June 13, 2012
I do love how the camera– at least my small inexpensive unobtrusive camera– goes into a hyper-Disney sort of technicolor when deprived of light. Behold the bus whizzing by my neighborhood beach, taken over the wall as I walk up the hill to my house. It’s only 5:30, but it’s winter here so the days are fleeting. I am returning from centro where I have had a pleasant couple of hours chatting with my friend Paulo, he of plans and missions and concerts and festivals and books accomplished together over the years. How many amazing things we have done and still we come up with more “good ideas” whenever we find ourselves in the same room. “We are lucky together” is how he puts it. But despite our luck, I can’t give a class for his students at UFRJ, the federal university, as we had planned because they are on strike. On Saturday I will go to Petropolis to play in his new roda, finally meet his new baby and visit his wife and family in their new place. But as I walk up the hill my mind is already onto other things. I try and fail to skype myself into the rehearsal happening at my house back home, but they don’t answer so that is an idea for another time. So I grab a sweater and head back out the door to meet Romulo to go to our favorite bar, Trapiche, to hear a band of our friends play Choro and samba. Trapiche is in the port district, a dangerous area when I first came to Rio, but now being transformed into an arts mecca. Well, sometime in the future, for right now it’s dug up and the taxi drops us a couple of blocks away as there are no roads only board bridges– the temporary kind we used to build over streams as kids– and pathways to get us across the construction and into the bar. But such is the power of the venue and the music that the place is still packed. The capirinha da lima (a pale and delicately sweet version of an orange) is still fantastic, the pastel de camarao are, as always, delicious, and the music is eternally amazing. We have been here together so often, Romulo and I, in this bar listening to music though our lives have changed around us. It’s a welcome constant and a reminder that the word “always” can, in some contexts, continue to have meaning.