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Micasa Pimp your pad

Interior design mecca Micasa doesn’t have a problem standing out from the crowd. You’ll guess as much before you’ve even set foot in the place. Sandwiched between two grey flat blocks, the slick, frosted-glass fronted building—designed by Triptyque —in which they’ve made their home, is a mid-20th century rose between two dreary and faceless thorns.

The impressive architecture doesn’t stop at the exterior either. Once you’ve made your way inside, you’ll catch an eyeful of unique design flourishes—bare concrete walls, a spacecraft snap-hatch entrance and a retro ‘60s airline ramp. All these touches combine to form a fitting surround for Micasa’s impressive array of locally made interior design gems that reference a range of creative mediums—from music to fashion and cinema to architecture.

Four Elements Tatuagens Oriental master

Ivan Szazi, São Paulo’s expert Japanese tattoo maker, handle a needle so smoothly—with such beauty and accuracy—that his customers don’t dare ask for a detailed sketch in advance. His creativity flows while he works, so let him do whatever he wants: you won’t regret it.

Szazi does not actually come from Japan, but he runs his business with more reserve than any stereotypical Asian. His studio is hidden away on the ground floor of a residential building; he does not advertise nor run a website to attract business. But, all the same, Szazi’s schedule is always packed, so ring as far in advance as possible to make an appointment.

And for those keen to follow up on this Japanese experience, Four Elements Tatuagens is conveniently located next to the Temaki Express, which specializes in the delectable sushi and seaweed cones of the same name.

Baratos Afins The specialist

This record shop—ancestral home of the indie record label—is heaven for collectors. The 30-year-old Baratos Afins began to issue its own records in 1982, when Arnaldo Baptista of “Os Mutantes” fame worked with the shop’s founder Luiz Calanca to independently release Singin’ Alone, his second solo album.

The internationally renowned label mainly focuses on local rock bands and a few choice jazz acts (notably the legendary guitarist Lanny Gordin), but musical myopia is certainly not a problem at Baratos Afins. The shop specializes in Brazilian pop music but sells absolutely everything. Calanca himself still shows up behind the counter, so even the most casual of visits could turn out to be an iconic São Paulo experience.

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