17 comments on “The coolest thing about São Paulo is…

  1. I think getting rid of the visual pollution is good but I don’t think advertising is evil so I’m really not sure how I feel about the law. One unintended consequence I’ve noticed is that since shops had to take down their large names from the shop front when the law was passed, some of them have adopted large glass windows with the name inside. It must be a technicality because now the name is inside the shop even though it’s visible from the outside. I think it looks classier that way so it’s not a bad thing.

    Small correction, by the way: the city makes up about 10% of the national GDP. The state of Sao Paulo is about a third.

  2. Hello Andy ! I’m a keen reader of your website and would have a bunch of questions regarding accomodations in Sao Paulo. I’ll be flying there with my 40-or-so classmates in May next year and am trying to gather as much information as possible as to the possible places (youth hostels etc…) where we’d be able to stay, for a cheap price but at a secure location. Do you perchance have an idea of where we could go ? It’d be for 5 to 6 days. We could obviously be splitted into several different accomodations as well, just not too distant from each other!

    Thanks for any help and keep up the great work,
    Igor (you can answer directly on my email address)

    • Hey Igor, thanks for reading the blog and I’m glad you like it enough to come back for more!

      I have to say that my knowledge of hostels in SP is a bit limited but the best ares to stay will probably be either in the Jardins or Vila Madalena. Both are safe neighbourhoods and nice places to stay although this also means that it will cost more to stay in hostels there…Unfortunately though, everything in general in SP is expensive so the less you pay the less likely you are that what you get will be nice and in a decent area…Sorry I couldn’t be much more help.

      Where are you travelling from?

      • We’re based in Paris but we’ll be staying in Rio, then Paraty before coming to Sao Paulo. Thanks for your help, we’ll try to look for places in that area!

      • Nice, Paraty is a very nice place. If you have time you might want to consider a day or short trip to nearby Trinidade. It’s stunning and still relatively undiscovered. Have a great trip!

  3. I’m not a fan of the ban. São Paulo isn’t exactly a beautiful looking city and some advertisements would help make it look prettier.

    And as you noted, the ads still persist. Who gets to have their ads up even with the ban? Those with lots of money or political connections. The mom and pop shop on the corner is hurt by this ban more than Coca Cola. The ban pushes people to pursue more expensive means of advertising, which not every business can afford.

    Down with the ban!

  4. You Andy always have something funny to say about Brasil and São Paulo. But you made a continous mistake of judgment: you think that we love english people. Well, i got a surprise for you: we don’t. Gandhi would agrre with me that your people should’nt be allowed anywere in the world, and should stay on the island, and never leave.

  5. Hi Andy,
    Great pictures of Brazil, gives one a feel of the Brazilian culture. I recently read your Expat blog which gave an interesting Westerner’s perspective of the expat term. If you or anyone you know in Brazil would like to learn about a business opportunity opening for entrepreneurs in Brazil which helps underprivileged and orphaned children please visit my web site. Our company just launched in Brazil this month. Our mission is to help improve the lives of needy children world-wide, while simultaneously offering a business opportunity for Brazilian entrepreneurs. Basic requirement, a good heart!
    Best regards, Allen

  6. Hi!

    On this sleepy workless afternoon at work I found your blog. I love how you can point out the many crappy stuff about this city and yet you seem to show appreciation for it. I guess most Paulistanos simply dismiss it as ugly, dangerous, you name it, and would rather live in Miami instead. (Not really my image of a great city.)

    Anyway, getting down to the point: I believe the outdoor ad ban, in spite of all its merits (try to imagine how the old city centre looked like with its beautiful historic buildings covered head to toes in ads and signs…) is flawed in at least one fundamental aspect: it treats shop signs as being the same as billboards.

    This has generated distortions such as many small stores, bars and restaurants having put down their signage after the ban and not putting on a new sign that fits the new size limits. So sometimes finding a commercial establishment can be a real anthropological quest. It is to me unknown, however, the exact reason why so many shopowners chose to simply not have a sign anymore: maybe the cost of ordering new signage wasn’t perceived as advantageous in view of an already established clientele? Or maybe some of them for whatever reason ignore what the new requirements are and chose to avoid the risk of being fined?

    Also I believe the ban could have made some exceptions, for instance in the Liberdade neighbourhood, whose signs written in Japanese and Chinese used to compose its Asian ambience (albeit too touristy).

    All in all it’s good to have an ad-free city. I’d just make it a wee bit more flexible.

    Abraços!

    Daniel Ávila

    • Hey Daniel, thank you for reading and for providing some extremely kind and engaging comments!

      Yes, I’ve always found it strange about shop signs, especially those of bars, botecos, etc. In an earlier post on beer (I think you commented on it) I contrasted how pubs in the UK very distinguishable with their signs and decor, and are even used as reference points for directions. Here you can walk past a lot of botecos without even noticing them! I think that may also be because for botecos the name has less cultural significance than pubs, although I might be wrong (?).

      But I agree, places like Liberdade, which have cultural significance, should be given some exception. On the whole though, I love the fact adverts are not invading my daily space. It’s fantastic!

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