There are several organic farmer’s markets in Rio that happen 3 days each week. The official organization is called the Associação de Agricultores Biológicos do Estado do Rio de Janeiro (ABIO). Here’s the schedule of the organic markets in Rio, in case you’re curious.. (or in case future-me needs to find it again).
I went to the one closest to Copacabana, which is in a little sub-neighborhood called Peixoto.
All in all the prices were a little more expensive than the supermarket, as expected, but really not that terrible. I bought a small bunch of carrots for R$4 (~$2.00 USD), a medium sized beet for R$2 (~$1.00 USD), and a dozen organic eggs for R$8 (~$4 USD). I did, however, learn that nobody eats beet greens here. They simply cut them off the beets and toss them. I had no idea and asked one of the women there to give me a bunch of beet greens. When I asked her how much, she said “Don’t worry about it, nobody eats them here!” Nice! They were, however, a tad wilty.
After lunch at home, I decided to spend the day in Santa Teresa. Historically an upper-class neighborhood, it seems to be mostly a lower/middle-class neighborhood these days, home to students and artists. It’s located on the enormous Santa Teresa hill, and I definitely found myself sweating and breathing hard as I made my way up.
First tourist spot was, of course, the Escadaria Selarón. Sadly, the artist was found dead this past January on these steps that he created.
After I walked up the 250 steps of the Escadaria Selarón, I headed towards Parque das Ruínas.
This “park” is really quite beautiful. There’s a giant mansion which seems to have been somewhat deconstructed. Once you get to the top of the mansion, there’s a little cafe as well as a lookout. Seriously beautiful views.
Right next door to Parque das Ruínas is the Museum “Chácara do Céu.” This museum is also the former mansion home of an art collector. The entrance fee was R$ 2 (~$1 USD), and the exhibits were fascinating. Not to mention, the house itself is pristine.
I really enjoyed the John Heartfield exhibit as well! This is one of my favorites:
On my way out of the museum down the residential street leading up to it, I spotted a tiny monkey! It was about the size of a squirrel, and, after some research, I believe it is the Black-tufted Marmoset. The face of most black-tufted marmosets looked exactly like the face of this particular little monkey (though I couldn’t get a decent picture of his face, as he was scurrying along too quickly). These monkeys are apparently normally found much farther inland, so it’s possible that I’m wrong and this is an entirely different species.. that just happens to look exactly the same.
I continued my trek through Santa Teresa, using Google Maps to guide me. Even with this, I somehow ended up taking a couple of turns that I hadn’t intended on taking. The roads here are long, cobble-stoned, and the wind-y (as in.. it winds a lot.. not as in there’s lots of wind.. why do I get the feeling that it’s somehow spelled another way? Damn, I’m forgetting English as I learn Portuguese!). Suffice to say, the walk was long and I was sweaty.
I made it finally to a fancy restaurant that has a bajillion reviews online called Aprazível. This is a a $35-50 USD per entree kind of place. I had the goat roasted in wine sauce, with mashed yam, mushrooms, and olives, which came out to be about $36. It was very, very good. Tender, juicy, flavorful. The mashed yams were absolutely delicious as well. This is definitely a fancy date-night type of place. The restaurant is laid out like a giant tree house on the side of Santa Teresa hill, and you have the most beautiful views.
Getting home was a pain in the ass. Since there’s no tram, and since there is no subway station, I had 2 options: Have the restaurant call a cab for me, or walk 20 minutes (in the dark) to the nearest bus station, and wait for a bus. The whole bus thing here is kind of hit or miss. Sometimes I wait for a bus and it never comes, so if I’m in a rush, I usually always take the train. Since I wasn’t in a rush, I decided to walk, based on the route suggested to my by Google Maps. I realized halfway through the walk, as I was descending the hill via a shitty looking road with some beat up little houses, that Google Maps doesn’t take into account “safety” of the routes they recommend. However, I survived (it wasn’t that bad really.. more a simple fear of the unknown), and made it home. Yay for freaking my self out and then having everything be totally fine! :)