With all the excitement for the World Cup, especially after that amazing kick by the now legendary John Brooks, I thought it would be cool to take a look at some of the host cities in Brazil. There are twelve cities with twelve venues to showcase all amazing games: Rio de Janeiro, Belo Horizonte, Salvador, Cuiabá, Brasília, São Paulo, Fortaleza, Porto Alegre, Recife, Curitiba, Natal, and Manaus. What better way to start the mini tour than with Team USA’s base camp, São Paulo!
With nearly 11 million people living there, São Paulo is one of the most populous cities in South America! In fact, this thriving city even has the highest grossing brand of all Brazilian soccer teams (according to nileguide.com). In 2013, Forbes ranked it 6th in the “Forbes List of the Top 10 Billionaire Cities”! With a huge population, this city is even home to the largest group of people of Japanese origin in the world! This culture capital is sure to capture the hearts of many World Cup fans outside of the games. All aside, the Paulistanos, the city’s inhabitants, are sure to warmly welcome any visitors.
On the other hand, the city’s climate makes for an interesting experience. Monsoons, or rainstorms, smother the subtropical climate, constantly. The humidity can be overwhelming, and the capital has the largest number of lightning. With the rapid cold fronts, many locals claim that all four seasons can be experienced in one day. For Chicagoans like me, bipolar weather isn’t something new and I can relate to these locals.
While the primary language is Portuguese, many languages are spoken there due to the huge cultural mix among its people. Besides the high influx of Japanese immigrants and their descendants, São Paulo has a high number of influences from Germans, Italians, and Spanish immigrants throughout its history as well. The culture is a lively one because of it.
Culture shock is nothing new to this city. Many heavy metal bands were from there, and samba singers performed on the same stage. The music spectrum varied from tropicalia musicians to EDM scene. The first theatrical performance was in São Paulo as well, and the cuisine is to die for (with specialties in French and Italian).
Overall, this city is a booming urban environment that Brazil is lucky to have as its international driver!