by Mathias Vef & Thorsten Kadel
Rua Free Caneca
“Gay Caneca” is the gayest street in town. Marc Almond and the Pet Shop Boys are played in the cave-like club La Louca. Everywhere are bars full of people and at the very end of the street there is sauna Labirinttu. An old building houses the Society, where chic boys meet on heavy sofas under old English paintings. I only wanted to buy a few Havaianas at Frei Caneca Mall, but that turned into several hours of cruising instead.
Two dance floors, an open-air terrace and thousands of boys dancing in front of a gigantic LED screen that flashes in line with the beats. Saturday is the day to be here for all those into muscle Marys. The dark part of the garden is for those who do not care about dancing.
Rua Oscar Freire
Brazil’s economy is booming, the currency is strong, and therefore shopping is not as much fun for foreigners as it used to be. Those who intend to spend a buck or more will find all international brands from Calvin Klein to Armani around Rua Oscar Freire. But also beautifully designed galleries like Melissa gallery.
Parada do Orgulho
A crowd of three million Brazilians in narrow city canyons is really impressive. The whole city seems to have taken to the streets: “Paulistas” from all walks of life make one big party. I myself dance in the street, surrounded by half-naked trannies and tattooed boys. The rain does not really rain on the parade. Being a German man, I feel a bit strange, but everyone is incredibly nice and cheerful. I get kissed and people smile at me. São Paulo truly lives up to its reputation as party capital of Latin America during Pride weekend and its hundreds of events.
I’m standing under huge colorful paper garlands twirling above the dance floor in laser light, watching the guys on the podia. There is less bare skin to watch here, but more style. Saturday morning sun is already rising when taxi takes me back to my hotel, the driver ignoring most red lights.
Official homepage of São Paulo also provides information for gay tourists.
HOW TO GET THERE
Iberia offers two daily departures to São Paulo from Madrid, on day flight, one night flight. Feeder flights to Madrid are offered from Berlin, Dusseldorf, Frankfurt, Munich and Vienna. Return tickets are available from 745 Euros. To travel in comfort on the long-haul leg, it is best to book Busines Plus Class for that as it features a 66cm wide seat, 188cm legroom and can be turned into a lie-flat bed.
A ridiculous amount of coffee was consumed in the process of building this project. Add some fuel if you'd like to keep us going!