Friday, March 23, 2012

Notes from Rio de Janeiro

Looking for bus 14 in Centro, to take us up the hill to a recommended art gallery with great views of the city, we were lucky, so lucky not to understand a word of Portuguese, and not to be able to say anything beyond Obrigado, which means Thank you, to the patient locals who gestured with their hands and showered us with explanations, trying so hard to guide us out of our confusion. We were lucky because we stumbled on this gem, which the guidebook mentions only in passing, and without marking it as a start attraction (big mistake.)

It is a long staircase, (not shown here) leading uphill that is being decorated with tile by a local artist. It is still considered a 'work-in-progress'. People bring him tile from around the world to incorporate into his design. The highlights of the design are beautifully drafted local scenes, as well as a self-portrait of the artist himself, the way he chooses to see himself: with big mustaches, big belly and big breasts.

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