One Sunday afternoon, Tom and I decided it was high time that we visited one of Sao Paulo’s many world-class museums. The Modern Art museum at Ibirapuera Park was hosting an exhibition, so we thought we’d pop over and check it out.

Major miscalculations! One, you don’t “pop” anywhere in Sao Paulo on the weekend after 9 am. Two, in a city of 12-22 million people (depending on where you want to draw the boundary…though it really makes no difference; city or metropolitan area…they’re still here!), you must plan your outings accordingly, arriving early to get a parking space. Otherwise, you’ll do as we did, negotiating traffic and detours and construction, only to then spend another 45 minutes looking for a parking space.

We did finally snag one, within sight of the ticket window, which at 4:45 had a line out the door and around the side of the building. Having no clue what time the museum would close, but suspecting that it would be early on a Sunday evening, we opted out of wedging the car into the “space” and walking to search for a parking paybox, and simply continued wending our way back to the line of traffic, this time trying to get out of the park.

So much for spontaneity!

However, we did take a “Sunday drive” through some neighborhoods near our bairro (“baiho,” neighborhood), which we discovered were really lovely, with old-growth trees and single-family homes. Well, lovely if you discount the electric wires, razor barbed-wire, and broken glass atop their walls (but that’s the subject of another, later blog).

Still, we saw many  nice “suburban” neighborhoods just a couple of blocks off the main drag, sun-speckled and drowsy in the afternoon light. Really quite charming.

In the coming weeks, we will plan ahead and go to the museums early. There are so many that we haven’t visited. I’m ashamed of myself. I’ve been UNDER the Museum of Art, at the Sunday antique fair (another upcoming blog), and again at the MLK Remembrance (another upcoming blog), but never within it. And there are so many I’ve simply driven past. But there’s still time to rectify the  oversight!