ask Gabriel about
vegan • dance classes • parks • café • cocktail bars • museums • performing arts
What do you do and why do you do it?
Sometimes I'm really sure of what I do and other times I ask myself why did I choose it in the first place. I love art and the idea of expressing myself through any possible media, I see so many medias and outlets as only a small part of what I want to become as an artist in the future. I also studied graphic design for a while and that plays a big part in my way of seeing things. I just want to discover more of myself and the world we live in each day.
You’re broken hearted - what tracks does your heartbreak playlist consist of?
During a broken heart hangover there is a process I follow towards recovery: you start with the most melancholic and sorrowful artists you can find like Keaton Henson and Julien Baker so you can cry every single tear in your eyes out, then you move into a passive-agressive melodramatic state of mind when you tell yourself you are completely over it and for that you put on some Sam Smith and Adele (I actually believe they are the same person) and when you're done with being heartbroken you just move into the most uplifting, gayest, partiest playlist you can manage to come up with (this includes all Pop Divas and a bit of some 80's music too).
What are the best TV shows of all time?
Six Feet Under if you want to reflect on death, Cosmos if you want to reflect on life. Digimon if you don't want to think at all. And I'm currently addicted to Sex and the City and I love everything related to Amy Poehler and Tina Fey.
Name some spots in Porto Alegre that are good for a Tinder date.
Public spaces, always public spaces. Safety first. During the day a date in a park like Redenção or Moinhos de Vento is always a good choice, from that you can walk to a nearby place for a coffee or some juice. Later in the afternoon or at night a movie session in one of the local cinemas like Capitólio or Casa de Cultura Mário Quintana is the perfect balance between romantic and I hope this date is not as bad as this movie.
Who’s your hero and where in Porto Alegre would you take them out for a serious hang?
[missuniversespeech] My hero are the children [/missuniversespeech]. No, but seriously, I like the idea of spending a day with the kid I once was and showing how fun and enjoyable the city is by just walking around, discovering hidden treasures and beautiful places. Taking everything the city offers to you without spending any money at all. It took me so long to figure that out. Of course I would eventually perpetuate a vegan lifestyle in him and hide his innocence from the ugly parts of town because hey... sometimes in the pouring rain we just need to close our eyes and open a big smile pretending is a beautiful sunny day outside.
Where do you buy those fabulous clothes of yours?
Thrift shops and friend's closets. There are the expensive thrift shops and then there are the very cheap, tacky ones. The latter are the best. Just walk along João Pessoa avenue and you'll find many of them or then just go straight to Mostarda Brechó and be amazed by their beautiful unisex selection. But if you are willing to spend a little more money in original and exclusive designs and support independent designers you should definitely go to Pandorga. Or just randomly make friends with that well dressed, stylish person you cross paths with at Independência avenue and ask them where you can find those cool red boots.
What’s the area/ spot in town you’ll never be caught dead in?
I'm a total morning person, you'll hardly see me in the more bohemian neighborhoods at night. Only if I'm walking by avoiding drunk people puking in the curbs in front of clubs you'll probably don't want to get in. Also I live a more healthy lifestyle (and that sounds really patronizing) so I don't really know where you can find drugs in town. You'll never caught me inside one of our soccer stadiums unless I'm screaming the name of Lady Gaga while she performs in front of me.
What’s the thing you LOVE to do in your city that you never get to do?
To bike from one edge to the other. It's revigorating and you get to see every tiny detail in the change between areas. The people, the local business, the sights. I also just recently discovered the pleasures of riding the bike during night time. Always mind the cars though.
What’s the most decadent / extreme dish you ever ate in Porto Alegre and where did you get it?
Back in my party-days if you were hungry and desperate and with no money left, any place at three AM at Cidade Baixa would do. I must say I never went to any place that look as decadent as my hunger, I would rather go home and find scraps in the kitchen then to bet my luck on food poisoning. Also recently - not exactly a dish but - I was charged eight reais (like twenty dollars) for half a glass of orange juice, that was extreme for me, in a Cafe I'm never going back. Paying for overpriced food/drink is very decadent.
Is there a hidden bar / hole in the wall in Porto Alegre that you particularly like?
There is a very cool, isolated Jazz bar in old downtown called Odeon that I've never been to but look forward to. As for the places I do know, you should definitely check Bistrô da Travessa if you're planning a pizza night and Nataraj for a delicious vegetarian/vegan meal in the south zone of the city. Also you should visit the beautiful 24 de Maio alley, a hidden jam lesser known in the touristic guides of the city. Answering this question actually made me anxious to go out and discover other places I only heard of or that I have no idea exists. Probably will be editing this in the future!
What’s the most expensive restaurant / spa / hotel you’ve ever been to in Porto Alegre? How much did it cost and what did you get there?
I feel like I would have loved to answer this question. Let me call some of my rich friends. Anyone willing to pay a spa day for me?
What restaurant in Porto Alegre looks crap, but the food’s amazing?
Lancheria do Parque without a question. I wouldn't say the is food is amaaaazing, but it's a regular dinner, very traditional in the city and they have the best juice ever. The fun is to take the options of fruits available and just get creative. Oh and to do it justice, the place doesn't look like craaap, if you want a place that looks like crap then go to M&M's, they have really good vegetarian/vegan hotdogs. When you arrive there you're not really sure of what you're going to get but the food is delicious and you survive to tell the story.
Where can you get the best cocktail in Porto Alegre? Which one do you like?
Loft 1020 or Josephyna's. Great places, great drinks. Can't really give you the names since they change the menu frequently but the drinks taste good and look amazing on your instagram stories. Don't get attached!
Where would you take your partner in Porto Alegre if you wanted to really pamper them?
I've been thinking a lot about this lately since I'm FALLING IN LOOOOVE.... but I believe my best shot would be to take that person out for a day at Redenção park, do silly things like ride the ferris wheel or the bumpers car at the amusement park for children. Go to a street fair of organic food and buy ingredients so you can cook together later in the day (or just order some dinner and pay it for them if you're not a kitchen person like I'm also not). I would later search for a new place none of us have been to and create a new memory together. Have new experiences and share it with a person you love is a great way to enjoy your city.
Which snacks can you only get in your country, and which ones do you recommend?
Açai. A delicious tropical smoothie that we manage to make it more complex and expensive each new summer season. You will love it! The best one if the Açai concept (see? How pretentious is that name) in front of Moinhos de Vento Park. You can add layers of açai and choose multiple toppings.
What’s the one place you think is overrated in Porto Alegre?
Every single shopping mall and big restaurant franchise you can find anywhere else in the world that opens in here. Why go to a place that is commercial, expensive and has no personality instead of supporting the local business and the people who are putting up everything they have and being creative and amazing and inspiring and giving oxygen so Porto Alegre can breath in its own pace and not be dependent of machines. There are more people in the corridors of shopping centers than there are on the streets of the city and that saddens me.
What’s the one place you think is underrated in Porto Alegre?
Although there is a lot of new vegan options in the city and we have a growing public for that each day, it is still very unknown to most of the people who live here and who are not specifically vegetarian nor vegan. Once they discover that you can appreciate vegan culinary while maintaining whatever lifestyle is that you chose, I hope these places will become more attractive and not be limited to a specific niche. Check out Bonobo, Germina, Veganista and Estômago Café, just to name a few.
What are the Porto Alegre spots a first-time visitor can’t miss?
Downtown where you can find many of the city's landmarks postcards, like the Duque de Caxias stairs, the historic district along two big squares of museums and historical buildings, Praça da Matriz and Praça da Alfândega. Near the public market you can take the city bus tour and have a ride all the way to the south area of town while you watch the view of the Guaíba lake on your way.
Tomorrow’s your last day in Porto Alegre. How do you spend it?
You wake up early and spend your day taking a good walk through the historical part of downtown, discovering every little detail, when your feet become sore you stroll a little more along the Guaíba lake promenade to watch the sunset and then at night you head off to a good bar near Bom Fim area.
What’s your favorite vacation city in the world and why?
I believe that's an answer I'm yet to discover, as soon as I begin to explore the world I'll let you know!