Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Black swans and smashball - São Paulo

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On the way back from a casual lunch with friends, my kids insisted on stopping at Ibirapuera Park. We don't go often because it's not close to us, and mostly we go to Parque Villa Lobos, the newer smaller park fewer than five blocks from us. But in fact, nothing touches the beauty, fun and variety of Ibirapuera.

In the Tupi language, Ibirapuera means rotten wood. That's unfortunate because most of what you see there are beautiful paths through the trees (most of which seem quite healthy, thank you). I have been to the park many times over the nine years I have lived here, but it seems that I always find something new. 

Sports are everywhere. A couple is playing smashball with a power and speed that is mesmerizing. Skateboarders take turns whizzing down a hill, basketball, a women's American football game, runners, walkers, personal trainers working out their clients. I feel like a complete bum walking around in my jeans and flat shoes. 

Get moving!!

And then there's the trees. BH's brother who has a background in agriculture points out the flamboyants (poincianas) and ipes that will flower like man in the spring. Beyond them, a lazy river carries black swans under an arched bridge. 


It's hardly a relaxing place to be as you always feel you should be doing something, but it certainly is as special to São Paulo as Central Park is to New York. Enjoy!

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