Thursday, August 16, 2012

The Saddest Pleasure

Flying into Rio de Janeiro on a beautiful day

The Saddest Pleasure: A Journey on Two Rivers by Moritz Thomsen was a memoir travelogue I was reading during my travel to Brazil. The book came into my hands at a particularly propitious time from a friend who travels a great deal and thought I could use the book as an inspiration.

I soon discovered I had come to Rio about the same age as Thomsen, who visited the city in the Seventies. His life and viewpoints were similar to my own. Soon enough I began to write a modest travel blog in the same style as his wonderful travel classic.

Tomsen refers to his title as the state of paradox, of being in two worlds at the same time, arriving and leaving, always conflicted by the joy of arrival and sadness beyond words of departure. Or I guess that is what he had in mind. But it seems right to me. Because that's how I felt. 

I devised Temporary Carioca while sitting on the beach. The early notes were hard to read, having spilled a beer on them while sampling tasty beach edibles under an umbrella at Ipanema. If I got too hot I was mere steps away from diving into body-temperature waves asking me to play. 

No question I was under the allure of the Brasilian gods, and now upon reflection I see the moments I describe in my six months of posts as truly  divined. Looking back, I am grateful to myself for the wisdom to write these posts.

With this last post I will move on to my new blog Michael Shandrick. 

So, I will now end Temporary Carioca until I once again am under the spell of a beach in Rio.

Thank you for reading,
Michael Shandrick

Thursday, August 2, 2012

The Girl From Ipanema Lives On

My favorite music growing up in Colorado was bossa nova. I listened to a lot of Sergio Mendez, Astrid Gilberto and Stan Getz, and of course this one, The Girl from Ipanema.

Performed by Frank Sinatra and Antonio (Tom) Jobin, the legendary song writer who wrote it in a nearby night spot, it remains a classic among their many collaborations. 

I never get tired of hearing Girl because it captured my young spirit in a way that country or folk music never could. And then one day -- some decades later -- I'd actually spend a lot of time at Ipanema itself humming the tune. I feel that I was rewarded in some way for persisting in what seemed like a far-fetched dream.

The Girl from Ipanema exists in song, memory and definitely in reality.

 "Yes, I would give my heart gladly but each day when she walks to the sea she looks straight ahead and not at me. Tall, tan, young and lovely the Girl from Ipanema goes walking and when she passes I smile but she doesn't see..."