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Futbol, bebel, caipirinha’s, seu jorge, brasília cinema, samba, BRAZIL

by Naima Sanowar

in Food & Drinks,Lifestyle

Post image for Futbol, bebel, caipirinha’s, seu jorge, brasília cinema, samba, BRAZIL

I have this theory about my obsession with anything Brazilian. Maybe I am a re-incarnated soul from Brazil? Might explain things a bit. Nevertheless I have this wonderful love affair with Brazil, the music, food, culture . I don’t remember exactly when I first heard Bebel Gilberto {Brazilian pop singer Bebel Gilberto is the daughter of legendary bossa nova singer and guitarist, João Gilberto -– known as the “Father of Bossa Nova” –- and Brazilian singer and composer Miúcha. Gilberto}, all I know was that I was smitten instantly. My favourite albulm of Ms Gilberto’s is titled Tanto Tempo,  and was released in 2000. I have seen Bebel perform live three times in New York City. Each time was breath-taking. Her voice flows like a soft breeze on a warm  day on a tropical island. All one needs to have a lovely evening with a loved one is to put on some Bebel and cuddle up either on the couch, or in your back-yard sipping on a glass of red wine , caipirinha, or better yet a mojito ( go to food & drinks for our recipe).

For all the mums who live in New York City, and for all who will visit one day in the future , for a true Guiltless treat , you  need a Brazilian touch. Treat yourself to a day of pampering at Bela Brazil Spa (93 Reade St between Church St and West Broadway; 212-240-9434,  belabrazilspa.com  , where the staff hails from São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Minas Gerais, among other Brazilian states. Manager and Minas Gerais native Claudia Barroso says it’s all about expertise: “We have brought these services from Brazil, and we pay attention to the details.” Barroso recommends the Brazilian Blow Dry ($33 and up) for a bone-straight ’do; a Brazilian mani-pedi ($42), characterized by its focus on cuticle removal; and, naturally, the Brazilian bikini wax ($50). Grin, and attempt to bear it.

City Of God , one of my favourite movies hails from Brazil. A drama about favela (slum) gangsters, and Carandiru, which was based on an actual uprising in a São Paulo prison. City Of God started my passion for Brazilian cinema.

 I am so excited to attend some of the showings at this year’s Brazilian Film Festival. Any local Mum’s reading this feel free to join me if interested. The 15 features and documentaries included in the eighth annual Cine Fest Petrobras Brasil NY Tribeca Cinemas , 54 Varick St at Laight St; 212-941-2001,brazilianfilmfestival.com; June 5–12; $10)honor the 50th anniversary of the capital city, Brasília. Highlights include Straight to the Point(June 5, 8), which profiles Bezerra da Silva, the legendary father of “gangsta samba”; Queen of Brazil (June 6, 9), about a small-town fellow from the Amazon on his quest to become Miss Gay Brazil ; and the political documentary Tamboro (June 7, 10), which offers a panoramic take on urban crime and deforestation.

I am so in love with Samba crooner Seu Jorge.  Known stateside for his roles in City of God and The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, in which he performed Portuguese-language covers of David Bowie songs. Jorge’s music blends traditional instrumentation with conventional rock, and his songs lyrics often touch upon his own upbringing in a Rio favela. I am holding my breath in anticipation. he’ll play Terminal 5  (610 W 56th St at Eleventh Ave; 212-260-4700, terminal5nyc.com ; 7pm; $40–$45) on July 30. I am so there ladies , it shall be one of the highlights of my summer.

I love promoting all the wonderful restaurants in Brooklyn, where I reside. For a fun, sexy, lively time for some Brazilian food, cocktails, music, my go to place is Miss Favela . Located in trendy Williamsburg (57 South 5th St at Wythe Ave, Williamsburg, Brooklyn; 718-230-4040, missfavela.com   is an excellent place to shake it, especially on Saturday nights, when samba band Gato Morto plays. Manager Tino Vargas “estimates that about 70 percent of the joint’s clientele is Brazilian, and they imbibe plenty of drinks—like caipirinha ($8), the quintessential cocktail containing sugar, lime and cachaça.”

The Futbol ( Americans say soccer)  lover in me cannot complete this post without talking about her love for her “Samba Boys” in the up-coming World-Cup. You will find me at some local watering spot, with a bunch of rowdy Latin- Americana’s, Europeans, Trinidadians, American, drinking all sorts of cocktails, screaming at each-other and the television.  I am so excited for the World-cup and all the insane energy it produces .

Hmmm a thought , maybe I will host a Yummy Mummy brunch, at one of the  local water-holes I am about to list to see a game, a Brazilian one of course. Sounds like a great plan, must get working on it soon.

Here are the two places you will find me during the World-Cup :

Sushi Samba

Make a beeline to either location of this Japanese-Brazilian-Peruvian haunt for Brazil’s matches so you can cheer the samba boys on with live drummers. Pitchers of Leblon caipirinhas are only $25 if you need any more reason to go. 245 Park Ave South between 19th and 20th Sts (212-475-9377) • 87 Seventh Ave South at Barrow St (212-691-7885) • sushisamba.com

 I will probably be here the most, since it is closer and more cost effective:


This dedicated soccer bar is going all out, with giveaways from brands like Havaianas and a selection of international craft beers—during every game, it will feature two brews from each nation playing, and patrons can vote for their favorite brew.”. Since this will be one of the hottest spots to watch the face-offs ($3 beers and a five-cheese truffled macaroni and cheese have a draw of their own), big matches like USA vs. England will cost a $20 cover to watch—but that guarantees you two drinks and an unlimited supply of chef-owner Ross Greenberg’s cinnamon five-spice nuts. 583 Vanderbilt Ave at Dean St, Prospect Heights, Brooklyn (718-857-5777, woodworkbk.com



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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Giselle June 5, 2010 at 11:22 AM

Well u know that I’m also in love with Brazil. I can seem to get enough. I’d be trying that spa soon though. This is a great post. Also Alvin Ailey offers Samba classes for those interested. Just a little chance to get a taste of Brazil in the city. Great post Naims.

Kirstin McKee June 5, 2010 at 11:25 AM

Best post yet. I wanted to come to NY after your post last week and this week, it would have to be New York, via Brazil!

Naima Sanowar June 5, 2010 at 9:04 PM

aww thanks hun. xxx

Naima Sanowar June 5, 2010 at 9:05 PM

Hey U, yes I have done the Samba class at Alvin Ailey…love it… So glad we have a mutual love for Brasil…so I have a partner in crime for some fun times. xxx

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