Rio De Janeiro, Brazil
Ana Clara, 27
Architecture Student
see her Rio De Janeiro city guide

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Viewpoints hiking paths Culture venues Theaters Bars Vegetarian food Traditional food pizza

What do you do and why do you do it?

I'm studying to be an architect, focused on landscape urbanism (I know that in many places in the world this is strange, but here in Brazil, it's all in one combo). I think it's one way I know how to change the world and make it a better place for everybody. The cities we live in and how they were and are designed play this huge part on how we live our lives and right now it's not doing a good job in helping us out, it's a source of more stress and a lot of other mental disorders.

What’s the worst job you’ve ever had and why was it so effing bad?

I've never really had a bad job, but my last one ended up being pretty shitty towards the end just because of my bosses showing who they really were, harassing me and my co-workers and just not making it a nice place to work at, even though I really liked the work I was doing.

Were you born and raised in Rio De Janeiro? If not, where did you grow up and what brought you to Rio De Janeiro?

I actually was born in Rio, but I'm an army brat so we moved a lot when I was little. Every 4 years or so, new house, new school, new city, even new country. All in all, we came back to Rio when my older sister started high school 12 years ago and been here ever since. I've lived in São José dos Campos-SP (BR), Boston-MA (US), Plano-TX (US), Manaus-AM (BR) and Rio de Janeiro-RJ (BR).

What’s your current hood in Rio De Janeiro and what’s the best/worst thing about it?

I live in Leme, a small hood just beside the famous Copacabana (people often think it's just part of Copa, but... it's not). The best and worst thing is that it's so close to Copacabana, I guess. Here it's really quiet, most of the residents are elderly, but you can cross the street and be in the middle of the caos that is Copa. I have to say, Leme is beginning to have a hip knew night life, with new bars and events that bring other people to this side of the Princesa Isabel Avenue, so there's more to do here then the traditional restaurants and bars that's been here since my grandparents were the ones living in my apartment.

What kind of music do you listen to and what kind of music do you absolutely HATE?

I'm really into indie folk pop music, if that's really a thing? If I must say, I have a soft spot for acoustic guitars and nice lyrics with soothing harmonies. But play me some 90's boyband song and I will still know all the words by heart. On the other hand, I can't stand heavy metal or anything too distorted and I can't really understand what the vocalist is saying because he/she's screaming too much.

You’re broken hearted - what tracks does your heartbreak playlist consist of?

Bon Iver. I'll just curl up in fetal position wrapped up in my duvet and ball my eyes out.

Name the best TV shows of all time, and what makes them so good?

I'll binge watch pretty much anything on Netflix, but there will always be a place for Shonda Rhimes' shows in my heart. Grey's Anatomy has been with me for so long that, even though she kills all of my favorites, I feel as if it's already part of me. But I really miss Christina and am still waiting for her to return with all of her greatness. Other than that, Cosmos. The Universe is a marvelous place and this show is just great at teaching us how to perceive everything around us and it really helped me put things in perspective when I was in a bad place and started watching it. Seriously, Carl Sagan and Niel Degrasse Tyson just blow my mind.

Name some spots in Rio De Janeiro that are good for a Tinder date.

The Planetarium is always a good choice! I really like looking at the stars and go on and on about how little we are in this whole universe. Bring a date there, go to one of the showings and lie there underneath the stars, it can get pretty romantic ;)

Which public figure would you want to see “roasted”? (every public figure is fair game).

The Mayor of São Paulo, Doria. He's just so "roastable".

Who’s your hero and where in Rio De Janeiro would you take them out for a serious hang?

Living or dead? I'd love the chance to meet Carl Sagan and just pick that brain of his and to absorb just 1% of his knowledge would already mean the world to me. If he's not an option, Jan Gehl. I'd take them for a stroll and meal at Parque Lage.

Where do you buy those fabulous clothes of yours?

Cantão, Redley and Osklen are the big ones you can find anywhere in town. I'll also buy clothes from smaller shops like Biombo and Loja Três, but they are a little bit more harder to find. Those are my go to shops.

What’s the area/ spot in town you’ll never be caught dead in?

Cristo Redentor. I know, it's like THE image that pops in your head when you think of Rio but hear me out. It's expensive. It's really crowded. Once you're up there, there's not much to do except spend more money on some overpriced water bottle. I mean, I know the view is ridiculously beautiful, but there are lots of other ways to see the city that can leave you in awe.

What’s the thing you LOVE to do in your city that you never get to do?

I love going out to draw. I used to take this class in college that we would just sit somewhere in town and draw whatever we were seeing and it was just so relaxing and nice to take a few hours to appreciate how beautiful the city really is.

Where do you go in Rio De Janeiro for a casual night out?

I really enjoy walking to Amir, a restaurant near where I live and has one of the best falafel wraps I've ever had. Tables on the street, you can hear the ocean nearby, the food is great, you can get something nice to drink if you're in the mood for that. Top that with some good company and voilà, a nice casual night out.

Where would you go in Rio De Janeiro to celebrate some freaking good news?

I like to award myself with a nice beach day and just relax and feel the heat of the sun on my skin, a thing I wish I could do more often. But if you mean like where would I go out to, I'd say Feira de São Cristóvão and sing my heart out in one of the karaoke bars with my friends.

What’s your choice of transportation in Rio De Janeiro and why?

My bike. People will say it's a bit dangerous, but it's not that bad, you just have to be mindful of where you are and what you are doing. I find it's the best way to experience the place and the route you're taking. Yeah, you'll get a bit sweaty, in Rio it's summer all year round, but it's worth it to be able to just stop at any given moment because you just found the perfect spot to just be in awe with the beautiful scenery in front of you and to take a few minutes to let it sink in and then just continue your ride. It's hard to do that on other means of transportation.

What are the Rio De Janeiro spots a first-time visitor can’t miss?

You CANNOT miss the beaches. I mean. Common. It's Rio. If you're into more of the outdoorsy things, take a hike to the top of Pedra Bonita or Morro Dois Irmãos and see the city from a different angle, better yet if you start it around 4am to catch the sunrise from up there. It's breathtaking.

What are the Rio De Janeiro spots tourists should run from screaming?


Tomorrow’s your last day in Rio De Janeiro. How do you spend it?

First I'd have a nice breakfast and go for a run on the beach and for a swim when I'm done running, maybe do some yoga while I'm at it. Then, I'd get my bike and go to lunch some place quiet like the Parque Lage restaurant, maybe take a stroll around the park after that. After that, go to the 3pm movie session at the Itaú movie theater in Botafogo, watch whatever's on just for the sake of it (and for the popcorn). I'd probably then go to dance class because I'm addicted then go eat pizzas at South Ferro in Botafogo. I'd finish up the day going on a hike to the top of Pedra Bonita to see the city at night in all it's glory. All with friends.

What’s your favorite vacation city in the world and why?

Somewhere a tad colder. Rio already has all of it's beaches and nature and summer vibes all through out the year, so on my vacations I like to go to somewhere that has a different type of weather? I really love taking trips to Santiago or Buenos Aires, but right now I'm dreaming about going to Morocco or Iceland to appreciate the night sky, one of my favorite things to do.

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Giulio Palleta