:: Kelinci Series : Brazil : pt 24 ::
Thank You for stopping by the 24th episode of the “Kelinci Series” – another continuation on our photographic journal with the unwavering, sprightly and brave cotton-tail who traipses the globe while we live vicariously through his travels. Our last check-in came from India – today looks like our friend has gone back to South America
Corcovado. No trip to Rio is complete without paying a visit to this most (in)famous of Brazilian landmarks. Corcovado is actually the mountain itself (translation: “hunchback”), which is punctuated by the towering “Christ the Redeemer” – watching silent guard over the streets and beaches Rio de Janeiro below. At nearly 100ft tall and 635 tons, it is made of reinforced concrete and soapstone, and was designed and constructed between the years 1922 and 1931. Since then it has been a symbol of Brazilian culture, transcending its Catholic roots to become a powerful icon of national pride for all Brazilians, religious or otherwise.
Above we find our old pal taking in the sights with spectacular, breath-taking panoramic views of Rio de Janeiro and its surrounding environs below — the same view that’s inspired countless artists and musicians to create and dedicate many-a-loving tribute to this awe-inspiring place.
If there’s one thing all megacities of the world have, it’s slums. And the slums of Rio, known as “Favelas” — are amongst the world’s most famous. Though some are close to a hundred years old, favelas became well-known outside of Brazil due to their use as a narrative backdrop in the popular film City of God, whose characters and stories played out in the Favela of the same name (“Cidade de Deus”). Communities form in favelas over time and often develop an array of social and religious organizations, and forming associations to obtain such services as running water and electricity.
Here our intrepid traveler has made his way to Favela Rochinha, the largest and most well-known of the Rio favelas. Built in the city’s south zone, Rocinha is home to an estimated 150-300,000 people, though exact figures are hard to confirm. Rocinha is unique in that it developed from a shanty town into an urbanized slum, with almost all the houses in favela now being made from concrete and brick and some buildings rising as high as three and four stories tall — most with basic sanitation, plumbing, and electricity. It also has a better developed infrastructure and hundreds of businesses such as banks, medicine stores, bus lines, cable television, and at once, even a McDonalds — helping to classify Rocinha as a favela bairro, or favela neighborhood.
Here we find K-man soaking up some sun rays, and ahem… views. The two mountains called the Dois Irmãos (Two Brothers) rise at the western end of the beach behind our friend (and the famous “girl”).
With its gleaming white sand, warm blue waters, and prime Rio location, it’s no surprise Ipanema Beach has been drawing people to it’s shores for decades. Situated on the city’s south side and alongside Copacabana, it is famously known for its elegance and social qualities, and has played its own role in Rio’s culture since its beginning of the city’s development. The beach’s name and neighborhood has become synonymous with Bossa Nova music, when its residents Antônio Carlos Jobim and Vinicius de Moraes created their ode to their neighborhood, “Girl from Ipanema.” The song was written in 1962, though it wasn’t until 2 years later in 1964 when Joao Gilberto and Stan Getz created the international hit – a new version with Joao’s wife Astrud singing in English.
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