mayo, with or without the magnificent moon! Let the party begin, and, if the moon is too shy to show us it’s grace, the party could continue until the other star – the sun! – would greet all the party people!
And so, enjoying good food, good music and great conversation, a Brazilian-Mexican Celebration went through the night… Happy Cinco & Happy 2012 SuperMoon!

A 'super Lua' e o Cristo Redentor, no Rio de Janeiro, na madrugada deste domingoA ‘super Lua’ e o Cristo Redentor, no Rio de Janeiro, na madrugada deste domingo¬†(Ricardo Moraes/Reuters)

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Here, from last year’s unique impressions:

Just wanted to share a few pictures with you all. The Supermoon, seen from our apartment, in Recife, Pernambuco, Brazil, on March 20, 2011.

Feel free to use and/or share the photographs, just remembering to indicate the source! Thanks!

Forte das Cinco Pontas, Recife.

Nome histórico: Forte das Cinco Pontas.
Designação popular: Forte das Cinco Pontas.
Nome de tombamento: Forte das Cinco Pontas.
Outras designa√ß√Ķes hist√≥ricas:

  • Forte Frederik Hendrik;
  • Fortaleza de S√£o Tiago das Cinco Pontas;
  • Forte Frederico Henrique;
  • Forte Frederick;
  • Heinrich Trots Den Duivel (Desafio Ao Diabo);
  • Vijfhuck (Cinco Pontas);
  • Fortaleza de Frederico Henrich.

Muralhas desgastadas, fossos secos e aterrados, pali√ßadas em grande parte ca√≠das pela deteriora√ß√£o das madeiras, foi este o quadro que apresentava o Forte Frederick Henrich, quando da chegada de Nassau a Pernambuco. Logo pode Nassau constatar a pouca defesa que em tais condi√ß√Ķes aquele forte poderia oferecer; e se tratava de um importante posto, pois era o √ļnico capaz de garantir √°gua no caso de um cerco √† cidade. Mandou alargar e aprofundar os fossos; construir uma contra-escarpa na face externa do fosso; alargar e elevar as muralhas; e do lado do mar, construir uma sapata. Posteriormente ampliaram as defesas externas, com a constru√ß√£o de novos fossos em dire√ß√£o ao sul.

Quando da Restaura√ß√£o Pernambucana, o Forte das Cinco Pontas foi a √ļltima fortaleza a ser conquistada pelas tropas luso-brasileiras.

Foi ainda no Forte das Cinco Pontas, onde se encontrava aquartelado o general Sigismund Von Schkoppe, que foram elaborados os termos da rendição das tropas holandesas. E a 28 de janeiro de 1654, na Campina do Taborda, o general Francisco Barreto de Menezes, recebeu oficialmente os termos de capitulação, quando ficaram definidos os moldes da evacuação dos holandeses de Pernambuco.

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The Casa da Cultura de Recife

An old detention house, closed in 1973, was transformed under Brennand’s supervision (read more about this visionary, collector and artist, here), in a shopping mall.

The architecture has been preserved, and the cells were occupied by dozens or small shops, selling local crafts.

detail, the prison seen from above, a project all made with wood

Even where interior walls were removed, to allow a little bigger shops, the look was maintained, only two lifts give a dispensable sign of modernity and comfort, in contrast with the strong grills in the center of the building, and one may find beautiful wood work, resembling the ones found in the colorful nearby city of Olinda.

Throughout the galleries it’s possible to find several different examples of the influence of Master Vitalino, when it comes to lively¬†arts and crafts.

Excellent musical and dance performances often take place right outside the building. The Casa da Cultura is an excellent place to obtain tourist information and start an acquaintance with the region’s cultural arts.

Read more:

“Deep within a forest… exists an extraordinary world… where something else is possible… called Varekai…” Snapshots from Cirque du Solei in Brazil.

Source: Varekai, Cirque du Solei Fan Page

From the sky falls a solitary young man, and the story of Varekai begins.

Parachuted into the shadows of a magical forest, a kaleidoscopic world populated by fantastical creatures, this young man sets off on an adventure both absurd and extraordinary. On this day at the edge of time, in this place of all possibilities, begins an inspired incantation to life rediscovered. [Find Icarus at the end of this post!]

The word Varekai means “wherever” in the Romany language of the gypsies the universal wanderers. This production pays tribute to the nomadic soul, to the spirit and art of the circus tradition, and to the infinite passion of those whose quest takes them along the path that leads to Varekai.”

I’d like to state my “big thank you” for the Show’s production, it’s official website, from where these quotes are borrowed. We were fortunate in having the opportunity to watch the “trupe” in Recife, Brazil, during their last presentations.¬†What a treat! Enjoy the images! [photographic shots were not allowed during the show/performance, but permitted during the 25 min. interval, and at the outside areas…] Most of the photos presented here were taken with our camera. Some pictures (all indicated as such) were borrowed from the Cirque du Solei official website and/or its official Fan Page. My deepest appreciation!

Source: Varekai, Cirque du Solei Fan Page
Source: Varekai, Cirque du Solei Fan Page
Source: Varekai, Cirque du Solei Fan Page
Source: Varekai, Cirque du Solei Fan Page

Source: Varekai, Cirque du Solei Fan Page
Source: Varekai, Cirque du Solei Fan Page
Source: Varekai, Cirque du Solei Fan Page
Source: Varekai, Cirque du Solei Fan Page

Source: Varekai, Cirque du Solei Fan Page
Source: Varekai, Cirque du Solei Fan Page

Gardens and Sculptures at the Brennand Museum, Brazil

This is the second part of our visit to the Brennand Institute in Recife, Brazil, which encompasses museum and castle. The theme for this last post covers the beautiful and pristine gardens surrounding the Institute, as well as the sculptures garden, and the sculptures throughout the museum. Again, all collections longtime cared by Mr Ricardo Brennand. Ricardo Brennand Institute is a cultural institution that holds a museum, an art gallery, a library, a cafe, as well as, a large park. The collector Ricardo Brennand is its creator and owner.

During our visit, we were able to appreciate objects of art from many different locations and times, from Middle Ages Europe to the 15th century, through Colonial Portuguese & Spanish Brazil, Dutch Brazil, 17th century, and Brazil in the 19th century. All photos were taken by one of the members of our family (even the 4 year old!). Stop by the Slideshow at the end of this post for a treat! ūüėģ

For 50 years Brennand acquired those objects. The Institute owns Brazilian e foreign paint colections, like the largest Frans Post colections outside the Netherlands, one of the biggest armory in the planet, sculptures from all over the world, carpets and many others objects of art.

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Armors and Dolls at the Ricardo Brennand Institute, Brazil

Weekends are always reserved for quality time with the family (obviously, after we’re done with the necessary grocery shopping!). Why not offer our children the opportunity to truly experience culture, learn about the Colonial Brazil, the first settlers, and yet, have a great deal of fun? And that’s exactly what our family did! This post showcases one of themes from our visit to the Institute & Brennand Castle, focusing on two very distinct collections/areas: the dolls and the armors, longtime cared and collected by Mr Ricardo Brennand. A follow up about the gardens and overall view of the Institute, a product of the visionary Mr Brennand will be coming soon…

Ricardo Brennand Institute is a cultural institution that holds a museum, an art gallery, a library, a cafe, as well as, a large park. The collector Ricardo Brennand is its creator and owner.

During our visit, we were able to appreciate objects of art from many different locations and times, from Middle Ages Europe to the 15th century, through Colonial Portuguese & Spanish Brazil, Dutch Brazil, 17th century, and Brazil in the 19th century. For 50 years Brennand acquired those objects. The Institute owns Brazilian e foreign paint colections, like the largest Frans Post colections outside the Netherlands, one of the biggest armory in the planet, sculptures from all over the world, carpets and many others objects of art – these last ones will be subject of another post!

The Entrance to the Complex: Institute & Castle

The doors leading to the Castle

Porcelain Dolls quietly observe the visitors...

“Peeking” into the Wax Museum: live-size people re-enact a socio-political meeting

The creators saluting the visitors:

Eating on a budget: economy restaurants for local food lovers in Recife!

Hey there! This past weekend we didn’t wanna cook… Kids had a ton of energy, kept running inside the house, so we decided we had to get the whole family out of the apartment… “let’s enjoy the great weather, while appreciating the local food..“. Our surprise: a lot of eateries, restaurants, even the fast-food places did NOT OPEN UNTIL 5PM! We’re shocked (and a bit frustrated, as well!) “Should we go back and try to cook something?”, we discussed, before asking our toddlers from a savior play date with the neighbors (we’re very thankful for that, BTW!)

As a result, we begin our search, trying to find a place that was kid-friendly, open-setting, good & healthy food and… not too expensive… But, the most important thing, was getting the kiddos out of the house… ūüėģ

Here is the result: Always wonderful to share:

Economy Restaurants in Recife

You may be on a budget, but eating well is still possible in Recife. This listing of places to eat covers only restaurants. There are many traditional style restaurants, but Brazil also offers self-service restaurants where you pay by weight. Such restaurants are very popular, especially at lunchtime, but be sure to arrive early to get a good choice. Lunch here starts at 12.00 and popular places will have little left after 1.30pm. The price per kilo varies according to the range and quality of the offering, and by the location of the restaurant. Most shopping centers have food courts with a mix of fast food and self-service restaurants. On the whole we would suggest that the food is over-priced and lacks quality compared to other options outside the shopping centers. Stand-alone restaurants in shopping centers are better quality, but also tend to be over priced compared to similar establishments in other street locations.

Chinese food in Recife is cheap, as it is in many countries. You do get what you pay for and, for the most part, are not recommended.  However, Japanese food is very popular and generally of good quality. Many better self-service buffets also include sushi in their offering.

Cafes, bakery’s (padarias), delicatessens and bars often have good food options, from nibbles and snacks to more substantial meals. You can find more details under the heading bars and cafes

Of course, beach and street food are to be found everywhere in all the destinations covered by this site, so to do justice to the subject all listings and tips are under a separate heading Beach and Street Food

La Plage (Crepes) Good crepes in a very well docorated restaurant. Rua Professor Rui Batista, 120, Boa Viagem. (81) 3465 1654. Tues-Sat 6pm-11.30pm; Sun 5pm-11pm; Mon closed. (R$16+).  MAP

Anjo Solto¬†(Crepes)¬†A very popular and well established venue popular with the fashionable crowd. Also gay friendly. Usually lively from 10pm until very late.¬†Galeria Joana D√Ārc,¬†Pina.(81) 3325 0862. Daily 6pm until the last client. (R$18+).¬†MAP¬†

Pin Up¬†(Burgers),¬†This place offers fantastic burgers for little more than a McDonald¬īs in the setting of a very American style diner. Avenida Herculano Bandeira, 204,¬†Pina.¬†(81) 3466 0001. ¬†5.30pm-1.30am tue-sat; 5pm-24.00 sun; closed mon.¬†¬†MAP¬†

Laça Burguer (Burgers & Sandwiches) Better than McDonald’s for a similar price, but not as good as Pin Up.  Avenida Visconde de Jequintinhonha 138-A, Boa Viagem. (81) 3461 2179.  Mon-Thurs 11.30am-2am; Fri-Sat 11.30am-5am; Sun 12.00-2am. MAP

Entre Amigos o Bode (Regional) A large bar/restaurant serving traditional regional food and meat. This place is very popular with locals. Rua Marquês de Valença 30 Boa Viagem. (81) 3312.1000. Mon-Fri 11.30am-2am; Sat & Sun 11.30am-4am . Approx. R$25 per person.

Parraxaxá (Regional). The name is of indigenous origin and is pronouncedpahashasha. This very popular self-service (pay by the kilo) restaurant serves regional cuisine in a rustic theme restaurant. A very wide selection of savory and sweet dishes. The plates are massive so make sure your eyes are not bigger than your stomach, or it will cost you! Rua Baltazar Pereira 32, Boa Viagem. (81) 3463 7874. Mon-Fri 11am-10pm; Sat & Sun6-11pm. Approx R$20 per person. MAP

Ponteio Grill (Regional) One of the most famous Brazilian eating experiences is the churrascaria (pronounced showhaskaria), a grill where you help your self to the salad bar (including a limited sushi menu) then take what meat you want as it is brought to your table on large spits. Its good to go when you are very hungry, as this is a fixed price restaurant for all you want to eat. The price is less earlier in the week and higher on weekends. There are other similar restaurants that cost more, and some a little less. We recommend this as being the best value for money. Avenida Boa Viagem 4824, Boa Viagem. (81) 3326 2386. Mon-Thurs 12pm-4pm and 7-12am midnight; Fri-Sun 12pm-12am midnight. Approx R$30 per person. MAP

Feijoada do Vov√ī Hort√™ncio¬†(Regional)¬†Feijoada is considered a national dish of Brazil and is served only at lunchtimes, usually on weekends. Folklore suggests feijoada was a ‚Äúluxury‚ÄĚ dish of African slaves on Brazilian colonial farms, as it was prepared with relatively cheap ingredients (beans, rice, collard greens, farofa) and leftovers from salted pork and meat production. Some versions, even in good bars and restaurants, can be disgustingly fatty. The feijoada at this restaurant is excellent, and we recommend it to more adventurous eaters. Definitely it is not for vegetarians. Rua Set√ļbal 1603,¬†Boa Viagem.¬†(81) 3074 4788. Fri-Sun Lunchtimes only .¬† Approx. R$20 per person.¬†MAP

Chica Pitanga, (Regional/International) A very popular self-service/pay-per-kilo restaurant with a large buffet offering. Get here early, especially at weekends, to avoid waiting for a table.  Rua Petrolina 19, Boa Viagem. (81) 3465 2224. Mon-Fri 11.30am-3.30pm & 6pm-10pm; Sat & Sun 11.30am-10pm. Approx R$20per person. MAP

O Poeta, (Regional/International) A good quality self-service/per kilo restaurant that is very popular with local office workers. Get here early if you want a good selection. Avenida Rio Branco 243, Recife Antigo. (81) 3224-3310. Mon-Fri only 11.30-3.30pm. Approx R$20per person MAP

Panquecas e Saladas, (Regional/International) A good quality self-service/pay-per-kilo restaurant in an old house. A more limited choice than others listed here, but still good and fresh. Take a table upstairs for a cheap and cheerful meal in a nice setting. Good juices too. As with all self-service places, get here early. Rua da Guia 93,Recife Antigo. (81) 3224 2259. Mon-Fri only 11.30-3pm. Approx R$10 per person.MAP

O Buraquinho (Regional) A simple restaurant in one of the most interesting and picturesque historic squares of Recife. It serves regional dishes for very good prices. Pátio de São Pedro 28, Recife Downtown. (81) 3224 6431. Mon-Sat 11.30am-12.00am midnight. Sun closed . R$20, MAP

Royal (Regional) Established in 1944, this restaurant serves traditional regional dishes and focuses on offering value for money. It is only open for breakfast and lunch weekdays to serve its office worker clients. Rua Mariz e Barros 181, Recife Antigo (81) 3224 5854. Mon-Fri only 8am-3pm. R$20, MAP

Tio Pepe (Brazilian) This restaurant was founded in 1964 by José Garrido Cid, an immigrant from Galicia, Spain. Before he died, Pepe passed the baton to one of his Brazilian daughters, Mirtes, who has modernized the business. Generous portions of fish, meat and poultry are freshly cooked, most on a traditional coal grill. Rua Almirante Tamandaré 170, Boa Viagem. (81) 3341 7153. Tues-Sat 11.30am-11.30pm; Sun 11.30am-4.30pm.  Approx R$30. MAP

La Comedie¬†(French)¬†This little French bistro is one of the hidden gems of Recife. It is tucked away behind the French language school Alian√ßa Francesa, and located in a small building with a covered patio area. It offers a selection of high quality French snacks and dishes. The mini quiches are great, so are the soups. Not to forget: the Brazilian spin on the French classic for dessert, the petit g√Ęteau, is amazing, not chocolate but¬†uva¬†(grape) or¬†goiaba¬†(a sweet guava jam).¬†Rua Amaro Bezerra 466,¬†Derby.¬†(81) 3222 0245. Mon-Wed 12pm-10pm; Thurs-Sat 12pm-11pm; Close Sun.¬†R$20.MAP

La Cuisine Bistr√ī¬†(French)¬†We have included this restaurant in the Economy option, but prices here can go from reasonable to expensive, depending on your choice from an extensive menu. Soups, salads, sandwiches and other light options are possible if you are on a budget. They are very good quality and this is a nice restaurant. When I am looking to go budget here I take The French onion soup and the petit gateau, both classic and 95% of the time very well done, a great buless expensive options.Avenida Boa Viagem 560,¬†Pina.¬†(81) 3327 4073. Mon-Thurs¬†12pm-11pm; Fri 12pm-1am; Sat¬†1pm-1am; Sun 1pm-11pm.R$25¬†MAP¬†Review¬†Exclusive Offer

Brasilia Teimosa, from a distance… refreshing images and Portuguese text

“Brasilia Teimosa” [Stubborn Brasilia] is the oldest urban non-official community in Recife, Pernambuco, Brazil. a great way to observe what’s happening along the coastline, and within the community, is by enjoying a meal with with friends at the Biruta Bar & Restaurant:
Source: Wikipedia:
Brasília Teimosa é um bairro do Recife.
Situada na zona sul do Recife, entre o bairro do Pina e o Porto do Recife, numa área caracterizada por uma linha contínua de arrecifes paralela à orla, surgiu através da ocupação de uma área antes denominada Areal Novo, iniciada em 1947. Seus habitantes, pescadores, negociantes, estudantes, donas de casa, têm ligação muito forte com o mar.

O nome foi uma alus√£o a¬†Bras√≠lia, ent√£o nova capital do¬†Brasil¬†que estava sendo projetada no governo de¬†Juscelino Kubitschek, em contraste com a √°rea em que os moradores viviam, em perene amea√ßa de expuls√£o. Essa persist√™ncia teve grande destaque nos anos 1950, quando essa √°rea foi destinada pelo Governo do Estado √† constru√ß√£o de dep√≥sitos inflam√°veis. A perseveran√ßa dos primeiros moradores, que reconstru√≠am suas casas durante a noite quando ao longo do dia eram demolidas consolidou a ideia de teimosia, coincidente com o per√≠odo da constru√ß√£o da Capital Federal.¬†Mais antiga¬†ocupa√ß√£o urbana¬†do Recife.¬†O bairro foi uma das primeiras √°reas a serem urbanizadas com recursos do¬†BNH, atrav√©s de um projeto de¬†urbaniza√ß√£o¬†denominado¬†Teimosinho.¬†Esse projeto tomou for√ßa em¬†1982, com a reloca√ß√£o de fam√≠lias da¬†Vila da Prata, com a√ß√Ķes tamb√©m em 1986 e 1989, mas a √°rea era novamente ocupada.¬†Em 2004, uma grande interven√ß√£o urbana foi realizada pelo Governo Federal com a constru√ß√£o de uma avenida √† beira mar. Atualmente o bairro est√° modificado urbanisticamente, em sua orla mar√≠tima, com restaurantes t√≠picos e com√©rcio de frutos do mar, o forte da economia dos seus moradores.

Acad√™micos do Samba, de Olinda, Pernambuco

It’s official: Brazilian Carnival is over. Done. Finished. Has come and gone…

The crude reality is knocking on everyone’s doors – tomorrow is Monday! A true and full working day… [snif, snif] The first real working/school day in a long time (at least, in a week, at some places!)

The year has officially began (as any good Brazilian would know, nothing really happens in Brazil before Carnaval! ūüėģ ) Now, the only comfort left is the thought of another holiday, maybe some long weekend, a full day at the beach, or, at least, the perspective of a Sunday barbecue, with some good music and positive vibe. With this spirit, here is a bit of remembrance: a Samba Group, from our neighboring city, Olinda. Let’s all enjoy, and walk together towards “reality Monday”! ūüėģ

Acadêmicos do Samba, from Olinda, Pernambuco
Tambores de carnaval, Samba de Roda & Samb√£o!

Acadêmicos do Samba honoring the Escola de Samba Mangueira, with Sambão!

STOMP STAGE EXPERIENCE: Carnaval 2012, Brazil

Stomp (USA) during the Official Opening of Carnaval 2012, at Marco Zero, Recife, Brazil.

Date: February 17th, 2012. No heavy rain would have stopped them! ūüėģ

Getting ready for Carnaval! {or Esquentando os Tamborins Part II}

So, here we are, a week before the largest celebration this country is capable of displaying: Carnival or, how we say it Brazil, “Carnaval”… Well, not a week from today, but from last Saturday, February 11th, when these pictures were taken from our veranda… People really can’t wait for the real fun to be here…

streets taken by the crowd
The parade moves on, enchanting tourists and beach-goers!

“Twenty Days to Carnaval”, says the beer can!

That’s right! And who says that is a beer can… What?!¬†

Wait… it’s a bit more than a gigantic beer can on the side of the road… it’s a traffic engineering device… hiding not one, but two traffic-monitoring camera… very clever! ūüėģ

A very “shy” pair of cameras silently watch and monitor the street traffic…

Our son’s classroom featured on Rede Globo: good eating habits can be taught.

28/11/2011 Um hábito que os especialistas em nutrição recomendam que seja incentivado desde cedo e que começa a mudar a rotina de muitas salas de aula.

Ren Taiko: Japanese drums in Recife


Getting ready for this year’s Japanese Fair in Recife: (text in Portuguese)

Tendo como tema os tradicionais tambores japoneses, conhecidos como Taiko, no próximo dia 27 de novembro, o Recife Antigo irá sediar a 15ª edição da Feira Japonesa do Recife.

Aberta ao p√ļblico e com atra√ß√Ķes culturais que envolvem desde apresenta√ß√Ķes de corais e dan√ßas t√≠picas a perfomances de cosplays e karaok√™, o √ļltimo domingo de novembro dar√° um gosto mais oriental √† capital do frevo. Ent√£o, marque na sua agenda e aproveite a feira para conhecer um pouco mais da cultura nip√īnica.

The Baptism of Maria Cec√≠lia – O Batismo de Maria Cec√≠lia

Our youngest daughter, Maria Cec√≠lia, was baptized on June 5th 2011, at the Igreja¬†Nossa Senhora de Boa Viagem, Recife, PE. It was a very important moment of our lives, and I’m glad to see it happening here in Brazil. We wish our baby girl all the possible happiness…
We’ll be sharing pictures with family and friends, very soon.

Nossa filha mais nova, Maria Cec√≠lia, com seus 6 meses completos neste √ļltimo dia 30 de Maio, foi batizada na Igreja de Nossa Senhora da Boa Viagem (vide link no par√°grafo anterior), nesse domingo, dia 5 de Junho de 2011. Foi uma experi√™ncia muito bonita para toda a fam√≠lia: para os irm√£os mais velhos, C√©sar e Marcela, e para n√≥s como pais, uma vez que, como a m√£e, Maria Cec√≠lia veio a ser baptizada no Brasil. Devido ao fato dos padrinhos – av√≥ materna, Regina C√©li e av√ī paterno, Leonel Miranda – n√£o puderem estar presentes no dia, um casal de amigos gentilmente representou os padrinhos. Durante a Consagra√ß√£o √† Nossa Senhora, Maria Cec√≠lia foi levada ao altar acompanhada da representante, dos pais e do irm√£o mais velho, C√©sar. Seguem algumas fotos deste dia t√£o importante para n√≥s…


Will there be life after ‘Carnaval’?

World largest street carnival

So, here we are!

the popular choice: bright colors & lots of fun!

We’re another foreign service family, posted in Recife, Pernambuco, Brazil, a place showcasing a magical mix between the Dutch, Portuguese, Spanish and native Indian cultures. Attractive for its scenery with ocean islands, rivers and bridges, we’re in the middle of a cultural diversity, a place full of history and captivating for its touristic attractions. Somehow, this month I found myself (a working-around-the-clock mom of 3 kids under 6 years old) with enough energy to go out, buy party costumes for the kids’ school carnival festivities, and search for a cute clown outfit for my 3 month old baby. All happening during my scavenge hunts along the neighborhood streets! March has arrived, and we’ve lively experienced the largest street carnival our five pair of eyes have ever witnessed: the so-called Galo da Madrugada (“Rooster of the Dawn”) and the exuberant colors on the streets of Olinda!

This massive parade – The Galo – happens every carnival Saturday, in downtown Recife, capital of Pernambuco. Its creator’s, Mr En√©ias Freire came up with the original idea for a street party around the late 70s; and since then, it has never stopped, nor decreased in size!

The Guinness Book of World Records assigns the Galo da Madrugada as the biggest carnival parade in the world, considering the number of participants. This year (2011), my husband and I were invited to watch the official opening (Friday evening), with governmental authorities, as well as the popular parade (Saturday) from the Mayor’s Official Box (“camarote”). At the “camarote”, besides watching the magnificent parade, it was possible to get your make up professionally done, or, if wanted, a relaxing massage while waiting for the brunch buffet!

Observing my American husband’s reactions to the spectacle, it seemed like he’d been blown away by the magnitude of the event, the sheer number of people, the music, the dancing, the party atmosphere… It was simply wonderful just standing up there and looking over the whole thing: the look on people’s painted faces, their smiles, their tears of joy and pride. Indescribable beauty –¬†the number of participants is said to have been over 1,600,000 people!

one of Brazil’s all-time singers, Faf√° de Bel√©m, honoring the official ceremony on Friday; special guest for the Galo da Madrugada parade.


The Costumes

Yes! Here, you can definitely find and buy anything on the streets; the world is for sale: lots of little “bancas” (street shops) sell everything imaginable, from hula skirts to cowboy hats. From pirate family costumes to Samba Schools full gear. Outfits and suggestions for a 9-week-old baby, to bright appliqu√© dresses to a ninety year old! You name it, and, if not found right on the spot, believe me, somebody would surely recommend a professional who could tailor it down for you – all before the very first scream from the “Rooster¬†of the Dawn” street parade! Vampires, fairies, columbines, members of the “The Justice League”, kids’ cartoons’ characters, former and current “Country presidents” and “government representatives”… all in one place.


Every single possible costume could be found among the party goers. Under one nation Рthe Brazilian Popular Street Carnival, partying rules are always respected, and everyone enjoys the festivities in peace. Joy surrounds the neighborhoods.

Colors are mixed with the majestic sounds of the African atabaques, the bang√īs, guitars, drums, tubas. Cold beverages are sold throughout the path, specifically designed and isolated for the street party. Celebrities from Brazilian television and from the big screen are also present, blowing kisses, to a delirious crowd of frenetic fans.Painted faces, bright from the dripping sweat, reflect the sun light.

The heat does not prevent the people from dancing while following one of the 26 different fully decorated floats on the streets of Recife – this is the first and only “Galo da Madrugada”, a genuine representation of democracy, popular choice and why not say, the pure desire to just be happy, for 4 straight days..


Festivities here start around December, just after Christmas and New Year’s Eve celebrations – as locals begin preparing for the official Carnival, which starts a week (or two, depending where you’re living) before Ash Wednesday. The pre-Carnaval parties usually consist of percussion groups practicing in local clubs, city streets and squares, and even Carnival¬†ball masques. People begin working on the “giant dolls” who will be displayed and gain life during the main parade. The “giant dolls” walk, move their bodies and dance to the contagious sounds of¬†frevo.

There are various rhythms: from native Indian and African Maracatu beats to Frevo and Samba. Carnival officially starts with the Galo da Madrugada, with endless parties in downtown Recife, attracting altogether as many as a million praters and observers, life myself.

There is a¬†queen and there’s a¬†king for¬†Carnaval. They’re both elected by popular choice, during the several “balls”, which precede the Carnaval week. And, to “their countrymen’s honor and glory”, the “royal pair” makes its unique appearance during the main parade. Their exclusive float brings glamour and pride to their “loyal people”, and, why not say, to every other plebe representative, which is watching, mesmerized and enchanted.

manually operated “giant dolls” are brought to life

And, talk about Olinda, with its spectacular scene! Olinda (neighboring city, 15 minutes from Recife) is responsible for many of the pre-Carnaval festivities. Some, actually starting as early as the second week of January!¬†They’re called¬†pr√©vias because they¬†precede Carnival. Extremely vibrant and festive events, offering a sense of the real thing. My family was able to enjoy an array of shows and parades, with many of the city’s best Carnival groups, before and after the “official Carnaval”!

one of the many beautiful & bright streets of Olinda


Back to real life, after Carnaval…

Hummm… Ash Wednesday arrived. Officially,¬†Carnaval is over, right? Not here! People just can’t stop partying, and dancing, and singing… Life is more colorful during Carnaval. Life has a different meaning, during Carnaval. For many, the obligation to head back to work and/or school on Wednesday brought a bitter taste to their mouths….¬†“Is there any way to skip reality and dive back into the glorious sea of people that came to life during the 4 days of Carnaval?” or “How will we survive when all the Aftermath celebrations are finally over?” many ask… Yes, there’s still a trace of comfort for those who are having a hard time facing reality: the weekend has arrived, and with it, the gorgeous sun rays over the Atlantic ocean, right there, by the Avenida Boa Viagem… There’s still hope – let’s enjoy the weekend at the beach, and very patiently, await for next year’s celebration. I, for one, am already thinking about my costume for the 2012 Carnaval…¬†What about you?

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