Because we are in Brasil on a temporary basis, and because my husband’s firm offered to ship down 1000 lbs. of goods (and cover the import taxes), we shipped down a few items we felt were necessary, but went light on the homier items. Now that I sit on our couch (purchased at Tok&Stok an overpriced Ikea of sorts) and look over my large, house like apartment I wish I would have brought a few more “nick nacks”.
My husband did a wonderful job of finding an apartment in Brasil, and has landed us in an older apartment building in Brooklin-Paulista. The newer buildings, with their shiny glass covered balconies are much smaller on the interior, so we are happy with our large and spacious old style building. I also think the apartment has a charm to it, as it is old. The street is a quiet, rarely traveled, one-way street with bits of the original, hand-lain brickwork poking through the modern asphalt. The trees are covered in the emerald green moss, with roots pushing the narrow, bumpy sidewalks into further distortion. As I stare out my apartment window with my son, I watch the never ending parade of Brazilian’s walking their dogs (which is definitely one of the drawbacks of Brasil, no one really picks up their dog’s messes). In short, I really love it here.
I read on one blog about how no one ever walks anywhere, and people drive out of their driveways and back in again, never stepping foot on the sidewalk outside. I think a life like this may have been something I experienced in Morumbi, where there wasn’t a cute corner bakery, or the local feira, or the really great restaurant that sells Frango de Asado (grilled chicken) every weekend that I could easily walk to. I am glad we chose Brooklin.
I love that Orchid’s grow on the trees in front of my house, I couldn’t have asked for a prettier view!
Our balcony is much larger than all of the other balconies in the complex, and wraps along the entire side of our apartment. I also have my own private balcony for our bedroom. This will make for a great gardening spot I think, and an even better play area for my son, as there are no little bars for him to chuck random kid objects through, little legs, or big fat heads.
The common area comes with a Brazilian style bbq pit and from the looks of it a wood burning oven. To the left is the Olympic sized lap pool (for my son), and a little play area that I may let the little licker on one day when he stops being the little licker. Behind the play area is a soccer goal, and off to the side is the gym with sauna. Overall not bad.
The interior of the home is all dark wood. I really feel like I’m living in an old Southern home. I have a living room, with the attached dining area that has swinging doors that head into the kitchen. I guess if I had maids and a cook bringing out delicious meals to me, that’d be a very helpful little door. The kitchen has a breakfast nook and then flows into the full sized laundry room. I absolutely LOVE that there are racks above the washer/dryer that I can hang my clothing from. Living in a small apartment in Los Angeles, I found that our apartment was strewn with my “do not dry in the dryer” clothes every Saturday and Sunday morning.
In Brasil there is always the service entrance. The maids, nannies, service men who come to your home always enter through the back door. Brazilians take this formality seriously (as my husband learned when transporting his suitcase up the main elevator). The service entrance is where we leave our trash to be taken away by the building maid every day. It is where our mail is left for us to pick up, and it is the door that leads straight into the laundry room. Off of the laundry room is the maid’s room. This could be where the maid kept her belonging for the day, or if we had a live in maid where she slept. The room is not bigger than a small walk-in closet and is meant merely for a bed from what I can see. Across the hallway is her bathroom. I’ve tried to take photo’s to capture how awful this bathroom really is… think cruise ship, but worse. Yes the shower head literally hangs above a drain on the floor between the sink and the toilet.
Overall, the apartment is large. With a living room, and attached dining room, two bedrooms, an office, a master bedroom, 2.5 bathrooms, and the maid’s bathroom. Along the hallway are floor to ceiling closets, which change to mirrored doors in the master bedroom. This is the main hallway, which leads to the master bedroom hallway (another 7 feet of hallway after the door until you get to the room itself).
On all accounts we are very lucky to be in a large apartment, versus a tighter apartment. The only issue is we only have 1000 lbs. of belongings coming down, and most of that will go in the kitchen or the closets!
And rent, well the rent for this space is better than I could ever find in LA.