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The parking problem

I blame today on me.  I really should have known better.  We lived in LA for over 5 years; I know my husband hates  trying to find parking and hates having to pay outrageous rates to park in a lot.  But I casually offered up a visit to the Mercado Municipal and Liberdade today, as I didn’t have it in me this week to go out of the city.  So we packed up the wee one, sat through the Sao Paulo traffic and arrived downtown.  I was finally taken out of the pristine world I live in here in Brooklin-Paulista (aka the apartment I rarely leave).  We passed the homeless that are simply homeless as they are too poor to afford a home, watched little boys pick lice out of their barely 20 year old mother;s hair, and passed by larger groups of the drugged-out, sketchy bums one usually thinks of when picturing a Brazilian bum.

Yes our Garmin kept telling us all kinds of crazy directions as we drove mindlessly in circles.  All street parking we found was for old people or loading.  We thought we found a spot as the street was lined with cars, but when my husband asked one of the roving ticket guys he told us that he was ticketing the whole line up. The parking garages charged from R$10 to R$15 for the first hour, and around R$6 – R$8 for each additional.  The husband was going to have none of that.

We never got out of the car. This is a downtown city, why would I think it would be any different than downtown LA!

So, I convinced the husband that Liberdade may be better.

To paint a picture of Liberdade

For those of you who have been to LA, picture LA’s China Town.  Not the China Town in Hawaii, that’s a place worth visiting, but LA’s China Town.  A bit rundown, covered in city soot, with stores packed with overly ethnic crap.  The stores were full of useless chochkees, mostly from China, not Japan.  In fact, I have seen many of these items on the import from china websites I like to buy my stocking stuffers from.  There was a Marukai market, but the husband ushered me past muttering that “We are in Brazil, stop trying to cook Japanese food.”  I tried to point out that me cooking Japanese food would be very Brazilian, especially in Sao Paulo, but I think he was really saying that he wants to eat Picanha and Feijoada daily.

The street fair is supposed to be large on Sunday, but there were a lot of booths out today as well.  I wasn’t that impressed or drawn to anything in particular.  Think Venice beach, a lot of random stuff that someone has made, but that you really don’t need.

As the husband was still a bit irritated that we hadn’t just taken the train up, he had to pay (R$10 for the first hour, and R$3 thereafter) to park, fight with the Garmin, and that we never did go to Mercado Municpal, I thought a good old fashion Japanese bakery would cheer him up.  It was more like a good old fashion Brazilasian bakery, but hey close enough right?! Itiriki Bakery.  We decided to split a roll with crusted swiss cheese and sun dried tomatoes.  It was perfectly savory, and crisp, and very delicious.

We purchased a chunk of Maça Bolo (apple cake) to try.  The cake part was good, the apple topping was bitter and salty.  A Pão de Dulce de Leite, a large “pan” rolled in powdered milk and filled with approximately half a can of  dulce de leite (it beat my husband and he was done after 3 bites).  I insisted on eating something Japanese, and bought the Morango Daifuku (Strawberry bean filled mochi).

The daifuku was very good, crammed with azuki beans and a sweet strawberry center.  I’ve never had a strawberry filled daifuku before, so it was a nice surprise.

After cramming all of the delicious food in my mouth, and liking my milk covered fingers, I realized that all of the proper Brazilian women were holding the bread with their napkins.  OOPS!  Overall, I~m not a fan of Liberdade, but I think when I finally make it to the Mercado Municipal I may like it.


About scrubgrub

I'm just another soul on the internet, posting random thoughts into the ether, because well I love stumbling on other peoples random thoughts, so I figured why not add mine to the mix too. I'm also the mom to two very funny little boys, and how can you not share that with everyone?

3 responses »

  1. Dear scrubgrub,

    The Mercado offer the following options, park at the Mercado proper, it is much cheaper, but their parking lot is usually full and there is a huge line of cars at the entrance, if you have time get on the line and wait.
    There are several smaller parking lots across the street from Mercado, they shouldn’t cost you more than 20 Reais for a couple of hours, maybe 3 hours, but they are convenient, safe and there is usually not wait.
    You could also park at Metro Santa Cruz station, closest to you Brooklin, take the subway downtown and walk a few blocks to the Mercado. Santa Cruz’s parking garage is a large concrete parking lot with several levels, it is very safe and not expensive at all, it sits right above Metro Santa Cruz station, it is situated at Vila Mariana neighborhood.
    You could rent a taxi driver for the day, would cost you around R$50,00 to R$100,00 depending where you pick up your cab and how many hours he drives you around.
    If you decide to rent a cab for the day, it is cool, because you don’t have to worry about parking, don’t have to worry about your GPS or driving and you will enjoy the city better without all those distractions.
    You could use the same strategy to visit the Liberdade area or even the Paulista area.
    There is a good Taxi Station in front of Franz Cafe on Haddock Lobo Street, across the street from the Renaissance Hotel, all of the Taxi drivers in that Taxi Station are used to make deals for the day for Americans traveling around the city. Most of them also speak English.
    You could also rent a Town Car iwth a driver from the Renaissance for the day, but that it a whole different conversation, we did that for VIP clients of the bank visiting the city.


  2. Thanks for the taxi tips, perhaps I’ll use them one day.

  3. Pingback: Lost in Sao Paulo « O Jeito Brasiliero

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