How Now São Paulo

On a rainy Thursday we left Rio for São Paulo. The best part was this trip involved what may be my two favorite airports in the world.


We took off from Santos-Dumont


Santos-Dumont is basically an aircraft carrier, and the really neat thing about it is that when you take off from it the plane climbs and banks hard to the left immediately…

Because this is right at the end of the runway


then the plane curls around Pão and gives you a great view of Copacabana, Ipanema and Leblon as you head off towards São Paulo to land at Congonhas


Think of landing on an aircraft carrier floating in the middle of Central Park and that’s Congonhas: it’s set in the center of São Paulo and is surrounded by skyscrapers. You feel you could almost reach out and touch the buildings because, er, well you just about could. I’ve landed there in the midst of thunderstorms and it scares the bejeebus out of you.

It’s really cool.

So we arrived in São Paulo


and went to spend a few hours at MASP, the Museu de Arte de São Paulo. My goodness, what an incredible collection of really neat art they have: Rubens, Botticelli, Titian, Matisse, Rembrandt, Van Gogh, Hieronymus Bosch!!!!!, Monet…it just went on and on. I really wish we had more time to spend there; it was great.

But we had to go to dinner.

One of my favorite restaurants: Figueira Rubaiyat.

Wonderful steak, wonderful wine, impeccable service, all served under the arms of an absolutely amazingly ginormous Fig tree.


I took advantage of being in Brazil to have a great bottle of Argentine Malbec: Catena Zapata Angelica


They don’t sell it outside of South America. It is amazingly yum.

It went exceedingly well with the huge steak Daughter and I shared


Look at the size of the branches of the fig tree


and the trunk is just insanely huge


I didn’t want to be too Gringo-y and use the flash…


São Paulo has a much more formal vibe than Rio: there was nobody walking around in havaianas, everyone was dressed quite nicely for dinner. There’s much more of a professional New Yorky sort of feel to it, whilst Rio is more Miami in flavor.

But the eats in both are divine.

One Response to “How Now São Paulo”

  1. Kathy Kinsley says:

    Umm. Sounds kind of like landing – or taking off – from Guilin Liangjiang International Airport.

    Let’s just sat that there are, well… hills–or something in every direction.

    Thankfully, all China pilots, when I was there, were military. So, the just calmly nosedived in between the obstructions. And we ended up on the ground, all in one (freaked out) piece.

    BTW, If you ever go to China, visit Guilin. It’s one of the most beautiful places on earth (and I’ve seen a LOT of this earth). But, my advice – if you aren’t piloting your own aircraft…. Take a train.

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