When In São Paulo, Have A Drink At Sonique

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I used to complain that there were no cool bars or lounges in São Paulo, but I take that back after this past weekend. On Saturday night I went to Sonique for a friend's birthday, and it is everything I have been asking for in São Paulo: a place with impeccable design and great music that I can go to with friends for a drink or two after dinner at 11ish, and be done by 2. If you live in a city like New York, that may seem like the norm, but much of São Paulo's traditional bar culture revolves around draft beer and appetizers on a sidewalk bar in the late afternoon, and the city's nightlife is all about big clubs which you should not even attempt to go to before at least 1 am. Sonique may just be the antidote for that.

Opened since February (don't even ask me why I had not been there yet), Sonique was designed by the much hyped French-Brazilian architects Triptyque, and its decor alone would be worth a trip there. The crowd is mixed, 40% straight 60% gay, and pretty cute. And btw, a new gay party will take over the space on Sunday afternoons starting August 9.

Sonique is located at Rua Bela Cintra, 461.

Picture blatantly stolen from Duda Bairros' Flickr.

3 Million People Celebrate Gay Pride In São Paulo

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No official numbers have been released yet, but early estimates are that 3 to 3.5 million attended the Gay Pride parade at Avenida Paulista yesterday. Some websites, however, report that there were less people at the parade this year than at the previous two.

I did not attend the parade this year again for several reasons which I have listed in the past (1,200 police officers for 3 million people being one of them), but I went through every news site and Brazilian blog this morning to put together a list of links to pictures and articles about the parade you should check out.

  • At a press conference before the parade yesterday, São Paulo Governor José Serra confirmed his support for civil unions for homosexual couples. (Folha Online)
  • Nineteen floats were on the schedule, but not a single São Paulo nightclub was involved in the parade this year.
  • Gay Pride weekend brought in 400 thousand tourists and R$200 million to the city São Paulo this year. Only 5% of the tourists came from abroad. Fyi, the only other event that brings in more tourists to the city is the F-1 Grand Prix. (G1)
  • Model Edilson Nascimento showed up at the parade yesterday, along with Têtu's editor Gilles Wullus.
  • 392 was the number of medical emergencies at Avenida Paulista yesterday, 99% of them being caused by alcohol abuse. (Folha Online)
  • The police is investigating the explosion of a homemade bomb in downtown São Paulo last night. The explosion injured 21 people who had just left the parade. On another sad note, a 35-year-old man was attacked last night by a group of men at prominently gay street Frei Caneca. The man was taken to the hospital with severe brain damage, and is in a comma. Other serious incidents last night involved a young man being attacked and robbed, a man being stabbed in the leg, and a journalist and cameraman being beat by a group of three men. (G1)
  • Not a surprise there: the police has already filed dozens of reports of stolen wallets, cameras, and cellphones. (G1)

View pictures of the 2009 São Paulo Gay Pride parade at:

G Magazine, Hercules, São Paulo Nightlife, And A Smoking Ban Legislation

  • G040809 While dancer Scheila Carvalho undressed for Playboy, her husband Tony Salles posed for the cover of gay porn magazine G this month.
  • Priscila and Francine, second and third places this season on Big Brother Brazil, shared a kiss at the show's finale last night.
  • I wish Brazilian soccer players would be up for this: New Zealand rugby players strip for each other.
  • The New York Times takes a look at nightlife on the "bad" side of Avenida Paulista in São Paulo.
  • I am thrilled to announce that an indoors smoking ban legislation for the state of São Paulo was passed last night, banning smoking in bars, restaurants, hotels, and even banning the existence of smoking designated areas. After its sanction by the Governor, the law will be in effect in 90 days.
  • Gisele and Tom Brady run to the pharmacy.
  • Madonna and Angelina Jolie talk adoption on SNL.
  • Women has posted brand new polas of Aline Weber.
  • Tattoo Youth.
  • More proof that Hercules is one of the best men's magazines out there: Brian Shimansky by Giampaolo Sgura .

Biking Naked In São Paulo

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The second World Naked Bike Ride took over São Paulo's Avenida Paulista Saturday afternoon. Over 200 people went biking in their swimsuits and underwear to promote the use of bicycles and protest oil dependency. Because of heavy police enforcement, bikers did not go completely naked this year, with the exception of a very few who managed to get away from the police and let it all hang out. No one was arrested.

More pictures of São Paulo's Naked Bike Ride at UOL Notícias.

A Semana: Elections, Banco Itaú, And Adriana Lima On TV

I am not an American citizen, so am not allowed to vote, but if I were you bet I would have voted already. And if you want to keep a close eye on the election, Andy is live blogging today over at Towleroad.

Brazil's second-largest nonstate bank, Banco Itaú, announced yesterday that it will purchase its rival Unibanco in an all-stock transaction that combines about $260 billion in assets, making the new bank Latin America's biggest financial institution. Only five US banks have more assets.

The motorcycle craze in Tabatinga, northern Brazil, makes its way to the NYT.

The homicide rate in São Paulo has dropped to 10.3 cases per 100.000 people, a 67% drop compared to 2000 data. The acceptable rate according to the World Health Organization is of 10 cases per 100.000 people, a goal the city hopes to achieve by the end of the year.

Watch a preview of Adriana Lima in Ugly Betty. Her accent is so cute.

Bravo is developing five new fashion-themed reality shows.

I love Chanel Iman, but is this for real?

After Ford brought her back from the ashes and got her a Givenchy ad campaign, model Ana Claudia Michels went back to Women, the very same agency that dumped her back in the day.

Cindy Crawford makes a super sexy comeback in the November issue of Vogue Paris.

Kaiser Karl goes shopping in the streets of SoHo.

Elton John has already confirmed two concerts in Brazil in January. He will be playing São Paulo on the 17th and Rio on the 19th. James Blunt will be the opening act. Tickets go on sale this weekend at www.ingresso.com.br.

The Chicest Movie Theater Ever

This past Saturday I had lunch at the new Cidade Jardim luxury mall in São Paulo (you know, the one which features Sarah Jessica Parker in its ad campaign), and decided to put the Premier theaters available at the mall to the test.

The new Premier theaters are available exclusively at Cidade Jardim, and tickets cost R$49, twice as much as a at regular movie theater in the country (and approximately US $24). I know the price is really outrageous, but so is the theater. Not only is it reserved seating only, but the chairs make you feel like you are sitting on business class at a plane, with tray tables and a button to call the concession stand for treats. And talking about treats, options include popcorn with truffle oil, apple crumb cake, champagne, and wine, all packaged in designer buckets and served in modern plastic trays. There are waiters around to bring you your purchases from the concession stand. After watching a movie there, I seriously never want to step into a regular theater again.

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