I met up with some fellow grantees today to do some exploring of Ipanema. First, breakfast:
Açaí blended with granola and banana. The woman even asked me “you want it mixed together right?” and I said yes. But I still wasn’t expecting them to BLEND it. I wanted some chunky chunks! Ah well.
Then I met up with Levi at Posto 8 on Ipanema Beach and headed over to Pedra do Arpoador (“rock of Arpoador”). Arpoador is a small upper/middle class neighborhood on the piece of land that juts out between Copacabana and Ipanema. At the end of this piece of land is a giant rock called.. you guessed it! The Rock of Arpoador.
Walking up the stone stairs to get to one of the higher points of Pedra do Arpoador.
..still walking up Pedra do Arpoador.
The best view from Pedra do Arpoador. Yes, they are indeed fishing. This ain’t the Hudson ya’ll.
A view of Ipanema beach from Pedra do Arpoador. When you google “Pedra do Arpoador” you’ll see that tons of other people have taken this exact same photo before me. I’m not creative.
To get an idea of the geography, see this photo with labels.
We then headed over to the Hippy Fair of Ipanema, which is apparently an arts and crafts fair that has happened every Sunday since 1968. The official website boasts that it’s the largest open air art and artisanal craft fair. Maybe this was true when they created their website, but not only was the fair not that big, there didn’t seem to be that large of a variety of arts/crafts and in general most things seemed very touristy, uninteresting, and overpriced.
The “Feira Hippie de Ipanema” (the Hippy Fair of Ipanema).
You may be wondering, as I did, why they are selling knitted long johns at the Hippie Fair in a city where the average annual temperature is in the high 70s.
I was of course, at this point, starving. The closest food stand in the Hippy Fair was a Bahian one, so we decided to sit down and try some noms. I had an empada, Michael had a tapioca crepe thing with coconut and condensed milk, and Levi had “acarajé.”
The Bahian food stand at the Hippy Fair.
This is an “empada” with chicken in it. It’s the Brazilian version of an empanada. I have to say, it wasn’t terribly delicious, just okay. The chicken was somewhat flavorful, but the crust (which there was a LOT of) was very dry and crumbly and I kind of felt like I was eating sawdust.
This is Michael, a fellow grantee. He’s eating a “Doce de tapioca com coco e leite condensado” which literally just means it’s a sweet tapioca snack with coconut and condensed milk. It’s like a thin pancake/crepe that’s made of tapioca flour. I also didn’t find it very tasty. The crepe thing was kinda dry and tasteless. The condensed milk was its only saving grace, but come on, who doesn’t love condensed milk.
This is Levi. He’s eating a traditional Bahian dish called “acarajé.” I think it’s typically served as street food too. It’s made from ground black eyed peas with onions, and peppers, then fried, and drizzled with cooked shrimp and some kind of sauce, that I think has more onions and peppers in it. Weirdly, it never seems to be served with peeled shrimp, so Levi sat there painstakingly trying to peel of his tiny shrimp. In the end, he ended up eating mostly just the fritter.
They were all pretty satisfied, but I was still starving, so we decided to search for some real food. On our way, we saw a classic Brazilian scene.. (and really, probably a classic scene in most Latin American and European countries).
Of course, a bunch of people watching a soccer again on the streets of Ipanema.
Found a lanchonete (the dictionary says this word should be translated as “snack bar,” but I think it makes sense to translate it as a “luncheonette”).
Dinner at an open-air fast food/luncheonette type place. Baked pork, brown rice, bean, and steamed veggies. So not worth $10. Everything was totally bland, and the meat was tough. (I’m starting to think I’m just really picky??)
Levi and Michael’s Chilean friend, Abinal. Giant bowls of açaí all around! There’s so much of it here and it’s so damn good.
Annnnd then we parted ways. I walked home with Nick along the boardwalk. The end!