The Beat Goes On, Romance in Rio!



    Feijoada, a dish made with black beans, pork, rice, collard greens, cassava flour and orange is excellent.

While in Rio you must save your budget and appetite. Enjoy sublime food most everywhere. Fast food never was so fast, nor tasted so good with so few calories or carbs as Brazilian BBQ. Dine with locals on long-butcher paper covered tables and savor the food delivered to you while experiencing a bit of Brazilian culture. Try Portuguese cuisine at Antiquarius a rewarding and pricey spot. Great seafood awaits all along the main drag in the beach areas. Don’t miss the rice & beans or sometimes with peas, a great side dish. World Class Italian is found over-looking the Jardim de Alah, Artigiano in a picturesque old-world villa.

The nightlife in Rio is off the hook especially in the central district of Lapa a concentrated hotbed of the amazing live music scene. Every neighborhood in Lapa has great shows and venues which can be visited safely with one’s trusted driver. Rio offers a great range of musical performances from varied venues across the city.

One of Lapa’s musical institutions, Circo Voador (Flying Circus), celebrates its 30th anniversary this year. In 2012, the venue continues its tradition of attracting an eclectic mix of Brazilian and international artists.

Try the more traditional Brazilian sounds of Rio Scenarium which sets the standard for great dancing in Lapa. The club has multiple floors where samba, forro, and mpb (Brazilian pop) to pack crowds that regularly. Carioca da Gema, in the center of Lapa, enjoys a special reputation among music-appreciators focused mainly on traditional Samba. Also during the day keep you eyes peeled in the small towns on the way back from Corcovado and you might just discover a Bosa Nova, Samba musical treat at the most reasonable of prices.


One of Rio’s great delights is the Theatro Municipal is one of the most resplendent buildings in the downtown area of Rio de Janeiro. Home of one of the largest stages in Latin America and one of Brazil’s most well known venues for opera, ballet, and classical music.

The building was inspired by the Paris Opera of Garnier, and built in 1905 by the architect Francisco Pereira Passos. The statues on the top, of two women representing Poetry and Music, are by Rodolfo Bernadelli, and the interior is rich with furnishings and fine paintings. Founded in 1909, the Teatro Municipal was designed after the famed opera house in Paris with close to 1,700 seats.

Its interior includes turn-of-the-century stained glass from France, ceilings of rose-colored marble and a 1,000 pound crystal bead chandelier surrounded by a painting of the “Dance of the Hours”. The exterior walls of the building are dotted with inscriptions bearing the names of famous Brazilians as well as many other international celebrities.

Must do’s in Rio include Corcovado, and Impanema Beach. Corcovado, Christ the Redeemer statue, named one of the New Seven Wonders of the World. Poems can often time best expresses the feelings one can experience at Corcovado. This was my day at Corcovado.



Winding our way up the steep mountain

My driver Roberto navigates the dangers with ease,

Arriving at the base a mass of tourists await.

Roberto, my friend, escorts me to the front seat of a departing van

Like fish, tourists swim in the opposite direction making their descent,

Exhaling I enter my IPod, open the window, smell tropics

Yet further we fly up the narrowing winding road, destined.

I begin my preparation for the long awaited ceremony

That for which I have come so far; patiently waiting for this moment to appear

Holding back my tears, for oh so many years, holding back the tears.

For this perfect day belongs to my mother.

Taken from me at the tender age of ten

Rio was my Mom’s favorite place on earth.

Mom I didn’t forget, I never forgot, never

Today I’ll do my best to crack the old door ajar,

Find our momentary opening, Mom if you can’t that’s ok too!

Just know I’m here for you today

In our minds so be it!

By the way Mom, I was visited by an extraordinary bird earlier in the day,

Perched there on my balcony at dawn, seemed to have something to say

Tremendous wing span calmly taking my hand.

Then as the escalator delivers me to Christ’s feet

More fish swirl around me, different shapes, sizes and colors

Hundreds of eyes fixed upward to open outstretched hands,

Click, I hear click, click, click, click, click, click,

I seek refuge on Jesus’ backside

My back pressed against blistering black marble

Assume the pose.

At ease now, meditation, powerful energy swirls around me

Visiting my mother where she lives in my secret place,

Perhaps unlike any day before, today I visit with her with powerful resolve

Mom I love you.

Can you feel the Samba in you’re feet once again?

Dance again, in the street, on the beach, on the table top

Dance, dance, dance, dance, dance, dance, dance.

Memories of you coming faster and faster now

Previously unknown detail bathed in colors not of this earth,

More images skip faster and faster across the backside of my eyelids

Compressing our years together like a kaleidoscope.

Corcovado, Christ, schools of fish.

And you, Oh so lovely, so graceful, glamorous;

Gently I exhale, hairs on my neck, arms and back standing

A powerful yet not ancient energy flows through me.

Exhilaration followed by closure, satisfaction.

Schools of fish now dart dangerously close to me

I stand giving props to our savoir while standing at his feet.

Then I gaze out on the Rio unfolding beneath my feet

Panoramic vista, blue waters, gentle warm wind.

Binoculars in hand I scan the sky

Settling for no real reason on a particular patch of blue,

Unexpectedly a tiny dot appears

As it grows near it reveals itself once again,

Extraordinary wingspan stuck in my eye piece

Barely moving, hovering, we share a connection of sorts,

Then tipping a wing downward on a wink, suddenly I’m

Admiring your graceful descent.

Down to Rio, slow, go slow, Mom already knows

Now I too know it’s time for me to go.

More fish, the escalator and van in reverse

Then greeted by Roberto who walks me to his secret spot,

Tranquil, Naturleza Brazil, we sit in silence, Cheers Mom!

Later that night over cheese, fruit and Chilean wine

Felt you in the beat, Samba in the street,

Later that night the Bosa Nova kept you in my heartbeat.

Later that night closing my eyes to sleep,

I breathe deep, smiling inward

Mom did you feel the Samba in your feet?

Gently I whisper, Mom, I love you while falling deep into sleep.


Cocacabana Beach

On New Years Eve the-place- to-be is in a hotel over-looking Cocacabana Beach. I stayed at the excellently situated Oceano Copacabana Hotel for $100.00 a night and it was enjoyable. Rooms are small and unimpressive, food and service good. This hotel offers a great view of the bay and Cocacabana beach from the 15thfloor pool and bar. The J.W. Marriot is a good call at three times the cost. For New Years Eve one reserves a private table, umbrella and chairs on the beach for the evening. One places a cooler packed full with beverages and ice under one’s table. Then around sunset one can un-cork the champagne to get the party officially started. Perhaps later one enjoys dinner, French cuisine at the Windsor Atlantica, Le Saint Honore restaurant or perhaps a light blend of Mediterranean and Brazilian cuisine at Cafe Fleuri Restaurant in the Windsor Atlantica or perhaps the J.W. Marrriott and the Taiyou Sushi & Sake Bar strikes one’s fancy. The hotel also has the Café da Praia, the Terraneo Lounge Bar and the Terraneo Restaurant, serving Mediterranean fare.

Dinner reservations are required as is a promenade down the Malicone (the cement boardwalk) winding its way along the beach occasionally stopping at open market booths displaying colorful curios. Incredibly large projection screens now canvas the natural curve of shoreline dotted with stadium style speakers. Huge stages appear every 300-500 yards or so featuring solo performances, and large bands dazzling partiers with dearly loved Brazilian tunes. The world renowned beauty of Brazilian women is on full display.

One weaves up and down the Malicone through throngs of party goers, a monstrous beach festival full of music, food, and dance; a party of parties to be sure. One drops into performances on the many stages with tickets in hand or just hanging out on the beach nearby which is all part of the scene. Then back to one’s private table, more music, more singing and dancing followed by fireworks and back to one’s table. People everywhere; I heard estimates of close to a million, impossible to say. I do know the streets into Cocacabana beach were closed to incoming traffic early afternoon. Depending on one’s personal stamina for this type of thing at some point one rolls back up into one’s hotel to sleep the day away.

Once fully recovered from New Years Eve on Cocacabana Beach why not chase it with a couple of days in a little jet setting resort. Check out Barra da Tijuca. Barra can be defined as having the Miami or Los Angeles lifestyle mixed with the abundance of international architectural icons as Las Vegas. While Rio’s traditional neighborhoods recall Lisbon, Barcelona or Rome, the atmosphere in Barra da Tijuca is more like that of North American cities like Miami or Los Angeles. Pricey but the Sheraton Barra Hotel & Suites is an oasis of calm surrounded by the excitement and activity of one of Rio’s hottest spots. Also on the beach is the Windsor Barra Hotel is close to the Itanhanga Golf Club. Cheaper hotels can be found back a block or two off the main beachfront avenue.

There are many kinds of entertainment like, nightclubs, cinemas, restaurants, kart, bowling, beaches and more. However, Barra is well known for being the right place to have a night life. With many clubs filled with young good-looking boys and girls opened the whole night, Barra can feel even more Miami than Miami. Barra da Tijuca is the favorite place of the upper class Brazilian youth. About 20 shopping malls are located in the neighborhood. The largest shopping center in South America is Barra Shopping.


Barra has not only architectural influences. The influence of the whole world, especially from Europe and Asia, can be easily found by the presence of restaurants of many different countries. Finding a place to eat in this neighborhood is not hard to do.

The challenge is to decide where to go, and of course, be able to pay a large amount of money at the best and also most expensive restaurants in the city. The neighborhood has restaurants whose cuisines represent the countries of Italy, Japan, China, Portugal, Germany, Saudi Arabia, Australia, Finland, Austria, Spain, Mexico, France, India, Peru, Poland, Switzerland, Thailand,etc.

Lovers of nightlife you’ve partied on Cocacabana Beach on News Years Eve and jet setted to your hearts delight. Now is a great time to really relax for 3 nights in tropical paradise rivaling that of the South Pacific.

Overlooked by tourists I recommend Armação dos Búzios (Portuguese pronunciation: [ˌahmaˈsɐ̃w duʒ ˈbuːzjui̯ʃ]), often referred to as just Búzios, is a resort town and a municipality located in the state of Rio de Janeiro in Brazil. Its population was 24,500 in 2007 and its area is 69 km².


João Fernandinho Beach

Once the preserve of pirates and slave traders, the peninsula of Búzios, 105 miles (169 km) northeast of Rio de Janeiro, has become a tourist destination with over 20 beaches in the vicinity.

The peninsula was popularized by legendary movie star Brigitte Bardot in the 1960s, and her statue sits along the main street of Búzios, the Rua das Pedras (Street of stones).

Bardot had come to Rio de Janeiro with her Brazilian boyfriend but could not leave his apartment without being hounded by the paparazzi. The couple concocted a plan to keep the press away, and escaped to Buzios with the one photographer who was allowed to document their vacation. While she was there, Bardot reportedly fell in love with the town – so much that she stayed for months longer than she planned, and has since returned to vacation.

The peninsula is a beach resort with an active nightlife and restaurants. The west coast beaches offer calm, clear waters while the east coast ones, facing the open sea, are a bit more wild and draw surfers and water sports enthusiasts. Among the most popular beaches are Ferradura, João Fernandes with several bars and known for its seafood, Armação, and Geribá, popular for surfing. The beach of Manguinhos is known for windsurfing. Rua das Pedras, the main street, winds through the town center and features shopping, restaurants, bars and comprehensive nightlife.

I recommend the 37-room Serena Boutique Resort which takes advantage of the exclusivity of its Geriba Beach location, at the peninsula’s narrowest point, offering a refreshingly sophisticated, modernist take on laid-back beachfront living.

Now sufficiently tanned, completely relaxed with toes that have fully curled in white sand, its time to return to civilization at famed Impanema Beach, on your second to last night in country. One of Rio’s great delights a tourist trap, yes, but a gorgeous one. A full final day and night is a great send off as your driver sadly delivers you to your flight. I recommend the following hotels with opulent, spacious guest rooms, overlooking Impanema Beach. The 5-star Caesar Park Rio de Janeiro Ipanema is in a luxurious building situated on the seafront of Ipanema Beach or Praia Ipanema Hotel. Both are a bit pricey but what the heck it’s the end of your visit. You deserve it!


The Girl From Impanema

Sitting in my room overlooking Impanema Beach,

My chair stiffens my back, words flow from my pen

Like the rain pounding against the black and white tiles,

On my veranda, each square marked by past visitors.

I listen intently to the track

The Girl From Impanema,

The 100thtime but it feels different.

Reflections on my day at the very center of Impanema Beach

Suddenly appear on the backs of my eyelids,

Big umbrella, sunscreen, locals and Skol beer

The scent of cheap marijuana floats in the air

Futbol everywhere.

Tall and Tan and Lovely, Ah……..

Oh but I watch so gladly!

When she passes I smile, maybe she sees

Eventually I stand, approach boldly,

All the while she barely notices

Her beautiful brown eyes averted,

Mine filled with anticipation.

How can I tell her I´d give my heart gladly

Ah, but this responsibility weighs heavy on me.

We walk the beach together

Occasional words interrupt our perfect silence.

I step to the Samba in her feet

Our eyes follow the horizon,

I savor our rhythm and time.

Children play effortlessly, fun in the sand

My little teachers, I stretch to master their lessons.

Brazil streams past us

European, African, Asian influences, everywhere

Like a swollen river overflowing it´s banks,

Constant change

I recall it is impossible to stand in the same river twice.

I remember that day I spoke very little yet felt so much;

That satisfaction lay hidden in the corner of your touch.

Later carefully carved beef delivered on silver spears

Fell gracefully to our plate

Again, again, again and again, we shared;

Smiles, savoring delicious moments slowly

Coffee, conversation, laughter, our eyes met

But to my surprise you see me.

Though I’ve been warned live day by day

There is something going on,

Midnight, door locked, the smell of your hair

Tonight you are out to lose yourself.

We make love again and again

Months of passion seemingly folded into

A few nights sprinkled with sweet dreams.

Remembering the time at the Super Mercado

You snuck up on me, jumped on my shopping cart

And rode down the isle of cookies and crackers.

You looked behind you, and smiled back at me

crashed into a stack of saltines,

They asked us to leave.

While bathing in morning light

You asked about me?

I replied I like to think the best of me

Is still tucked up under my sleeve, yet to be seen.

John Mayer plays over and over in my head

Still, you are slipping through my hands,

It is not my place to hold you down.

Our love is real, like Coltrane

Flawless, pure, seemingly perfect.

Like the worlds colliding in Brazil

European, African, and Asian

Our worlds collide,

Where it is; we reside.

The Brazilian hand of time

Moves faster than we think.

Together to the airport is too painful, we can not

Tears, smiles, hugs and kisses; we say goodbye……

On front door steps draped in Bougainvillea

Alone, again, I ascend into rain-filled skies

Salty peanuts, I cry……

All my fears have cornered me here

In time I find the quiet inside.

Eventually I find my smile, smile again…..

Back to my world I float at 33,000 feet

I’m never meant to be over you, I embrace this.

You are the Girl From Impanema

Forever part of me,

Gently you push, release me back into my life

My sadness is anchored in white sand,

Sunshine is the touch of your hand

A reasonable price to pay.

I know I will return one day

Until then……

Endlessly searching for the right words to say


Once again,

Interrupting our perfect silence.

Contact Information

Oceano Copacabana Hotel

J.W. Marriot Hotel

Windsor Atlantica Hotel

Sheraton Barra Hotel & Suites

Windsor Barra Hotel

Serena Boutique Resort

5-star Caesar Park Rio de Janeiro Ipanema

Praia Ipanema Hotel

For those readers whom speak Portuguese or appreciate the beauty

of this romantic language please enjoy the translation.

Garota de Ipanema

Sentado no meu quarto olhando para a praia de Impanema,

Minha cadeira força minhas costas, palavras brotam da minha caneta

Como a chuva batendo nos azulejos pretos e brancos,

Na minha varanda, cada pedaço marcado por visitantes anteriores.

Eu escuto atentamente a melodia

A garota de Ipanema,

Pela centésima vez, mas ela soa diferente.

Reflexos do meu dia no coração da praia de Ipanema

Aparecem subitamente nos meus olhos,

Barraca de praia, protetor solar, pessoal na praia e cerveja Skol

O cheiro de maconha barata flutua no ar

Futebol em todas as partes

Olha que coisa mais linda, mais cheia de graça …

Oh mas eu a olho tão contente

Quando ela passa eu sorrio e talvez ela veja

Eventualmente eu me levanto e me aproximo com ousadia,

Entretanto, ela mal percebe

Seus belos olhos castanhos evitam,

Os meus, cheios de expectativa.

Como posso lhe dizer que lhe daria meu coração de bom grado

Ah, mas esta responsabilidade pesa fortemente em mim.

Caminhamos pela praia juntos

De vez em quando palavras interrompem nosso silencio perfeito

Eu entro no Samba com seus pés

Nossos olhos seguem o horizonte,

Eu saboreio nosso ritmo e tempo.

Crianças brincam alegremente, diversão na areia

Meus pequenos mestres, Eu me esforço para aprender suas lições.

O Brasil passa por nós

Influências Européias, Africanas e Asiáticas por todo lado

Como um rio cheio transbordando suas margens,

Mudança constante

Eu me lembro que é impossível ficar no mesmo rio duas vezes.

Eu me lembro daquele dia em que eu disse tão pouco, mas senti tanto;

Aquela satisfação permanece escondida no canto do seu toque.

Mais tarde a carne cuidadosamente cortada e servida em espetos de prata

Caiu graciosamente em nossos pratos

De novo, de novo, de novo e de novo, nós trocamos;

Sorrisos, saboreando vagarosamente momentos deliciosos

Café, conversa, riso, nossos olhos se encontram

Mas, para minha surpresa, você me vê.

Embora eu tenha sido alertado dias após dia

Existe algo se apoderando de mim …

Meia noite, porta trancada, o perfume do seu cabelo

Todo o meu medo me prendeu aqui,

Esta noite você está livre para se liberar.

Meus olhos se fecham gentilmente lembrando os momentos no mercado

Você se insinuou para mim

Pulando no meu carrinho de compras

E caminhou pelo corredor de biscoitos.

Você olhou para trás e sorriu de volta para mim

Chocando-se com uma pilha de salgadinhos,

Eles nos pediram para sair.

Abrindo meus olhos nós fazemos amor de novo,

Meses de paixão aparentemente se transformaram em

Algumas noites salpicadas com sonhos doces.

Depois, banhados pela luz da manhã

Você perguntou sobre mim

Eu respondi que eu gosto de acreditar que o melhor de mim

Está escondido sob a manga da minha camisa, ainda por ser visto.

Alguma coisa no jeito como você se move

O modo como você mexe comigo

John Mayer fica tocando repetidas vezes na minha cabeça

Ainda assim, você esta escapando das minhas mãos,

Não cabe a mim prender você.

O nosso amor é real, como Coltrane

Sem defeitos, puro, aparentemente perfeito.

Como os mundos que se chocam no Brasil

Europeu, Africano e Asiático

Nossos mundos se chocam,

Onde está; nós ficamos

O ponteiro brasileiro do tempo

Move-se mais rápido do que pensamos.

Juntos para o aeroporto não podemos ir

Lágrimas, sorrisos, abraços e beijos; dizemos adeus…

Sozinho de novo, eu subo para céus cheios de chuva

Amendoim salgadinho, eu choro …

Todos os meus receios me prenderam aqui

Com o tempo eu encontro a paz interior

Eventualmente eu encontro o meu sorriso, sorrio de novo…

De volta ao meu mundo flutuo a 33000 pés

Eu não posso nunca me esquecer de você, tenho certeza disso.

Você é a Garota de Ipanema

Para sempre parte de mim,

Suavemente você me empurra de volta à minha vida

Minha tristeza está ancorada em areia branca,

O brilho do sol no toque de sua mão

Um preço razoável a ser pago.

Sei que voltarei um dia

Até então…

Procurando incessantemente as palavras certas para falar


Outra vez,

Interrompendo nosso silencio perfeito.


About Roger O'Keefe

My background is in education and finance. I'm a published author and photographer, former radio talk show host, and creative retirement planning expert. My work is a love of labor, I do not sell any products of any kind. I've appeared as a guest on more than 50 national and local television and radio shows. With a Masters in education, I'm a licensed educator and author of the “Future Bright Program” and the California State Department of Education “Teacher Appreciation Program.” I'm a member of the American Association of Retired Persons and the National Care Planning Council NCPC. I'm currently writing my second book and reside in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado. My mission is to reshape retirement planning one person at a time. Please visit my website and take advantage of the many complimentary online seminars, resources, and retirement planning tools.
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One Response to The Beat Goes On, Romance in Rio!

  1. Pingback: Ai de mim, Copacabana duas vezes sexagenária. «

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