Folha de S.Paulo > Morar > September 28th, 2007


São Paulo is a city you cross.
If you are by car, you’ll probably have your windows closed.
Keep them rolled up and try to see the city or, in any case, what’s left of it, while listening to a soundtrack. Nowadays, anyone has 2 wires hanging off their ears.
If you are going past Jardins and cannot see any house because of the walls and the fences, listen to Diário de um Detento, by Racionais Mc’s.
As you stop at a traffic light and watch the people crossing the street, listen to Nino Rota, and you will realize it is not necessary to be Italian to be Fellinian.
If your look wanders off to that group of hobos sitting on the floor, listen to Esther Ofarim singing Earthquake.
When driving past Ibirapuera Park, it is mandatory to play any CD by Dalgas Frisch. Otherwise, you might not hear anything at all.
If you go past Bixiga, you will certainly hear Domenico Modugno, even with the windows rolled up. Yet, if you are in Liberdade, do not listen to Sakamoto. There is no fit.
In case you feel harassed by the beggars as you stop at another traffic light (and the previous traffic light’s Nino Rota has already finished), try listening to Bernard Herrmann – and take advantage to swallow a Lexotan all along.
If you will go up the Minhocão, listen to anything. It does not matter.
If, all of a sudden, you woke up on that day to be happy, listen to the soundtrack of the movie The Next Best Thing. Not even the ugliness of the city will make you unhappy then.
I you have a bit of humor, try listening to Hanna Aroni at 25 de Março and to the wonderful Warda in Higienópolis.
If you divert from your route and take the Marginal, remember Cry me a River, but prefer Chora um Rio, the intelligent version by Arthur Nestrovsky.
Rita Lee does not count. It is cowardice. She goes with any moment of the city, anywhere, anytime. She will never be an obvious choice.
Yet, do not listen to Sampa at that intersection, nor to Trem das Onze in Jaçanã.
As you go past Edifício Itália, forget Peppino di Capri and remember Tom Zé.
If you are driving close to Ladeira da Memória, do not be tempted to rid of your car and lose your course. Listen to Zecarlos Ribeiro’s music and go down to Anhangabaú Valley.
As you cross the Latin America Memorial, avoid Mercedes Sosa. Chopin suits it better. The march, for sure.
In case you love the dazzling Brazilian-Mediterranean architecture, choose Mikis Theodorakis. If you drool over the Neo-classical, try Arvo Pärt. He is far better than our buildings.
If the traffic keeps you driving in circles, listen to Yes, but also listen to F. Lemarque, and understand the reason Jacques Tati is a citizen of the world.
If they come sell you flowers, try to quickly synchronize the offer with the verse “compre-me este ramito…”. Sarita Montiel would never say.
Yet, if you really want to feel strong thrills, pump up the sound of your car stereo to full blast and play 4’33”, by John Cage. Open all windows, step down on the accelerator, take a good look at our dear São Paulo and let in the fresh air and the morning sun…

Folha de S.Paulo
September 28th, 2007