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.

Parque do Ibirapuera Central park

A quiet stroll through Parque do Ibirapuera (Ibirapuera Park) means encountering one modernist masterpiece after another—the Auditório Ibirapuera and the Bienal Building (both by Oscar Niemeyer), the Museo de Arte Moderna (Lina Bo Bardi). A visit to the Museum Of African Culture, then a fresh Aqua De Coco from one of the streetside stalls and the transformation is complete: here sits a true oasis in the concrete desert.

Green meadow beckon to footballers of every stripe; ancient trees whisper in the wind; the lakeside offers many lovely spots to sit and read (perhaps a book from the park’s public library), share a picnic or simply watch the birds fly off into the high blue sky.

And if all that isn’t enough, stop by in September. The blooming Jacaranda alley will turn even the sternest of viewers into a starry-eyed romantic.

Museu do Futebol GoooOOOOOooaaal!

The Louvre may regard its Mona Lisa as unbeatable, but the Museu do Futebol (Museum of Football) can do one better: it has Pelé.

This long-awaited shrine to the sport Brazil adores with an almost religious passion finally opened its doors in 2008. It showcases more than 100 “artifacts” from Pelé’s life and career, as well as an entertaining history of local football from the São Paulo Athletic Club (founded in 1888) to the phenomenal striker Marta Vieira da Silva (winner of the Golden Ball at the 2007 Women’s World Cup). It also investigates the roots of Brazil’s intense relationship with the game in an exhibition that include clips of Ronaldinho dribbling to a samba beat and other rarely-seen moments of footie magic.

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