Sao Paulo is indeed only a big city, yet it is a very modern and sophisticated city with lots of culture and arts. It offers probably the best museums and exhibitions in Brazil which are always well attended by Paulistas, has shops and boutiques in Notting Hill-Style, and even the Cariocas admit that the night scene is more hip than in their own city
. The artistic vein of Sao Paulo can be even noticed in the streets. The city is one of the greatest graffiti centers in the world and many street artists are invited to many museums and galleries’ shows. Also London’s Tate is a supporter of Sao Paulo’s street graffiti! Furthermore, the city offers a stunning skyline. Wherever you look at, there are multitudes of skyscrapers over 7,944 square kilometers. It is quite understandable why this city is compared with one of the most fascinating cities in the world: New York. Of course does Sao Paulo have its shade site like every other city does. As Mihai has already described is the Centro Historico, center for finance and business which is by itself a wonderful area in Chicago-style, devastated by trash, beggars and junkies – which reminded me of the rival city.
Well, I did really like the fact that Rio has many natural settings including the powder sand beaches, but I really, really disliked the fact that one has to watch out for every single step. It might be exaggerated that Rio is very dangerous as nothing happened to us – thanks God – even tough we disobeyed almost every advice e.g. taking the bus at night (it was Mihai and not me who insisted on it!). But it is undeniable that Rio has a big population of poor people and ghettos downtown which has a big influence on the city. Thus, Rio might be beautiful from the top of a hill, but as soon as one descends, one sees the destruction of the city everywhere. In my opinion, somebody who loves Rio has obviously never been to Hong Kong! However, Sao Paulo isn't a competitor, either. :)
Thank you for passing the pen to me, Mr. Yin. Did you know that yin means literally 'shady place' and is among other things negative? It stands for the dark area occluded by the mountains’ bulk. Well, dearest reader, doesn’t this explain why Mr. Yin loves Rio that much?! In contrast, yang is active dominating, positive, and initiating/creating. Yang is associated with day, mountains, hills, fire, wood, and air. Thus, Rio is a place which can’t reach Sao Paulo’s dimension by definition – & to my mind, this is applicable to most aspects. It even starts with the weather. The first thing we realized when we arrived in Sao Paulo was the chilly dry air of the mainland. It felt good to have left Rio and its hot and sticky temperature.