THE GREAT CROSSROADS
“Ah! Se ela soubesse que quando ela passa / O mundo inteirinho se enche de graça / E fica mais lindo por causa do amor.” * Cooled by fresh coconut milk, the days drift by on the beaches to the bossa nova rhythm of Antônio Carlos Jobim’s The Girl From Ipanema. The black and white mosaic sidewalks are lined with juice bars serving the sucos of exotic fruits: graviola, cupuaçu, açaï... The cariocas play volleyball in bikinis and the boys sport soccer jerseys emblazoned with the names of their idols: Neymar, Lucas, Ronaldinho. The foundations of the Brazilian national character are always in evidence: religion, a passion for sports and a love of celebration — the colossal Sambódromo fills up at carnival time, and the samba is more popular than ever.
* “Ah, if she but knew that when she passes by / The whole world fills with grace / And becomes more beautiful because of love.”