São Paulo, with its nearly 20 millions of inhabitants, is one of the biggest cities on earth. The region São Paulo is a concrete jungle with a dense network of city highways, giantic advertisment banners, office towers and other building blocks without number. This metropolis is the heart of the brazilian economy - with Avenida Paulista as its main arteria. Approximately one third of the brasilian gross domestic product is earned here.
Due to its enormous economical power, São Paulo is attracting people from all regions. The same as for immigrants from other countries and continents. São Paulo accommodates immigrants of more than 70 different countries. The largest groups amongst them are formed by Italians, Japanese and Arabians. The cultural diversity is reflected in the number of restaurants: no matter what rare culinary wish you have - you'll find it in São Paulo.
Old town centre & culture
Concentrated work behind modern glass facades is just one face if São Paulo. A little outside of the commercial centre, there's the vaste park "Ibirapuera", with its Sunday's open air concerts. Other kinds of culture is offered by numerous museums, theatres and concert halls: the "Theatro Municipal" (City Theatre) in the heart of the old town centre is a building in a magnificent old style. In the "Sala São Paulo", a former railway station, people can regularly visit concerts and expositions.
The municipal administration just launched a campaign to revive the old town centre. Many of the old buildings are nowadays in a poor condition. Three generations ago, in these streets, elegant couples went for a promenade on Sunday afternoons - nowadays, the view is dominated by mobile vendours offering coloured plastic knick-knack, batteries and wrist watches.
It gets quite obvious that São Paulo constitues an antipole to its neighbour Rio de Janeiro. Paulistanos, the inhabitants of São Paulo, are pale unsportive office workers, disciplined and busy - at least accoring to the stereotype view of the easy going and sun-tanned Cariocas of Rio. And one more (stereo)typical thing: when Paulistanos finally go to the beach, they go fully over-equipped with chairs, camping tables and insulated lunch bags.