The One With the Cathedral of Brasília.

In continuation of my journey to visit as many Oscar Niemeyer designs as possible, I was adamant about visiting the Cathedral of Brasília, one of the nation’s postcard locations.

The Cathedral is the city’s Roman Catholic Cathedral. It was planned and built alongside the capital, its foundation set in 1958 and the building completed in 1960 together with the city of Brasília itself. It was officially inaugurated a decade later on May 31, 1970. 
The church and bell tower can be seen above. The church is dedicated to the Virgin Mary and its official name is the Metropolitan Cathedral of Our Lady of Aparecida (the patroness of Brazil). 
Source of information above and a 360º virtual tour can be found here.
I was enchanted with the architecture, the lighting, the glass—everything really. I love entering postcards and watching, as the buildings come closer, your preconceived notions of the place from all you’ve read, seen, heard, or watched, fade into the reality.
What was the last postcard you visited?

The One With the National Congress.

The first week when I arrived in Brazil, Vini and I, along with a couple of friends and family, made our way a couple of states to the north. We would meet up with my father, enjoy a weekend of lectures and activities hosted by our church for young adults, and then would spend some time sightseeing and getting to know the country’s capital in the Federal District of Brasília. 
One of the places we visited was the National Congress. It, along with much of the District itself including Brasília itself, was designed by Oscar Niemeyer. The building is reminiscent of a judicial scale, with two domes—one concave, and another convex—on each side of two twin towers. 
It is said that each of the domes have a particular meaning—one is concave and the other convex from the perspective of the building below. The Senate is located within the concave dome, and represents the wisdom of experience, meditation, equilibrium, and reflection coming from within the senate and outward governing the states. The Parliament, or Chamber of Deputies, is located within the convex dome (pictured above), and represents the open-mindedness of the leaders to hear the voice of the people, open to each of the worries, passions, and ideologies of the Brazilian people—the country’s soul.
It was pretty cool to see this wall (above) dedicated to all of the women deputies of the country…
One of Vini’s uncles works within the Chamber, and he was to get us inside so we could see a few generally restricted areas…
In deep conversation with the Linguistics Representative about upcoming changes in the country’s language…. (Taken from @vsgessner ‘s Instagram account)
Vini, Myself, Jane

 Right side….

… Left side 

Up next…. Brasília from above! 
I’m on an adventure. Wanna come with?
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São Paulo, Brazil.

      This year I had the opportunity to shadow my uncle (the owner of a health food store chain) around downtown São Paulo, Brazil while he went around his business errands. He’s currently investing on advertising on TV a new product that he (along with his wife, a nutritionist) co-created with a lab.

     Every once in a while he goes on air and promotes the products himself. During the last day that I would be spending in Brazil this summer, he would be going on air and he invited me to go visit the set with him.

     As a Communications student, arriving on set was an enormous thrill and the only damper on the whole day was the fact that each exciting thing that happened was a moment closer to the end of my stay with these wonderful people in this wonderful place.

     For the most part I was able to put those feeling aside and marvel at what I could see around me. I wasn’t sure where to look first, what to observe first, what to take in first… until we got to downtown São Paulo where the studios are. I’ve always loved staring and admiring buildings. I’m almost sure ‘architecture’ would be a more technical term, however, then you might think I know what I’m talking about. Which I don’t. When it comes to ‘architecture’ appreciation, all I know is what I like.

     What I like can normally be summed into one word: old. I love the look of worn and weathered buildings that seem to be sagging underneath the load of stories they have to tell, the eras they have seen, the people they have known and the gossip and events they have heard and witnessed. I like buildings with moldings and frames, crevices that hold whispered stories, cracks and peeling paint that screams of brighter days. I like fountains and tree archways, old train stations, clock towers, old hotel windows with shutters and even tasteful graffiti very much.

     While architecture isn’t an area of art that I’m familiar with, I can’t help but admire it and have a growing interest for it. What about you? Have you ever seen a building that caught your eye and inspired your admiration? What aspects do you enjoy seeing? Are buildings eye candy for you?

   In the words of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, “…architecture [is] frozen music…”

Generations.

Might I share with you a little of what I love? A little of why my heart aches to go back to Brazil as often as possible? This..
Some of my mother’s uncles, my grandfather (farthest right), daddy, and mother’s brother in law and brother (farthest left and third from left to right respectively.) This was on the Brazilian father’s day hence the photos of all the dads.
This is Lucinda. She and my mother were friends during second grade and after that year they hadn’t seen each other since. Lucinda continued living in the same town they grew up in and mother left to accompany dad all over the place where his job took him. Then this year after 38 years apart they were finally able to meet again and catch up. It was pretty sweet and so very cool! 🙂
So many aunts, uncles, cousins (and a big part is missing because people were passing by all day, the pictures register those that stayed around for photos).
My grandparents and their two daughters.
Family reunions – I’m lovin’ it. 
Did you have time for family reunions this summer? When do you usually get together? Do you think it’s a pain or do you enjoy it? Enjoy it for those of us who wish we were close enough to have reunions more often, please!

Skydiving.

     Every time we go to Brazil it’s a big hurry to get to visit all (or at least the greater part) of our family. Unfortunately they don’t live all in one city, so we travel from grandparent’s place to the other’s (a 8-9 hour road trip.) On our way back, we try to stop every year to have a family reunion with my mother’s aunts, uncles, cousins and family. They live in a town called Boituva. 
     Boituva is well known in the state of São Paulo as the city of skydiving. As you pass the city on the highway, you look up and see tiny specs falling from airplanes up above. As these specs plummet closer to you they open up a lifesaving patch of canvass and the thrilling plummet morphs into an awe-inspiring glide. 
This year I stayed down on the ground looking up and photographing. What say you? Let’s jump next year? Would you be brave enough? Have you ever done anything like this?