A palace fit for kings? No, this neoclassical colossus is where governors exercise power in Maranhão, one of Brazil's poorest states. People in the capital, São Luís, call it the Palace of the Lions, a name thought to refer both to the bronze sculptures of large meat-eating wildcats at the entrance and the voracity with which political leaders in the palace collect taxes in Maranhão.
Simon G. Romero
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New York Times bureau chief in Brazil. New Mexico born and raised. Eternal question: red or green? http://twitter.com/viaSimonRomero
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Hiking path near the beaches of Alter do Chão.
War clubs, spears, blowguns, ceremonial masks and exquisitely designed oars hang on the walls of Araribá, a store selling indigenous folk art of the Amazon Basin in Alter do Chão, an outpost on Brazil's Tapajós River that I wrote about this week in The New York Times.
The barb of a stingray, the sight of which is enough to send shivers down the spines of folk in Alter do Chão, an otherwise idyllic beach town in the Brazilian Amazon that I wrote about this week in The New York Times. My family and I dined on stingray, served fresh on the beaches overlooking the Tapajós River. The meat was delicious, but also came with warnings from fishermen and guides about stingray injuries in the surrounding waters. They plainly said such wounds hurt like hell, causing extreme pain. In his classic "The Naturalist on the Rivers Amazons," the legendary 19th century British explorer Henry Walter Bates, who spent time in Alter do Chão, summed up the fear like this: "A species of sting-ray is common on the sloping beach, and bathers are frequently stung most severely by it. The weapon of this fish is a strong blade with jagged edges, about three inches long, growing from the side of the long fleshy tail. I once saw a woman wounded by it while bathing; she shrieked frightfully, and was obliged to be carried to her hammock, where she lay for a week in great pain; I have known strong men to be lamed for many months by the sting."
Ran into this spearfisher on the path in the shadow of Pão de Açúcar. Not bad for a morning in Guanabara Bay.
English school + U.S.A. = Michigan. Somewhere in the Brazilian Amazon.
Just a week ago, thousands of people convened at this place for some Carnival revelry. Now, Arpoador seems downright tranquil as things gets back to normal. Rio.
Carnival in Rio's old center can be anarchic and bewildering to explain. Some images of the scene around Cinelândia.
In camouflage costumes emblazoned with images of Saddam Hussein and Yasir Arafat, this Carnival troupe also carries....the American flag. They call themselves Faixa de Gaza (Gaza Strip). Away from the glitz of the Sambadrome, the Bate Bola troupes on Rio's streets tend toward edgier costumes mixing imagery from geopolitics, Brazilian literature (Monteiro Lobato this year), comic books and movies. Some call their tradition, which involves parading in masks while hitting the asphalt with plastic balls, a "Secret Carnival." They don't get much airtime on television.
Recyclers work hard during Carnival. Their bounty--aluminum cans--piles up on the sands of Ipanema. Rio.
Rua Monte Alegre. Rio de Janeiro.
Still standing: The water tower in Fordlândia.