Cartel 011 Off the bandwagon, onto the cart(el)

Don’t try to pigeonhole this place. Part art gallery, part design store, part restaurant, part co-working space, we could go on…but basically it’s exploding with ideas and energy. From product launches to music sessions, there’s always something going on at Cartel 011. Founded in 2009 with the intention of transforming the urban environment, it’s a case of so far, so bloody brilliant.

Praça da Sé Eye of the storm

Praça da Sé (Cathedral Square) acts as a sort of turntable for Paulistanos—picking them up at one corner and spitting them out at another. Because it sits not only right at the center of town but also between the city’s main arteries, the Praça is São Paulo’s favorite meeting place.

All this human traffic is offset by the neo-Gothic grandeur of São Paulo Cathedral, with its stone plaza and palm tree-lined alley. A newer part of the square stretches out next to it like the flapper daughter of a Victorian lady: it boasts an exotic, multi-layered layout complete with waterfalls, jungle flora and abstract sculptures in brash colors. A lot of outstanding graffiti also surrounds the square; at night, its concrete benches double as beds for the homeless.

The Praça da Sé also stands at the edge of Liberdade, the city’s fascinating Japanese neighborhood.

Parque do Anhangabaú Past, present, future...

This square—next to the river Anhangabaú (which means “bad spirits” in the native Tupi-Guarani language), at the triangle formed by the Monastery of São Bento, the Monastery of São Francisco and the Pátio do Colégio—was the center of life in São Paulo in the earliest years of the city’s history.

These days the river is hidden underground: its only remaining traces are the viaducts Viaduto do Chá and Viaduto Santa Efigênia which border what is now the Parque do Anhangabaú. And what a park it is: from its tranquil goemetric spaces you can admire a sculture garden, gaze at the sky-high splendors of the Edificio Martinelli and the Edificio do Banespa or simply sit and watch the cars rush out of the nearby highway busy tunnels.

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