At The Center Of It All
The Avenue Where Culture Thrives
Like many large metropolises, Brazil's biggest city is great for walking tours, if not not only to avoid São Paulo’s notorious gridlock. On weekends, you'll find Pacce strolling Avenida Paulista, a pedestrian-only thoroughfare closed to cars every Sunday. "This is the street to revel in São Paulo's fantastic diversity of ethnicities, ages, styles, and tribes. It’s also full of different cultural centers from the beginning of the avenue to the end." Take in the eclectic architecture of Japan House (52 Avenida Paulista; +55-11-3090-8900), the first of a trio of Japanese cultural centers spread across São Paulo, London, and Los Angeles. Opened in May 2017 by the Japanese embassy of Brazil, Japan House is meant to serve as a platform to celebrate Japanese culture around the world. The building's striking façade, made with interlocking cypress wood slats welcomes visitors into a three-story, 2,400 square-foot space featuring a variety of rotating exhibitions, and superstar Brazilian sushi chef, Jun Sakamoto's restaurant, Junji Sakamoto, for full service meals on the second floor. Downstairs, Imi Café serves a variety of teas and delectable pastries.
Moreira Salles Institute. Photo courtesy of Pedro Vannucchi/ Instituto Moreira Salles.
Two miles away is Instituto Moreira Salles (2424 Avenida Paulista; +55-11-2842-9120), also known as IMS, which opened in September 2017. A must-see for photography lovers, the museum's collection includes more than 2 million photographs, cataloging the works of some of Brazil’s best photographers, including portraits by Otto Stupakoff, and Chichico Alkmim, whose work is of great importance for research on clothing and fashion from early 20th century Brazil. Casa das Rosas (37 Avenida Paulista; +55-11-3285-6986), a national landmark situated between some of the city's most contemporary buildings, stands as a symbol of a bygone era. The former home of architect Francisco de Paula Ramos de Azevedo, the 1935 mansion is now a cultural attraction with a writers' training center named for Haroldo de Campos, a defining figure of Brazilian poetry. It also has a library, which contains 20,000 volumes of books and papers that were part of the poet's private collection. Check the foundation’s active events calendar before you go to catch a poetry reading or creative workshop.