Nossa senhora, I am thankful the rain has somewhat subsided here. Agora, we’ve had muito sol for exploring Belo Horizonte. As it’s name suggests, it is truly a beautiful place, and much easier to appreciate when you can get out there and enjoy it.
There is this one lovely park on a mountain-hill in the city, and the first chance we had where all fortunes aligned (no rain, no other plans, not too bad of traffic, and enough energy to enjoy ourselves) Luz Helena (Lucy) and I ventured out across town in her carro to watch the sunset over the city. We forgot the wine, blanket, and significant others, but I was able to buy an ice-cold tall boy and some freshly-popped pipoca (popcorn) from a kind vendadora.
The city’s vista truly took my breath away, it is so vast and encompassing. Here, I was reminded of other amazing cities I’ve had the good fortune of meeting. The hills and the trees and greenery naturally remind me of my former city — Seattle, Washington. But the hundreds of high-risers reminded me more of Tokyo, Japan, with similar quantity, range, styles, and colors. The weather, the car-based culture, and the mountain-hills of such proximity reminded me of Los Angeles, California. Does this view of Belo Horizonte remind you of any other cities of the world?
The higher point here is up in the Parque de Mangabeiras, with the city to one side, and the wilderness to the other, and the favela with the baile funk pumping in the middle. From these stunning viewpoints, I was afforded a much stronger sense of the city I’d been dwelling in (much of it indoors, due to the rain).
Here, as is common in much of BH, one can admire fathers walking hand in hand with adolescent sons, strangers happy to walk up and strike a conversation with you, families frolicking with toys and dogs and tightropes, young and not so young couples passionately making out, everyone enjoying one another, and this beautiful time and space we share.