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Surface to Air Choose your weapons

Surface to Air’s aesthetic is apparent as soon as you lay eyes on the interior of their Sao Paulo store: sleek, modern and minimal. The designers have perfected a look that is bang on trend, and versatile—almost every piece in the collection can be mixed and matched to create a seamlessly street-wise look. The young Parisian founders have their fingers in many highly fashionable pies, having created movies for Louis Vuitton and album covers for Justice. This achingly hip style translates perfectly into the garments they create.

Rua Santa Efigênia Below the radar

If you are in search of cheap electronics and are not afraid to use your elbows, visit Rua Santa Efigênia.

Its stores stock sound equipment to please even the most demanding of DJs and digital cameras to delight the pickiest of photographers—as not to mention a melee of computers, car stereos, home theaters, lighting equipment, mobiles phones, kitchen appliances, cables and adapters of all kinds… You name it, Rua Santa Efigênia has it.

The one catch is the slightly sketchy nature of these establishments: some of the street vendors do not sell, ahem, strictly legal goods, so you might find yourself wrestling with your conscience before doling out the cash. If you don’t get a receipt, you won’t have a leg to stand on if that technological-dream-come-true goes kaput the first time you turn it on. And hang on to your wallet—yes, it’s that kind of place…

Mundorama Stylish snipping

Whether you dream of dreadlocks or bangs on a bias, talented, good-looking Raul is the man for you. He and his equally inventive colleagues at Mundorama will shake you out of your boring old hairdo routines and send you out into the street with an infinitely more interesting style.

Located on the second floor of the Galeria Ouro Fino, Mundorama caters to even the most extreme hirsute needs, from exotic dye jobs and funkily streaky highlights to rock star cuts. And this salon’s talents even extend beyond the world of hairdressing: on demand, skilled technicians apply hip makeup or a mean manicure.

Livraria Cultura Far from the madding crowd

Sometimes it becomes necessary to escape the rush of the monster city. Luckily, the Livaria Cultura offers the perfect hideaway: despite being located in a central shopping area, this bookshop is the perfect place to curl up in for hours, away from the hustle and bustle outside.

The Livaria Cultura stocks a fine collection of English literature on the ground floor; the likes of Foucault and Žižek (in English) can be found in the philosophy section.

A beautiful, airy atrium opens up the different levels, which are connected by stairs and a ramp. The shop is always filled with people enjoying a nice quiet read, or even a nap. But if this somnolent atmosphere gets to be just a bit too much, the Livaria Cultura’s café will happily provide you with a hair-raising shot of espresso.

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