Tag Archives: rio

Memories from Carnival (Pictures)

By Walker Dawson


I spent three weeks filming and conducting interviews for our upcoming documentary series on Carnaval.  We worked with Mayor Eduardo Paes’ international communications team in the Palácio da Cidade covering all aspects of Carnival, while focusing on what goes on behind the scenes. Here is a selection of my favorite shots.

In recent years there’s been lots of negative press concerning Rio and the upcoming olympics. The goal of this project is to document all the hard work and organization to show a side of Carnival that tourists and international press often overlook.


 

 

10582904_10152710407396469_4292822206649074376_oBorn and raised in San Francisco, Walker then majored in International Relations and Chinese at the New School University in NYC. He began traveling during a high school exchange to Argentina, and hasn’t stopped since. Walker has always sought out the more unusual and off the beaten path locations and is combining his love for photography and travel to kickstart a career as a journalist, striving to redefine the profession in rapidly changing world.

From Lima to Rio: The Interoceanic Highway (Pictures)

I traveled for three days on a section of the Interoceanic Highway from the Pacific Coast of Peru to the Brazilian Amazon. The highway continues to São Paulo, Brazil, over 3,900 miles away. The highway spans three time zones, and is the first to cross the entire continent of South America. Many have called it one of the greatest construction projects in Latin America since the Panama Canal. Since its completion, the Interoceanic has raised Peru’s GDP by 1.5% a year. However, the highway has had many detrimental impacts on the local people and environments. The remote Peruvian Amazon was once five to seven days from Cusco Peru by truck. But now the trip takes less than 9 hours. Illegal gold mining and logging has increased exponentially in the last 5 years and residents of Puerto Maldonado, a dusty, frontier boom town, have expressed their concern about the benefits the highway promised to bring.

I asked Malena, a women who worked at the Tarapoto Hostel how the Interoceanic has changed the town. “It hasn’t brought more jobs, it’s actually taken them away,” she replied. “Miners and other people like that just come here, take everything away, and destroy the nature we have here,” Malena added. “The highway has also brought in a lot more delinquency and crime.”
The impact of the highway is being felt especially hard in the remote regions of the Amazon where 15 tribes have been displaced. The Interoceanic now runs through the heart of their homeland, bringing diseases, disrupting wildlife habitat, and ruining their sustainable lifestyle. The Amazon, one of the worlds great ecosystems, is still rich and plentiful, but for how much longer will it remain?

10582904_10152710407396469_4292822206649074376_oBorn and raised in San Francisco, Walker then majored in International Relations and Chinese at the New School University in NYC. He began traveling during a high school exchange to Argentina, and hasn’t stopped since. Walker has always sought out the more unusual and off the beaten path locations and is combining his love for photography and travel to kickstart a career as a journalist, striving to redefine the profession in rapidly changing world.

The Dalma Bums (Video)

We took a supply ship up the Rio Paraguay for three days in search of travel enlightenment.  It wasn’t always easy, but it was unforgettable. That’s Paraguay in a nutshell.

Directed, filmed and edited by Nick Neumann

Hosted – Walker Dawson

Music:
Guitar Solo, #5 by Neil Young
West Dub by Kanka Dub

Violent World Cup Protest (Video)

We weren’t able to watch the World Cup final because we were trapped in a plaza by 10,000’s of military police. They began firing tear gas, stun grenades, and pepper spray, injuring dozens of people in the process.  It was definitely one of the craziest days of our lives. 
Here’s what went down.

 

Rio’s Top 5 Neighborhoods

There is not other way of putting it, Rio de Janeiro is one of the world’s best cities. It’s equal parts first world and third world, part European, part Latin, and part African. It flows to the beat of Samba and Funky, and enjoys hands down the greatest setting of any city in the world. It is far from perfect, the crime rate is high, the poor are mistreated by the military and police, and the economic disparities are some of the most extreme on the planet, but it is those exact tensions and contrasts that make Rio endlessly fascinating.  At the end of the day, Cariocas (a resident of Rio) seem to put these differences aside in favor of white sand beaches, the warm Atlantic water and the vibrant nightlife.

#5 Urca

The upper middle class neighborhood of Urca is an unexpected delight. It has beautiful treelined streets with local neighborhood restaurants and bars (make sure to check out Bar Urca where you can sit on the sea wall overlooking of Rio and the Christ the Redeemer statue). But what makes this neighborhood great is its setting. It is situated on the end of a narrow peninsula between the iconic Pão de Açúcar/Sugarloaf mountain and the bay.

Things to see:
  • Pista Cláudio Coutinho
  • Praia Vermelha
  • Pão de Açúcar/Sugarloaf mountain
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Praia Vermelha and Pão de Açúcar, Urca.

#4 Copacabana

This is the most typical of neighborhoods on this list, but it must be mentioned. This is what Rio de Janeiro is famous for; if you’ve seen this city in a movie or on a postcard, it was probably from Copacabana. Here lies one of the greatest stretches of urban beach anywhere in the world. One minute you are underground, packed like a sardine at rush hour on a crowded subway car, and the next minute you are riding waves in clear, warm water with white sands, palm trees and blue skies. An added bonus is that the people are beautiful, the juices are plentiful and otherworldly and the setting is spectacular. This is why people come to Rio, and I can understand why.

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Copacabana Beach.

#3 Centro

For a city of 12.5 million, the downtown of Rio may seem disappointing at first (the skyline could be compared to a mid sized American city such as Cincinnati or Denver), but what it lacks in soulless skyscrapers, it makes up for with history and old world charm. This is the historical heart of Rio de Janeiro, and some might argue all of Brazil, but this isn’t like the tacky tourist joints of the North End in Boston, or Midtown Manhattan where teeshirt shops outnumber locals, these streets are rough, with homeless men smoking crack, people shuffling through garbage and the walls are covered in graffiti. But pause for a second and you will find over 400 years of Portuguese and Brazilian history all around you.

Things to see:
    • Mosteiro de São Bento
    • Centro Cultural Banco Do Brasil
    • Travessa do Comércio
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Igreja de São Francisco de Paula, Centro.

#2 Lapa

If there is a crazier party strip in Latin America I’d like to see it. Lapa is where Cariocas of all walks of life come to party and be merry. The sounds of Samba flood into the street, strangers meet and begin dancing, people sip caipirinhas while chewing on grilled meat from migrants from Brazil’s Northeast, transsexuals sell themselves on street corners in skimpy dresses, and in the shadows crack dealers sell their goods. It’s a crazy mix that must be experienced, preferably with a sweet caipirinha in your hand.

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Street Vendor, Lapa.

#1 Santa Teresa

This bohemian hood of narrow, 100 year old cobble stone streets is Rio’s crowned jewel. This is a neighborhood of poets, writers, artists, and those who inhabit crumbling, turn of the century mansions. This neighborhood would certainly take the cake as one of the worlds great neighborhoods. Make sure to check out Largo do Guimarães and Largo das Neves, two old squares with bohemian bars (Bar do Gomez) and restaurants (Bar do Mineiro). Our personal favorite is Largo das Letras, a wonderful place where music dances through a library like setting and caipirinhas flow freely.

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Bar do Gomez, Santa Teresa.

Stay tuned for our neighborhood review of Sao Paulo.