Berliner gafieira

Personal

As a modern nomad, I am on the road again. This time I have to apologise for abandoning the Lusofonetica’s content for a while, as my mindspace has been lately occupied by very important life decisions and going through difficult times in my family, on the other hand. But the decision is made: I will be relocating to Berlin sometime soon.

Is it any worth describing this episode on Lusofonetica? Apparently, it is: Berlin seems to be a place to be nowadays if you are into art and music. Lately I have been hearing mostly that it is “poor but sexy”, “Silicon Valley of EU”, “creative-minded”, “like NYC in the 80s”. One of my friends has even invented the term of dancing “techno salsa”… Obviously, there are some movements against the “hipster movement” and looking back with nostalgy at “those underground times”. Well, with the boom of the IT start ups, gathering talents from all over the world, for me it seems quite unstoppable!

My story with Berlin is long and it was indeed one of the first cities I explored on my own, mostly in search for the original sounds. My fascination in Brazilian music started with the Jazzanova band, originally from Berlin, and my first new-jazz festival I attended was Popkomm back in 2005. Even during my last stay in this thriving city I have heard Brazilian music and accent almost everywhere.

So, am I right to say that it is high time to welcome a new dancing genre: “techno gafieira”? Well, only time will tell.

 

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Garota de Ipanema

Travel

Visiting Rio de Janeiro was one of my greatest dreams since I remember. Obviously, as an emblematic city of Brazil, linked with the history and culture so much, it made me expect certain clichés. Such as: healthy and good-looking people, samba, Cristo Redentor, favelas, Maracanã stadium, and amazing beaches, even close to the centre of the city.

It was more than I expected. I was lucky enough to be hosted by amazing Cariocas out of which I will name Thiago, and Jacqueline. Thiago showed me around Lapa, the most exciting part of the city in the night, and drove me in his motorbike basically from Sugarloaf mountain till Leblon, putting up with me screaming as we drove. I got to know his family and friends, his favourite acai and burger place (which makes a perfect mix of healthy and junk!). Meanwhile Jackie took me to a very famous bossanova bar in Copacabana where some political movements emerged during the military dictatorship times. The owner of the bar was hilarious, he had a typical mania of shouting on everybody after the improvisation part was over, and then inviting them back again to his cozy bar.

Nowadays, 3 years after all these happenings, I can still clearly remember the impressions, sounds, tastes and the amazingly intensive vibe of the city. Sure I will come back, it is still on my ‘livable cities’ list to pursue… Now the most interesting being I have met on the Ipanema beach was not the legendary round-shaped girl from the song, but… a wadding bird, walking gloriously between the surfers! And this is what amazed me the most: a city of over 10 million people, still being so wildly cohabited by fauna and flora. To put it straight: a Cidade Maravilhosa.

Wiki:

Garota – girl (Brazilian Portuguese)

Cristo Redentor – Christ the Redemptor, a famous monument overlooking Rio de Janeiro

Maracanã stadium – emblematic football stadium of Rio de Janeiro

Carioca – a nickname of Rio’s resident, used also to describe a specific lifestyle of Rio de Janeiro

Cidade Maravilhosa – Wonderful City, a nickname of Rio de Janeiro, which is 100% according to the truth!

Do Chiado ao Bairro Alto

Travel

My friends asked me several times which bairro of Lisbon is my favourite. And I had quite a dilemma to choose… The title of this post ‘From Chiado to Bairro Alto’ is nothing more than taken from a popular fado song, but actually it links a story about two bordering neighbourhoods of Lisbon which I happen to like a lot!

Chiado, nowadays ‘a posh face’ of Lisbon, with plenty of designers stores, elegant cafes and, all-time present Fernando Pessoa. He is actually sitting 24/7 in the famous ‘A Brasileira’ café. It is worth visiting yet I have to make a remark that wherever in Portugal, coffee is just exceptionally good and cheap. Be aware though when using the original Portuguese nomenclature for asking a waiter for the great variety of coffees. A simple espresso will be called here bica and not bico (please look it up in http://www.urbandictionary.com, for the sake of not getting Portuguese spam I will remain silent about the meaning and usage of this word).

Meanwhile Bairro Alto is a Mecca for the party people, (Erasmus) students and/or those who enjoy the busy atmosphere of barzinhos. There is pretty much every musical style to be met in this tiny but crowded place, from indie rock through Brazilian live music to Berliner minimal tech. Not much recommended for those who actually like to sleep during the night, but for those who like bohemian wandering around 4 am it will probably be a perfect destination.

Wiki:

Bairro – neighbourhood

Barzinho – little bar (same word in Portuguese)

Dia de Brasil em Barcelona

Music

New week (and weekend soon to come!), new plans… Sticking up to the Brazilian highlights in Barcelona, I have to mention the annual celebration of Dia de Brasil. Since 2009, each year it takes place sometime around the 2nd weekend of September at the Moll de la Marina (the one near Vila Olimpica). During this one-day free festival one can have a taste of the popular Brazilian contemporary culture: from capoeira, through gastronomy to different musical styles. A detailed programme of the event can be found on www.diadebrasil.es

This year there will be a parallel contemporary movies festival at the Cinemes Girona: http://www.diadebrasil.es/muestra-de-cine/

The tropical weather these days in Barcelona makes me think only about Jorge Ben’s classic and hope it will prevail until the next Sunday!

Be there or be square!

Bossalova: from passion to proficiency

Music

As the weekend is approaching again, let’s come back to the core of the Carioca music. Thanks to my musically-compatible friend Antonio (aka AdB) I had a pleasure to spend yesterday’s evening with quality bossanova sounds. This special Brazilian food for thought was served by Esteban Matuke, a Chilean-origin musician based in Barcelona for over 14 years (his interesting bio in Spanish can be found here http://www.matuke.net/).

Last night he performed in one of the most trendy BCN neighbourhoods of now: Sant Antoni. Artsy, yet very cozy bar ‘El Taller’ (‘Workshop’ in Catalan) hosted the guitar sounds of MatukeBossaLove project (https://www.facebook.com/Matukebossalove?fref=ts).

Matuke performed both bossanova classics and his own works. El Taller was filled with Brazilian music aficionados, mostly women though (interesting on how gender influence the genre’s preference?).

Having an occasion to speak with Matuke, we shared some observations on our inspirations. Himself, he discovered Gilberto’s music while his father recorded cassettes with Brazilian bossanova. Back in a day, Esteban could only play very simple guitar accords, but after some time and he could finally study on how to perform bossanova. It somewhat reminds me on my tough beginnings with Portuguese: from passion to proficiency.

Speaking of passion for music, yesterday I also had an opportunity to listen to AdB’s first mix performed with his newly acquired Traktor 2. AdB is one of very few people with whom I can speak about music all night (and day anyway) long, who always shares interesting music and concert discoveries with me and we understand each other without words on that topic. Although he is just starting his adventure with DJing, AdB is a very aware listener, so I do recommend to follow his inspirations: https://soundcloud.com/antonio-di-blasi

In the world which is growing yet more commercialized and globalized, music included, I feel very grateful to still have someone to speak in the same language. Good luck with your work, gentlemen!

Wiki:

Carioca – a nickname for the residents of Rio de Janeiro

On the other side of the Bridge: Costa Caparica

Music, Travel

The quantity of quality beaches nearby Lisbon, not to mention in Portugal, is overwhelming. You can have a glimpse of how it is like to wander around the country beach tasting/testing but the sites I will present here will maybe cover 1% of the total number.

Costa Caparica is probably the hippest beach in the Lisbon’s surrounding. The fact is, it is pretty much accessible, either by car, or by bus taken from the centre of Lisbon. Be aware if travelling during rush hours: the beach is situated on the other side of the Tejo river, and the famous Ponte de 25 de Abril at that times become rather a parking lot than an artery.

Once you get there, you will notice various beach bars and restaurants, varying from very posh to quite affordable ones. But what actually is my favourite remark of the Caparica beach is the quantity of surfing schools and little, wooden houses which endured wind, sun and high tides.

There is pretty much everything to be found on this wide beach: also a nudist and gay zone aka Praia 19. However, if you are looking for a rocky beach where to hide from the all-time present sun and humanity, Caparica may not be the best choice.

My personal fave is to sit nearby the wooden houses, listening to bossa nova classics overlooking the sunset and think about what memories I have left on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean. I think that what Principezinho meant by ‘looking at the sunsets’ while being melancholic, the Portuguese put nicely in one keyword: saudade.

Wiki:

Ponte de 25 de Abril – 25th of April Bridge, connecting the city of Lisbon with the municipality of Almada on the left (south) bank of the Tejo river. The name “25 de Abril” commemorates the Carnation Revolution.

Principezinho – The Little Prince of Saint-Exupery

Indian Summer on Praia do Guincho

Personal, Travel

Moving on with the Lisbon-related delights… I need to present you the beach I fell in love with at a first sight and which remains in my top 5 until now. Moreover, which is within 1 hour drive reach from the Portuguese capital’s centre!

I have to travel back to very difficult 2011 when Lisbon has been my departure and arrival point throughout the year. Eventually, when my first Brazilian/South American travel came to an end in the mid-September, Lisbon was my welcoming port in Europe after a few months of absence. I had a very emotional meeting with my Mom and my cousin Piotr who decided to fly over from Berlin to join me and spend a couple of days in the Cidade da Luz.

Tired after all-night travel, I proposed we should chill out at the most peaceful place I know by the Oceanside: Praia do Guincho. It was not so easy to get there, taking train to Cascais and then a bus, but impossible was nothing on that very special day for us, weary travelers.

And then, the path between the dunes and green Atlantic forest led us to a wide, sandy beach limited by the most-Western rocks within the continental Europe: Cabo da Roca tip. The air was so clear, the waves – high and long and the breeze was making wonders to my jet-lagged body and soul. We were so happy there, we could not even realize that the tide went up very quickly, gathering back to the ocean our camera, sunscreen and what not. No quality photos were left from this lovely Indian Summer get away, but the memories will definitely remain. And this Brazilian-origined song can tell how glorious can it be when you live by the sea.

Wiki:

Cidade da Luz – City of Light, Lisbon’s nickname

Cabo da Roca – ‘Rocky tip’, the most Western tip of the continental Europe

Praia – beach

Nascimento em Lisboa

Music, Personal

The idea behind this post lays partially in my current state of mind: being extremely busy, somewhere in between the unfinished stuff and the forthcoming events which will pretty much decide on how the next months/years of my life will look like. Partially, in one particular request for posting something related to Milton Nascimento’s work. Last but not least, in recent requests for writing something about Lisbon, as one of my friends currently is living there, working as a guide showing the city’s deepest secrets (Polish speakers are much welcome to visit her www.sekrety-lizbony.pl or Facebook Fan Page where she posts some hilarious photos from her favourite neighbourhood Alfama!), and another one is planning shortly a weekend get-away.

To create an amalgamate of these three topics I decided to show you some of my favourite Lisbon’s murals. The quote ‘Para nascer Portugal; para morrer o mundo’ is authored by Antonio Vieira, a Jesuit who shared his life between Portugal and Brazil and can be found written on a mural closely to Sé de Lisboa. Nowadays this quote has definitely another meaning. Given not only difficult economic circumstances, but also insatiated curiosity, there are millions of Portuguese spread all over the world. To me, this might be a reflection on a globalised reality, just as illustrating one’s craving to discover the world.

Milton Nascimento’s ‘Tudo o que você podia ser’ is an anthem for those, who are not afraid to change, to go beyond mainstream or to take difficult decisions. He underlines that the only obstacle on our way to become who we would love to be is fear. Recapitulating with another famous quote: the only thing we have to fear is fear itself.

Wiki:

Nascimento – birth (also, a surname of a famous Brazilian musician, Milton Nascimento)

‘Para nascer Portugal; para morrer o mundo’ – To be born in Portugal; to die in the world

Sé de Lisboa – Cathedral of Lisbon

‘Tudo o que você podia ser’ – ‘All you could become’ (a title of a famous Milton Nascimento’s song)