Wednesday, December 11, 2013

What's In Your Wallet Neighborhood?

An Every Wednesday post actually on a Wednesday.

Neigh.Bor.Hood: ˈnā-bər-ˌhu̇d\ "A section of a town or a city."

And what a difference a section can make.

When Sue got the high school counselor job in Sao Paulo the hiring process was way behind the normal time line, so there wasn't much discussion about living arrangements. It was basically: "Housing will be provided."

Nothing about the quality of housing mind you. The apartment was spacious but spartan, but what was missing wasn't what wasn't in the apartment, it was what was missing around the apartment: A neighborhood.

We were living in Morumbi, a short walk from Sue's school, but San Francisco hilly hilly, and definitely not a walking around area. Oh we had to walk to the grocery store not having a car, but there was no place to walk "to".

So we moved from Morumbi to Vila Novo Conceicao just on the edge of Moema. A distance of 11 clicks (6.6 miles) but 180 degree change in a neighborhood.

View Larger Map

A short walk or bike ride away to the northeast is Iberapuera Park which I wrote about a few weeks ago. Click on the purple to open that post Iberapuera Park Post in a new window.

Since we've been here we've walked to the local stores on the main street, Afonso Bras, just a block from us, but hadn't explored the neighborhood to the north.....or the south.....or the west.

It was time to venture north and see the neighborhood. Onto the Bike Friday NWT wondering what will traffic be like on the side streets versus "Take Your Life In Your Hands If You'd Be So Foolish" main roads.

Well, they drive as fast and don't give you a heckuva lot of space but there are far less cars, so some of my cycling was on the sidewalk where a side road was busy.

In a word I'd say our neighborhood is fairly upscale with many high rise "pay through the nose" looking buildings. The area is pleasant with many of the streets tree lined with the tropical foilage that is Sao Paulo. After all this once was a forest.

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Cycling along I found "Bread Co" an indoor/outdoor coffee and what not cafe. The rain curtains were deployed as we just had a thunder storm but I ventured over to check out the menu: breakfast omelettes, assorted sandwiches, and a small pastry shop inside. Yes!!

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Across the corner was a woman with her floral shop on the corner. Good place to bring Sue for some fleurs for the apartmento.

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Now this is a walking neighborhood! Funny, how an area can completely change your outlook and mood. A lot to explore still. But I also found a local neighborhood lunch spot. a fancy dancy restaurant (Josephine), a small pocket park, and some la de da stores.

And that's just what is north of us. Time to get on the bike and go west young man.

Click on any pic to go to the album.
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