Ten Things That He Wants to Do In Chile

 Ten Things That  He Wants To Do In Chile

“I have found out that there ain’t no surer way to find out whether you like people or hate them than to travel with them.” – Mark Twain

Buy a charango.

Learn to play a charango.

Photograph everything – especially people.

Bring a sports jacket.

Taste every Chilean food.

Find some new fabulous wine.

 Bring an extra bag for shopping. Is he a shopper?

Not go to a nine-course tasting meal at Borago right when we get there.

Read 100 Years Of Solitude or Love In the Time Of Cholera. I can’t remember which. It is Colombian not Chilean but South American and everyone should read both of them anyway.

Sleep on the plane.

Fly safe,

JAZ

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Ten Things To Do On Easter Island

Ten Things To Do On Easter Island

“Whether an island such as Easter Island can be considered remote is simply a matter of perspective. Those who live there, the Rapa Nui, call their homeland Te Pito Te Henua, ‘the navel of the world’. Any point on the infinite globe of the Earth can become a centre.” Judith Schalansky

1. Get there. Easter Island is one of the most remote places in the world. There is one airline that flies there which is LATAM. You can only fly there from  Santiago, Chile or Papeete, Tahiti.  It is six hours away from each place.

2. See the Moai. Easter Island is famous for the Moai statues. A plethora of theories surround the origins and construction of these giant, monolithic stone statues, but the truth is that they are the legacy left behind by the Rapa Nui civilization that once inhabited the island.

3.See the Moai at sunrise and sunset.

4.Hang out at the beach.

5.Hike the volcanoes.

6.See the other ruins from the Rapa Nui – the petroglyphs.

7.See a Rapa Nui cultural show. Rapa Nui are similar to the Māori.

8.Bike around the island. You can do the entire island in a day.

9.Take amazing photos.

10.Get an Easter Island Moai stamp at the Post Office (not the airport) on your passport. I’m so doing that. This is a bucket list thing for me!!!!

Fly safe,

JAZ

Ten Things To Do In Chile

Ten Things To Do In Chile

“Latin America is very fond of the word “hope.” We like to be called the “continent of hope.” Candidates for deputy, senator, president, call themselves “candidates of hope.” This hope is really something like a promise of heaven, an IOU whose payment is always being put off. It is put off until the next legislative campaign, until next year, until the next century.”  Pablo Neruda

Eat at Borago. which is one of the top Michelin starred restaurants in the world.

See the street art that defines Valparaiso.

Visit the homes of Pablo Neruda.

See the Museum of Memory and Human Rights commemorating those who suffered under the Pinochet regime.

Visit Chiloe Island and hope it isn’t raining,

Visit the art museums and galleries of Santiago.

Eat Chilean empanadas (different from Argentinian ones). Drink Pisco Sours.(like Peruvian Pisco Sours). Have Chilean hot dogs (different from American ones.)

Have a ski day in the Andes Mountains.

See Castro which is famous for its colored wooden houses built on stilts. I love colored houses.

Spend a day visiting Chilean wineries and Vino Del Mar. 

Fly Safe,

JAZ

Things That I Have Learned In Rio, Brazil

Things I Have Learned In Rio, Brazil

“Travel is the only thing you can buy that makes you richer” Unknown

Rio is named for a river that doesn’t exist. According to tradition, it was first visited in January 1502 by Portuguese explorers, who believed the bay they encountered (now called Guanabara Bay) was the mouth of a river. They named the area Rio de Janeiro, “River of January.”

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Rio was capital of Brazil from 1763 until 1960, when that role was transferred to Brasilia.

Rio’s locals are called carioca (a name also sometimes applied as an adjective to the city itself). It may have come from kari ola, or “white man’s house” in the indigenous Tupi language.

The food scene in Rio is laid-back. ( feijoada)

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You can happily grab some fried bar snacks and a caipirinha to enjoy on the beach, or head straight from the beach to a rodizio (all-you-can-eat). The tropical influence is also evident in the many choices of fruit juice stands (on every corner in Rio), and the abundance of açaí.

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Cariocas  have a habit of putting mustard and ketchup on their pizza. There are also amazing five-star and cool trendy restaurants with delicious food.

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In Brazil, there’s soccer (or futebol) and then everything else. Brazilians are obsessive, diehard fans and just about everyone plays, especially at the beach. Even for the Americans who now grow up playing soccer, your skills are no match for the footwork and volleying on display at the beach in Rio. Even the younger groups of kids are able to pass the airborne ball back and forth, using every part of their bodies from their heads to their shoulders to their knees, like its nothing.

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Rio explodes with energy and color during the five days before Ash Wednesday, when millions take to the streets for the world’s biggest Carnaval. The party starts on the Friday, when the mayor hands over the keys to the city to a man crowned as King Momo, a mythical jester who acts as the head of the festivities. Rio’s Carnival features hundreds of booze-soaked bandas (riotous street parties, often with specific themes) and elaborate balls. The party reaches its height at the Sambódromo, when the best samba schools in the country compete for top prize. On Ash Wednesday Carnival is officially over, and King Momo goes home.Carnaval has been called one of the seven wonders of the world.

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In 2014, Rio de Janeiro legalized street art on many types of city property, turning the already colorful city into an outdoor art gallery. Street artists are allowed to decorate columns, walls and construction siding so long as they’re not historically designated. The city has even created a quasi-government agency, Eixo Rio to regulate the city’s urban artists, and celebrates an official Graffiti Day on March 27—the date Brazilian graffiti pioneer Vallauri Alex died in 1987.

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Carmen Miranda conquered the silver screen as a singer, dancer and actress in both Brazil and America in the mid-20th century. The Carmen Miranda museum  is filled with memorabilia including her trademark platform heels and towering turbans of plastic or sequined fruit.

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Rio de Janeiro became a World Heritage Site in 2012.

Rio is where you will find two of the world’s most famous beaches – Copacabana and Ipanema. Ipanema isn’t as hectic and the waters are cleaner.  When you’re in Ipanema make sure to stop into Garota de Ipanema as it is where the famous song The Girl from Ipanema was written.

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The Art Deco Copacabana Palace built in 1923 faces the beach. It has hosted the rich and famous for ninety years. You definitely feel old Rio when you are there even though it has been completely redone.

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.There are two great places to get away from the craziness in Rio de Janeiro.The Botanic Gardens covering over 130 hectares is extremely peaceful and home to over 6,000 types of plants and trees. The Tijuca forest is the largest urban rainforest in the world. Here you can go on hiking trails, admire waterfalls and much more. (Tijuca forest)

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Museu de Arte de Rio (MAR) is Rio’s newest art museum. It is part new modern building linked with a traditional building  by a canopy supported by pillars. The views of Guanabara Bay and the massive Rio-Niterói Bridge from the top floor are amazing. There is classic and contemporary art as well as an interesting exhibit on the history of Rio.

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The Museu del Arte Moderna is another incredible building designed by architect Affonso Eduardo Reidy.

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It houses one of the most comprehensive collections of Brazilian art in existence and interesting temporary exhibitions as well.

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The Biblioteca Nacional is the largest library in Latin America, In addition to the books, visitors can also delight in the library’s stunning neo-classical architecture and intricate Corinthian columns.

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Brazil’s most famous dance – samba – has its origins from the African slaves that worked in the plantations in the State of Rio de Janeiro There are more than 200 samba schools in Rio.

Lapa is known as the best place in Rio to experience nightlife.  This fun and unique neighbourhood comes alive at night, when Samba music can be heard pouring out of nearly every doorway and locals can be seen swinging their hips away while sipping on tasty cocktails. It is filled with row after row of live music venues, tapas bars, and thumping clubs.

I have to thank my guide Gabriel Morand who went above and beyond to make sure I had an amazing time in Rio. I saw everything I wanted to see, ate well and bought everything I needed to buy. I loved Brazil and can’t wait to return.

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Tenha Uma Boa Viagem,

JAZ

The Gardens Of Roberto Burle Marx, Brazil

The Gardens Of Roberto Burle Marx, Brazil

“If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.”Marcus Tullius Cicero

Roberto Burle Marx is considered to be the father of modern landscape architecture. He grew up in Rio at the end of Copacabana Beach near the Pau De Acucar – Sugarloaf. He started arranging flowers at events and eventually began getting asked to design gardens.(self-portrait)

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He bought a property two hours outside of Rio near the small town of Guaratiba, it is called Sitio de Roberto Burle Marx and tours are available in Portuguese.

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Even if you are not a plant person, you know that you have entered a privileged space.

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He restored the old house and chapel and began propagating plants collected on numerous expeditions in to the wilds of Brazil.

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There are large areas of a single type of ground cover surrounding clumps of sculptural agaves, bromeliads, plumerias, dracaenas, clusias, palms and a myriad of other plants.

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The 100 acres have 3500 plant species.  Plants are always used to emulate the way they would grow in their natural environment.

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Over the years he developed an extraordinary landscape climbing the hill and introduced hundreds of previously unused plants to the gardening world.

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His interest in painting had a great influence on his designs.

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His drawings for gardens look like abstract works on paper.

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The gardens themselves usually contain large masses of vividly colored plants in a variety of textures, relying more on foliage than flower.

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They are laid out in bold sweeping forms.  Garden structure tends toward the architectural, often with rectangles that reflect the forms of surrounding buildings.

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As his fame grew, he was commissioned to design parks and gardens throughout Brazil, South America and abroad. Burle Marx collaborated with architect Oscar Niemeyer on Iberapuera Park in São Paulo. They worked on several projects together throughout the world and were good friends.

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The Copacabana waterfront with its long wave patterned mosaic sidewalk is perhaps the most renowned work by Burle Marx.

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The beach once fronted the buildings along the shore, but was actually moved to make room for the new Avenida Atlantica and large underground parking lots.  The wide sidewalk next to the Avenida is paved with the classic wave pattern that was originally used in Lisbon, Portugal for pavements when rebuilding parts of the city destroyed by a massive tsunami in 1755.  The sidewalk is 2.5 kilometers long and is one of the largest mosaics in the World.  The design perfectly frames the famed arc of sand backed by the Pau d’ Acucar. You will see a lot of Olympic Coverage here this summer.

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Tenha Uma Boa Viagem,

JAZ

The Favela – Project Morrinho

The Favela – Project Morrinho

“The world lies in the hands of those who have the courage to dream and who take the risk of living out their dreams – each according to his or her own talent.”Paul Coelho

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The story began in 1998 when Cirlan Souza de Oliveira a 14 year-old boy moved to the favela Periera da Silva in Rio de Janeiro.

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He and his brother decided to play with bricks they found in the back yard to create buildings inspired by the new places and surrounding buildings he saw. His efforts attracted seven young boys who began the creation of the replica of their community built into a hillside where they played out imaginary adventures with toys.

They kept it hidden to protect it and being in their mid teens they didn’t think it was”cool.” The ‘trafficantes” who controlled the area found out about it and encouraged the project. They thought it would help the kids in their community have opportunities so they did not become traffickers as well. Sometimes they came and played with the boys in the miniature city with their guns slinging behind them. The police after understanding that the traffickers had nothing to do with this project became encouraging as well.(utube by Cirlan Souza de Olivera)

.In 2001 the mini favela was visited by two documentary filmmakers, Fabio Gavião and Markão Oliveira. The filmmakers were so taken with their work that they developed a documentary about the project. Out of the documentary grew a partnership that helped Projeto Morrinho become a registered NGO and opened doors to the wider world of arts and social projects. The project is already famous and has been recreated in top international art festivals in Venice, Berlin, Munich and Prague, among others.  (Morrinho at Mar Museum in Rio fundraising for the favela project)

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The fame of this miniature favela continues to spread, along with the positive message it put out about young people against the odds, taking charge of their own lives and becoming role models for others in areas, normally synonymous with poverty and crime. In this respect Morrinho has become an inspiration to young people across the world.

Tenha Uma Boa Viagem,

JAZ

 

Escaderia Selaron or Selaron’s Stairs, Rio, Brazil

Escadaria Selarón or Selaron’s stairs, Rio Brazil

“Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.”
-Harriet Tubman

Chilean artist Jorge Selarón moved into a house next to these dilapidated steps in between the Lapa and Santa Theresa neighborhoods of Rio. He had left his hometown at the age of 17 to travel to 57 countries, staying anywhere from a few weeks to a few years, before landing in Brazil in 1983. After living in Rio for 7 years, he began decorating the steps. It became a tribute to the Brazilian people, using the bright blue, green and yellow colors of the Brazilian flag as his inspiration.

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As with many artists and new ideas, the project was originally criticized and mocked. Selaron with more obsession and passion in his veins than blood continued the work unfazed by the physical and verbal attacks. He called his piece “The Great Madness.”

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When his project began, he was consistently out of money, so Selarón sold paintings to fund his work.

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He scavenged both tiles and porcelain from various construction sites and piles of urban waste found on the street of Rio.

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As word of his project began to spread, he accepted tiles donated by friends and supporters from around the world.

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It is 250 steps and 125 meters long and has over 2000 tiles collected from sixty countries.

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Don’t just stop and take a photo.

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Walk up and down a few times because there are gems and treasures everywhere.

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Many tourists had the privilege to be photographed with Jorge Selaron as he was constantly working on the steps. He was the face of this bohemian and artistic neighbourhood.

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Unfortunately, I was not able to meet this legend as he was found dead on the very steps he decorated on January 11, 2013.  His body was found on the 215th step in front of his house. It is not known whether it was murder or suicide. He was found burned and covered with paint thinner. He had received death threats which made him depressed and reclusive.

Escadaria Selarón or Selaron’s stairs were officially declared a city landmark in 2005, and were continuously worked on and evolving until his death.

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It is the third most visited attraction in Rio after the Christ and Sugarloaf. It is unclear as to the future of the stairs as Selaron changed the tiles regularly for his living work of art.

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The lesson of Selaron was his life and not his death. I think it is to follow your passion at any age ( he was 43 when he started), use whatever materials you have at hand, and don’t listen to what anyone has to say about it.

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Fly safe,

JAZ