Around the Block

By Barrioboy

Jardim Europa

Jardim Europa is a verdant suburb in Sao Paulo forming part of the bairro of Jardim Paulista, the upmarket part of Sao Paulo, the highest point of which is Avenida Paulista lying up a very steep hill immediately behind the camera, and celebrating today the 120th anniversary of its inauguration! Here you can see across the garden suburb to the area of Itaim and Vila Olympia beyond.

Sao Paulo itself, now with a metropolitan area of 20 million people, was founded as a Jesuit mission 450 years ago. It was a poor area until it experienced three great periods of increasing wealth; the gold, sugar and coffee periods. The latter gave rise to the phrase that the city's wealth was based on cafe con leite (coffee with milk), and the city's economic growth was assisted by the need to develop railway links to the port of Santos and the interior of the state. It has a huge density of high rise buildings and the second largest fleet of helicopters after NYC. And, as I've said many times, is a vibrant in-your-face city with a strong work ethic ('the city that never stops'), a strong cultural life, restaurants as fine as anywhere, and still significant poverty and lack of quality education for the majority. Anyone care to imagine what the place will be like in another 450 years!

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