Sunday, January 12, 2014

Morumbi - São Paulo

The view from Einstein 10th floor

The best hospital in São Paulo is, arguably, the Hospital Israelita Albert Einstein or just Einstein. It is a private hospital that sits next to the governor's palace, and is filled with smart doctors even if many of them are teenagers. No, that's just my thoughts when my kid has to have his forehead sewn up and the emergency room doctor looks remarkably like Doogie Howser.

Yesterday I was there to visit a friend who has had recurrent breathing and heart issues due to an auto-immune disease. She was up on the 11th floor in the cardiac unit, and as the panoramic elevator went up, I marveled at this view of the Morumbi neighborhood. In the foreground is one of the buildings of Einstein, and immediately behind is a number of expensive mansions with swimming pools. To the right is an enormous condominium complex that went up next to the Morumbi soccer stadium in the past few years.

After all the green, you can see the favela of Real Parque. It is large, low and brick-colored. It is not a nice place. Glued to it are more high-rise expensive apartment buildings. More than any other neighborhood, Morumbi has a mix of great poverty and great wealth, including the city's most luxurious shopping center called Cidade Jardim.

We lived in Morumbi when we first moved to Brazil in 1998. We lived in front of a nice park called Vinicius de Moraes, next to the goalie for the São Paulo Football Club. He was a good neighbor but we didn't hang out since BH is a Palmeirense. 

The bad part of the tree-lined and pretty Morumbi is that it turns you into a bridge and tunnel person. To get downtown or just about anywhere, you are forced to cross a bridge or dive into a tunnel--which gets harder with the growing traffic problem that it is São Paulo. If you can stay in the neighborhood though, it is probably pretty nice.

Me, I'll stick to the hospital. And hopefully, not very often.

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