We started the day in Santa Teresa and visited Escadaria Selarón, which is a tile covered stairway that connects the Lapa and Santa Teresa neighborhood. It started in 1990 by the artist Jorge Selarón as a simple repair of some steps outside of his house and since then it has grown to cover all the entire staircase, as far as you can see.
[1/10/2013: Jorge Selaron sadly passed away. Rest in peace.]
The decorative tile work has become an international collaboration. People from around the world have donated tiles to the project and half the fun is trying to find the tile that came from your corner of the world. Washington was well represented about six tiles featuring Native American art. Everywhere has a tile and everything seems to have a tile too. The Hanshin Tigers (my favorite Japanese baseball team) and even AC/DC were all on there.
While we were there, we also had a chance to meet the artist himself. He was there working on a new section of the stairs. He has a small artist space where he stores tiles and sells small paintings to fund his work, all of which feature some variation on a pregnant black woman (something that the artist the artist is cryptic about). All of the paintings that I saw had the same basic pattern, except for the one he likes to pose with up above...
Up next, the botanical gardens and the stunning Ipanema beach!
Keep reading after the break!
The botanical gardens of Rio de Janeiro (Jardim Botânico do Rio de Janeiro) is a large garden in the heart of the southern zone of Rio. It is a 338 acre park with thousands of species of plants throughout the park, as well as a few gardens focusing on specialty topics such as orchids, herbs, medicinal plants, and even an area set aside for plants that attract humming birds. The park itself is well over a hundred years old with many of the buildings dating back to 1890. The park itself was started in 1808.