Thursday, May 16, 2013

Train station Piano - São Paulo

Here's one of my favorite sights in São Paulo: The juxtaposition of old wealth, current middle class and in the middle of it all, something that doesn't quite fit. This photo is taken at the Estação da Luz (Station of Light), a beautiful old train station in the center of São Paulo. You can see from the detailing how rich this place was at the time it was built. This is a truly lovely building now also housing the Museum of Portuguese Language.

On the other side of this reception hall, the train tracks lie below a wrought-iron pedestrian walkway.  Here people rush by on their way to the train or on the way to work or home. Some busily checking their smartphones avoid without even looking up the dark piano in the middle of the entrance hall. Some pause and look at it. The very few sit down for a minute or two and play. And the extremely rare ones can really play.

The piano is always there (well, not sure about the middle of the night). If the mood takes you, you can sit down and tickle the ivories a bit, no charge. I don't visit often but I have once seen a backpack-wearing college student sit down and play around a bit. Not bad. A few people stopped to have a listen then moved on. I wonder how many people in this country can play piano--I'm guessing not many. But if I could, I know I would head over to Luz on a quiet afternoon and play at this one.


  1. Nicely written and GREAT look into this one small piece of Brazil. Thank you!

    1. Thank you!! That's the idea here...just little things I see every day...

  2. Kris, acabo de descobrir o que é isso! Trata-se de um projeto do artista inglês Luke Jenam, que faz isso em Londres e São Paulo. Em São Paulo foi o SESC quem promoveu o trabalho. (Apareceu no livro que estou traduzindo.) Mais aqui:

  3. That is so cool! Thanks for including the link!