São Paulo is very large town, but you will probably move only in a restricted area, comprising Downtown, Jardins, specially along Avenida Paulista, what was once a track along a ridgeline through virgin Atlantic rainforest has come quite a ways in just over 100 years. Over one million people and 100,000 cars make their way along the Avenida Paulista on any given business day. Even back in 1891 its original designers intended it to be a grand ceremonial boulevard. The street was then home to São Paulo's elite, the place where coffee barons and factory owners built their magnificent villas. One of these grand mansions still remains, the Casa das Rosas down near the Brigadeiro Metrô stop. Beginning in the '30s, however, the old mansions gave way to office buildings and then ever higher commercial skyscrapers. Collectively, they make for an impressive statement of wealth and prestige, though individually the architecture is pretty mediocre. There are two worthwhile attractions near the north end of the Avenida: the Museu Arte São Paulo (MASP) and, just opposite, Siqueira Campos Park, also called by its old name, Trianon Park.
All the avenue is well served with buses and a subway (metro) line that runs the entire street with several stations.
The next list is a collection of museums, places, attractions and others things that you can find near or at Avenida Paulista.
Museu Arte São Paulo (MASP)
- MASP,Museu Arte São Paulo or in english Art Museum of São Paulo. Av. Paulista 1.578, close to IFT and Metro Trianon-MASP. Telephone 3251-5644. Closes Mondays. Open from 11 a.m. to 5 pm. R$ 10,00.
- Vila Madalena is a lively area with many bars, restaurants, etc. Main streets are Rua Harmonia, Wizard, Purpurina, Fidalga., Fradique Coutinho, Mourato Coelho. Vila Madalena is at the end of the subway line that runs along Avenida Paulista. However, by night it is better to take a taxi to go there.
- Jardins, just cross Avenida Paulista and you are in the Jardins. This used to be a very hyped area, but in the last years it lost a bit of its prestige.
- Iguatemi, the most elegant one is Shopping Iguatemi, with international fashion stores. Av. Faria Lima, 2232, Pinheiros/Jardins.
- Paulista Shopping,Nearer to Avenida Paulista you find the Paulista Shopping., R. Treze de Maio, 1947 , at the beginning of Av. Paulista. Another option, not too far away is Shopping Patio Higienópolis.
The staid old MASP is trying harder. Perhaps because of competition from the Pinocoteca São Pãulo's big art museum recently re-organized its galleries to give much more space to Brazilian artists. The top floor contains the permanent collection which, as before, contains an excellent selection of Western art, from 14th-century Italian religious imagery to the early 20th century works of Picasso. Every period and country has a representative sample: Dutch Rembrandts, English Turners, Spanish El Grecos, and French everythings (Rodin, Renoir, Degas, and Monet). But in one big change, several rooms on this floor are now dedicated to the Brazilian greats, among them Di Cavalcanti and Candido Portinari. Even better, the entire second floor of the MASP is now a temporary gallery, dedicated to changing exhibitions, again of mostly Brazilian artists. The display space is still long and fluorescent lit and kind of warehouse-y, but the art is now worth the trip.
Casa das Rosas
Located at Av. Paulista 37, Centro, 011 251 5271. It is a wonderful mansion when you're in Sao Paulo. “The House of Roses”, once a private residence, was opened as a cultural cntre in 1986 and has many different exhibitions apart from its permanent displays.
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