Brazil will always be close to my heart. My second home for an entire decade of my life, to the extent my Brazilian friends jokingly referred to me as “Amerioca”.  A carioca is a resident of Rio de Janeiro like a Bostonian is to Boston. Anyway, even though I was basically working all the time, here’s a round-up of places I loved in Rio, when I wasn’t! LAPA!: For clubbing, there are some reggae clubs, club six for hip-hop and Rio Scenarium for samba mpb and awesome people watching. Festas dos Suburbios: If you are adventurous, Olimpo is a crazy huge mega-club that fits like 5000 ppl lol, outskirts of the city.  To me, its a bit much but you will have memorable moments theres.  Especially, In fact, some of the best night life was on the outskirts of the city, especially this street party held under a viaduct in Rio’s Blackest neighborhood  Viaduto de MadureiraFeiras are another big attraction for a more relaxing day with beach, some feijoada and a bit of shopping. I take my bougie friends to Feira Hippy (Ipanema, more pricy).  But I take my more grassroots friends Feira do Lavradio (Cinelandia, more locals and cheaper) are great for buying gifts- try the acarajé!!!!!! I think its the only place outside of Nigeria that makes this dish.

Also…. for those want everything, arts,  food, drinking, debauchery, Amazonian souvenirs, another magical place for me is Feira Nordestina, by Maracana stadium, a mix between a concert hall, food court, bazaar with all types of food, crafts and live music and fun for Northeast region

Obviously for those who love samba, its the roots and heart and soul of Rio   Its the legacy of enslaved Africans who were brought here and miscegenated, the Portuguese sailors and artisans who brought their sad guitars, its a culmination of so many histories, which is why it has so much soul. Pedra do Sal is my FAVE samba in Rio, occurs Mon & Fri evenings only, its also an AfroBrazilian patrimony since it was where samba was created ance enslaved Africans arrived from docks Beco do Rato is another great samba on Tuesdays I think…

Obviously…. when I wasn’t at these places, I was working or at the beach!